First-Year Summer Reading Program

An important part of incoming students' preparation for this fall is your summer reading assignment. Colleges and universities are discovering that students get more out of their college experience if they truly connect with their campus. Summer readings can help jump-start those connections. Through summer reading programs, students and faculty read a book in common over the summer. At the beginning of the fall semester, some structured discussions of the book, as well as the informal discussions that inevitably occur when people have read the same book or seen the same movie, accomplish two goals -- they provide a shared experience that can begin the process of community building and they provide an opportunity for new students to get their first taste of what a college-level discussion is like and how it is different from anything they have experienced before.

The theme the SSU faculty and staff chose for the 2013 book selection is "Story Telling." We are excited that the 2013 book choice is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State -- and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

On Thursday, September 5, the author, Cheryl Strayed will be speaking to all incoming freshmen at 7pm in the Green Music Center. Attendance at this event is mandatory.

Copies of Wild book can be purchased at the SSU Bookstore during and after orientation.

While reading, think about these themes that are seen throughout the book and that will relate to your experience as a freshman.

  • Fear
  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Sexism
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Substance abuse
  • Healthy relationships
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Expressing sexuality
  • Education
  • Failure
  • Personal responsibility
  • Family dynamics
  • Healing power of nature

For more information on the author and the book, please click here: