College seniors—you must be understandably very disappointed that you are not having the graduation ceremony you expected. Hope your school has found ways to mark this occasion with some virtual pomp and circumstance.
Graduating from college is thrilling, but even in normal times, transitioning from the college bubble to the real world can be scary and perplexing. If you need an extra boost of inspiration as you transition to a new phase of life with more uncertainty than ever, we offer these books below. Some impart lifelong wisdom and advice, others are more practical guides to help you kick start your careers, or start on the road to responsible adulting. A couple are book versions of memorable commencement speeches from years past. All can be checked out on Overdrive/Libby.
But to start with, here are 12 commencement speeches from years past that will make you laugh, motivate and totally inspire you (no cap and gown necessary).
All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience by Lauren Berger
This manual reveals insider secrets to scoring the perfect internship, building invaluable connections, boosting transferable skills, and getting a competitive edge in the job market.
Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) by Arden Rose
A fresh, hilarious guide to growing up your way from social media influencer and lifestyle vlogger Arden Rose. It will show you how to dress yourself, how to travel alone, how to talk to strangers online, and how to date strangers (in PERSON!), but also how to pass as a real, functioning, appropriately socialized adult.
Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear by Carl Hiaasen & Roz Chast
This is Oh, the Places You’ll Never Go—the ultimate hilarious, cynical, but absolutely realistic view of a college graduate’s future. And what he or she can or can’t do about it.
Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
One of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman
A brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us.
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay
A provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely.
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jonny Sun
From the creator and star of Hamilton, with beautiful illustrations by Sun, comes a book of affirmations to inspire readers at the beginning and end of each day.
The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne
Learning to cook has never been simpler, with each of the book’s nine chapters centered on a key lesson. Beautiful photographs show both the finished dishes and the how-to techniques, and helpful illustrations offer further guidance.
In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham AUDIOBOOK
The beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve and to keep finding joy in what we are doing.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Here shares the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explains how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman
Written to address the specific financial reality that faces young people today and offers a set of real, not impossible solutions to the problems at hand and the problems ahead.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan & Anne Fadiman
An unforgettable posthumous collection of essays and stories by a Harvard graduate that articulates the universal struggle faced by youth as they figure out what they aspire to be and how they can harness their talents to impact the world. It captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.
What Is Your WHAT: Discover The One Amazing Thing You Were Born To Do by Steve Olsher
Shows how to answer that life-changing question and cultivate a life of purpose, conviction, and contribution by identifying and creating a plan of action for bringing the 1 thing you are born to do to fruition.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian