The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Turning the page: books for graduating seniors

Jacey Cuffie
Start the countdown: the graduating seniors of 2024 will soon part ways with NC’s familiar hallways and begin new chapters of their lives. As they begin to author their own stories, seniors remain encouraged to flip through the pages of wisdom found in these essential reads before diving into adventures that await after graduation.

The countdown begins for the Class of 2024 to conclude their high school journey and embark on a new chapter. Whether attending college, preparing for a career or taking a gap year, seniors will need wisdom and guidance wherever they venture. To inspire their journeys and equip them with essential life lessons, seniors should consider reading at least one of these books before stepping into the next phase of their lives. These literary treasures provide insight that will stay with graduates long after graduation day.

In “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” protagonist Charlie recounts his journey through high school in a series of letters and explains the trials and tribulations of teenage years. Charlie sets out on a quest to find himself, encountering new experiences and forming meaningful connections along the way. The novel explores themes of friendship, love, family and personal identity, examining the universal struggles teenagers face as they navigate adolescence.

“I just finished reading ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and I really enjoyed it. The book changed my mindset on a lot of things. It made me realize the importance of being myself and taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes. It’s a story that really resonated with me, and I’m grateful for the insights it brought into my life,” senior Mariah Arnold said.

This novel emphasizes the importance of embracing one’s true self and summoning up the courage to confront inner insecurities. While adolescence may present uncertainty and confusion, it provides an opportunity for growth. By showing authenticity, individuals can discover a sense of belonging amidst life’s twists and turns.

This novel transports readers to the world of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who undertakes a journey in pursuit of a worldly treasure. Along the way, Santiago learns invaluable lessons about the power of following one’s dreams, recognizing opportunities and listening to the heart through encounters with wise mentors and magical omens.

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now,” Coelho in “The Alchemist” wrote.

“The Alchemist” highlights the importance of seizing opportunities throughout life and pursuing dreams. It stresses that true fulfillment comes from embracing one’s unique path—the individual purposes and destinies that await each person. By embodying the lessons of Santiago’s journey, individuals find encouragement to trust in the guiding forces of the universe and passionately chase their aspirations.

“I read ‘The Alchemist’ the summer before I started my freshman year of college. My 12th-grade literature teacher recommended it to our class, saying that we would learn lessons about finding our paths in life. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book at some point in their lives, but there’s no better time to read it than before college. It’s kind of like a roadmap for figuring out who you are and what you want,” Troy University freshman Phillip Butts said.

“The Secret Life of Bees” takes place in South Carolina during 1964, and follows 14-year-old Lily Owens, whose life revolves around the memory of her mother’s death. When Lily’s caregiver, Rosaleen, confronts racist individuals in town, the family escapes to Tiburon, South Carolina, searching for answers about Lily’s mother. 

 Through this charming coming-of-age novel, readers will discover the importance of resilience and compassion within familial and communal bonds. Readers will also come to appreciate the power of forgiveness and the impact of love and belonging in difficult situations. The novel serves as a reminder of the human capacity for healing through love and community.

In Path’s novel, audiences follow 19-year-old Esther Greenwood as she experiences a mental breakdown and her subsequent path to recovery in 1953. After finishing college for the year, Esther enters a period of turmoil and scouts solace amidst societal pressures. Through Esther’s point of view, the narrative provides a raw portal of resilience amidst the struggles in life.

“The Bell Jar” delivers lessons on the importance of mental health awareness and self-compassion. Readers can discover the significance of seeking support in tough situations and understand that asking for help does not equate to showing weakness. The transformation into adulthood will present challenges; however, with the right support group around, people can face those challenges with confidence.

The Chant extends wishes for success and fulfillment in the journeys that lie ahead. As graduating seniors prepare to say goodbye to high school and hello to the next chapter of their lives, may they surround themselves with safety, love and hope. Embrace challenges with courage, cherish moments with gratitude and never lose sight of the incredible potential within. Congratulations, graduates!


[The opinions expressed in this article are those of the reporter and do not reflect the feelings of CCSD or North Cobb High School.]

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About the Contributor
Jacey Cuffie
Jacey Cuffie, Page Editor
Jacey Cuffie, a senior at NC, returned to The Chant in hopes of improving her writing and editing skills. Cuffie runs track for the NC varsity track team and competes in the 4x400-meter relay and 400-meter and 800-meter individual events. When not writing, Cuffie can be found snacking or hanging out with her dog and friends. Cuffie will one day pursue a career as a sports marketer and administrator for the NFL. While in high school, Jacey focuses on maintaining a high GPA and participating in numerous school activities. Cuffie’s dream is to obtain a degree in sports management.

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