A new book club is helping Augusta University students navigate their 20s.
Elizabeth Huggins, director of First- & Second- Year Experiences, created the Defining Decade book clubs as a way to give back to AU sophomores.
The clubs focused on Dr. Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them.
The book club was a four-week program offering students the opportunity to talk about their own experiences while connecting with one another.
“Students were desperate to connect with other students during this tumultuous time. The book clubs were an opportunity to do that,” said Huggins.
Sixty students participated weekly across eight book clubs, half of which were virtual.
The book clubs were led by a range of AU staff, faculty and administrators.
Huggins said this book was recommended by her daughter and her nephew, who are both in their 20s.
Once she read the book, she realized its potential impact for AU students.
“I wish I had a book like this in my 20s,” she said.
Huggins noted the active participation from students who brought in color-coded and bookmarked pages ready for discussion.
“It’s tough being 20,” Huggins said. “It helped me to understand where they’re coming from, their perspective. Any time that faculty and staff can talk to a student in a real and authentic way helps us all feel like we can communicate better.”
Lauren Browning, a sophomore studying pre-nursing, participated in the book club that Huggins led.
“The book club was a very big stress reliever. I felt like I wasn’t alone,” Browning said.
She said she felt pressure to have it all figured out in her 20s. She said through the book club, she gained new friends and a better idea of how to plan her life.
“There’s a lot of pressure on all of us. Sometimes you can feel alone, and now that I’ve done the book club, I’ve gained a new perspective,” she added.
Huggins said many students did not want the book clubs to end, and she is planning more book clubs in the fall.