The student-life period we are experiencing right now is either a time we spend studying, making projects, going out or embarking on a journey of self-discovery in whatever way we see fit. One thing is for sure – it will end one day. Our college years will be a relic of the past, just like our high school days, that we constantly reminisce about. Then time will tell if we "learned" enough to get by in this cruel, yet beautiful world. Unfortunately, we will never know to be quite honest with you. But, we can try can't we? Yes, of course, we can try.
We can educate ourselves in an abundance of ways. Through reading books, watching instructional videos or through listening to someone (most likely a teacher). My reader, I think you know where I'm going with this right? Learning new things can be fun, but in a world where we have so much to read, watch, study, listen or even write about. It can be hard to pinpoint which books, movies or people we should learn from.
So without further ado, here is a list of the top 5 books that might just help you excel professionally and personally in these crucial student times.
1. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday;
"The Obstacle Is The Way" is a funny little sentence that has a colossal meaning and a whole book behind it. This book about our problems and how we can deal with them with a little help from the ancient Hellenistic philosophy of stoicism the Greek/Roman philosophers were most avid in.
The book tells stories of great men and women of the past and then analyzes what they did when faced with an impediment that is keeping them from their goals.
So for any students going through some rough times, this one is for you!
2. Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort;
Does the name Jordan Belfort sound familiar? What about "The Wolf of Wall Street"? Does that ring a bell? Jordan Belfort, the real-life "Wolf of Wall Street" wrote a book on his personal formula of sales and how to implement it. "Straight-Line Sales" tends to have certain characteristics of High-Pressure sales tactics but then again no, because the book also explains why you should develop trust with your clients and to also have a sense of morality while doing sales (you).
Of course, this is a book by one of Wall Street's most debaucherous characters. But, for students who are in business, who have a part-time job in sales or who simply want to sell themselves better in an interview for later – this one is for you.
3. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli;
Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, general, historian, play-writer, and politician in the Renaissance era and during some of the most turbulent times in the history of Italy. He witnessed political power-play, corruption, manipulation on a grand scale and evil done by powerful men in powerful positions. So, our friend Niccolo decided to write a political treatise that served as a sort of "Self-Help" book for the King-to-be at that time. The book covers many stories on how to maintain political power and, of course, what you should not do in a hierarchical environment.
The philosophies expounded in The Prince is up to you to decipher and promptly apply in your daily life. I think we students definitely need this, in a world where the rat-race is growing ever so bigger.
I recommend this book to everybody.
4. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey;
I had to put this one in here simply because it is a classic that everyone should read. The first time I read The 7 Habits I remember experiencing constant paradigm shifts and miniature epiphanies as I went on. I also realized that this is not simply a book to read in one sitting but more of something to study and practice on a day-to-day basis. If you are someone that is having a hard time getting certain acts in order, I would highly recommend this book, as it educates the reader in having and asserting the values important to you (which are hopefully good). Unlike The Prince, it does not rely heavily on manipulation or the political-powerplay but simply for you to developing habits to maximize the person you can become.
5. 1984 by George Orwell.
At number five, we have a novel because recreational reading is also needed at some point. 1984 is a very powerful piece of literature that, will not only make you hate communism and Stalinism but, will make you question society as we know it. It is an eerie dystopian tale about a man who begins to question the totalitarian regime under which he is employed. Now I will not delve into this any longer for I wouldn't want to spoil anything by giving hints on what to expect, but oh boy are you in for a literary treat!
Remember, the most successful people right now usually read about 2-4 books a month. Keep on reading and educating yourselves in this part of your youth, for it will be ever so beneficial in the long-run.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.