- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (July 27, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767932587
- ISBN-13: 978-0767932585
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
How to Be a High School Superstar: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out) 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“As a former Ivy League admissions officer, I was overjoyed to see a book that hit the nail on the head regarding selective college admissions and how to take the process in stride. Students will find his book extremely useful and admissions officers will be relieved to see applicants who escape the cookie-cutter syndrome.”
—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
About the Author
CAL NEWPORT is the author of How to Win at College and How to Become a Straight-A Student. He graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a Ph.D. from MIT. His writing has appeared in national publications, and he is the founder of Study Hacks, the Web’s most popular student advice blog.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First the pros:
1. This book did a great job of demystifying how some students, despite having average grades and test scores, manage to score admission at Ivy League and other top colleges. The author explains how these students have outstanding achievements in other areas.
2. The author explains how a student who works hard at a project that really resonates them will eventually become impressively accomplished in that area and that will lead to other opportunities that will, ultimately, impress the heck out of admissions officers.
3. I love that the author advocates that students pick a few activities and classes that they really want to devote a lot of time rather than spreading themselves thin across a wide spectrum of activities that they have no interest in. I see too many students these days who sign up for a hundred activities and clubs, then get nothing out of them because they don't have the time to really participate in all of them. Ultimately, it's a strategy that backfires because admissions officers would rather see that you had outstanding achievements in a few activities than that you joined a hundred clubs.
Now for the negatives:
1. The author's premise is that anyone can have outstanding achievements like the students that he profiles in his book, but that is patently untrue. One of the students that he profiles as an example of outstanding achievement is a student who takes a gap year after college to travel the world. He comes up with a book idea and writes it as he travels. This is great if you have a trust fund or wealthy parents who can subsidize a year of travel - but most students simply don't have this luxury.
2. A second student completed a great research project, but her parents set her up to work with the professor who lived next door. Again, this is great for a student who's privileged to have parents who can hook them up with professors, but most kids don't have this advantage. I commend the student in the book who made the most of her opportunity and worked hard, but students who don't live near colleges and don't know professors personally are going to have a MUCH harder time convincing a professor to come let them work for them.
3. Finally, a third student started out as a teacher's aid to a teacher at her private school. The teacher then went to work at a charter school and the student continued to work as her aid after school. This led to a literacy research project. This story bothered me the most because the student's success with her project hinged on one incredibly lucky break after another.
While there's a lot in this book to inspire a student and help them to understand what colleges are looking for - it's a stretch for the author to bill this book as a blueprint for recreating the success that each of these students enjoyed. A student who reads this will still have to work really hard and hope for a lot of incredible luck to come their way to end up like the success stories featured in this book.
"How to" books generally don't attract me, but this one seemed relevant and had positive reviews. While it took me a while to get through it, I really liked it. I liked it so much that I'm probably going to recommend it to my freshman and sophomore students.
Newport's premise is what the subtitle suggests: there's an easier way to impress admissions officers than the typical go-go-go "grind" approach. He calls it "the relaxed superstar lifestyle" and breaks this lifestyle down with three key laws, which compose the meat of his book:
The Law of Underscheduling
The Law of Focus
The Law of Innovation
I won't spoil the content for you. Go read it! He organizes his book by explaining and illustrating the given law and then offering practical suggestions for how to live by that law. The bottom line goal is to develop deep interests that yield "accomplishments that are hard to explain, not hard to do." These accomplishments help you stand out on college applications.
Three notes of my own I'll make:
First, I actually thrived on that harried, competitive, achiever lifestyle. Just for its own sake--not for the sake of getting into any specific college. My self-esteem was healthy (too healthy?) when it came to college admissions, so I did things typically because I wanted to do them, rather than because I was trying to impress colleges. If you genuinely LOVE the packed-schedule lifestyle, then don't change who you are.
Second, part one of this book has excellent study skills tips. That's the part that sort of slowed me down. I wasn't expecting to read a study skills book. It is all part of his action plan to make underscheduling possible. I'd recommend reading that section of the book to anyone who wants to be more efficient as a student, regardless of college admissions feelings.
Third, as a Christian, I'm going to put a little Jesus in this. If you're not into that, feel free to move along, but I wanted to include this note for any Christian students out there who haven't yet connected their college planning to their faith. Newton doesn't do this, nor did I expect him to. Newton's audience is understood to have the motivation of getting into "realistic reach" schools. Nothing wrong with that! But, as a Christian, I believe there's more motivation to it. All we have, including our time, is from God. We are stewards of that time. Developing and pursuing deep interests can not only be impressive to colleges but also can likely lead to better stewardship of one's time (assuming, of course, that the deep interest isn't something immoral--ha!). Having an underscheduled calendar can open up opportunities to glorify God with one's abilities and talents in ways that otherwise wouldn't have been possible. When we opt to invest our time in activities that we're not actually interested in and that we're only part of to impress others, we're likely cutting ourselves off from better ways we can bring glory to God.
Bottom line, I highly recommend this read, especially for early high school students.