"I pray," writes Alex Chediak in Thriving at College, "_that by God's grace my life and this book will be used of God in some small way to help Christians
â– thrive at college,
â– maximize their God-given potential,
â– embrace full-orbed adulthood,
â– faithfully develop their talents, and
â– take their places as salt and light in God's world,
living for a cause far greater than themselves." [formatting added]
In a chatty style, Chediak tells students things he wished someone had told him years ago, things that will make a huge difference during their college years, during the rest of their lives, and even for eternity.
College should be a launching pad for adult life and service, not a self-indulgentâ€”and life-destroyingâ€”party. Thriving at College: Make great friends, keep your faith, and get ready for the real world! discusses ten common mistakes students make, showing both the problem and a practical response, summarized in italics.
1.Chucking Your Faith _ Grow Closer to God
2.Treating College as if It Were High School _ Maintain Healthy Habits and Boundaries
3.Not Being Intentional _ Find Great Friends and Mentors
4.Distorting Dating and Romance _ Attract the Right Kind of Person
5.Refusing to Grow Up _ Become Independent of Mom and Dad
6.Being a Flake _ Keep Your Commitments
7.Living Out of Balance _ Balance Work and Play
8.Being Too Passive or Too Cocky _ Wisely Select a Major
9.Living for Grades _ Recognize that Growth Requires Change
10.Wasting Opportunities _ Use Your Downtime Wisely
Each chapter is full of realistic, Biblical ideas immediately applicable to college life. It also includes helpful questions for personal or small group study and a concluding summary of the chapter, as well as many interesting factoids and questions and answers.
With wisdom and humility, Chediak discusses other issues facing students:
â– How should one make major decisions? How can one know God's will? Chediak clearly explains the concept of amoral decisions, that is, decisions that are neither right nor wrong. Using common sense and guidance from respected adults, just make a decision; do not agonize over the options if neither one nor the other is wrong. For example, every legitimate major and profession done for God's glory brings him honor and accomplishes his purposes.
â– Is it more spiritual to discuss the Bible and spiritual topics than to diligently do ones work? You're at college to get a strong foundation for your life's work; that glorifies God, and if you feel called to campus ministry, you can come back to it later.
â– What about young women who are at college to find a husband? Chediak points out that, while there is nothing wrong with their goal, they should also be seriously busy developing the skills and talents God gave them. God can use a great college education in the home as well as out of it. (As an aside, Chediak is obviously proudly of his Stanford-educated wife, now a stay-at-home mom.)
â– What about extra-curricular activities, jobs, over-commitment, and finances? We are accountable to God for our use of time and money, and Chediak discusses various aspects of this principle.
Other than the Bible, I have never read a better book for Christian students. Chediak clearly voices the conclusions I've come to in my many years of learning and teaching at universities. If every Christian student read and applied this book, the world would be so different in a decade! Highly recommended.
As Alex and Brett Harris (of TheRebelution.com and Do Hard Things) say, "There's no better guide to college than this."
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Thriving At College from Tyndale in order to give you my honest opinion.
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 â€” 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 â€” 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.
Thriving at College is a guidebook for students already in college or entering college. Many students enter college ignorantly, thinking that college is similar to high school. This book touches on common issues and mistakes faced by college students and how to avoid them. The 10 most common mistakes college students make are listed and thrive principles are given on how to avoid making these mistakes. At the end of each chapter, discussion questions are listed.
When I realized that I was going to receive Thriving at College in NetGalley format, I had second thoughts about reviewing this book. All this changed after I read the Preface. I knew this was going to be a good read and it did not disappoint.
Many of the mistakes students make while in college affect their after-college life and plenty of good knowledge can be learned from this book on how to avoid such mistakes. What I like about the book is the practical tips on the dos and don'ts in college. While not all the tips mentioned in the book applies to everyone especially since the book is pretty US-centric, they are important and should be kept in mind. In Appendix 1 of the book, tips on how to choose a college are given. I found them very helpful and will definitely be keeping them in mind the next time I visit an education fair!
This book is especially handy for those who have yet to go to college and for parents who want to help their kids avoid common mistakes college students make. As the author is someone who has gone to college and who is a college professor, I agree with what Alex and Brett Harris said in the Foreword: Alex Chediak "understands this (the college issue) better than most". I think that he is certainly in a good position to give college advice.
Overall, Thriving at College is crammed with advice and information. As someone who has yet to go to college, I found it extremely helpful and eye-opening. College sounds like an exciting place to be at, but it is littered with pitfalls that has brought many a person away from his religious roots. However, principles and rules given in Thriving at College will always remain as what they are: principles and rules. It is up to the reader to take up the initiative and act on them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the electronic copy of this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale House Publishers <http://tyndale.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Review : Thriving at College - Alex Chediak - April 2011
Are you or someone in your family heading off to college ? Worried that their faith in God and their upbringing in Christianity may waver or collapse ? Well , parents and YA do not fear as God has heard your prayers and instructed Alex Chediak to write a book called "Thriving at College" - Make Great friends , Keep your faith and Get ready for the real world.
Going to College can be a scary thing as you are about to step into a whole new world and wonder if people are going to like you , if you will fit in , what clique you will join and if you are into the whole Rush week - which fraternity/ sorority you will join.
Each section of this book is connected to what matters e.g College, Relationships, Character and Academics and the common mistakes we all make when we reach those stages in our lives . Also included so that it's not a boring book telling you what to do , it includes some ancedotes and stories from real-live college students like you and me.
A guidebook that all Christian teens/ YA who are heading off to college or those preparing should add to their required reading lists.