You’ve walked down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance,” flipped your tassel to the other side and maybe even thrown your cap in the air. Goodbye college, hello real world. I said hello to the real world about a month ago – and while this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you – the transition does require major adjustments to your life. While you will probably have to live and learn from your mistakes, there are a couple books out there that could make your transition easier.

-Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan: The fictional novel chronicles the lives of four women who meet in college and delves into their post-grad years. They deal with troubling issues of the real world and learn how to grapple with the past and accept the present and future. One Amazon reviewer said, “The descriptions of the early days settling into Smith rang very true. The women seem realistic to me, even with their weaknesses. The friendships are complex and complicated, and even difficult, but believable."

-The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide: Figuring Out Who You Are, What You Want, & Where You're Going After College by Marcos L. Salzar: The book title basically sums up how the 20’s are in one word: turbulent. The consensus from Amazon reviewers seems to be that this book appeals most to people who are super involved in college and are missing it now that they’re gone. One reviewer summed it up with: “If you're going through depression as a result of not really knowing who you are when you're no longer a student at [insert university name here], this book will probably be a helpful read for you.”

-Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson: I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while. It’s easy to get bogged down in the insignificant details because sometimes life throws us curveballs. However, when we’re walking around with our heads down because of stuff that won’t matter in 15 years, we miss out on the bigger picture.

-The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Everyone seems to be raving about this book, which has a movie coming out soon. The novel ‘s protagonist has just returned home from college in the midst of the civil rights movement and uses her pen as a sword to critique the flaws in the society she lives in. It shows the courage of a young woman to stand for change – something hopefully all of us can learn from.  One Amazon reviewer said: “It is compulsively readable while teaching strong truths about the way the United States evolved from a shameful undercurrent of persistent racism to the hopes and dreams of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.”

-The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: I know this is supposed to be a post-grad reading list, and I’m supposed to have all these “mature” novels on the list. However, just because you’re grown up now doesn’t mean you have to leave everything from your high school and college years behind. If you want to escape the pressures of finding a job and moving away from your friends for an hour or two, jump into the magical world. Harry’s waiting.

— By Kara Apel, Graduate of University of South Carolina