All right, we're down to the last week before college move-in. I still have a lot of things to get and pack and decide about, but perhaps the most important thing I have yet to decide is which books to bring. But that's a problem (and a blog post) for next week.
I've been thinking about college and my expectations of college lately. I get these expectations from tv shows (there might be fewer demons than there were in Buffy, and I'm not going to an Ivy League school, so Rory Gilmore's experience won't apply to me), movies (there might be fewer acapella groups than there were in Pitch Perfect, and I'm still not going to an Ivy League school, so I'm not going to be Elle Woods), and books. So. In celebration of back to school and going to college time, I'm going to talk about some of my favorite books set in colleges.
This is one of my favorite books of the past couple years. It is so good. It's about a girl who goes to college with her twin sister, but her twin wants to room with someone else and step outside their bond to "find herself." So Cath sticks with her fanfiction and her cardigans (she is my style icon) as she starts college. I'll say it again, it is so good. It's about what happens when your world expands, and how you deal with that, especially if you're not really ready for it. Plus, it's hilarious. Some of my favorite YA characters are from this book (Cath, Levi, Reagan, and Cath and Wren's dad, among others).
Ugh, have I talked about this yet? I read Catcher in the Rye for school one year and liked it a moderate amount, but then I read this one and I was completely hooked. Franny is at college, but becomes disillusioned with it as she becomes interested in "praying without ceasing." She leaves college and her brother, Zooey, tries to help her. Franny and Zooey are part of a family that is famously smart (they were on a quiz show), and this book deals with the reconciliation of that concept of intelligence with the reality of life and the shaping of identity (Okay, sorry, but when you talk about Salinger, it's an inevitable hazard that you start sounding a bit pretentious).
Okay, fine, only a portion of this graphic novel takes place at college, but it's an important part. It's about Bechdel figuring out her sexuality as she also finds out that her dad is gay. I mean, this is a little more dramatic than what people usually think of when they think of "finding themselves," but it is so good. And a true story, so it's really interesting and hard to read at times. Plus, have you heard/seen the musical? I can see all of Pennsylvaniaaaaaa...
Oh my gosh, this was a total guilty pleasure book for me. I've read it probably three times. It's about four girls who decide to do what they really want to do after high school graduation. Harper is going to write the Next Great American Novel. Kate is going to travel the world. Sophie is going to LA to try to make it as an actress. And Becca is going to college. I've gone back and forth on which girl I relate to more, but I think it's Becca. Sweet, shy, awkward Becca. Plus, I'd never be able to backpack through Europe or move to LA; I'm scared enough going to college. So, I feel you, Becca.
So, I have to go decide which of my books are going to come with me to college. In the meantime, I'll be thinking about what my college experience might look like, and whether it'll look like any of these (I'd be absolutely fine with it looking like Cath's, but I'm going to try to stay away from Franny's experience, I think).