If you’ve been sitting around this summer with an unstimulated mind, mourning the loss of summer reading assignments to keep your brain busy, we’ve got good news!!
UNC offers the Carolina Summer Reading Program to all incoming first-year and transfer students. The University selects a book for students to read prior to arriving on campus, and holds small-group discussion sessions led by faculty and staff on the day before classes start. The aim is to give students a taste of the “academic climate and community at UNC.”
This year, the summer reading book is Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World that Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships by Mitch Prinstein. The discussion session will be on Monday, August 20.
To be completely honest, I did not do the summer reading my first year. Neither did most of my friends. It is not actually required, and there is no penalty for not completing the reading or attending the discussion session. But UNC does strongly recommend that everyone participate, and plenty of people do! A couple of now-seniors shared their experiences with summer reading with us:
“The summer reading my year was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It was a harrowing tale of Stevenson’s work as a lawyer for inmates facing death row. The book brought me a perspective I hadn’t held before on the death penalty, and the group dorm discussion in my first week helped me meet new people, something I was nervous about when I arrived at UNC. My junior year, I was inspired to take Frank Baumgartner’s class on the death penalty as a result of the reading.”