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How to Be a High School Superstar: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out) Paperback – July 27, 2010
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—Dr. Michele Hernandez, author of A Is for Admission and president of Hernandez College Consulting and Application Boot Camp
“Disguised as a peppy college-admission guide, Newport’s book is actually a profound, life-affirming manifesto for ambitious high school students. Forgo the sleepless and cynical path to college acceptance. Instead, blaze your trail to the Ivy League by living a full life and immersing yourself in things that matter. Relax. Find meaning. Be you.”
—David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us
“This book should be on the shelf of every student who wonders how to stand out in the increasingly competitive race to get into a top college. His approach will not only help you win the admissions race, it will keep you sane while you run the marathon.”
—Joie Jager-Hyman, author of Fat Envelope Frenzy
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Top Customer Reviews
I also have a friend who was an application reader at Stanford. There's a remark in particular she made about the process that jumped out at me. Each reader will read several hundred applications. Most applications are boring. Most seem the same as the next. The readers often get bored by reading 400 applications in a row that all seem, well the SAME.
This significant point on this is the applications are STILL boring even if they are all impressive in the SAME WAY. This is a nuance in college admissions that I think is really lost on a lot people who apply. There are two ways to get into a top school: 1) be the smartest / most academically accomplished applicant, 2) be smart enough but really unusual / different in some unconventional way.
The Superstar book is the only book I've ever seen on the latter.
My dad got me this book last week. I read the whole thing in one day, and I loved it. My school puts so much pressure on math and physics, and I'm friends with so many people who go to summer school to take more of those classes and who actively enjoy them. Since the start of freshmen year I'd been trying to get better at those subjects because that was what everyone around me perceived as important, but I have very little interest in physics and only a bit more in math. I actively enjoy biology, language arts, social studies, climate science and genetic engineering, but because of the pressures of my school life I didn't focus on them as much as I knew I wanted to.
After reading this book, I've felt sort of free to not try and master a subject that I know I would be miserable studying. Instead, I'm turning my attentions back to genetics, biology and climate sciences.
Before reading this book, I was stressed out and unhappy. I'm entering sophomore year, and I was planning on doubling up Chemistry and Physics classes during the year so I could gain an edge and stand out on college application forms. Now, though, with the full permission of my father, I probably will not be taking high school physics. Instead, this year I'm signing up for AP Biology.
This book is definitely a must-read.
To such students, this work will prove a welcome guide to restructuring one's life to meet with the same goal (elite matriculation), while reducing stress, or at least channeling stress toward more self-motivated activities. The arguments and case studies contained within the book are largely persuasive on a basic level, and the prose is well-written and occasionally humorous.
That said, the work is overwhelmingly anecdotal, and contains no case studies of students who succeeded using Newport's method while conscious that they were using his method. The decision to structure what was once an organic attitude toward life and self-development as a given process with a fixed set of rules and advice does not resolve the reality that Newport's superstars were innocent of their own qualities. The work would be more persuasive if (and when) Newport finds a superstar who followed his methodology to the kind of success he outlines in the book.
There is also a lack of parental advice within the work. It is clear that one feature common to all of these superstars that Newport fails to point out is their willingness to socially isolate themselves from their peers and work independently with a high level of maturity, at least while performing their projects.Read more ›
It was lifechanging.
Newport basically asks you to quit things that are boring and "don't matter" and instead focus on a few interests. It was a big risk to take, but Newport asks you to have faith that it will work spendidly to make you an interesting person, instead of an overachieving, boring tryhard. I have him to thank for making my life more authentic, and being admitted to various top-10 universities.
The book shows you step-by-step, how various high-schoolers achieved awe-inspiring accomplishments such as creating a health curriculum adopted by multiple states, becoming a tech celebrity, or writing a best-selling book. It rests on the basic idea that impressiveness comes from things that aren't hard to accomplish but are hard to simulate the steps required to get there. Well, this book unlocks the secrets, but leaves just enough guidance to give one the freedom to do one's own thing.
In addition, this book also has helpful tips like how to pick your classes, how to study more effectively, how to do well on the SAT's, etc. Buy it and you won't regret it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, this book got me into Stanford*. So I couldn't possibly rate it less than four.
That said, it very nearly didn't. Read more
(My perspective: Independent Educational Consultant)
"How to" books generally don't attract me, but this one seemed relevant and had positive reviews. Read more
Helped my high schooler focus on getting the work done well instead of obsessing about it.Published 4 months ago by Maquis
Fantastic book. Should be read by every high school kid thinking of college, and every parent of such kids.Published 5 months ago by Warren Redlich
Essential instructions for students. Leave other similar books alone, this is the one you want to implement - it'll carry you through HSchool successfully with time left over. Read morePublished 6 months ago by lilac
For me, this is a standard gift for anyone who has graduated 8th grade. The advice works, but only if you truly follow it.Published 6 months ago by Mr. Blue
Really great book!! I read it mainly to give advice to my son, and now he's reading it also. I loved the writing style, humor, personal examples, and supporting research.Published 6 months ago by SD
Less work, greater reward sounds like a very suspicious idea but Cal Newport provides convincing arguments for the reader to become a believer. Read morePublished 9 months ago by prakash sawlani