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Book cover for This I Believe

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

by Tina Seelig

Major life transitions such as leaving the protected environment of school or starting a new career can be daunting. It is scary to face a wall of choices, knowing that no one is going to tell us whether or not we are making the right decision. There is no clearly delineated path or recipe for success. Even figuring out how and where to start can be a challenge. That is, until now.

As executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Tina Seelig guides her students as they make the difficult transition from the academic environment to the professional world, providing tangible skills and insights that will last a lifetime. Seelig is an entrepreneur, neuroscientist, and popular teacher, and in What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 she shares with us what she offers her students—provocative stories, inspiring advice, and a big dose of humility and humor.

These pages are filled with fascinating examples, from the classroom to the boardroom, of individuals defying expectations, challenging assumptions, and achieving amazing success. Seelig throws out the old rules and provides a new model for reaching our highest potential. We discover how to have a healthy disregard for the impossible, how to recover from failure, and how most problems are remarkable opportunities in disguise. (Amazon)


The Common Reading selection should be read by all incoming baccalaureate students prior to Orientation at the beginning of the fall semester.

The purpose of the Common Reading is:
  • to provide all First-Year students with an enjoyable and positive reading experience
  • to reinforce the message that reading is an integral part of the college experience
  • to foster a sense of community among our first-year students. 

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) course will include academic expectations based on the content of the Common Reading selection. 

2015-2016 Common Reading: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

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