Note: The review in this post is written in partnership with GenTwenty. Opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.
There’s a quote I love in Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” when she writes about being a writer in the middle of developing her book and making the mistake of asking published writers for advice.
“I made other terrible mistakes while I tried to write this book. I asked people who have already ﬁnished books for advice, which is akin to asking a mother with a four-year-old what childbirth is like. All the edges have been rounded and they have forgotten the pain.”
When I think back to my college days and even the earliest post-grad ones, I feel like that published writer or seasoned mom. My edges have been rounded and I’ve certainly forgotten the pain (and pleasure for that matter). But, I got to take a trip down memory lane when I read “GenTwenty’s Guide to College Success.”
Perhaps the grand disclaimer is that there is not any one definitive guide for college success, as is the case for any era, path or finite season in life. But, there are certainly words of wisdom to inherit from those who have been there, done that and are sporting the battle wounds to prove it. That’s what “GenTwenty’s Guide to College Success” is all about. The book came together under the creation and direction of GenTwenty’s founder Nicole Booz with the work of more than a dozen contributors.
I approached this book from many different perspectives–former college kid, (somewhat) recent grad and blogger/writer. Based on those three outlooks, here are some of my thoughts about the book as well as my favorite picks of essays in the book most related to that particular identity.
Former college kid perspective
Admittedly it’s tough to channel the wayward soul I was in college, but I do think if I were still a student, this book would be incredibly helpful. It covers the gamut in terms of the many issues that pop up in college and the potential shitstorms that follow. From choosing a major to studying abroad and even the ins and outs of small talk when you’re at networking events, the book offers up something for most scenarios in college. And, it also does so in a straightforward, digestible and relatable way. It’s way too easy for those have already endured the college experience to patronize students still in school, and I appreciate that “GenTwenty’s Guide to College Success” doesn’t do that.
My fave picks for current college students:
“Step 1A: Fueling Your Passions (And Not Your Parents’)
“Step 2: Creating Your X Year Plan” (especially the bit about not relying on college advisors to make decisions for you, yes!)
“Step 19: College Money Traps And How To Avoid Them
Recent graduate perspective
College students are definitely the target demographic for this book, but there are also gems for those just entering the hurricane that is post-grad life, particularly in the final “Planning For Your Future” section. The same way there is not a roadmap for college success, there also isn’t one for early adulthood, but there are definitely things I wish I knew more about ahead of time.
My fave picks for recent graduates
“Step 22: Understanding The Basics Of Credit And How To Build Yours” (in the student finances section)
“Establishing Your Personal Brand”
“Building An Organic Mentor Relationship”
Ironically enough, “GenTwenty’s Guide To College Success” resonates with me most as a blogger and writer–not because of any of the essays in the book, but because of how this book represents the clear sense of direction and brand awareness Nicole has for GenTwenty. There are a lot of books Nicole could have opted to publish, but this one is completely in sync with the mass of her audience. It’s organized well, easy to read and anchored with a solid cover design. A product like that will continue to propel GenTwenty’s brand.
My fave picks for bloggers/writers
“Managing Your Professional Twitter Account”
“Creating An Online Portfolio”
“Your Quick Speech: The Elevator Pitch”
If I could change anything?
The one thought I had while reading was that it would be cool if each essay had a suggested age/college year that piece was targeted toward. Something like “Recommended for Freshmen/Sophomores” italicized below the title or “Recommended for all.” The book is chock full of great tips, but everything isn’t always for everyone. That breakdown would make an already-wonderful book even more organized. Maybe we’ll see it for the second edition!
Much applause to Nicole and the GenTwenty team for a solid and well-done product. Head over to Amazon to purchase the book for a whopping $11.45 dollars!
And, now for a Twenties Unscripted announcement…
Spring 2015: Introducing the Twenties Unscripted Campus Reps Program!
I’m excited to officially launch and announce the Twenties Unscripted Campus Reps Program! In an effort to increase brand visibility and readership among college-age women, I’m expanding the tribe this year to include Campus Reps. Campus Reps will be my go-to girls, helping me to keep a pulse on what’s happening across campuses and how TU can be a part of that. They will keep my old ass young. And I love them for that.
To learn more about the program and apply, click here!