It's true: college is a time in our lives that is like no other. We have so much freedom without the responsibilities of paying bills, taking care of kids, or working a 9 to 5 job. College is also a major transition time—it's the time to grow, mature, make mistakes, and eventually come a little closer to figuring out what we want to do with the rest of our lives.

So much of college is filled with finding internships, getting part-time jobs, trying to maintain a 4.0, and don't even forget about sleep (or partying). It's easy to forget to stop, step back, and reflect on yourself. What do you really want to do with your life? Do you want to spend your career in a cubicle? Would you prefer to travel? What brings you happiness?

Ever since I was young, I've been really good at sitting back and observing to figure out what it is that I really want. For some, that's not so easy. For that reason, I've compiled a list of a few books that can help on this search to "find myself". I've read each of these books on my own time and I think that anyone can benefit from reading at least one.

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist was originally given to me for my 18th birthday—what a fitting gift. Coelho tells the story of a boy named Santiago who dreams that there is treasure hidden at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. He sets out on an adventure, encountering many obstacles and people that help guide him. Although this is a novel, Santiago's journey can be translated as a metaphor that applies to your own life.

I read this book as a scared, unsure, high school senior with my future beginning right in front of me. The Alchemist taught me about listening to your heart and trusting that things will work out. As a big dreamer, I refer back to this book whenever I feel any self-doubt or fear creeping up.

2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is Elizabeth Gilbert's newest book, and it's a good one. This book is all about how to live a creative life. It's not just for the actors, writers, and artists of the world, though, because everyone has the ability to live a creative life. This is my latest "self-help" read and I am loving every page of it. Gilbert's words of wisdom are not only engaging, but they make you think. If you feel like you're living your life stuck in a routine without passion or inspiration, read Big Magic and you won't be feeling that way for much longer.

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is the story of how Cheryl Strayed hiked more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon, to Washington State. After her mother's death, the failure of her marriage, and her family falling apart, Strayed made the impulsive decision to set forth on this journey alone. In Wild, you get to go on the journey alongside Strayed, learning the same lessons that she learns over her thousand-mile trek.

4. Higher by Charles Hanna

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Nikki D'Ambrosio

Higher by Charles Hanna is a guide to having a more fulfilling life. He uses his own experience with addiction and depression to help his readers find spiritual enlightenment as he did. Hanna's words open readers' eyes to different ways to cultivate self-love and shift your perspective on negative situations to turn them into positive ones. I recommend this book to anyone who feels held back by challenges that seem to repeatedly find their way into his or her life. This book is not an easy read, but it will provide many things to think about to help you to live a more meaningful life.

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love is the quintessential "self-help" book. This book, like Big Magic, was written by Elizabeth Gilbert and has inspired readers to take the time to explore themselves. Even if you aren't looking to "find yourself", this book is a read that will make you want to travel the world. This is also a great read if you're on the fence about studying abroad. It'll help you let go of some of your travel fears and maybe you'll be able to have the adventure of a lifetime, too.

These are only five books, but there are many more out there that can help you to find happiness, learn to love yourself, or even help you figure out what you want to do with your life. As college students, we might not think about how fast the real world is coming. But, before you know it, you'll be a senior wondering where all of the time went. My hope is that some of these books can assist you in your reflection and will help you to learn a little bit more about yourself.