Books to Read Before Graduating College

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Everyone has their own taste in literature and reading can be a personal practice. There is so much knowledge out in the world and it seems that the more you learn, the more you realize that there is more to learn. While we have spent hours studying, skimming textbooks, and memorizing vocabulary for our classes, it’s important to study outside of the classroom too. Although we may not like to hear it, college won’t teach us everything and we have to be independent learners all throughout life to stay nourished and thoughtful. The books that I am suggesting are based on my own personal experience, but I feel strongly that the contents can benefit everyone, especially us students! These books feel particularly relevant pre-graduation because they serve to inform us financially, encourage us to persevere, to be confident and to be grounded in ourselves. Even if you don’t totally agree with parts of the books, I would suggest reading between the lines and taking what you feel applies to you; a life skill that we have to exercise every day!

#1 The Total Money Makeover

by Dave Ramsey


I read this book at the recommendation of my older sister who thinks that I don’t have an accurate view of how the world works and how money should be used. I’m still young and learning, I guess! While I was very reluctant at first, this book is very good and extremely useful, providing tangible evidence and tools for success. Now, this is not a “get rich quick” kind of book, but it is encouraging for those of us who aren’t sure they’ll have a 6-figure job right away or in the near future – you too can become wealthy over time with discipline. The reality is many of us will graduate college with at least a few thousand dollars in debt, most of us will finance a car at some point, take out a mortgage for a home, and (according to Dave), if you’re crazy, finance your new couch. The Total Money Makeover basically gives an overview of the 7 Baby Steps that are guaranteed to work when followed correctly and in the right order. Dave helps people get out of debt and become financially free. If you’re still not convinced, listen to his free podcast where real people call in to ask for his advice! This is a great book to read before graduating and taking on all new expenses while realizing your debt. According to Dave, cash is king and debt is dumb!



#2 Killing the Cover Letter

by Gene Kincaid


This book is actually required reading for an Advertising Internship course at UT. The content caters towards Advertising and Communications students specifically, as the author, Gene Kincaid was a former professor at UT in the Stan Richards School until 2015. With that being said, it is a short read and affordably priced so it is very accessible and the ideas that are presented can apply to any student in any major. If you plan on being employed and working at a job in your lifetime…this book gives you tools for writing your resume, tactics in interviews, and most importantly, the attitude and confidence to go after your dream job. The hiring process in this book is somewhat unconventional in the sense that it does not encourage you to submit your resume to a handful of online applications – you need to do thorough research and scout out employers – after-all, you need to interview them too! Then, Killing the Cover Letter shows you how to apply your research so that you can come off as a desirable and intelligent applicant – useful for every graduating student!



#3 The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle


This book is categorized as a self-help book and it is primarily about spirituality; “a guide to spiritual enlightenment”. It is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and is regarded as one of the most influential spiritual books of our time, so it is legit. The Power of Now is based on the journey and spiritual awakening of the author, Eckhart Tolle, but it is based on universal and spiritual truth, so every person will be able to relate to it. From reading this book, you will be able to distinguish between your analytical mind and ego and your eternal being. If you decide to embark on this journey, remember to watch out for “feeling-responses” and to not only read with your mind. This book can certainly help you to experience more peace and bliss in your life, which are great qualities to learn before you launch into the challenges of full adulthood!


I will be honest. I have not yet read suggestions #4 and #5, but they have both been recommended to me by great friends. I fully intend on reading them soon – just like I hope you will too, or at least before you leave college so that you’re equipped with the tools and mindset to be successful and happy in your life beyond school.

#4 Rich Dad Poor Dad

by Robert T. Kiyosaki


Robert Kiyosaki created the Rich Dad Company in 1994, and expanded his business into books – Rich Dad Poor Dad, published in 1997, has become one of the bestselling personal finance books of all time. The book is based on the author’s story of his biological dad, who was poor, and his adopted dad (best friend’s dad), who was rich. It wasn’t necessarily the circumstances that made their lives so different, it was their beliefs and management of money. Similar to Dave Ramsey’s protocol, this is not a get-rich-quick program – but it encourages good behavior with money that will serve you in the long run! If you can get out of the rat race, you can be financially free and ask yourself what you truly want to do with your life. Get ahead by starting now to help inform your career path and financial future!



#5 The Impossible First

by Colin O’Brady


Years ago, Colin O’Brady had a terrible accident which left him “doubtful that he would walk again”. Today, Colin has become the first person ever to cross the entire continent of Antarctica by himself. Recently, this book has become popular in corporate offices nationwide as the story exudes passion, perseverance, adventure and triumph through the lenses of vulnerability, honesty, and spirituality. There’s a lot of elements to this book. Although the story is told through the journey in Antarctica, there are a lot of personal stories peppered in. The purpose of this book is to give readers the courage and determination to go after their potential! This is an inspiring read that is sure to lift your spirits and encourage you to realize your potential. The earlier you do this, the better — once you embark into all the responsibilities of adulthood – you’ll draw on these anecdotes for strength.



We’ve been in school all of our lives, since we were wee tots and now into young adulthood. After we graduate, we are in the launching period of life which can be scary and intimidating. This time can be made easier when we have a positive mindset, courage to move forward, tools for success, and a resilient spirit to keep us grounded. These books can help you get there. I hope that you read 1 of them, if not all of them and take in the information that supports the future you envision.

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