Listens for a First-Year College Student 

Heading off to college, no matter how far away from home, or how large the student body, is one of the most daunting moments of a young adult’s life. Filled with nearly every possible emotion humanly possible, there is much to navigate on that U-Haul drive to your future shoebox dorm room. These listens provide do’s and don’ts, academic reflections, and a bit of fantasy to escape from the biggest Sunday scaries yet. 

The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen

From sharing a bathroom with a hallway full of strangers to sharing lecture notes, The Naked Roommate is the behind-the-scenes listen that will give the 4-1-1 on college. From managing a busy schedule to making new life-long friends, there are few topics this book doesn’t cover. With real-life stories from college students across the country, you will hear about the good, bad, ugly, and incredible that can come out of your college experience. 

The Freshman Survival Guide by Bill McGarvey and Nora Bradbury-Haehl

This values-based guide to navigating the first year of college speaks to college students in their own language and offers practical tools that listeners need to keep from drinking, sleeping, or skipping their way out of college.

The reality is, that the world as we know it looks different now. Social media, internet culture, and new waves of media have all added new layers of complexity to the leap from high school to college. THE FRESHMAN SURVIVAL GUIDE‘s updated edition deep dives into topical issues you may come across in colleges such as dating and sexual health, money management, and more to ensure you are as prepared as you can be for the next step. 

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Many professors are asked to give talks titled “The Last Lecture” in order to consider their career, their education, and what matters most to them. It is their opportunity to preach to the choir-like they have always wanted. But what really comes from this exercise? What wisdom could be imparted to the world if we knew it was our last opportunity to speak up? 

In this listen, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give his “Last Lecture”, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The lecture he actually gave—“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”—wasn’t necessarily about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment. To put it simply, it was about the importance of living. This inspiring read is the perfect uplifter and pep-talk before walking the campus greens for the first time. 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, the main character Cath is a Simon Snow fan….to be fair, so is the whole world. For Cath, it is more than that. Being a fan is her life—and she’s pretty good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. As the girls grow up together, being fans together becomes their identity. Everything that they do, all of their interests, have always been between the two of them. Until college comes around. 

Now that the twins are headed off to university, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates, leaving Cath to figure things out on her own. Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? Open her heart to someone? Or is she always going to be stuck in this world of fiction and fantasy? This listen offers a sense of relatability and sympathy for that first-year freshman learning to spread their wings and fly, guaranteed to warm the heart before making that leap yourself. 

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