The Book List To Get You Out Of Your Post-Grad Rut

Amanda Pena
Amanda Pena is one of those bridge and tunnel people that frequents the city for her job and the Chipotle on every other block. She hopes to be the next Cheryl Strayed and touch people's lives through her writing and/or find the best prosciutto deli in Manhattan.

When I graduated from college, I found myself in an educational rut. I remember when I was a freshman seeing a recent college graduate’s Instagram portrayal of “life after college” with her in bed, laptop open and food in hand, with a bunch of books everywhere. At the time, I thought she was lazy and being wasteful of her time. “Get up and get moving!” I thought. Little did I know that just a few short years later, I’d find myself in her exact position. It was those books, however, that propelled me out of bed every day and motivated me to find my next move after college.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get your brain moving is to process new information through reading. Whether they are about career goals, life and relationships or just books to entertain, the following are books that every college graduate should read to lift the foggy haze that falls upon us after we throw up our hats:


1. The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine –Starting the job-hunt immediately after college? Read this book first. Forget traditional resumes and applying through company websites and LinkedIn, Beaudine (a top recruiter) tells you that you already know all the people you need to know in order to get your next job. And not just any job, the job that you actually want.


2. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck – Calling all entrepreneurs! The king of social teaches you how to turn your niche obsession with friendship bracelets into an online profit. It’s a quick and easy read about how to turn your passion into a money-making business through the power of that thing called the Internet.


3. What I Know For Sure by Oprah –As heavily insinuated by the title, this is compilation of everything Oprah knows, as told through short stories of her life triumphs, failures and struggles. This relatable books touches upon moments that we have all experienced as imperfect human beings. I mean, it’s Oprah. Need I say more?


4. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed –Strayed is an advice columnist turned literary mastermind. With great insight into love, happiness, adulthood, money and everything in between, this book includes the best excerpts from her column, Dear Sugar. Nobody tells you how to approach life after college, and this book provides you with some real advice on how to go about navigating those waters.


5. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki – If you haven’t started to think seriously about money and your finances yet, start with this book. Kiyosaki gives you insider tips about how to personally manage your money told through the teachings of his father, and the father of his best friend, the “rich” dad. Don’t be fooled by the title – Kiyosaki busts the myth that you must be wealthy in order to be rich.


6. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – Blink redefines how we interpret the world within, and introduces a new method of thinking without actually thinking. Huh? Gladwell tells us that we are making unconscious decisions about our lives in the blink of an eye every day, and our innate understanding of the world comes directly from our instinct.

Prior to college, young people are always being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these actions are suited to your preferences or lifestyle. Blink breaks those standards and allows the reader to trust their own interpretation of the world around them, something that we are not taught during those years of schooling.