Making College Count

In “How to Get the Most Out of College,” a recent article for The New York Times, columnist Frank Bruni notes that approximately 20 million Americans are starting or resuming college this fall. He says that while we focus a lot of attention on where to go to college and how to get in, we don’t spend enough time thinking about what to do when we get there.

Bruni highlights the long-term practical and personal benefits of, among other things:

  • Allowing yourself to make mistakes
  • Exploring new fields
  • Embracing diversity
  • Forging relationships, especially with faculty mentors
  • Developing good communication and storytelling skills
  • Regular exercise


He also cautions students to watch out for potential pitfalls—isolation, negative social media, sleep deprivation, excessive alcohol—that can be common on college campuses.

Drawing on his own research and other studies, Bruni’s article includes reflections from current college students as well as graduates. An insightful read for those already in or about to start school, it is also a great discussion piece for parents and teens who are embarking on the college admissions process. Thinking about what you want to get out of college and how to navigate campus life before you get there will increase your likelihood of success.

Bruni’s book on college admissions, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, is available from Plano Public Library.

For more information on succeeding in college, visit the LearningExpress Library, where you can access a range of tutorials to help you maximize your personal and academic success.

Post Author: Jelita McLeod