A serious question: is there a female college student in the world who can survive without owning a copy of The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath?
I am willing to wager that the majority of rooms in the T/W dorms at The College of New Jersey 10-15 years ago housed at least one copy. There's just something so college about Sylvia; kind of like, I don't know, Guster and frat parties and rolls of quarters. I wonder if they include it on the checklist of things to bring for incoming freshman.
The beauty about The Collected Poems is that even though I think of it in conjunction with college, I still get satisfaction from it today. I don't get the chance to read a lot of poetry anymore, but there are nights when I hunker down with it, flip to my many dog-eared pages, and read aloud my favorites. (I do this with Margaret Atwood and Mary Oliver and WH Auden, too.)
Each of my sisters also own copies, and last year when my Girls Write Now mentee went off to college I bought her one, because it just feels like a rite of passage. And yes, this may be my nostalgia talking, but there's something special about Sylvia and her relationship with 18 year old girls (women?). She just speaks to us.