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Delaying the Real World: My Favorite Book Ever!

I wholeheartedly recommend this book! It gives about 1000 ideas of what to do after college, that don’t include jumping immediately into law school or a cubicle. From singing on a cruise ship to writing for a Cambodian newspaper, the options are truly limitless. Colleen Kinder doesn’t shy away from big issues like paying for your adventure.

I remember buying it on January 1, 2006, as a New Years’ gift to myself. At that point I had just come back from a full year in Chile and was about to start my last semester at Berkeley. Every New Year’s Day I find myself looking for inspiration for the coming year, and I found it in these pages. I read this book over and over and lent it to many friends. I bought copies as gifts.

And when I graduated on May 18, 2006, with my degree in Latin American Studies, I opened the book again and started googling options listed. A section on teaching English overseas mentioned CIEE Teach in China. The program required being a native speaker with a college degree, and the deadline had been extended until June 1. I began contacting program alums who were listed as references. And a few days later I FedEx’d in my passport and application and began to convince myself of rational reasons for my move to China.

Over the next few weeks, I bought myself a Pimsleur Chinese language program and began its listen-and-repeat lessons. I volunteered in an ESL class for recent immigrants, which taught me to speak in the measured tones of an English teacher. And I gradually stopped worrying too much about the “real world.”

Here’s how you can get your hands on my favorite book:
-Buy it for $4.49 on
-Become a fan on Facebook
-Visit the official website
-Read Colleen Kinder’s essay on

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