Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review: College 101: Campus Life for Christians

By Shelly Burke

I was looking for a book to prepare my son for college, spiritually as well as emotionally. College 101 is a small, unintimidating book, subtitled Campus Life for Christians. As I paged through it, I knew it would be the perfect book for him, and for any student heading to college.

College 101 covers a comprehensive range of topics relevant to college-bound students—from what to expect in a roommate, what to bring to college (including the “Rule of Fourteen”—fourteen days’ worth of clothes, forcing the reader to do laundry every two weeks and preventing smelly consequences of having too many clothes and not doing laundry), and preparing by getting to know the Bible.

The book discusses the emotional impact of moving away from home, actually meeting a new roommate, and making friends. Plenty of practical advice is included; options for buying books cheaply, why to lock the room door every night, and wearing flip-flops in the shower. The authors suggest finding the health center and asking about the routine of being seen, so the student is familiar with the routine of making an appointment and being seen, before he or she gets sick.

Many kids are unprepared for the increased responsibility they have while in college, along with less accountability to anyone. This book discusses the importance of making good decisions (like going to class regularly, finding and attending a church), and also points out the consequences of making negative decisions.

College 101 takes a realistic look at temptations every student faces while at college, even Christian colleges. The emotional and physical consequences of drugs, alcohol, and sex are outlined, along with techniques to avoid and deal with the temptations (drinking wisely, sipping no more than one drink an hour, or not drinking at all but carrying around a glass of soda all evening so as not to get pressured into drinking).

Biblical references are given throughout the book, to help guide students through their days at college. Readers are warned of threats to their faith that they’ll probably face—temptations, non-believing professors, friends who scorn their faith—and again are told of the importance of faith and techniques to deal with these threats.

I’m impressed with the amount of valuable, useful, easy-to-read information contained in just over 200 pages. It’s written in a style teens will appreciate, and at $9.95 is a bargain. I’ll be buying more copies as gifts for any graduate heading for college.

(The Abbey gift and bookstore in Norfolk carries College 101: Campus Life for Christians)

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