Select one of the keywords
Once Upon A Campus    Editor Supurna Banerjee order for
Once Upon A Campus
by Supurna Banerjee
Order:  USA  Can
Kaplan, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

This book, intended to be a guide to surviving in college - from putting up with bad roommates to managing finances - contains words of wisdom gathered from graduates and seniors in colleges across the United States. Much of it sounds like advice parents will pass on to their offspring, but perhaps, because it comes from a peer, new students might harken to the counsel ...

With items on food - 'Don't eat anything you can't readily identify' and 'Be very careful of the meat they serve later in the week. Monday's meatloaf has a strange way of reappearing in Friday's spaghetti sauce' - to finance - 'Sales are good. Look for them. Credit cards are bad. Do not get them. Checking accounts are good. Get one, but don't forget to balance your checkbook', and, contrarily, 'Get a credit card and don't use it. Or, if you do, only spend money that you have. It's time to start building credit now' - to learning - 'High school teachers teach you everything you need to know. COLLEGE PROFESSORS ASSUME YOU'RE GOING TO TEACH YOURSELF' - the reader is given a crash course on college 'dos and don'ts'.

Some of the advice is amusing, some obvious (but is it attainable?), such as 'Keep up with your work from the beginning. Study every night', and some wise in hindsight ('I wish I had taken advantage of the career center' or 'I wish I had networked more with alumni'). It is all d9j0 vu to anyone who has ever attended college, and to anyone who is a parent of college-age kids. Though Once Upon A Campus might be interesting, and even reassuring, reading for pre-college students, I wonder how much impact any such advice can have. Knowing the culture shock of finally arriving on campus, and the influence of peers, I am afraid that very few students will actually take such input to heart. They will always know best, always experiment, always try new things, and hardly ever listen to anyone's advice!

Once Upon A Campus is a nice little desk top book, full of acquired wisdoms addressed to an audience that is hard to teach - unfortunately they have to learn, as many before them did, by their mistakes. No amount of advice will change that truth.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews