As this semester comes to a close, you may be wondering, how do I make productive use of my time? Although many students would be embarking on internship programmes, many of us frequently have spaces of time between internships, where we have absolutely nothing to do. Instead of just lazing around and watching Netflix, why not pick up a book? The Blue and Gold has identified 3 books that you should read this summer.
Okay, we know that the thought of reading another book can seem pretty daunting, especially when the last book you’ve read was probably a textbook. But we are confident that these books will ultimately allow you to save time, and let you focus on the important things in life.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Remember that group member you simply couldn't get along with? Or that Prof you thought was really cool but you never struck a conversation with because you just didn't know how? Dale Carnegie comes to the rescue with this book.
Carnegie explains the fundamental techniques of handling people. He also talks about how to make people like you and teaches valuable lessons on how to bring people over to your way of thinking. These tools could come in really handy, when you are trying to convince a strong-headed group member to come on board with your idea.
Although this book is relatively old, Carnegie’s principles are still rock-solid today. His teachings have carried many people to success. When originally released, the book sold 250,000 copies in the first three months, making it one of the most influential and successful books in American history. To date, it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by schoolwork? Especially during presentation week, where all the presentations are piling on? Or maybe its juggling between classes and CCAs or your side-hustle. Stephen Covey gives his take on what habits you need to develop to become more effective in everyday life, which can be easily extrapolated to school life.
His 7 habits are intended to help one move away from dependence to independence and finally to a state of interdependence. His seven habits are:
1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first
4. Think win-win
5. Seek to understand first, before making yourself understood
6. Learn to synergize
7. Sharpen the saw
The book explains each of these habits and teaches the reader how to put these habits into action in our lives. Just like How to Win Friends and Influence People, this book has also achieved critical acclaim, and has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson
This book was published fairly recently in 2016. Manson wrote this book because he felt that mindless positivity was not helpful to people. Instead, we should focus on finding meaning in the important things in life. This necessarily meant that we would have to choose which things we should give a f*ck about. (After all, we have limited f*cks to give). In school, it is very easy to be carried away in the hustle. This book serves as a timely reminder to students to choose where their focus should lie.
Despite its relative youth, this book has already sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, and it reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2017. For those who are looking for a lighter book to read, this is it.
So as we jump past hurdle after hurdle of presentations, group projects, and finals to get to the finish line (a.k.a summer)—find time to relax but also enlighten yourself with these productive reads. Not only will it be almost therapeutic to read something that isn't a textbook or lecture slides, but you may inadvertently find yourself with a changed perspective on navigating life and all its curveballs.