University Life

A College Survival Story
& others (text) & Rachael Anderson (illus.). University Life: A College Survival Story. Flat World Knowledge. 2011. 256p. ISBN 9781453310144. pap. $19.95. SELF-HELP/ED
Flat World Knowledge publishes affordable, key-topic textbooks, some as graphic novels. Aimed at future or newbie college students, University Life embeds ways to handle basic student concerns into a story about six freshmen thrown together at orientation: a jock, a serious student, a sorority girl, a social activist, an exchange student, and a loner. All six get advice up front from an earnest freshman adviser, but each confronts unique challenges related to getting along with fellow students, handling peer pressure to drink and do drugs, staying on top of tuition payments, following class schedules and completing assignments, and juggling group activities with classroom and social life. Romance and health matters surface as well. Decisions and consequences come through loud and clear as the six navigate the first semester. The skillful black-and-white art works well, although gray scales are overused.
VERDICT While a table of contents and a few resources would have enhanced its value, this entertaining and useful title will appeal to most young people interested in college as well as help parents understand the challenges facing their future grads and assist career counselors initiate discussions.

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