Book Reviews

Book by: Terry Arndt & Kirrin Coleman
Review by: Sammi Kaiser
Assistant Director of Academic Advising, Academic and Career Development Center
University of Nebraska at Omaha


What information should new college students be equipped with their first weeks on campus? How is that information best delivered to the new students? Life During College: Your Guide to Success is an engaging answer to those questions, providing a comprehensive guide that can benefit both students and the individuals that support them. The book covers six overarching topics of student success, including college resources, academic success, wellness, independent living, finances and career development.  The format allows readers to conveniently refer back to particular sections as needed. The easy to understand language and layout work as a roadmap for new students navigating a new chapter as a college student.

This 5th edition highlights key concepts, resources, and tools that all first-year students need through their college experiences. Unique to each of these chapters are the accompanied activities. These activities (or tips as they are also referred to in the text) enrich the reading experience and challenge the reader to apply what was just read. For example, many students are unaware of the right they have as a tenant when leasing from a landlord. One tip encourages the student to “Go to your state’s attorney general’s website to search for tenant rights.” (pg. 128). A particular benefit to academic advisors are the resources supplied in the text and online. Advisors can actively reinforce topics and refer the students to the text as supplemental information and guidance. In addition, this book provides a great overview of topics that are typically covered in a first-year seminar course and could be a great resource for advisors teaching a course of that nature.This book doesn’t need to be read cover to cover; rather, it can be used on need to know basis.    

One section that is particularly helpful and unique is the checklist for new students. This checklist encourages students to get to know their campus by suggesting they visit the university tutoring center and look up activities they can participate in the first week. This helps staff administering this text at orientation or in a first-year seminar personalize this book to their specific campus. 

Thus, Terry Arndt and Kirrin Coleman provide a fantastic resource in this book. While most issues new students face are complex, this guide provides a framework and a place to start for a student who is working to be successful in college. I would recommend this book not only to students, but also to academic advisors and first-year seminar instructors. I have kept this resource close this semester and have had success using some of the methods and tips with probation students. 


Life During College: Your Guide to Success (2014). Book by Terry Arndt & Kirrin Coleman. Review by Sammi Kaiser. Bainbridge Island: WA, College Transition Publishing. 176 pp., $29.95 (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-98478332-5-2 

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