Featured image by Anna Thetard
The summer after graduation is either a welcome break from a hectic senior year or a dreaded few months in which you plan to figure out your life. For me, it was a mixture of both extremes: incredible happiness to have a few weeks off, and an overwhelming uncertainty of my life’s trajectory. I’ve always been able to turn to literature in tense moments, and reading during that initial period of post-grad life provided me a sense of comfort and familiarity.
For those who are wrestling with a bout of post-grad problems, here are a few books to make your first summer out of college a little better.
Mari Andrew, illustrator, writer, and the woman behind the incredible Instagram account, @bymariandrew, has nailed both the tumultuous and lovely parts of becoming an adult and creating your own life. The pages are filled with her signature illustrations and contain multiple essays of topics ranging from the joys of travel to living with grief.
I read this book a few months after I walked across the graduation stage, and its message has faithfully remained with me since. Its premise of a young man striving to fulfill his destiny by embarking on a lengthy journey will resonate with post-grads (and anyone else, really.)
Over her many years in television, writer/actor/producer Mindy Kaling is a force to be reckoned with. Her immense talent and enviable work ethic are shown throughout this thoughtful, often hilarious collection of personal essays that are guaranteed to inspire you to work relentlessly toward your goals.
Published posthumously, The Opposite of Loneliness is made up of two sections: one of fictional short stories and the other of non-fiction essays. Marina’s sincere effort to make sense of life and all its facets spans every inch of her work. Her triumph of a commence speech at her Yale graduation is included in this volume, and the tragedy of her untimely death a few days later gives her words a new perspective.
Books You Should’ve Finished in College
Let’s be honest, everyone has been assigned a book (or several) in college that we will “definitely finish at some point.” We console ourselves with the best of intentions, but find it easy to continue putting it off until it’s forgotten. Take this time to fulfill that promise to yourself, and finish the volume you were supposed to read for your English class. Jane Eyre was my unfinished novel, and I’ve never been sorry I picked it back up.