Everyone is going to be cranking out papers into the wee hours of the morning, so these kids are going to need The Elements of Style to perch on their bookshelf.
Another must read for any incoming freshman is The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College:
From sharing a bathroom with 40 strangers to sharing lecture notes, The Naked Roommate is the behind-the-scenes look at everything students need to know about college (but never knew they needed to know). Completely revised and updated, this essential guide used by hundreds of thousands of students is packed with expert advice on everything from managing money to managing stressplus hilarious, outrageous, and telling stories from students on over 100 college campuses:
College Living Dorm do's, don'ts, and dramas Lying, noisy, nasty roommates
Finding Friends Facebook and MySpace Friend today, gone tomorrow
Classes To go or not to go? How to get an A, C, or F
Dating 16 kinds of college hookups Long distance = BIG concerns
The Party Scene The punch in the "fruit punch" Sex, drugs, and the truth
Money Grants, loans, and loose change Credit cards and online gambling The Naked Roommate is the #1 bestselling college life guide, and Harlan Cohen is the top voice on college life. Through his speaking engagements, college tour, music, and website, he has reached thousands of students with his message of relaxing, being yourself, and making the most of the college years.
If you are looking for a fiction option I would suggest a personal favorite: Tom Wolfe's I am Charlotte Simmons. The endlessly entertaining novel about a young, impressionable, country girl's first year at an Ivy-caliber school (fictional Dupont) full of sorority girls and lacrosse jocks does not stray away from the party scene that has becoming synonymous with the stereotypical campus lifestyle. Wolfe's writing style is accessible but smart, and the protagonist, Charlotte Simmons is likeable and cool. Although it is a bit longer, I never thought that as I was reading it, in fact, I wanted it to continue. This is a must read for anyone heading off the college.