What’s the best way to get out of a blogging slump? Why, a book tag, of course!
I’m no freshman – on the contrary, I’m in my final year – but this tag suits this period. I wanted to post it a couple of weeks ago to coincide with the start of the academic year, but hey, I’m still in time, right? (Freshmen in Malta started this week, in fact!)
I’m not tagging anyone. If you’re going to do it, let me know so I can read your post. 🙂
The College Freshman Book Tag
- Give credit to the creator. (done)
- Answer the questions to the best of your ability! You don’t have to be in college or have gone to college to answer these!
- Tag three people to complete the tag.
Roommates can be a hit or miss experience freshman year, especially when you don’t get the opportunity to pick who you room with. Name a character you’d love to be roommates with and one you’d hate to be roommates with.
I think I would love to be roommates with Terauchi from Real World by Natsuo Kirino. She’s the only one from the set of teenage characters that I liked and that I could relate to. Too bad that her POV part comes near the very end and that her fate is sealed before we get to know more about her.
A character I wouldn’t want as a roommate is Dorte from This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle (read my review). She’s so unmotivated, she doesn’t even bother putting up curtains in her new apartment. Such a person can’t have a good impact on me.
Before your freshman year officially begins, you typically go to an orientation to familiarize yourself with the campus. Orientation can be both exciting and scary as you’re experiencing something new. Name a book that you read to experience a new genre, or to familiarize yourself with a topic you knew nothing about. Did you like the book? What did you learn from it?
I remember the time when I discovered the philosophical idea of existentialism, and so I tried out Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea to understand it better. I liked it, though I think you have to have a certain mindset to appreciate it, and I thought it was an excellent example of an existentialist novel.
It is normal to experience homesickness at some point after moving away from home for the first time. Name a book from your childhood that you love so much that you sometimes miss, and may even find yourself rereading it often.
There are two series that I remember loving. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, which made me fantasise about owning a small island. As a young teen, I was obsessed with M.D. Spenser’s Shivers books, which are very similar to the Goosebumps series. I can’t see myself rereading any of them… maybe one of the Shivers books, just for a laugh.
Choosing A Major
Choosing a major is something every college student has to do at some point, but many students choose their freshman year. Hopefully your major is something you are passionate about. Name a book that you have read about a topic you are passionate about, or a character from a book that shares a similar passion as you.
I’m choosing a recent read from this year: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I read it, together with Three Guineas, for a paper I had to write about gender theory. It definitely helped increase my interest in feminism and women’s presence in literature and perhaps, directly or indirectly, it influenced my decision regarding the choice of my dissertation topic.
Join The Club
Joining different clubs and groups can often be an exciting thing to jump into as a freshman for some, and nerve-wracking for others. Name a popular book or book series that you didn’t think you’d enjoy, but ended up loving.
How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern (read my review). I received it as a birthday gift, and it’s a book I probably wouldn’t have immediately considered to acquiring myself just because it’s labelled as chick-lit, which is not exactly my cup of tea. However, it turned out to be an enjoyable and thoughtful read, and it helped to dispel some myths about bestselling chick-lit, at least for me.
As a college freshman and a college student in general, all-nighters are pretty common. Name one book that was so good, you stayed up all night reading it.
I’ve rarely stayed up late at night to read, unfortunately. But last year, I spent several summer nights reading books out loud with Matt. One book which kept us reading until very late was The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. It’s Sestero’s autobiographical account of his first steps in the acting world and his meeting with Tommy Wiseau, with whom he worked on the infamous movie, The Room. It’s hilarious, I suggest you read it or listen to the audiobook, ahead of James Franco’s film adaptation, out next December.
The Night Before It’s Due
Speaking of those all-nighters, they usually have something to do with that assignment you put off until the last minute. Name a popular book or book series that you put off reading for way too long.
There are so many which I had put on my Goodreads’ TBR and never got around to starting. One of the earliest is probably The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I think I have it as an ebook, but I’ve never tried reading it yet!
You may or may not have experienced a hangover… or 10 during your freshman year in college. Name a book that left you with a book hangover after you finished it.
I struggle to remember book hangovers I’ve experienced, either because I tend to move swiftly from one book to another or because of my poor memory. Or it’s just that not many books manage to blow me away. One of these few fantastic reads was Out by Natsuo Kirino. I was 18, during the 2006 World Cup, when I devoured this book, which filled me with shock, disgust, and awe. It’s always my number one book, and I haven’t found another crime novel that comes close to it.
On A Budget
Freshman year, you usually learn what it means to be a broke college student. Name a book that you remember buying even though you were tight on cash, because you just had to have it.
Again, I can’t really remember such a situation as I’m not even a big book buyer. Maybe an occasion that fits here is when I was jobless and I still took money from my savings to purchase some books online. One of them was Una storia crudele, an Italian translation of a Natsuo Kirino book. This novel was supposed to be released in English as What Remains but, for some unknown reason, it never came out. I was elated to find it in Italian and I thought “I must have it, no matter what!”.
General ed courses are typically all you take freshman year, and English is usually one of them. (Depending on the prof that could be a good thing ) Name a required reading book that you loved. (it can be middle/high school or college)
The first required reading I truly loved was John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which I read in junior college (high school). It’s a novella, so I guess the shortness was a plus. Despite being unfamiliar with the setting (California during the Great Depression), I was immediately fascinated by the story of George and Lennie and their dream of having a farm on their own land. And the ending… one of the most heartbreaking ever!
Part of being a broke college student is trying to find the cheapest way to buy a textbook. To make it worse, some freshman gen ed courses end up having no use for the book at all. Name a book that you spent money on and ended up not liking.
As I already said, I’m not such a big book buyer and, fortunately, I haven’t spent a lot of money on books that turned out to be disappointing. A recent case, though, was This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle, which I bought for my 2016 summer reading challenge. You can see in my review how disappointing it was. Thankfully, I had purchased a used copy, so it wasn’t a big waste of money.
All professors have office hours, and often times students don’t take advantage of them. Advice for freshman: go to office hours! It is a good idea to get to know your professors. Making connections with them can lead to great tips on assignments, internship opportunities, and job connections. Name a book (autobiography or biography) that you read to get to know more about someone you are interested in.
A biographical book that I received from my boyfriend (updated: I previously wrote that I bought it, mixing it up with another photography book I have… sorry Matt, thank you for this precious gift, I love you kiss) sometime after discovering its subject was“La Divine Comtesse”: Photographs of the Countess of Castiglione. It’s a photo book, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art series, about the Countess of Castiglione, whose 19th-century photographs (she was the model, not the photographer) were very particular. The book was my primary source for my Retro Rambles post about the Countess.
The Mean Professor
There’s always that one professor that no one likes, especially in freshman gen ed courses. Name a villain or any character you disliked, that you would hate to have as a professor.
Heathcliff – and pretty much everyone else – in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I’m all for torturous love stories, but I just couldn’t digest this one because I disliked most of the characters. I couldn’t accept Heathcliff as an anti-hero, he just seemed like a major a-hole to me, despite what he had to endure. So, having him as a professor would be a nightmare.
Drop The Class
Sometimes It gets to the midpoint of the semester and you can’t take any more of a particular class, and decide to drop it. Name a book or author you thought you’d enjoy reading but ended up not liking.
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg. I picked this book from the library in a period when I was getting acquainted with different kinds of Scandinavian literature. Høeg’s book is well-known and it’s set in the Danish capital. However, the main character’s origins are from Greenland. Therefore, I thought it would be cool to read, but then I couldn’t even finish half of it because the writing style felt so heavy. It’s a pity because Smilla was an interesting character.
I learned so many life lessons my freshman year of college. The experience made me learn so much about myself that I didn’t realize. Name a book that has made you reflect on life.
Well, several fiction books made me reflect on life, especially when they have relatable characters or situations. However, I’m going to reply to this last question with a non-fiction title. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain has not only made me ponder but actually change my life, at least a bit. Although I’ve always accepted my reserved nature, this book gave me the motivation and confidence I needed to make my introversion work during job-seeking and at the workplace. It’s one of my absolute favourites and I hope I’ll have the chance to reread it.