Harry and Bella, be warned. The girl on fire just may be stealing your spotlight. Dazzling as the latest phenomenon in American popular culture, Katniss has captured the hearts and minds of readers nationwide. Meanwhile, the books behind her — Suzanne Collins’ immensely popular Hunger Games trilogy — have left other prominent series like Harry Potter and Twilight momentarily by the wayside.
Collins’ novels are set in the post-apocalyptic country of Panem, which is controlled by a strangling, capitol-centered government. This regime reminds citizens of its power by hosting the annual “Hunger Games,” a televised show of 24 Panem teens fighting to their deaths. Sixteen-year-old Katniss finds herself in the arena, surrounded by enemies, after she volunteers to take her younger sisters’ place.
Despite their futuristic plots, the books are more than just dystopian fantasy. For those in competitive or stressful environments (ahem. . .sound familiar, college students?) The Hunger Games spell out valuable lessons. Skeptical? Read on. Here are some of those lessons, especially applicable to the trying, sometimes uncertain world of the college student: