Don’t wait until the last minute to get your hands on these books to read before college!
When you’re in the midst of your senior year of high school and getting ready to graduate there’s a lot going on!
You’ll be doing stuff like…
- Applying to colleges
- Getting those scholarships
- Finding a job
- And, maybe figuring out a new living situation
With so much to keep track of, reading may be the last thing on your mind.
If you find some downtime, or you’re feeling a little directionless about life after high school – picking up one of these books to read before college can definitely help. Or at least, give you some ideas!
It took me 6 years post-high school graduation to figure out what I wanted to do!
That’s such a long time and truthfully makes me feel kinda old. Seriously though, if you don’t know what you want to do career-wise just yet don’t sweat it.
As they say:
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Time is needed to create and do great things.
Okay, so I think I’ve rambled long enough. Let’s take a look at these books!
10 Books to Read The Summer Before College
#1 – The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
About: After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, computer science professor Randy Pausch gives an awe-inspiring lecture on achieving your dreams.
#2 – Daring Greatly
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown.
About: After college you may feel vulnerable to the new “adult” world before you. This book by Brené Brown encourages you to embrace it, and take a look within.
#3 – 175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College
175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College by Charlotte Lake.
About: Whether you’re trying to make sure your four years in college are the best they can be or preparing for next steps post-graduation, you’ll learn exactly how to set yourself up for success (and fun!) with lots of great activity ideas.
Instead of getting trapped in the myth that you need to “do it all,” this book will help you figure out what’s most important to you…and how to make it happen.
#4 – We Are Okay
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.
About: Exploring love, loss, and family – this book is an after high school must read.
Author Nina LaCour writes about Marin, a lonely freshman that moved across country with a grief-stricken past and a best friend that comes to visit, & unravel that past.
#5 – A Starter Guide to College for Clueless Students & Parents
A Starter Guide to College for Clueless Students & Parents: For a State College or the Ivy League: Here’s What You Need to Know by Mr. Jake D. Seeger.
About: A great reference guide with everything you need to know before choosing your college.
Helping you navigate all the ins and outs of finances, financial aid, admission statistics, college degree levels & more – this is a WORTH IT book to read before college!
#6 – We Should All Be Feminists
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
About: What does it mean to be a woman now?
In this essay by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we take a look at feminism in the 21st century.
A wonderful book for male and female college-bound students.
#7 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
(One of my personal favorites on this list!)
About: A classic coming of age story, this novel covers high school at its highs and lows through the eyes of Charlie and his senior friends.
Next up on my list of books you should read before college…
#8 – The Group: A Novel
The Group: A Novel by Mary McCarthy.
About: Published in 1963, a story that is set in 1933 and is still relevant to this day.
Following a group of young women who have just graduated and begin to go their separate ways. Through tragedy, the group is united once again years later.
#9 – Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
About: Have an itch to explore the great wilderness? This memoir is about just that.
Take a look at how she copes with her mother’s death & her divorce, by hiking through the Pacific Crest trail for thousands of miles alone and untrained.
#10 – Letters to a Young Contrarian (Art of Mentoring)
Letters to a Young Contrarian (Art of Mentoring) by Christopher Hitchens.
About: Get inspired!
Christopher Hitchens writes about the mentors that inspired him – and the importance of disagreement.
Wrapping up with books to read before college
What other books would you recommend reading before college?
- 19 Pretty Damn Useful Books to Read in College – Freshmen Edition
- The Ultimate College Packing List (Free Printable Checklist!)
- 4 Free Printable Coloring Bookmarks With Cats & Cat Puns