Freshman Year (A Graphic Novel)

Coming Soon


By Sarah Mai

Formats and Prices




$31.99 CAD


A stylish graphic novel about the unique angst, humor, and self-doubt that comes with going away to college—perfect for fans of Heartstopper.

Everyone gets a fresh start. Who do you want to be?  Sarah is leaving suburban Wisconsin for college n Minnesota. She has high hopes for the future: impress her professors, meet interesting new people, stay close to her best friends and boyfriend back home, flourish as an artist, and shed her lingering high school anxieties. What seems manageable at first quickly unravels into a tailspin and she is overwhelmed by the freedom, the isolation, and all the possibilities that await in this new environment. Based on the author’s personal college journal and comics, Freshman Year navigates the inner workings of an 18-year-old girl in witty and heartfelt detail. 

This graduation gift pairs perfectly with OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!.  Dr. Seuss's sentimental graduation picture book is beloved, but the one teens really need is Freshman Year. This graphic novel debut shows the places students actually do go—the home goods aisle at Target; lavish libraries; grungy parties off campus; cereal-for-dinner at the dining hall. 


  • "FRESHMAN YEAR is both a relatable recounting of the ups and downs of the first year of college, and an excellent exploration of navigating the challenges and responsibilities of emerging adulthood. A thoughtful, fun, and refreshing read--and the perfect gift for every high schooler contemplating college."
    Megan Wagner Lloyd, bestselling author of ALLERGIC and SQUISHED
  • “A really lovely slice-of-life look at a tender time in life: The first year of college. This is a story chock full of heart, sadness, and wit.
    Tillie Walden, creator of ON A SUNBEAM and SPINNING
  • "Freshman Year brilliantly captures the hardships and messy journey of self-discovery in college. Accompanied by a charming art style, it's a heartfelt and relatable story that will resonate with anyone who's trying to find their own path. Sarah Mai delivers an honest and essential YA debut."
    Kat Fajardo, creator of MISS QUINCES
  • “This detailed, meditative tale is insightful, honest, and darkly funny, and it includes threads that are (realistically) not tidily resolved. An engaging and relatable slice-of-life story.”
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "Freshman Year perfectly captures the surreal nature and bewildering independence that comes with the first year of college—a time so unique unto itself. Brought back many forgotten sense memories I know I’ll never experience in quite the same way again, but I have always wanted to remember.  Thank you, Sarah!"
    Heather Albinson, Wild Rumpus Books

On Sale
Feb 13, 2024
Page Count
288 pages