Must read books for college students in 2020

Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by iSchoolConnect

College is an entirely new and thrilling experience. And because you only get to live it once, it’s better to live it right. In this blog, I have compiled a list of 6 inspiring books for college students that will help you make the best out of your student life.

Going to university entails that you have to start being responsible. It involves learning how to live by yourself, paying taxes, finishing assignments on time, and being super-efficient with everything. At the same time, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun. No wonder so many of us feel lost when starting out. But since there’s nothing a bit of reading can’t change, here’s a list of motivational books that’ll ease your transition to college life. Be it getting straight-A grades, finding the motivation to accomplish anything you want to, or cultivating a great personality, this list of books for college students can help you with everything.

Your Money: The Missing Manual

Before being admitted to college, most of us know very little about personal finance. We have no expertise in saving money, and little or no idea about making investments for the future. In Your Money, one of the best books to read before college, J.D. Roth introduces the concept of managing finances in a non-overwhelming way. This book will teach you how to track your expenses, get out of debt, and pay your taxes. Even if you’re not in debt and have a lot of savings, Your Money will tell you how to get the best out of your financial situation.

“Destroy all your credit cards.”

Not only is the book filled with sound advice from Roth’s own life experiences, but it also gives you practical examples of all the topics covered. Additionally, it includes extracts from several well-known finance books. So, if you want to save your bills rather than spend them on things you don’t really want, start your financial planning with this book.

Deep Work

If you’re easily distracted by dog memes, Elon Musk’s tweets, or an ad of a rare collectible, Deep Work is for you. The book is an indispensable guide for those seeking focused success in a distracted world. It will teach you how to focus on a very demanding assignment and not get disturbed or drawn away from it. Deep Work will give you the tools you need to understand complicated things quickly and produce better results in less time. One of the most highly recommended works of all time, this book will help you both academically and professionally.

“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore—plays in defining the quality of our life.”

The author and professor Cal Newport, has divided the book into two parts. The first part establishes the importance of cultivating a deep work ethic. Then, to help you do so, it presents a rigorous training regimen – four rules (and lots of relevant examples) for transforming your mind and your habits so you can start doing Deep Work.

The Power of Habit

One of the best books for college students, The Power of Habit has helped thousands of students transform their lives. The author of this book, Charles Duhigg, uses insights from scientific research to show how habits are formed. Once you know how your habits form, you will easily recognize your work patterns and break them. By the time you turn the last page, you will have learned how to add exercising, losing weight, and being more productive to your daily routine.

“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”

With examples from the success of Martin Luther King, P&G, and Michael Phelps, the book emphasizes the importance of implementing a few keystone habits. It shows how these habits affect our behavior and, consequently, our progress. Implementing the habits, Charles says, can be the difference between failure and success.

How to Become a Straight-A Student

How to Become a Straight-A Student will tell you that it’s not important to study harder. If you want a great GPA, the key is to study smarter. There’s no point going to a university without knowing how to pull epic grades while also enjoying your time in college. That’s why the book will teach you how to streamline your study time and conquer procrastination. You will learn how to absorb the study material quickly and efficiently, give A+ answers on exams, and wow your professors!

“The simple truth is that  the brute force techniques used by most students are incredibly inefficient”

In one of his best books for college students, Cal Newport has presented time-tested strategies that have real-world, practical applications. Once you have mastered these techniques, you will score well with minimal effort. The book promises that using these tools will provide great results and give you more free time to have fun in college.

The Motivation Hacker

There are times when we have a bunch of things we want to do. Like go for a marathon, learn how to use Excel, volunteer, or go for a guitar class. But at the same time, we don’t feel like getting out of bed. We lack the motivation for it. In The Motivation Hacker, Nick Winter shows how to conjure extreme amounts of motivation to accomplish anything you want. The book is full of different motivation hacks that will not only help you start working towards your goal but also get you super excited about it.

“Rationalization is how most goals die, you convince yourself that it’s okay to not do what you told yourself you would do”

The Motivation Hacker talks about picking your goals, looking at tens of motivation tools presented in the book, and figuring out which ones work for you. These hacks include Success Spirals, Pre-commitment, Rejection Therapy, Burnt Ships, Goal Picking, and other exercises that will help you achieve all the goals you have set for yourself in college.

Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning is my personal favorite and one of the most motivational books for college students. It was written in 1946 by a prisoner who survived the Nazi concentration camps. Not only was the author a prisoner, but he was also a psychiatrist. The book shares his personal experiences along with those of his fellow inmates. It talks about his insight into how they survived the terrible conditions of the concentration camp for three years. Finding meaning in suffering, Viktor says, helped them a long way in coping with unbearable adversities.

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

The book is divided into 2 parts. While one part shares his story, the other talks about logotherapy – the pursuit of finding meaning in life, be it from creating something, having an experience, or through suffering. So, when you’re feeling overworked and alone, you’ll find yourself returning to this book again and again. 

If you liked this blog on books for college students, check out the one we have on five motivational speeches on student life. It’s inspirational!

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