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College life isn’t always easy. As you begin your journey through the world of higher education, you may have difficulty adjusting to being away from home for the first time. There’s also the constant anxiety about grades and fitting in socially. And as you get closer to graduation, you may be plagued by that age-old nagging question, “What should I do with my life?”

The good news is there are plenty of books you can read that offer valuable life lessons as you attempt to navigate the sometimes-treacherous waters of college life and prepare to enter the workforce — and entertain you in the process.

“The Body” by Stephen King

This novella about a group of small-town childhood friends who come across a dead body can offer a bit of comfort for a teenager who is venturing out on his or her own for the first time and may be dealing with a touch of homesickness.

“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

Many younger college students can identify with his classic take of teenage angst and the many challenges that come with making the transition from childhood to adulthood.

“The Innocents Abroad” by Mark Twain

While Twain’s story deals mainly with the adventures of a young man who travels abroad for the first time, it can also resonate with a college student who is trying to adapt to a strange new environment.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Many college students dream of charging out into the world and making tons of money after graduation. Fitzgerald’s cautionary tale illustrates all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold, and money can’t always buy happiness.

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

This story about a young shepherd boy who is searching for his true purpose in life contains many beneficial lessons that pertain to college students who are struggling to discover their true path.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

This classic novel can provide keen insight into racial injustice that can be valuable to a college student who is experiencing a racially and culturally diverse environment for the first time.

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin

Set in the 19th century, this story sheds some light on the battle of the sexes that is still prevalent in many of today’s college campuses, workplaces and the world at large.

“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac

This story of two young men from the “Beat Generation” who travel the country in search of adventure is actually a journey of self-discovery that many college students can easily identify with.

“1984” by George Orwell

Written in 1949, this novel about government control of the masses is even more relevant today, especially in an era when virtually every college student owns some form of computer and/or mobile device that makes it easy to track and monitor their activities.

“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller

This satirical World War II novel perfectly illustrates the frustrating and often maddening impact of entrenched bureaucracy that many students will face when they leave college and enter the “real world.”

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