It is no coincidence that we learn to love to listen to and read stories when we are young. Little did we know how true the lessons that are taught in them are, and how much of an impact they would have.
When I was growing up, a bedtime tradition was always picking out a book (and of course arguing over the "best choice" with my older sister) to read before we fell asleep. Actually, we would always beg for just one more story, but if our parents allowed that, it would turn out much like in the book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." I find it really sad that as we grow older, reading becomes a chore. We're forced to read in-depth scientific textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, literature, etc. which sadly takes away from the fun and interest of reading. We soon forget that these stories we learned and loved as children shaped us to the people we are today.
Here are some of my all-time favorite stories from my youth that I think to relate to my life right now as a freshman in college:
This simple storyline isn't something that a typical college student would think they could relate to. However, this was one of my all time favorites as a child. I think that it teaches you that you cannot keep the sunset from fading and every day must come to an end. That is why it is important to look back and reflect on each day. Saying "goodnight" to each item is a symbolism of the thankfulness one has for each opportunity and experience they may have not only in college but also just life in general.
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"
If we are being honest, this one is the most #relatable to me. More often than not, I find my self not being able to win for losing. Although sometimes it may seem like absolutely nothing else could go wrong, it is important to not count the bad days. Bad times only make the good ones better. Alexander taught us that you will have "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" days, but willingness to overcome obstacles and preserving is how college students must adjust to their new environment.
"The Giving Tree"
Oh, how I LOVE this one. The tree in this book reminds me so much of all the people who self-sacrificed for me to get where I am today. Although college is supposed to be the time to be "selfish," as you are truly focusing on your personal goals and ambitions, stop and say "thank you" to the parents, grandparents, teachers, advisors, professors, and so many more who give everything for you to be where you are (and, maybe even try to imitate those qualities).
"Where the Wild Things Are"
Endless lessons in this one: resisting temptations, overcoming adversity, and having imagination. Max learned that the world of the wild was fleeting and wanted to be somewhere with "someone who loved him best of all." At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you do or who you are; rather, those who you surround yourself with. College is the best time to meet new people and establish perpetuating bonds of friendship.
"Go, Dog. GO!"
In college, you're always on the go. Staying busy is a good way to stay productive. Just don't crash. 16 hours a semester, extracurriculars, jobs, you name it. It is easy to lose your mind amongst the insanity.
Although no one likes to hear "no," we learn soon enough that there is (sometimes) a good reason behind it. When one door closes another may open. Although your professor may say no to rounding your 42 up to a 93, you at least learned some lessons on what/what not to do.
"The Very Hunger Caterpillar"
"No, mom, I did not spend all of my flex money on coffee."
The freshman fifteen will turn into something beautiful too, right?
"Green Eggs and Ham"
Sam-I-Am could be right... it isn't a bad thing to break out of your comfort zone. College is the perfect time to try new things and discover your passions. If nothing else, you may discover that you are not good at something and that is okay too. Being willing to try (and not making excuses) is the first step.
In "Matilda," this little girl is able to escape her own reality by reading books. This is relatable to many college students because we were oh so fast at growing up and getting out of where we were from (especially if you were from my town). We soon discover to have a place in our hearts for the place we call home, but just like Matilda, we value the "escape" away. There is nothing more strange than being away for so long, then coming back to a place you once called your reality.
"The Little Engine That Could"
"I think I can, I think I can" is quite the opposite of what we may feel towards the end of the semester. However, like this little train who had to make it up a steep hill to help a bigger train, we need to have a "can-do" attitude when facing exams, presentations, and more. This correlates with a saying my mom has said to me over and over this semester. When I'm feeling discouraged, she always says that it is "no hill for a climber." So, the first battle is most definitely believing that you CAN do it, whatever "it" is.