Do you want to make the most of your college experience? How to Win at College is a short read to help you do just that. Cal Newport’s book is about fifteen years old, but still holds up well with lots of advice for the prospective college student. When this book was first published those reading this blog did not have a need for it in their lives, but now they do! This is a great book for a student to read the summer between their high school graduation and first day of college.
It functions as short pep talks about various subjects in college life. Each chapter is very short and almost has a take-it-or-leave-it approach. When you read this book you will see that you cannot follow every piece of advice given, but you may add 15-20 new things to your list that may make a huge difference on your college life.
College is really what you make of it. Our coaches talk a lot about fit with a college, but it is important to take advantage of the opportunities when you are there. Part of Cal’s advice is about having a good attitude and setting the tone for success. From making your bed in the morning to getting dressed for class, these are small things that can put you on a path toward a good mindset.
Some of the best pieces of wisdom, in my opinion, come with his advice on studying. As a CAA coach we discuss study strategies with our students based on their learning preferences. Cal has different strategies for starting a long-term project to having a good plan as you approach your essays for class. He also encourages all college students to not skip class. Making an effort to show up is not something everyone will do, but can make the difference.
Pick up a copy to see what tips you could add to your college toolbox. If you are like me, it will spur some productive thoughts that you can claim as your own. Your college years are a short time in your life and it is smart to try to get the most out of them that you can. This means having a plan and setting goals. Talk with your CAA coaches about what you can do now to set yourself up for success as you think about the next step.