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Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds
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Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This work offers concrete advice on choosing classes, talking productively with advisors, improving writing and study skills, maximizing the value of research assignments, and connecting learning inside the classroom with the rest of life.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 30th 2004 by Harvard University Press (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 279)
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William Lawrence
While there is some great general advice for college students in this book, (like time management, organization of work, selection of courses, and study habits), I think this book is more for the student of education and teaching rather than the general college student. College teachers may benefit from this book; there are a few new little tricks revealed. I particularly liked the chapter on writing where Light shares statistics from the Harvard study e.g. 83% of the undergrad students wrote 60 ...more
This is both an easy and a thoughtful read. Most of the interviews are with Harvard students, so some recommendations are inappropriate, but many are spot on and things to consider implementing. His conclusions are farther ranging than this--including advising, mentoring, ethnic and religious diversity, class structure and process--but end with faculty and administration "should make a thoughtful, evidence-based, purposeful effort to get in each student's way. In fact, shaping a certain kind of ...more
Marie desJardins
This book includes interviews and survey data gathered from undergraduates at Harvard (and perhaps other universities as well; the book mostly seems to be about Harvard students, but at one point, the author mentions that he visited 90 other schools in the course of doing his research). It talks about the undergraduate experience from a variety of perspectives -- academics, mentors/advising, diversity, etc. There aren't any grand or deep lessons to be learned, but it's an interesting view inside ...more
This is a highly readable book about some very interesting research conducted by a Harvard professor. Richard Light interviewed scads of Harvard undergraduates to suss out what made a difference in their college experience. His results, though applicable at other college (and even my independent school world), have prompted significant changes in programs, advising/mentoring and teaching at Harvard. A lot of the findings are what you would expect but there are several surprises. This book should ...more
Blend of practical, theoretical and experiential. While student would gain from this, it is well suited to professors and teaching faculty.

See also What the Best College Students Do by K Bain. And You're on Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years by M. Savage.
Lots of good advice.
Even though I was already a college student, I still decided to read this. It does offer some insightful tips & tricks, & I agree with others (that Harvard is not the same as other colleges, especially public colleges). I feel like I will use some of the techniques mentioned when I go back to school. I think advisors/counselors would find this book helpful in freshman seminars/orientations.
Jenna Cooper
I would definitely recommend this to someone going into college, at least for the first half (it gets a little redundant in the diversity chapters). However, this was a three-star for me personally, because:
a)I'm not a college freshman/entering college.
b) Everything he said I've already learned at work, so it was nothing new.
How to get your $225,628* worth? Students have a few suggestions. Take courses with professors who teach you how to think. Choose a good advisor. Create. Use extra-curricular activities to develop your values and find your passion. Get to know students from all different kinds of backgrounds.

*The author teaches at Harvard.
There are many parts of this book that lost me a little. A lot of parts are kind of repeated, but I enjoyed reading this book. It interviews lots of Harvard students showing how they succeed in college. It gives you many tips on how to approach college, with most of the book being on diversity.
"College" should be replaced by "residential school" in the title. Very applicable to a secondary boarding school setting. Made me think about teachable moments in and out of the classroom.
Andy prepared for A LOT of text that reads like a novel. It would be a good book for you if you're into that sort of thing!
Apr 04, 2008 Simon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
Great book on college and what they can do to make college a conducive learning experience
Mills College Library
378.19809 L7237 2004
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