The New Global Student – By Maya Frost

This book is specifically for any students from middle school to college and their parents, who are not 100% satisfied with the status of the education system.

At first it might seem like just another piece of college advice literature, but what it truly is is an offer of a brighter view point on the mess the college process is today. Not only does it encourage to look beyond the typical straight A’s, SAT score idea, but it really opens the mind towards going back to being human – spending time becoming acquainted with oneself and indulging in culture. Although the book is directed toward parents, anyone could profit from it, taking the information about fear of letting go and thinking out of the box of standard education. The second part of the book offers a great resource for actually planning global experience, whether in high school or college.

All around, The New Global Student is a must read to truly consider your options.

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The Social Animal by David Brooks

If you want good change in perspective or are looking to  simplify your view on life, look no further, this book will help. 

The Social Animal follows the lives of the imaginary Erica and Harold. As it creates an interesting yet typical life story, the book explains grand concepts of sociology from the cultural influences to the desperate need for human contact. At the core of the book is the idea that we are guided by our subconscious, and as it does much more work on average than our conscience, it should be listened to more intently instead of being fought. It is self-discovering to become more in touch with the signals the subconscious has so carefully decided on and constructed.

Some of the ideas that caught my attention:
  • People are so drawn to familiarity that they’re even likely to pick a job that starts with the same letter as their name.
  • Different things in our lives send different “pings” of feelings that collect together in our subconscious to create an opinion.
  • The human desire for thumos (recognition and union) underlays the drive for money and success.
  • People who are “accordantly attached” have grown up not relying on the constant company of others, usually parents, and have trouble attaching emotions as grown ups.

Overall, it’s hard to describe what this book’s theme truly is. On one hand, you have your nonfiction information on human behavior, but on the other, you have the stories of a few somewhat ordinary yet different people.  Both can be great contemplative material.