The Ultimate College Survival Book List
College should be one of the best times of your life. With a strong emphasis on the word “should.” Here’s an extensive collection of the best books to own if you ever find yourself struggling to get through these crazy, sometimes draining and anxiety-ridden years – and beyond!
How to College: What To Know Before You Go ( And While You’re There) by Andrea Malkin Brenner and Laura Hope Schwartz
The first practical guide of its kind that helps students transition smoothly from high school to college
The transition from high school—and home—to college can be stressful. Students and parents often arrive on campus unprepared for what college is really like. Academic standards and expectations are different from high school; families aren’t present to serve as “scaffolding” for students; and first-years have to do what they call “adulting.” Nothing in the college admissions process prepares students for these new realities.
As a result, first-year college students report higher stress, more mental health issues, and lower completion rates than in the past. In fact, up to one third of first-year college students will not return for their second year—and colleges are reporting an increase in underprepared first-year students.
How to College is here to help. Professors Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Schwartz guide first-year students and their families through the transition process, during the summer after high school graduation and throughout the school year, preparing students to succeed and thrive as they transition and adapt to college. The book draws on the authors’ experience teaching, writing curricula, and designing programs for thousands of first-year college students over decades.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… and Maybe the World by Admiral William H. Mcraven
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
BASED ON THE INCREDIBLE GRADUATION SPEECH WITH OVER 10 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.
Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”—Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
“Kick bad mental habits and toughen yourself up.”—Inc.
Master your mental strength—revolutionary new strategies that work for everyone from homemakers to soldiers and teachers to CEOs.
Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself
Don’t give away your power
Don’t shy away from change
Don’t focus on things you can’t control
Don’t worry about pleasing everyone
Don’t fear taking calculated risks
Don’t dwell on the past
Don’t make the same mistakes over and over
Don’t resent other people’s success
Don’t give up after the first failure
Don’t fear alone time
Don’t feel the world owes you anything
Don’t expect immediate results
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach to solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Expert Advice for Extreme Situations By Joshua Piven & David Borgenicht
With expert, illustrated step-by-step instructions for life’s sudden turns for the worst: Danger! It lurks at every corner. Quicksand. Sharks. Cyberbullies. Super-Flu. From wrestling an alligator to evading drones to landing a plane if the pilot passes out, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook is here to help. Needed now more than ever, this revised and expanded edition delivers frightening and funny real advice readers need to know fast. With crucial information added from across the Worst-Case series and 20 all-new scenarios for twenty-first century threats (extreme weather, “fake news,” dropping a cell phone in the toilet). Fans of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series will need to have the updated 20th anniversary edition to always be adequately prepared for dire situations in this crazy world.
Action-packed hardcover handbook brings emergency instruction for anxious times. Expert – and humorous – advice for extreme situations including great escapes and entrances (how to escape from a sinking car), tooth and claw (how to escape from killer bees), technical trouble (how to survive an out-of-control autonomous car), and adventure survival (how to survive an avalanche). Makes a great gift and reference guide for those who like to be prepared for whatever might happen
How do you get a fulfilling job after college?
What if you’re still living with your parents?
What’s it like navigating hook-ups, dating, and new friendships outside campus life?
Millions of books, blog posts, personal essays, and advice columns are written about college, but what about after college? Those first few years of finding your footing in the real world are filled with transitional crises and fraught introspection. You’re a freshman all over again.
The thirty-eight stories in Freshman Year of Life tell the truth about life beyond college graduation from the voices of people a few years out. Some of their experiences are funny, some heartwarming; some are about their successes, and others reflect their failures. There are stories about going from a committed college relationship to casual dating in an unfamiliar city, navigating a toxic work environment, learning how to stay patient in a part of your life that isn’t defined by semesters and finals, and tackling the task of making new friends, something you may not have had to do since college orientation.
The stories in Freshman Year of Life are just the beginning. There are a multitude of different experiences out there, and one of them will be your own. It’s not the end of the conversation; it’s the start.
Find out how these writers survived their freshman year of life:
Aaron Gilbreath • Aileen Garcia • Alana Massey • Alexandra Molotkow • Alison Gilbert • Ashley Ford • Bijan Stephen • Cameron Summers • Carvell Wallace • Chloe Angyal • Emily Gould • Eric Anthony Glover • Gala Mukomolova • Jamie Lauren Keiles • Jason Diamond • Jenny Zhang • Justin Warner • Kevin Nguyen • Kristin Russo • Lane Moore • Laura Willcox • Lauren Wachenfeld • Lincoln Blades • Lori Adelman • Mara Wilson • Mira Gonzalez • Molly Soda • Myisha Battle • Nia King • Nisha Bhat • Paulette Perhach • Sam Zabell • Sarah Mirk • Scaachi Koul • Shannon Keating • Skylar Kergil • Whitney Mixter
This book came about through a collaboration with MindSumo.com, an online forum that reaches out to college students to solve business, tech, and design challenges. We asked MindSumo’s community of students what book they wanted most upon graduating, and this is it.
Do you sometimes feel stuck, despite real efforts to gain momentum on goals you’ve set?
Momentum means you’re doing more than simply getting things done. It’s that feeling of satisfaction, the belief that you can achieve big goals and complete important projects that fulfill you both personally and professionally. Get Momentum coaches you in the mindset, skillset, and toolkit required to make progress on the items you have on your life and work goals faster and easier, while living a less stressful, more meaningful life. The authors, Jodi Womack and her husband Jason Womack, provide valuable insights into the psychology of change and how to direct your focus to experience fulfillment at work and in life.
The authors share what they know having built a successful executive coaching firm together, as well as facilitating leadership workshops in their home town and more than twenty countries around the world. Contrary to the promise of many self-help/business books, they believe there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. Get Momentum teaches you how to make proactive changes based on the solid foundation of your own “quality of life” criteria. Jodi and Jason offer clear, step-by-step guidance on how to define your personal criteria so that you can Get Momentum, improve your life and enhance your career.
You will learn how to:
Answer the Call (What to do when you say “Someone should do something about this!”) Organize a Team and Gain the Perspective of People You Trust Measure Something (Just Not Everything At Once) Experiment Specifically and Practice Deliberately Build Momentum, Recognize Your Wins, and Pay It Forward
With kindness, accountability and encouragement, Get Momentum will help you tap into your natural way of being to achieve professional goals and personal experiences that are on your bucket list, living a life you’re proud to share with others.
Break free from anxiety—once and for all! From the authors of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, this powerful yet portable guide offers fifty-two in-the-moment mindfulness strategies you can use anytime, anywhere to cultivate calm and radically transform your life.
We live in an age of anxiety, and studies show that it’s only getting worse. Anxiety forces itself into our awareness and can deplete our energy, resources, and resolve. It screams “pay attention to me—or else.” We may confront it the moment we wake up in the morning, and it can even keep us from getting to sleep at night. In short, it can run our lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Building on the success of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, this quick reference guide offers fifty-two simple tools and strategies—one for each week of the year—based in proven-effective acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you break free from worry, fear, and panic. In addition to “in-the-moment” tools for staying calm, you’ll learn about the underlying causes of your anxiety, why avoidance just doesn’t work, how to move past your negative inner voice, and how focusing on your values can help you move past anxiety and live a rich, meaningful life.
If—like many people—you’re fed up with anxiety getting in the way of living your life, the powerful little exercises in this guide will show you how to break the cycle of anxiety for good.
This book has been selected as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation—an honor bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.
From the professors who teach NYU’s most popular elective class, “Science of Happiness,” a fun, comprehensive guide to surviving and thriving in college and beyond.
Every year, almost 4,000,000 students begin their freshman year at colleges and universities nationwide. Most of them will sleep less and stress out a whole lot more. By the end of the year, 30% of those freshmen will have dropped out. For many, the unforeseen demands of college life are so overwhelming that “the best four years of your life” can start to feel like the worst.
Enter Daniel Lerner and Dr. Alan Schlechter, ready to teach students how to not only survive college, but flourish in it. Filled with fascinating science, real-life stories, and tips for building positive lifelong habits, U Thrive addresses the opportunities and challenges every undergrad will face — from finding a passion to dealing with nightmarish roommates and surviving finals week. Engaging and hilarious, U Thrive will help students grow into the happy, successful alums they all deserve to be.
Leslie Odom Jr., burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor.
With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?
These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you’re graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Packed with humor, inspiration, and advice, You Are a Badass is the #1 New York Times bestselling self-help book that teaches you how to get better without getting busted.
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up twenty-seven bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to:
Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want
Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, and
Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
All you need to know about investing safely and smartly, with new information on the latest options—from cryptocurrencies to social media IPOs—in this comprehensive and updated guide to understanding the current market, setting realistic goals, and achieving financial success.
The best time to start investing is now—even as little as a few years can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time retirement comes around. Investing early in your career is the best way to ensure a secure and successful life all the way through retirement.
For years, The Everything Guide to Investing in Your 20s and 30s has been guiding young professionals on how to capitalize on the investing market and make the most out of their money. This all-new and fully updated edition includes all of the tips, tricks, and investing knowledge while also explaining:
—New technological investing options
—How the changing political climate affects your money
—What the rising interest rates mean
—Active investing versus passive investing
The Everything Guide to Investing in Your 20s and 30s teaches you how to maximize your investing strategy and make your money work for you. Don’t wait. Start investing today!
The #1 international bestseller from the author of You Are Awesome and The Book of Awesome that “reveals how all of us can live happier lives” (Gretchen Rubin).
What is the formula for a happy life? Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a New York Times-bestselling author, a Walmart executive, a father, a husband. After selling more than a million copies of the Book of Awesome series, wherein he observed the everyday things he thought were awesome, he now shifts his focus to the practicalities of living an awesome life.
In his new book The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing and do anything in order to have everything. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, you simply have yet to unlock the 9 Secrets to Happiness. Each secret takes a piece out of the core of common sense, turns it on its head to present it in a completely new light, and then provides practical and specific guidelines for how to apply this new outlook to lead a fulfilling life.
Once you’ve unlocked Pasricha’s 9 Secrets, you will understand counter intuitive concepts such as: Success Does Not Lead to Happiness, Never Take Advice, and Retirement Is a Broken Theory. You will learn and then master three brand-new fundamental life tests: the Saturday Morning Test, The Bench Test, and the Five People Test. You will know the difference between external goals and internal goals and how to make more money than a Harvard MBA (hint: it has nothing to do with your annual salary). You will discover that true wealth has nothing to do with money, multitasking is a myth, and the elimination of options leads to more choice.
The Happiness Equation is a book that will change how you think about pretty much everything–your time, your career, your relationships, your family, and, ultimately, of course, your happiness.
The Bravest You: 5 Steps to Fight Your Biggest Fears, Find Your Passion, and Unlock Your Extraordinary Life by Adam Kirk Smith
A Breakthrough Bravery System to Confront Your Greatest Fears, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Successful Life You Want
Feeling directionless, or perhaps too intimidated to make a necessary change in your life? Tired of letting your fears keep you from achieving your goals or becoming healthier, happier, or more successful? If so, this book is for you. Popular life coach and consultant Adam Smith has created a powerful method to help you harness your inner passion and drive to overcome whatever is holding you back.
The Bravest You presents the five-step Bravery Process(TM), an easy and highly effective way to master our biggest fears. Offering inspiring and helpful advice, Smith guides you through each of stage of the process–Complacency, Inspiration, Fear, Passion, Bravery–showing how to identify goals and passions and apply the Bravery Process to any circumstance. These proven techniques will empower you to conquer your doubts once and for all and become your bravest self.
Covering the ten most common fears all successful people face, from the fears of inadequacy and being judged, to rejection, failure, loss of control, and loneliness, The Bravest You arms you with the necessary tools to tackle any fear-inducing situation head-on and lead the braver, happier, and more successful life you’ve always imagined.
The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing and Everything In Between by Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey
A completely revised and updated values-based guide to navigating the first year of college that speaks to college students in their own language and offers practical tools that readers need to keep from drinking, sleeping, or skipping their way out of college.
In the four years since its initial publication, The Freshman Survival Guide has helped thousands of first-year students make a successful transition to college life. However, much has changed on campuses. The explosion of technology, ubiquity of social media, and culture changes have all added new layers of complexity to the leap from high school to college. The Freshman Survival Guide’s updated edition features new research and advice on issues such as mental health, sexual assault, and finding balance. It also features expanded sections on dating, money management, and an increased focus on how the over 1.5 million incoming freshmen can prepare themselves for the biggest change they’ve encountered in their lives: heading off to college.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Advice for graduates and reflections on staying true to yourself from the beloved Gilmore Girls actress and New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Talking as Fast as I Can and the novel Someday, Someday, Maybe.
“If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough.”
In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring—and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself—here is a comforting road map to a happy life.
“I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had successes and senior slumps. I’ve been the girl who has the lead, and the one who wished she had the bigger part. The truth? They don’t feel that different from each other.”
The heart will ache, the soul will feel weary, and the mind will be weighed down by the things you wish to forget. There will be nights when all you have is yourself and the moon. There will be nights when silence will exist in abundance. And even though you may feel lonely at first. You must understand that the solitude is a gift; you must understand that even when alone, you are more than enough.
In this hilarious and highly practical book, author and professional speaker Scott Berkun reveals the techniques behind what great communicators do, and shows how anyone can learn to use them well. For managers and teachers — and anyone else who talks and expects someone to listen — Confessions of a Public Speaker provides an insider’s perspective on how to effectively present ideas to anyone. It’s a unique, entertaining, and instructional romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Scott has experienced over 15 years of speaking to crowds of all sizes.
With lively lessons and surprising confessions, you’ll get new insights into the art of persuasion — as well as teaching, learning, and performance — directly from a master of the trade.
Berkun’s hard-won and simple philosophy, culled from years of lectures, teaching courses, and hours of appearances on NPR, MSNBC, and CNBC Practical advice, including how to work a tough room, the science of not boring people, how to survive the attack of the butterflies, and what to do when things go wrong The inside scoop on who earns $30,000 for a one-hour lecture and why The worst — and funniest — disaster stories you’ve ever heard (plus countermoves you can use)
Filled with humorous and illuminating stories of thrilling performances and real-life disasters, Confessions of a Public Speaker is inspirational, devastatingly honest, and a blast to read.
Practical, proven self-help steps show how to transform 40 common self-defeating behaviors, including procrastination, envy, obsession, anger, self-pity, compulsion, neediness, guilt, rebellion, inaction, and more.
Starting college can be an intimidating step in anyone’s life, and The Everything College Survival Book is here to get you right into the swing of things. From deciding on a major and succeeding in your academics to joining clubs and socializing, this updated guide will keep you stress-free and ready for anything!
This completely revised book shows you how to:
• Pack for the residence halls and live in peace with your roommate
• Beat the Freshman 15 and stay healthy
• Manage your study time and social life
• Avoid common pitfalls—such as drugs and alcohol
• Land a rewarding internship
No matter what stage of college you’re in, The Everything College Survival Book helps you overcome the challenges and appreciate the joys of this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the creator and star of Hamilton, with beautiful illustrations by Jonny Sun, comes a book of affirmations to inspire readers at the beginning and end of each day.
“When the world is bringing you down, Gmorning, Gnight! will remind you that you are awesome.”–Booklist
Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!
Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.