The Senior Files: 5 Best Books For Soon-To-Be Grads

"Uhhh... what now?"

[OMGeeee. Graduation is coming soon. As in, my graduation. As in, in less than two months I’m going to be donning a really unflattering gown and listening to someone tell me that the world is my oyster and blah, blah, blah. As in, I’m about to be a real adult living in the real world. There is so much to do, to enjoy, to learn before I graduate, that I’m not sure I’ll have time to do it all. But I’m going to try, starting with my Senior Year Bucket List, then tackling a little reading….]

With graduation fast approaching, I am trying to cram in all the education and life lessons that I possibly can before I have to leave this place. I go to class, take notes, listen, and really try to absorb the teachings from all my amazing professors, teachers, and friends.

However, there are some life lessons that simply can’t be expressed in a quarter long class or in a classroom at all. There are just not enough practical classes that will ready us for life after graduation, or answer so many of the questions we don’t have the answers to. Like, how do I manage a checkbook? How do I find the perfect apartment in an unknown city? Am I going to stay in touch with all my friends post college? How do I make a cup of coffee? What am I actually going to do? Who will I become?

Since we don’t have much “real-world” experience yet, we can benefit and learn from others’ life experiences, stories, and knowledge. There is so much to be learned from other people, and thankfully, so many of those people have written their wisdom down for us.

So for all my fellow college-seniors-who-are-freaking-out-about-graduating-and-have-no-idea-what-they’re-doing, here are five great books by five great authors that might give us all a little insight and guidance.

How to Survive the Real World: Life After College Graduation: Advice from 774 Graduates Who Did
This book is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. There is solid advice in this how-to guide by hundreds of people who offer up their insight, mistakes, successes, and stories of entering adulthood and how they survived the transition from college life to real life. This guide covers everything from practical problems, like finding the best apartment, to the psychological issues of moving on after college and discovering who you are and who you will become. Obviously real life can’t be learned from a how-to guide, but this book can help make the transition from frat parties to a 9-5 job a little easier.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
This list wouldn’t be complete without a little Dr. Seuss. This classic book is a perfect read before any major life transition, whether that be a new job, a new home, or entering a world different than the one you’ve known for the past four years. Dr. Seuss will assure you that you will succeed in life, even if you don’t have that dream job yet or if life gets a little rough. Plus, his rhyming is genius and will make you feel like a little kid again, which is awesome because little kids aren’t graduating yet…so maybe you’ll feel like you’re not graduating yet. My logic is seamless.

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20
This book will push you to think differently and open your mind to possibilities previously unearthed in your own head. In this day and age, we need all the help we can get and this book is basically a road map to life. Author Tina Seelig, professor at Stanford University (whoop whoop!), gives today’s youth some serious insight through stories, anecdotes, and examples to move into the future with the best version of themselves.

Personal Finance For Dummies
I know, I know, the ‘Dummies’ book series seems kind of lame but these books are surprisingly helpful; complete with tips, advice, and straight up instructions from experts, professors, and the brightest people in their respective fields. I know for a fact that once my ‘rents cut me off post graduation, I may struggle while handling my own finances. And by “may” I mean “without a doubt.” Money, financing and all the other economy related stuff (401K? CD? WTF?) can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing and you majored in English rather than Econ. If you’re in the same boat, this book is a must-read and a must-highlight-so-you-retain.

(And if those ‘Dummies’ books aren’t for you, definitely pick up ‘So Many Shoes, So Little Money,’ by Lisa Erwin. It will totally speak to you and your personal financial needs post graduation.)

The Velveteen Rabbit
I literally can’t keep from crying when I read this book. (Okay so maybe my tear ducts aren’t as strong as yours, but still I dare you to not get emo when you read this.) I loved this book as a child, and I love it even more today. It explains what it means to be real, which every one of us desires to be and will probably struggle with during the most difficult transition of our lives. In beautiful language and metaphor, this classic children’s book reminds us all of what life truly means and what we all aim to seek from our experience – to be loved. Even better, there is audio versions narrated by the one and only  Meryl Streep. Take a listen and grab a box of Kleenex.

Do you have any book recommendations that you consider a must-read before gradution?

5 Super Hot Summer Internships
5 Super Hot Summer Internships
  • 10614935101348454