For high school graduates everywhere, just a couple months remain before that first year of college kicks off. After the accolades and the fun are over, the sense of accomplishment and new-found responsibility will set in. Then everything that you still have to prepare for and do prior to moving into the dorm will come crashing down. I know, I’ve been there.
With all the textbooks you’ll soon be purchasing, wouldn’t it be nice if there was just one textbook for how to survive the college years? Well, now there is. Alex Chediak, a college professor and true “insider”, has given us a new book, Thriving at College. The book is designed for Christian young adults in particular as they prepare for college. Alex doesn’t just want you to survive, he hopes to help you thrive.
The book is laid out in a helpful format. It’s clear, easy to read, and very practical. He discusses such matters as finances and choosing your major, as well as relational items like how you shouldn’t stay too connected with your old high school friends, as that can distract you from your real purpose. He also deals with navigating relationship issues, prioritizing your time and classes, who to befriend, and how much time to spend on your homework — warning, we’re talking a lot of time!
Sprinkled throughout the book are his own personal experiences, real life stories shared from others, questions and answers, and various facts and figures. Did you know that more than 40% of college grads are still living with their parents three years later? Or that 70% of young adults who attended a Protestant church regularly in high school will stop attending church at all for at least one year between the ages of 18 and 22?
Going to college, as a Christian, can really be a test of your faith (as the above statistic indicates). Chediak’s book will arm you with practical advice and answers to common criticisms of Christianity. He also offers sound biblical teaching on how to own your own faith.
I’ve met Alex, and can attest that he’s a great guy. He’s also written one of the most helpful books on singleness and marriage that I’ve read (see my review here). His advice on dating and relationships in college is extremely helpful. Alex also speaks from years of experience both in the college setting and in other venues working with Christian young people.
Thriving at College covers the whole gamut of the college experience. It truly has something for everyone. Study tips, schedules, eating advice, how to deal with your parents — all of this and more are addressed. Yet the book isn’t very long, and doesn’t have to be read in order. The chapter contents are clearly enough indicated that it can be used as a manual, to be referenced when needed. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter allow for its use as a book that parents read along with their children, or for use as a small group study in the summer before college.
I have no hesitation in recommending Thriving at College for any high school graduate. It would make a great gift for a graduate you may know. And if you’re the soon-to-be college student, use some of that graduation money and pick up a copy of this book. It will be one of the most helpful textbooks you’ll buy, and the cheapest!
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.