25 Inspiring Quotes from Books to Motivate You

27 Nov

String Lights on Book - 25 Quotes from Books to Motivate You

Ever noticed how some books stay with you long after you’ve read them?

Remarkable books are enchanting. Think about the last captivating book that you read. What made it so unforgettable?

These are books that draw you and let you escape into another world. You can’t bring yourself to put it down. They have the power to entertain, teach, and inspire us.

Sometimes a sentence jumps out at you because it sheds insight into your life. Here are 25 memorable quotes from books about life — for the times when you need a little extra inspiration and motivation.

 

25 Quotes from Books to Motivate and Inspire You

1. People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

Harper Lee from To Kill a Mockingbird

 

2. “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”

Mindy Kaling from Why Not Me?

 

3. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

Chuck Palahniuk from Diary

 

4. “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.”

Daniel Kahneman from Thinking, Fast and Slow

 

5. All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.
Mitch Albom from The Five People You Meet In Heaven

 

6. Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.
Dan Brown from Digital Fortress

 

7. “Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives.”

Rachel Hollis from Girl, Wash Your Face

 

8. “Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.'”


Jodi Picoult from The Storyteller

 

9. “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”

Victor E. Frankl from Man’s Search for Meaning

 

10. “No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.”

Stephen King from The Stand

 

11. “There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.”

Kate Douglas Wiggin from New Chronicles of Rebecca

 

12. “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

John Steinbeck from East Of Eden

 

13. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist

 

14. “We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.”

Yuval Noah Harari from Sapiens

 

15. “Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders where they grow.”

Barbara Kingsolver from Small Wonder

 

16. “The opposite of fear is love – love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at our dream and see if we can pull it off.”

Steven Pressfield from Do the Work

 

17. “You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”

Adam Silvera from They Both Die At The End

 

18. “It was impossible to feel alone in a room full of favorite books. I had the sense that they knew me personally, that they’d read me cover to cover as I’d read them.”

Riley Redgate from Noteworthy

 

19. “The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

Amy Poehler from Yes, Please

 

20. “Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi from Flow

 

21. “And it occurred to him that there were two parts to being a better person. One part was thinking about other people. The other part was not giving a toss what other people thought.”

Mark Haddon from A Spot of Bother

 

22. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

Dale Carnegie from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

 

23. “What you do for yourself dies with you when you leave this world, what you do for others lives on forever.”

Ken Robinson from The Element

 

24.“Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.”

Joan Didion from The Year of Magical Thinking

 

25. “Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

Angie Thomas from The Hate U Give

 

Becoming Michelle Obama: 5 Details Revealed in Her Memoir

15 Nov

Becoming Michelle Obama: 5 Details Revealed in her Memoir - Book Cover

Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming just dropped onto bookshelves a couple of days ago, but it’s already become a #1 national bestseller. In fact, the highly anticipated book grabbed the most pre-order sales of any new release since 2015.

So, what will you discover in the former first lady’s intimate book?

Let’s take a peek inside the pages. Here are five personal details from Michelle Obama’s life before and after her time in the White House — all revealed inside Becoming.

 

1. Michelle once snuck out of the White House.

With her daughter Malia by her side, Michelle snuck out of their presidential home after the Supreme Court made the decision to legalize gay marriage. Why? They wanted to see the White House displayed in rainbow lights. The only problem was they couldn’t get past the locked doors until some staff members helped them find an exit.

 

2. She has some opinions about President Donald Trump.

Michelle shares several thoughts on Donald Trump, including the one thing she’ll never excuse: questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate.  “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him,” she explains.

 

3. What wearing that custom-made Jason Wu gown to the inaugural ball meant to her:

“The dress resurrected the dreaminess of my family’s metamorphosis, the promise of this entire experience, transforming me if not into a full-blown ballroom princess, then at least into a woman capable of climbing onto another stage. I was now FLOTUS — First Lady of the United States — to Barack’s POTUS. It was time to celebrate.”

 

4. Michelle opens up about her painful struggle to have children.

In her memoir, Michelle writes about the difficulty she faced in becoming pregnant and the IVF process that followed.

“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well. We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”

 

5. Her marriage takes work too.

Even though they might look like the perfect couple from afar, the Obamas are proof that every marriage has its ups and down. Michelle digs into the details about how she attended marriage counseling with her husband to work through some of their issues. Initially, he was against seeing a therapist and thought it seemed dramatic.

But as Michelle tell us, it later turned out to be an incredible turning point in their relationship.

It turns out they’re more like us than we thought.

You might be wondering if the former first lady addresses her future in politics. Will Michelle ever run for the presidency? Well, if you’ve been waiting for a Michelle in 2020 campaign, we have some bad news to tell you.

According to the Washington Post, “I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that. I continue to be put off by the nastiness,” she stated.

In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of Michelle Obama’s memoir right here at Textbook Nova.

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once)

9 Nov

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): Stepping In Leaves

Why should we read memoirs in the first place?

Because they connect us. Hearing the true experiences of people and cultures–many are vastly different from what we know in our lives–broadens our perspective.

Memoirs are gritty, messy, and don’t always come with a happy ending. But they can help us understand each other better. Here are five memoirs to check out the next time you need to flip your outlook on life.

 

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): I Am Malala cover

This is the autobiography of Malala Yousafzi, and what happened after her hometown of Swat Valley, Pakistan, was taken over by the Taliban. The youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, Malala risked her life for the right to be educated.

She was shot in the head at point-blank range by a terrorist on her way home from school one afternoon. No one expected the 15-year old to survive the brain injuries sustained from the attack. Malala’s story is eye-opening but full of hope and insight.

 

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): The Year of Less Cover

What happens when one twenty-something woman decides to stop shopping for an entire year? This is the story of Cait Flanders, who threw out half of her belongings and vowed to quit spending money for 12 months.

During this year-long challenge, Cait discovers what creating a meaningful life is really about. She runs into lessons about toxic relationships, the cycle of Netflix binges, and finding joy in our careers.

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): Mindy Kaling cover

Looking for a book you can’t put down? Mindy Kaling’s memoir is full of laughs and authenticity. Her charismatic story makes you feel like you’re sitting down with an old friend, no matter what age you are.

Even if you don’t know of Mindy’s work or you’re not a fan of her tv shows, this book is worth a read. She tells things like it is, with an inconvenient (but relatable) tendency to blurt out whatever is on her mind at any given moment.

 

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): Men We Reaped Cover

Jesmyn Ward’s intensely personal story of race, poverty, and growing up in rural Mississippi is unforgettable. She wrote this memoir while grieving the death of five men in her life in less than five years.

She weaves the stories of this five men in between her own. The result is raw, heartbreaking, and more timely than ever during the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

5 Famous Memoir Books Worth Reading (At Least Once): Wave cover

December 26, 2004, would change Sonali’s life forever. That’s when Sri Lanka was struck by an earthquake and tsunami so devastating, it’s still named one of the top-ten deadliest natural disasters in history.

This memoir is not an easy read by any means. It’s downright painful to get through many parts of the book. Sonali lost her parents, her husbands, and her two children in the tsunami. Somehow, she survived.

Top 5 New Fiction Book Releases in October 2018

31 Oct

Top 5 New Fiction Book Releases in October 2018: Girl reading a book

Fall is now in full swing. October brings us flannel weather, pumpkin-flavored everything, and gorgeous fall leaves. And you know what else? Some of the most highly anticipated books releases of the year dropped this month.

It’s time to cozy up with your favorite hot drink and dive headfirst into the pages of a brand new novel.

Check out these five new fiction book releases in October 2018:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: The Proposal book cover

What would you do in this scenario? Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for 5 months, and they propose to you on the jumbotron at a Dodgers game. That’s what happens to freelance writer Nicole Patterson.

When she very publicly tells him no, the rejection becomes an embarrassing video that goes viral across social media–turning into the proposal that is literally heard around the world.

 

Family Trust by Kathy Huang

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Family Trust book cover

If you’re a fan of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, you’ll want to check this one out. This story tells the saga of a Taiwanese-American family meets Silicon Valley. When the wealthy Stanley Huang is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his family is anxious to learn what they stand to inherit.

In this tale of death, family, and expectations–you’ll find plenty of entertaining characters caught up in family drama along the way.

 

Elevation by Stephen King

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Elevation book cover

Legendary storyteller Stephen King is back. His latest novel shouldn’t be missed. Elevation is more of a short story that was expanded into a novella, but make no mistake: it packs a big punch. You’ll get through this one in a couple of hours (mostly because you won’t be able to put it down).

Want a sneak peek? If you click here, you can read the entire first chapter on Amazon.

 

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: Every Breath book cover

Are you ready to get lost in a mega romance novel? Nicholas Sparks, the author of our favorite love story The Notebook, is back. This time,  the story is centered around a 36-year old woman named Hope. She’s been dating her boyfriend on and off for the last 6 years, and she’s ready to get married.

Plagued by doubts that her boyfriend Josh will ever want to fully commit, Hope decides to take a trip down to her family’s beach house after the couple gets into a fight. When she gets down to the North Carolina beach, she accidentally begins a close friendship with a man named Tru. Is this the end of her relationship with Josh?

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Five new fiction book releases in October 2018: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven book cover

In the sequel to the number one New York Times bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, we find out what happens to Annie, one of the main characters in the first novel. If you haven’t read the original, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

But be warned: Mitch Albom has a gift for heartwarming and emotional storytelling (in the best way possible).

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today

23 Oct

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today

What makes a book a classic? Who decides what books become essential reading? To me, a classic novel is a story that stands the test of time.

I’ve read many of the iconic classics in my lifetime (though it wasn’t always by choice). While I was an avid reader even as a young child, my mom wanted me to explore books outside The Rugrat Files or Twitches. So, she started picking up some of the classics for me.

Some I fell in love with. Some bored me, and I only pretended to read them. Many of them took a little time to really get into. But nonetheless, I’m grateful that my mom and our English teachers still encourage us to read these pieces of literature.

There’s a reason these stories last (even if the style of language can be hard to follow a few novels that go way back).

Here are a few of my favorites and why I think they’re still important today:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: To Kill a Mockingbird Book Cover

We’ve come a long way since the 1960’s when it comes to race, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to inclusion. Whatever progress we’ve made doesn’t change the fact that we are still a divided world.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kensey

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Book Cover

Written in 1962, this novel was turned into a popular movie in the 1970’s. The reason it resonated with people is a topic that still applies more than 50 years later. This novel is told from the view of living in a psychiatric ward and, to many, represented the struggle of resisting against ineffective authority.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is another classic set in a hedonistic future. But this time, the plot is focused on the idea of toxic censorship. Books are banned and burned. The people living in this world don’t read–they spend their free time on pure entertainment. It’s not hard to see how this future feels eerily close to today’s world.

 

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I read this coming-of-age story about growing up in the inner city when I was 10, but I didn’t really appreciate it until I re-read a few years later. It doesn’t feel like a novel that written over 100 years ago. It’s about struggling in poverty and how that experience compares to living in privilege. I think it applies to modern life and how we compare ourselves to each other on social media.

 

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Of Mice and Men Book Cover

This one was assigned reading in my sophomore English class, but it was a book I couldn’t put down after starting to read it. Written during the Great Depression era, it tells the gut-wrenching story of two men who are struggling to reach their dream of someday owning a piece of land. (Note: This book is controversial due to offensive language and slurs)

 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: Brave New World Book Cover

Set in the future (more than 500 years from now), a Brave New World takes place in a dystopian society where technology is used to control society. As technology changes faster than ever, this classic has never been more important than it is today.

 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

7 Classic Books That Are Still Relevant Today: The Lovely Bones

Based on the true story of a young teen who was murdered in the 1970’s, this story is a fictional tale of grief, the afterlife, and the experiences that make us human. Death is something every human on earth faces. The perspective of life on earth shown in the book is touching and gives you a lot to think about.

 

What are some of your favorite classic books? How do you think they relate to us today?

6 Fascinating YA Novels You Might Have Missed

8 Oct

6 Fascinating YA Novels You Might Have Missed

From the high school romances to coming-of-age discoveries to teenagers surviving sci-fi futures, there’s something about a good YA novel that gets us every time.

If you’re a YA fan, you’ve probably already read popular titles like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. In this blog post, we’re sharing some amazing young adult novels you might have missed.

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed)

 

American Panda by Gloria Chao

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed)

American Panda by Gloria Chao is about Taiwanese-American MIT freshman, Mei, as she navigates her two cultures and the beginning of her independence. Many parents would be thrilled to have their child at MIT, but Mei’s parents want more.

They’ve planned a nice, stable medical career for her. Regardless of whether she’s interested in medicine or even able to stomach any of the work. Between secretly dancing and secretly dating a Japanese-American classmate, though, Mei might be setting her own path.

You don’t actually need a tiger mom to relate to this story of family expectations, first love, and identity.

 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed) - One of Us Is Lying

In One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus, five disparate students find themselves in detention. One of them is brutally murdered before their eyes. This is where the Breakfast Club similarities end and a page-turning murder mystery begins.

Perspective shifting, although popular in a lot of recent YA novels, isn’t usually my favorite narrative style. But it works here. The other four students in detention take turns telling their truths (and let readers get closer to what actually happened that day).

Everyone in this story has something to hide. Fans of Pretty Little Liars will love the twists as the truth gets closer.

 

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - The Truth About Alice

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu covers high school gossip, sexuality, and reputation in small-town Texas. While nasty rumors fly about slutty Alice Franklin, the reactions of her classmates reveal more about themselves than about Alice.

Many YA novels lean on the unsympathetic parents as stock characters, but this novel showed layered, complex relationships between teens and parents. This is a sympathetic story of peer pressure, teenage relationships, and finally independence in a small town.

 

Perennials by Mandy Berman

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - Perennials

Is Perennials sophisticated young adult fiction…or is it adult fiction about teenage characters?

It turns out, it doesn’t matter. This summer camp story has maturing friendships, teen romance and realizations for the YA fan, as well as more adult themes of social class and consent.

As little girls returning to camp go from crafts and ponies to beer and boys, they discover more about themselves and their families. Recommended for your friend who needs a little nudge to fall deeply in love with YA fiction.

 

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults - Only Ever Yours

Fans of The Hunger Games trilogy or even The Handmaid’s Tale shouldn’t miss Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours.

Although the characters are all teenage girls, this is dystopian sci-fi with a hint of feminist satire.

In the future, girls are born, raised, and modified to be pretty and compliant male playthings. Then they’re sent into a competition with each other to attract the best mate. However, the voluntary suicides at the ancient age of thirty aren’t even the most disturbing thing in this novel.

(Were you annoyed by the Very Special Heroine tropes of Divergent and similar novels? Rest assured. When the dystopian world Only Ever Yours has a rule, it’s not broken for our heroine.)

 

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

6 Interesting Books for Young Adults (That You Might Have Missed) - I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo is a sweet YA novel, especially for fans of Korean dramas. Clumsy overachiever Desi sets out a plan to attract the handsome new student. She decides to use all the tactics from her father’s beloved K-dramas to draw him in.

While the romance is central to the story, Desi’s two closest friends and her relationship with her Appa are also intriguing. You get all the fun, funny, and awkward beats of a K-drama story set in an American high school.

What are your favorite undiscovered YA gems? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us!

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

1 Oct

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

College midterms are right around the corner. Cue all the panic.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, midterms can bring on intense amounts of pressure. Here are our three favorite pieces of advice for acing your college midterms (without heaps of stress).

Take Study Breaks with This Simple Trick

Are you cramming a ton of material into a weekend study session?

It might sound simple, but make sure to factor in plenty of breaks if you want to retain the material better. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management method that can help you get the most out of your study session.

Here’s how it works. You break your study material down into smaller, more manageable chunks (and it really works). The Pomodoro Technique is easy:

  • You pick a task, like a few chapters you need to read or an outline you plan to write. 
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes. During the next 25 minutes, you have to promise yourself that you won’t do anything BUT that task. 
  • Work on the task without any interruptions until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, take a quick break. Spend 5 minutes doing anything but work, whether it’s stretching or grabbing some more coffee. 
  • After your 5-minute break, start the timer again for the next task. Rinse and repeat. Once you’ve done this 4 times, take a longer break for 20 or 30 minutes.

It works because our brain needs rest in order to concentrate. It’s also easy to get sidetracked by our phone, Netflix, or stress. Using the Pomodoro method helps eliminate some of those distractions.

You can manually set a timer on your phone. I personally use a free app called BeFocused so I don’t have to mess with a timer, but either way works! BeFocused is an iPhone app, but if you have an Android use you can use something like Pomodoro Timer.

 

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Is breathing something you consciously think about? It can save you from stress.

We’re slammed during midterm season. When we’re hit with the overwhelm of studying for everything at once and our to-do list is packed with endless tasks, we forget how to take deep breaths.

Not only can meditation help you remember your material better, but you also don’t need to spend a ton of time doing it to reap the benefits. I was terrible at meditating when I first tried it. I use the free version of the app Headspace to help (available via iPhone and Android). All it takes is three minutes and you instantly feel better!

Even if you’re not interested in meditation, focus on deep breathing when insane amounts of stress begin to hit you. Here’s how you do it:

  • Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your stomach begin to rise. Note: you want the air to enter all the way into your belly instead of just your chest.  
  • Breathe out through your nose. But make sure your exhale is even longer than your inhale (this is essential). If you inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. 
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes! Try it out; you’re guaranteed to instantly feel calmer and less stressed.

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

 

Start Your Study Plan Now

Don’t wait to get started! Figure out your study plan a couple weeks in advance.

It seems like professors all schedule their midterms at the same time, right? Enter panic mode.

If you want to avoid major anxiety this semester, get your study schedule nailed down now.

Planning out what days you’ll study, creating your own study guides, and organizing the material will help you prioritize every class. This way you’re not devoting all of your time and energy to just one class.

Your personal study guides can be a simple outline of key topics and ideas you plan to study. Getting a game plan together now will help clear your head.

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life

24 Sep

5 Books that Change Your Perspective on Life - Girl Reading in a Library

What makes a great book, anyway?

Think back to the most memorable books you’ve read. They’re gripping. You experience intense reactions as you read them.

And most of all? They change you.

Here are 5 books that will change your perspective on life. If you’re looking for a fresh read that’s motivated and uplifting, check these books out.

 

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life - Man's Search for Meaning

Have you ever felt like your life lacked meaning? You don’t necessarily feel hopeless, but some days it feels like you’re unsure whether or not your life counts for something.

We all seek fulfillment in the world, whether it’s unconsciously or not. This memoir by Viktor B. Frankl shares that perspective from inside a Nazi concentration camp — and it’s considered to be one of the most influential books in the world.

The idea that a book on the Holocaust leaves you feeling positive and inspired seems counterintuitive, but a Man’s Search for Meaning does exactly that.

The author was a former psychiatrist imprisoned in a concentration camp. He describes the terrifying experiences they endured to share how his fellow prisoners adapted their mindset to cope with the awfulness.

 

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life - Switch

Change is tough. Even when we seek out a change in the future, it’s scary.

Think about your first day of college. You could be counting down the days until move-in, but when the day finally comes? You get pretty nervous.

So why is change such a nerve-wracking experience? That’s the question the Heath brothers seek to answer in the book Switch. Their vision is simple: In order to motivate change in your life, you have to understand both sides of your brain.

We have a logical type of brain and an emotional type. Using a simple metaphor, the authors of the book explain how you actually change your behavior.

 

Congratulations, By the Way by George Saunders

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life - Congratulations, By the Way

Think back to your graduation. Do you remember the speakers?

Commencement speeches can be hit or miss, but the really great ones leave you feeling encouraged. They move you.

This book is an extended version of George Saunders speech at Syracuse University in 2013 — it’s perfect for recent college graduates or anyone in need of a pick-me-up. It’s an easy, short read. His main point might sound a little corny but it’s an excellent reminder of what’s really important in life.

 

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life - Leave Your Mark

What’s your dream job?

Aliza Licht is a top publicist in the fashion industry and a career mentor for young graduates just getting started in their industry. Her book spills the insider secrets of her experience in PR and offers a straightforward guide for getting ahead in today’s professional world.

But it goes a lot deeper than the fashion industry. Her lessons apply to every industry — and it’s not just for women.

Aliza fully embraces social media. She shares advice on building your personal brand, how to communicate, and the social etiquette inside the corporate world.

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

5 Books That Change Your Perspective on Life

You might have already seen the movie and that’s okay. I still believe the book is worth reading at least once.

If you don’t know the premise yet, here’s a little backstory. Hazel is a 16-year-old girl battling thyroid cancer when she meets Augustus in a cancer support group. Augustus is currently in remission after years of facing bone cancer.

I won’t give away the ending, but this novel deals with oodles of tough topics like death, cancer, love, and the afterlife. Sounds kinda depressing, right? However, The Fault in Our Stars is equally heartwarming and inspiring too.

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

17 Sep

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

You enter college thinking it’s about taking courses on topics you want to study, not more general education requirements.

In reality, most of your first two years of college are spent taking these mandatory classes (aka your “gen ed” courses). Like most things in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to these required subjects.

For example, when you’re undecided on your major general education can help you figure out what classes interest you. Sometimes the topics we think we’re passionate about–or think we should be passionate about–don’t really interest us at all.

Either way, since gen eds are a must-do for graduating from college let’s talk about what you can do to make the most of them.

 

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

 

Find Out Who Teaches the Class (Before You Sign Up)

If you haven’t already heard of it, Rate My Professors is the website that will become the game-changer to your college experience. You just plug in the name of a professor into their search box (or the name of your school) and you’ll find reviews/ratings of their classes from your fellow students.

Obviously, you should use your best judgment with the reviews. Not every review is reflective of the professor. The students’ effort affects their experience in class too. However, it’s great for getting a rough idea of the experience. If every single rating for a professor is 1 out of 5 or you discover all of the reviews mention an impossible grading system, you probably don’t want to take that class.

I always used Rate My Professors when it came to my gen eds. What did I get out of it? I met some professors that I genuinely loved learning from because they made the class fun.  


Choose Topics that Grab Your Attention

Even though they’re required courses, you get to choose which classes to take. There is still a lot of wiggle room when it comes to general education. Not a fan of geometry? Take a statistics class to fulfill your math requirement. Don’t want to take another American History 100 class? Consider a class in art history or an area of history that interests you.

The more engaged you are in the topic, the better you’ll do in class. It’s just easier when you like what you’re learning. Who knows, you might even decide to switch majors after taking. That’s why colleges recommend you don’t put off these courses. You might discover a new opportunity or passion in life…or discover your current major isn’t the path you wanted to take after all.

If you take these classes early on, there’s still plenty of time left to change your major or figure out what industry excites you.

 

Don’t Make it Too Hard on Yourself

Not a morning person? Think carefully before you sign up for that 8 am MWF class. Like I mentioned earlier, you should choose your classes based on what subject matter interests you. Not on the convenience, availability, or how easy you think it will be.

Some courses might fit better into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. If you think about it, each class costs you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Why take something that is a total bore and waste of your time?

In order to make the most of your general education, don’t take a class that will make you miserable. Or if you take the class and realize it’s not for you, drop it ASAP before the cutoff date.

 

Talk to Your Classmates

Your gen eds are a great place to meet people outside your major. Engage with your classmates!

You can find amazing new friends and create relationships with people. Once you get to your junior year of college, the rest of your classes will mostly be with the same group of people. General education courses can introduce you to cool friends you may not have met on campus otherwise.