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Can books help you build good study habits and a successful mindset? If so, what are the best books for students? In this post I will talk about 4 books that had a massive positive impact on my student journey.
Being honest, I never believed in the “power of books”, neither I have ever been much of a reader. However, I decided to give it a try when I was at my lowest point at university. I was struggling with mental health and social anxiety, I felt inferior to other students and constantly observed.
This was massively impacting (ruining) my university experience. I wasn’t enjoying university anymore, and by that I don’t only mean the social aspect of it. In fact, I was lacking study motivation, and as as result I could not stop procrastinating!
My 4 best books for students
A few points to make before we start. These books I read had two main goals: firstly, I needed to “fix” my inferiority complex. I can describe this as “feeling under the spotlight”, where in my mind everybody would judge me all the time. Secondly, I needed to build good study habits and a successful mindset.
Why those points? Because my mental health was ruining my whole university experience, and my grades started to reflect that. If you are looking for other sorts of student books to improve your grades, then this other article I wrote is probably more appropriate: 3 essential guides I used to improve academic writing.
As usual, I will put a direct link to Amazon for each book so that you can check their current price, description and all other info you might need. Now that we are ready, let’s start with my list of books for students:
1. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, by Gary John Bishop
Ok, I get it, it’s a strong title with a “bad” word. But it’s true, that’s exactly what I needed to do! I was stuck in my own mind; I had a complete lack of confidence and my mental health was only getting worse.
This was the first book I bought ever, it led me to make the step and change my life. It made me realise how stupid I was and how my mind was holding me back. If you are experiencing similar feelings as I was, I would definitely recommend reading this book! Go unfu*k yourself!
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
Whereas the previous book was the one that helped me build confidence at university and “fix” my social anxiety problem, this book had a different role in my student journey: effectiveness. I needed to somehow transform all those good intentions and ambitions I had in mind to something more “real”.
This book taught me an important lesson: we are constantly surrounded by opportunities and we don’t even notice it. It was key to my success in securing an internship and getting a graduate job. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, sometimes it’s just a matter of building good habits!
3. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
I bought this together with the 7 habits of highly effective people. In case it was not clear, I was going through a difficult period at university. This book had many similarities to the previous one, but this also focused on breaking the current bad habits in order to build better ones.
In my head I knew exactly what to do, but I just couldn’t do it. Laziness? Lack of motivation? I don’t know! All I know it’s that Atomic Habits was a really good read and helped me a lot. However, I would suggest starting with either one rather than getting them together, and see how it goes from there. Which one is better? I’m not sure about that, I found both useful!
Grit, by Angela Duckworth
The name says it all. This book made me realise an important thing, my area of focus! I didn’t need to understand everything around me, it would be impossible! Why was I even stressing so much about it? I was studying inefficiently and losing my real focus, getting stuck in worthless things.
What Grit taught me was to use my ambitions as my fuel. I would say this book showed me the real power of resilience and perseverance. In one word, I became “relentless” after reading it, absorbing knowledge like a machine and wanting more.
How to get these student books for free
As I said at the beginning, I have never been much of a reader. In all honesty, I found having the physical copy of these books quite helpful (I liked the visual impact of unfu*k yourself in particular). However, you can also “listen” to some of them on Audible.
If you don’t know what it is, basically you are a listener rather than a reader. A professional narrator takes you through the book (technically audiobook). How do you get some of these books for free? (please mind not all of them are on Audible)
Simple, like most subscription services, it also comes with a free trial when you sign-up (30-day free trial) and you can choose an audiobook. You can cancel it anytime obviously, just make sure to do it within the 30-day timeframe.
Is Audible worth it as a student?
I personally listen to audiobooks now as I don’t have much time to read anymore. I discovered Audible during a group project at university; so I decided to give it a try.
I found it quite useful when commuting and around the campus back then, now I like using it in the evening lying on the sofa. Moreover, I had the pleasure to listen to some of the books again, and honestly I believe these sorts of books are very powerful and effective when somebody talks you through them.
Whichever way you decide, reader or listener, you will enjoy these books! Edit: I wrote a review of Audible in a separate article, you can find it here if you want to know more; “Is Audible worth it as a student?”
The best books for student mindset and success
That was it, those were my best 4 books for students I have read, obviously outside of my courses’ textbooks. I told you I have never been much of a reader, I wasn’t lying lol! Jokes aside, as I said earlier I have now become a book “listener” on Audible.
I found those books particularly helpful for my mental health and anxiety as well as building good study habits. As usual, let me know if you have any book recommendations for me, I’d be keen to “listen” to it! Thank you for reading my list of books for students. Best of luck on your student journey!
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