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Book review:
Thriving at College
Make great friends, keep your faith, and get ready for the real world
Alex Chediak

Read the first chapter

Honestly, I don’t expect much from youth inspirational books. Those I’ve browsed seem to be dumbed down and simplified, somehow adding to the all-around marketing hype that pegs young people as fad-addicted party goers and tech consumers in suspended reality, waiting in some sexually charged no-holds-barred stage between childhood and adulthood.

But I’ve read some that have actually inspired me and taught me something new, such as Do Hard Things andokay, maybe just one so far.

I think, though, that I may be adding to that list. The first few pages of Thriving at College wiped off a bit of my been-there-done-that smugness. With language that thankfully doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of its audience, the book communicates good, solid ideas. It sets your perspective of college straight, which could spell the difference between how you feel on graduation day (if you even get there): excited to start toward your life goals vs. bummed that the party just ended.

Now, I loved my university years. I still feel confident that I maximized my learning there (inside and outside the classroom, for sure!). But flipping through something like Thriving at College, I wish someone had sat me down and talked to me about this stuff so that I didn’t start college thinking it was just a bigger high school campus, a natural transition that didn’t require a choice.

My only beef about this book is that it’s too thick. I remember my university years well enough to know I wouldn’t have slugged through one more textbook than necessary, and Thriving at College is in danger of gathering dust until graduation.

And yes, the title bugs me, too. Either I’m wrong and in and at are perfectly interchangeable in this phrase, or this is an example of how even teachers can still sometimes get an F.