10 Books Every College Freshman Needs to Read

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Close the textbook this weekend. And open up 10 books that will pull at your heart, make you turn your thoughts inward and remind you that at such a new and unsure time in your life, you need not feel alone.
 

1. Looking For Alaska, John Green

 
 
Losing love as quickly as he found it Pudge learns how to navigate through all of life’s endless hardships, which he calls the “labyrinth of suffering.” Follow along as Pudge goes through the journey of starting over, finding himself and learning what can be drawn from seemingly senseless challenges.
 

2. Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger

 
 
Holden Caulfield, a young and misunderstood prep school boy goes on a journey to nowhere in the hopes of finding a place where he belongs. He faces the steep struggle of coping with death, growing up, and the loss of innocence in a blunt, honest and heartbreaking way.
 

3. The Truth About Style, Stacey London

 
 
This novel explores the connection between what’s going on inside and how it is reflected in the way we choose to dress and present ourselves. It’s an extremely interesting perspective that also guides readers in the realm of self-awareness.
 

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chobsky

 
 
In an era where mental health is starting to become less stigmatized and widely spoken of, this book is more than relevant. The quotable words will stick with you forever and remind you of the beauty of your uniqueness.
 

5. The Alchemist, Paul Coelho

 
 
Although a tangibly easy read this novel will force you to open your heart and think about what truly lies inside; what do you desire? What do you really love? This story is about fate and destiny and how much control of it one really has.
 

6. On The Road, Jack Kerouac

 
 
Sometimes the open road is the only cure for a life that seems to have gone static. Demonstrating that its not always about the destination but rather the journey this book shows that sometimes, one needs to go somewhere he/she has never been to find out who he/she really is.
 

7. Meditations in an Emergency, Frank O’Hara

 
 
These stream-of-consciousness styled poems about life and love take the seemingly unimportant random thoughts that cross our minds and give them reason. During a time in your life where your thoughts can be more scattered and unclear than ever before, it’s comforting to identify with someone who feels the same way.
 

8. The Pact, Jodi Picoult

 
 
What is the limit when it comes to those we love? Chris Harte isn’t so sure he’s willing to find out. In this tragic novel that begins with death and heartbreak, the reader finds answers to perhaps two of the most challenging questions: How well do we really know the ones we love and how far are we willing to go for them?
 

9. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton

 
 
A classic novel about social divides and the coming of age, this is the story of Ponyboy and the Greasers who are challenged by a world of socioeconomic discrimination and a social climate stacked against them, much like the new social structures and socioeconomic diversity one experiences as a freshman.
 

10. The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

 
 
Reinstating the inevitable fact that we will all grow older and that time doesn’t stop for anyone this novel demonstrates that things change, but love remains.

Junior > English > Boston College

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