Top critical review
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Much better than nothing but missing a hefty amount
on June 15, 2014
This book covers most of the issues that occur when enrolling into a university for the first time such as living away from home, being exposed to fellow students who don't belong there and will assuredly drop out, managing yourself when away from parental supervision, chores, family responsibilities and therefore lonely, managing yourself when confronted with a majority behaving as if they cannot handle lack of parental supervision, experimenting with friendship, relationships or even majors.
The author is serious and states his case in a no nonsense manner with a sprinkling of humor.
The book is a bit weak in that it is primarily written for 1st or 2nd years moving to a university away from home so the emphasis is on isn't it great to continually shock yourself with shiny and new until you overload as if the point of uni is an extended summer camp at Disneyland. The author concludes that high 1st year turnover is due to anything but they might not really belong there but just went along with the crowd so you are discouraged from switching schools because professors and classes offered are all equal when having fun is all that matters. Similarly there is no mention that many schools have well deserved reputations for partying rather than learning, crime rather than safety or low quality professors that merely move you along the assembly line rather than teach.
The book is also weak in that the majority of anecdotes are from 1st years in first or second semester or 2nd years in first semester or transfers in first semester so it's very much like recommending a video game while still playing it rather than recommending a movie after seeing it. Don't expect any wisdom or deep reflection beyond the moment from students that suffered through problems until gone with no concern that same issues may reappear next week. Don't expect anything insightful like
1) subjects get harder each year and related subjects depend on each other so you should not cheat to pass a class assuming you won't need the knowledge later
2) your TA may not suit your needs given that he is at best 1-2 years ahead of you, received a mere passing grade in the class and is doing this as work study to pay his tuition rather than someone trained to explain something multiple ways or skilled in tutoring you beyond a rough concept or idea
3) the greek system can be pricey in money, time and integrity as well as limiting your opportunities by dictating your social calendar and friend list but it can also pay off when searching for certain jobs so discuss it with a couple alumni your parents' age before jumping in
4) in addition to growing up, it is incredibly helpful to all parties if you choose a major that will help you gain employment in the future not merely extend your childhood. Nobody with a vested interest likes helping a student that isn't serious
5) random sampling of other subjects may be best reserved for summers at community college in order to save money
Definitely worth reading while still a 3rd year in secondary school as college prep and when choosing possible universities.