08/04/2014 05:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Books Every Girl Should Read Before Starting College


With back-to-school season approaching sooner than most of us would like to admit, incoming college freshman are beginning to prepare for their university careers. While much of this preparation includes tasks like purchasing dorm supplies, registering for classes, and meeting roommates, there is also something to be said about mental preparation. Gone are the days of assigned summer reading, so the summer before entering college is the perfect time to catch up on some enlightening reading for what little summertime we have left.

1. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
The short stories and essays of Marina Keegan are both inspiring and thought provoking. Keegan, a 2012 graduate of Yale University, was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident just days after graduation. In her memory, Keegan's parents published a collection of her work. This book acts as both a beautiful remembrance of Marina and an inspiration to young people, especially college students. As eloquently and painfully accurately put by one of Keegan's poems featured in the book, "everything is so beautiful and so short. Keegan's short stories are relatable and entertaining while her essays, including some of her op-eds from the Yale Daily News, showcase her work as an already accomplished writer. Young writers everywhere will look to her as an inspiration.

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling
On a lighter note, Mindy Kaling's autobiographical book of essays gives helpful perspective on the high school and college experience. Not many books go into this type of detail about school experiences, although Kaling's comical yet insightful commentary reminds us that high school isn't everything and college is the perfect time for new experiences. Reading about Kaling's early life provides an outlook on how she started her career and later became so successful in Hollywood. Whether you're a fan of The Office or The Mindy Project, or just a comedy nerd in general, Kaling's stories will make you think- with humor along the way.

3. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas
At first glance, this might seem like a book your parents would give you to discourage underage drinking. However, Koren Zailckas' memoir is filled with grit and vulnerability, and it is impossible to put down. She writes about how easily drinking can become out-of-control, especially in high school and college. Zailckas describes her experiences from her first drink, to her binge drinking days of high school and college, to the eventual realization of her problem. Regardless of your stance on drinking, Smashed acts as a reality check and gives helpful perspective before entering the unique culture of college.