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The 9 Books Every Student Should Read Before Starting University Or College

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Books Every Student Should Read Before Starting University Or College

Heading to University (or college if you are American), is often one of the most drastic and challenging steps a student takes on their route to the workforce. Being prepared is important! Luckily for you, we have gathered together some of the books that will help you through your time in higher education.

You do not have to read them all, but picking up one or two can greatly aid you and set you up for a more enjoyable and successful time at University.

#1 Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World

Why is it important for students to read? University teaches you a lot, but not how important the personal connections you make during those years will be at the start and throughout your career. Build Your Dream Network provides a roadmap for students on making the long lasting connections that will fuel their post-university careers.

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: J. Kelly Hoey | Twitter | Book Author

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  1. This book is a roadmap to modern day networking success! Kelly is an incredible role model, leader, and force for good relationship building!

  2. I wish this book had been available to me before I entered the workforce. However, even now, 18 years into my career, I still learned so much.

  3. LOVE this book. I built my entire company’s staff and advisory board using many of the insights from here. Definitely, a must-read regardless of where you are in your education/career!

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#2 Daring Greatly

Rationale: When students arrive at college, they present with a mindset molded by years spent in an education system that conditions and rewards conformity. They believe there is a prescribed route to success and any deviance from that path spells doom. They have been trained to provide correct answers and often punished for not knowing course content upon demand. Over time, students become fearful of making mistakes and taking risk. Hence, when they arrive in college, they feel a sense of impostor syndrome, believing themselves inferior to their peers. Dr. Brown’s book addresses the shame individuals feel when confronted with their own vulnerability. I feel, as she does, that to learn deeply and grow as a person, we must be willing to demonstrate vulnerability. While she doesn't address students, specifically, I believe this book is an excellent choice for the college-bound. 

For business students and future leaders, taking the time to understand and gain empathy for employees and customers is paramount. Effective leaders engage in a process of lifelong learning requiring acceptance and ownership of one’s limitations resulting in continuous observation and question generation. They adopt a position of vulnerability with the understanding that it promotes competence and creativity. Moreover, effective leaders model such behavior to those around them, thus increasing agility of the organization and innovative practices. There again, though, many business schools still teach traditional trajectories for business careers in highly competitive rather than collaborative environments. The most successful students and entrepreneurs recognize this and, nevertheless, continually demonstrate vulnerability through asking questions that elucidate profitable avenues to pursue.

I am currently writing a book, tentatively titled, “The First Law of Holes: What to do when you stop digging,” that addresses the challenges inherent in adopting a lifelong learning perspective. The first step involves becoming comfortable with vulnerability. Only then can we ask truly meaningful and insight-generating questions about how to construct a meaningful life path, reduce aversion to risk and failure, and banish impostor syndrome. 

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: Risa J. Stein | Twitter

Company: thecreativeprofessor.com | Facebook 

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#3 Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life

Preparing for your freshman year of college is a thrilling experience. You've done the hard work of submitting college applications, you've committed to a university, and you finally get to relish all of your accomplishments as you await this exciting new chapter. But starting college is a stressful experience, too. Making new friends, living in a dorm room, taking college classes, and leaving home are big life changes, and it's completely normal for feelings of stress and anxiety to arise during your freshman year.

That's why Wherever You Go, There You Are is such a helpful resource for every soon-to-be college student. Kabat-Zinn's book, written in short chapters that can be read on-the-go, is accessible and easy to digest. His strategies for developing inner strength and calm are a perfect antidote to the hustle and intensity of the first few weeks of college, and his advice for reducing stress will be useful throughout your entire college career and beyond. Read it before move-in day, then bring it to your dorm room and refer to it whenever you need a little extra support.

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: Olivia Valdes

Company: zenadmissions.net | Instagram | Facebook

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#4 The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

I recently read the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and I really wish I had read it sooner, way sooner in my life, and definitely before starting college would have been helpful! Why? The book has a very simple premise and as I’ve started using it in my life, I have started seeing better results, results I really could have really used in college. 

The point of the book is that in a world where multi-tasking is still king, choose instead to focus on one thing at that point in time in your life, and focus on just that and nothing else. Don’t answer the phone or check your email while you’re writing a paper for English, just super focus on writing your paper, and when you are done, then you can answer the phone or check your messages. 

It’s simple and it’s brilliant, and in our distracted world where we’re constantly inundated with information, it is very, very hard to do. But, if you work at it and master the concept of focusing on one thing at a time, the results you receive are worth the effort you put in, each and every time! 

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: Heidi McBain

Company: heidimcbain.com | Book

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#5 10 Days to Faster Reading

I believe that my book 10 Days to Faster Reading is the best pre-requisite for anyone heading off to college. Its available online as a paperback book, an ebook, audiobook and included with the Rev It Up Reading online course. It helps students become smarter, faster and just plain better readers BEFORE they step foot onto a college campus. It provides common sense thinking around how we learned to read and simple strategies for approaching any reading workload. Readers track their progress through timed reading exercises. 

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: Abby Marks Beale | LinkedIn

Company: revitupreading.com | Facebook | Twitter

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#6 Getting Things Done – by David Allen

You will always have more things to do than hours to accomplish them. David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) surpasses time management. His system ensures no task is forgotten, and more importantly, that you are making plans with your larger goals in mind. A wonderful guide to accomplishing more of the right things.

To read other peoples reviews of this book and to learn more about it, click here.

Contributor: Stripe Demarest

Company: granitecrossroads.com

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#7 How to Win Friends and Influence People

You would not believe that a book with this title, written in 1936, could have such an impact on how you connect with people. 

I only wish I read it when I was 18. I've sent it to 3 cousins when they graduated from high school. 

Learn the power of...

- Praise and appreciation

- Listening

- Make people feel important 

THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. 

One other new book that impacted me: Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.

Teaches you sooooo much, and an easy read. 

Contributor: Rob Roseman

Company: kickstartreading.com

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#8 The Defining Decade

I was in a dead-end job that barely paid the student loans that I had racked up in college when Meg Jay's TED Talk popped up in my news feed. Her presentation and book were life-changing. If you've ever been so anxious to make an important decision in your personal or professional life that you're left paralyzed, then this is the book for you. Meg Jay encourages twenty-somethings (and those that love them) to respect this time in their life as an opportunity to take first steps (even if they end up taking you somewhere that you hate), make important relationship decisions and start preparing for your thirties. Can't recommend enough!

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#9 A Course In Miracles (ACIM)

ACIM is a life-changing book for many. It was supposedly channeled from Jesus through a New York psychiatrist named Helen Schucman, but she insisted on remaining anonymous till after her death.

The truth contained in it is self-evident. A Course In Miracles provides detailed real-world explanations for correcting the many illusions and mental obstacles that prevent us from flourishing as we are meant to in this life. It contains the best workbook exercises and meditations for spiritual transformation available in print in my informed view, and takes the reader step by step from the "littleness" we've been socialized into into transcendence.

It's not for everyone. Some find it far too abstract. But if you are wiling to step back from ordinary existence and reconsider, A Course In Miracles truly is an incredible read.

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