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Things to Consider As You Think About Graduation

Thursday, August 28, 2014
With the academic year coming upon us, I thought it'd be a great time to talk about these fantastic nonfiction books that give suggestions on things for high school and college students to consider as they enter new stages of their lives. Having been in these places recently, I found these books to be very relatable to my life and something I could have used when I entered college.

77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College
Halley Bondy, James Lloyd (Illustrations)

Genre: Nonfiction   Paperback: 192 Pages
Publication: March 11, 2014 by Zest Books

College is about way more than just frats and finals: It’s also a time when students can learn new skills, encounter different cultures, test out potential careers, and take a stab at something new just because it sounds cool. And in order to leave college a better, smarter, and more interesting person than you were when you started out, all you need is an open mind, a willing spirit, and (of course) this book! The 77 entries included here cover everything from negotiating the terms of an apartment rental to attending a school-sponsored lecture event to hosting a movie marathon – and supplemental sidebars provide bonus tips for doing everything cheaply and well. (Oh, but remember: The most important thing to do? Graduate!)

As a college student, I find this book highly relatable to me. Given the title, I expected a fun, goofy book that lists a bunch of random things that one should do in college and was looking to find a couple of outrageous things to do before I graduate. To a certain extent, it does deliver that, but it's also so much more.

77 Things (the college ed.) is divided into seven sections with eleven suggestions each. The sections are as follow: (1) Around the pad [aka. your room / home], (2) Getting Out and About on Your Own, (3) Taking Advantage of School, (4) Being Social, (5) Body and Health, (6) Spoil Yourself, (7) For the Future. As you can see from this list, it isn't just about going out and doing something outrageous and memorable before you enter the "real world." While it does encourage us to put ourselves out there and try new things, it also reminds us to take care of our health and to also look for opportunities to further our future.

For example, it suggests taking a physical. This in particular stood out to me because I can't remember the last time I went to the doctor for a regular checkup. Things like this are more easily remembered for children when we need to get shots all the time, but as we get older we forget to do things like this. Nowadays, I usually just go to the doctor when I have an immediate problem. This book reminded me that sometimes we need to take steps to ensure problems do not happen in the first place—or at least to catch them in the early stages.

Other suggestions include ways of getting to know people and also exploiting your college's resources. Among other things that you may not have thought about. I recommend this book as a great resouce for students with ideas on what to do while they're in college, and I strongly recommend trying them out. This is a book that I could have used my freshman year when I didn't yet know how to take full advantage of what college life had to offer me.

A copy was provided by Zest Books for review

Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning After High School
Genevieve Morgan

Genre: Nonfiction   Paperback: 256 Pages
Publication: April 8, 2014 by Zest Books

For high school students all over the country, figuring out what to do after graduation is a major question. For many, the logical answer is continuing their education, whether in a training program, a community college, or a four-year university. But no matter what the path, the preparation can be overwhelming, and it's hard to know where to start. That's where Undecided comes in! This comprehensive handbook outlines the different options available to teens after high school and provides suggestions on how to follow each path efficiently and successfully. It covers everything from SAT preparation and personal statements to trade school pros and cons and advice on how to prepare for life in the military. Full of checklists, anecdotes, brainstorming activities, and journal exercises, Undecided leaves no stone unturned and no option unconsidered. So settle in, keep an open mind, and find the future that really works for you!

Undecided is another great resources for post-HS students. In comparison to 77 Things, which gives suggestions on how to round out your college life, Undecided is a bit broader in scope. As the title implies, it's about exploring the different choices available to you after graduating from high school.

I like how this book is divided neatly into differently sections that flow into one another, giving readers a sampling of different paths to take. The first section is about exploring what you love to do. It provides some quizzes and different points to consider when thinking about what you want to do with your life. The next couple sections are about different potential paths to follow after graduating from HS, such as higher education (4-year vs. 2-year colleges, trade schools, and studying abroad) or going into some kind of service (like military, civil, and foreign service). There's also information about internships, going to work, and getting a life after HS.

The author has clearly done her research on the various topics and gives detailed information under various subheadings that detail things you need to know when taking on a certain occupation. For example, she doesn't just compare four-year versus two-year colleges. She explores them in further detail, going so far as to explain what makes an Ivy school and Ivy school and what differentiates different kinds of Ivies. There is also information on other schools and what they have to offer students. I seriously wish that I had this book before I decided which college to attend because I really could have used this information during the college application process.

While I spent a litle more time talking about a portion of the college section, that was mostly to give you a feel for what this book is about and the detail that it goes into. There is a wealth of information in the other sections as well. This is a fantastic book for HS students starting to think about what they want to do after graduating and who aren't sure about what they want out of life. I can also see this being useful for college students also thinking about the next step after school. Parents too can benefit from this book in helping their children decide what they want to do after graduation.

A copy was provided by Zest Books for review

6 comments on "Things to Consider As You Think About Graduation"
  1. Both of these books sound helpful, I should definitely check them out!
    -Scott Reads It!

  2. I'll keep these in mind for my daughter who is in her last year of high school. Thanks.

    1. I hope they prove helpful for you daughter, Natalie :)

  3. Good to hear it has a broad scope and that the author did their research

    1. Yeah. I'm always appreciative when it's apparent an author has put in the effort to do so :)


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