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Last Updated on November 14, 2017

25 Essential Books That Every College Student Should Read

25 Essential Books That Every College Student Should Read

There is no college student who would like reading books, they say. Can you believe it? We hardly think so!

Yes, reading is fashionable. Again. And every college student is always in fashion as a rule. But a sufficient ammount of other reasons why books are worth reading for students can be found which are more essential than simple fashion following:

  • books widen your vocabulary;
  • books help students find new models for academic writing;
  • books improve your cognitive skills;
  • books expand your view of the world around;
  • books let students remember grammar and punctuation rules autmatically;
  • books help students learn a subject better;
  • books help you avoid a social exclusion (according to this study of the Basic Skills Agency).

Every college student has their own list of must-read, or at least must-check, books; but what if we tell you there are some writing masterpieces that are worth your attention and are essential for college students to read? Check the list below!

1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

freedom

    “You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to.”

    This is a story about a relationship, a love triangle which subjects first met in college. What will become more important to them: love or friendship? Is there any decision for this difficult situation, when you love but do not want to lose your best friend? Every college student should know the answer to these questions.

    2. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    this side of paradise

      “It is not life that’s complicated, it’s the struggle to guide and control life.”

      A privileged Princeton student becomes totally disillusioned after graduation. He finds out that life is completely different behind the walls of his college, and now he has to look for his self again. It sounds so familiar to many college students today, doesn’t it?

      3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

      norwegian wood

        “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

        This is a story about true love and friendship, when one college student has to change his life principles and attitude to everything that happens around. It teaches us to appreciate friendship and people who love us, and be ready to accept the ugly truth of life.

        4. 1984 by George Orwell

        1984

          “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

          A world divided between three totalitarian states. A total control, elimination of all human values, and attempts to survive in this world full of hatred. Will you be able to challenge the system? Are you strong enough to remain for ever one and not to lose your individuality?

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          5. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

          crime and punishment

            “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.”

            A well known novel about the student Raskolnikov and his attempts to find his place in this life and understand who he really is. After killing an old pawnbroker, this young man tries to justify his actions. Raskolnikov’s story can make every modern college student rethink their views to moral laws and their place in society.

            6. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

            a brave new world

              “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

              A novel that was called “a negative utopia” by its author. This is a story about our future world, where happiness plays an important role but individuality is not appreciated. Is it possible to stay happy, being like others? What is more important to young people: to accept things as they are, or try to resist the system?

              7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

              one hundred years of solitude

                “Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it.”

                This is a myth-novel, an epic novel, a novel-paroemia about the evolution of humanity where each of us is doomed to loneliness, and where loneliness is the only thing that dominates the world where everything is tangled with the ties of fatal love. A perfect reading for college students to understand and estimate the importance of a family and close people who support them.

                8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

                the great gatsby

                  “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

                  This book should be read to feel the disillusionment many Americans felt during the Jazz Age. This is a good lesson to young people that teaches them to assess their capabilities and understand that our past can’t be returned; so, it is always better to let it go.

                  9. Lolita by Vladamir Nobokov

                  lolita

                    “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.”

                    Full of humor and intrigue, this novel about forbidden love between a man and a young nymphet remains controversial today but can teach us understanding, sacrifice, forgiveness and many other traits that are so important but forgotten by so many people today.

                    10. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

                    a farewell to arms

                      “But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”

                      The first – and the best! – book of the English literature “Lost Generation” about World War I. This is a story about the war where young and naive boys became Poor Bloody Infantry, and either died or became embittered to the limit; about the war where love is just a brief moment of rest with no past and no future; about the war you want to forget but which can’t be forgotten.

                      11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

                      the grapes of wrath

                        “If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

                        This is a story about one family that moves to California in attempts to find a better life during the great depression; the story about the importance of love, support, and close people near you; the story about resilience and courage of a man to roll with the punches.

                        12. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

                        the master and margarita

                          “Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he’s sometimes unexpectedly mortal -there’s the trick!”

                          The devil comes to Moscow. Merry mischief and melancholy sadness, romantic love and magical obsession, mystery and reckless game with the evil spirit – they all can be found in this novel. Perfect reading to find out how the evil can be more honest than a society and political regimes.

                          13. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

                          uncle tom's cabin

                            “Treat ’em like dogs, and you’ll have dogs’ works and dogs’ actions. Treat ’em like men, and you’ll have men’s works.”

                            This book is a part of many colleges history though it was both praised and criticized. A difficult and quite controversial period of American history many famous writers and essayists described is represented here, and it helps young people understand the principles and values of their nation to see how they have been changed since then.

                            14. The Stranger by Albert Camus

                            the stranger

                              “If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.” 

                              After reading this novel, young people will understand how important their personal choice is and how indifferent the universe sometimes is. The story of a person who killed a man and did not feel guilty lets us see how absurd the world around us may be.

                              15. The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

                              the art of happiness

                                “Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” 

                                The series of interviews with the Dalai Lama can help college students (and all other people actually) learn and understand how to attain fulfillment in their life and start feeling happy.

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                                16. Faust by Johann von Goethe

                                faust

                                  “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” 

                                  A bet between God and Mephistopheles for the soul of Faust turns into his supernatural journey and struggle for his will and freedom. This play teaches us to understand the difference between good and evil, learn some myths of ancient history, and master the art of dispute.

                                  17. Paradise Lost by John Milton

                                  paradise lost

                                    “Solitude sometimes is best society.” 

                                    We all know the Biblical story about Adam and Eve’s temptation into sin by Lucifer, the arrogant angel that fell from grace. But we know practically nothing about Lucifer himself. Paradise Lost helps us see the different side of good and bad, allowing to make our own impression about who is right.

                                    18. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

                                    loed of the flies

                                      “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” 

                                      An uninhabited island; a boundless ocean; and boys with no adults supervision. This is a story about a divided society by the example of a small kids’ community. A revolution. Bloodshed. Death. It demonstrates us how important (and necessary) it is to be a good leader, to have a clear mind, to be a critical thinker, to be able to find a compromise, and to stay a human first of all.

                                      19. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

                                      to kill a mockingbird

                                        “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 

                                        This is a book about a young girl’s growing up, which passes through adventures, fun, and relationships with peers. She has many things to learn about, including life’s unfairness to kids, weak people, or people with a different skin color. As a result, we can see that kindness, sympathy and mutual support do not depend on your color of skin, your social status, or public opinion. It all depends on a man’s soul.

                                        20. The Running Man by Stephen King

                                        the running man

                                          “Say your name over two hundred times and discover you are no one.” 

                                          In a typical small town, an ordinary man lives. Slowly but surely he sinks into the abyss of black hatred to himself and everyone who surrounds him. And when an occasion happens, it is impossible to stop him. America becomes a hell; people die of hunger, and the only way to get some money is to take part in the most monstrous game generated by a warped mind of a sadist. What are people ready to do and how far are they ready to go to get what they want?

                                          21. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

                                          a clockwork orange

                                            “When a man cannot chose, he ceases to be a man.” 

                                            This is a wicked satire to a modern totalitarian society that tends to turn a young generation into so-called “clockwork oranges”, obedient to the will of their leaders. A clever, cruel, charismatic antagonist Alex, a leader of a street gang that considers violence the high art of life, runs into the iron jaws of a new state program for the criminals rehabilitation, and he becomes a victim of violence himself.

                                            22. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

                                            civilization and its discontents

                                              “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” 

                                              This book is a must-read for every college student just because it describes Freud’s views and ideas that are still a major part of our culture and world’s understanding. This is a good chance to understand why we live in society the way we do.

                                              23. A River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins

                                              a river out of eden

                                                “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

                                                This book is a perfect reading for college students who want to learn the process of evolution in simple and interesting way. The author gives a truly beautiful explanation of our world’s birth and development, and no one will have heart to call this story boring.

                                                24. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

                                                hamlet

                                                  “We know what we are, but not what we may be.” 

                                                  One of the most well known plays of William Shakespeare, Hamlet helps us find the answer to the eternal question we heard many times: “To be or not to be?”. This is a story that can teach us to accept the responsibility for all our decisions and deeds.

                                                  25. The Divine Comedy by Dante

                                                  the divine comedy

                                                    “In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.”

                                                    Who did not hear about Dante and his nine circles of Inferno? This is our chance to learn them all and understand the view of afterlife Christians had in Middle Ages. We all will have to pay for our sins, and this book teaches us not to forget about that.

                                                    How many books from this list have you read already? Do you have anything to add or change here?

                                                    Featured photo credit: We read to know we are not alone/Debbie Friley via flickr.com

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                                                    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                                                    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                                                    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                                                    1. Breathe

                                                    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                                                    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                                                    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                                                    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                                                    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                                                    2. Loosen up

                                                    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                                                    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                                                    3. Chew slowly

                                                    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                                                    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                                                    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                                                    4. Let go

                                                    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                                                    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                                                    It’s not. Promise.

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                                                    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                                                    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                                                    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                                                    5. Enjoy the journey

                                                    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                                                    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                                                    6. Look at the big picture

                                                    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                                                    Will this matter to me…

                                                    • Next week?
                                                    • Next month?
                                                    • Next year?
                                                    • In 10 years?

                                                    Hint: No, it won’t.

                                                    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                                                    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                                                    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                                                    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                                                    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                                                    8. Practice patience every day

                                                    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                                                    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                                                    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                                                    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                                                    Final thoughts

                                                    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                                                    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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