Why do some students make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed deadlines and missed opportunities? What choices can students make, and what can teachers and university leaders do, to improve more students’ experiences and help them achieve the most from their time and money? Most important, how is the increasing diversity on campus—cultural, racial, and religious—affecting education? What can students and faculty do to benefit from differences, and even learn from the inevitable moments of misunderstanding and awkwardness?
From his ten years of interviews with Harvard seniors, Richard Light distills encouraging—and surprisingly practical—answers to fundamental questions. How can you choose classes wisely? What’s the best way to study? Why do some professors inspire and others leave you cold? How can you connect what you discover in class to all you’re learning in the rest of life? Light suggests, for instance: studying in pairs or groups can be more productive than studying alone; the first and most important skill to learn is time management; supervised independent research projects and working internships offer the most learning and the greatest challenges; and encounters with students of different religions can be simultaneously the most taxing and most illuminating of all the experiences with a diverse student body.
Filled with practical advice, illuminated with stories of real students’ self-doubts, failures, discoveries, and hopes, Making the Most of College is a handbook for academic and personal success.