How to Succeed In College: Ebook and My Thoughts

Twenty days, several car-loads of supplies and one forty-five minute drive. All that separates this celiac from the other half of her URL: college. I can't say that this summer hasn't flown by, or that I wouldn't mind more time for luxurious smoothie bowls, family adventures and homemade granola. But, junior year will wait for no one. Which is why, as the mix of excitement and anxiety fills my brain, I'm happy to share a review of the E-book, "How to Succeed in College" by my friend over at Sarah Laughed.

casey the college celiac
The book!
Sarah's blog focuses on her college life, love and travel - but once her readers asked for more college tips, she decided to make a book just for them. Sarah's Ebook covers everything from academic motivation, class etiquette, essay writing and self care amidst college craziness. Ten chapters, eighty three pages and lots of advice that had me nodding my head (or flashing a grin) as I read. Four of which I just had to highlight below. Call it my pre-college summer prep!

I've never had trouble with academic motivation (I'm the "walking planner" for friends who complete assignments days after I do mine), but Chapter Two's focus on "Making Goals" caught my eye. Sarah writes, "Make goals activity based...[so] to focus on what you can control and make the most out of that" (15). My first reaction? I wish I had known that freshman year!

Freshman year throwbacks!
Otherwise known as the year of writing my Politics essay from my hospital bed, the year of being a walking skeleton, and the year I stunned teachers by maintaining a 4.0 even with an NG tube up my nose. As I prepare for my third year, I have more goals than academic perfection.

I want more late night burrito and Chipotle runs with me rocking my PJ's and a smile. More walks with the waves matching our footsteps. And more genuine enjoyment and curiosity during class - not just the desire for an A

Sarah spoke to me again in Chapter 5, which focuses on "Classes". She advices sitting in the front row of class to help both "accountability" and "connect[ing] with the professor" (36). Because my campus and classes are so small (anywhere from 40 to 8 students), even as a shy freshman, talking to my professor was natural. And I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to!

casey the college celiac
The beginning of the chapter...
Connecting with my professors has led me to: Finding a teacher who also has celiac disease (who was even nice enough to take this car-less freshman food shopping). Working as a TA who grades papers, offers students advice and helps edit papers - all while getting paid for it. And, perhaps most importantly, loving my classes more than any book could cause! 

Chapter 9 talks about studying and exams, pointing out that "everyone is different" (72) in terms of what techniques work for them. I wanted to bold and underline those words in my book! College is all about new experiences, new people and new ideas - and unique ways of studying are part of the mixing bowl package. 

What I end up doing in the library...
I get a lot of weird looks when I study because, for me, studying means pacing and repeating the information. Out loud. For as long as my feet, throat and brain can handle. I used to be self conscious about it, but similar to my different diet than the typical college kid, I've accepted my movin' and groovin' study tactic as a part of Casey. Not everyone's brain learns material at the library or by reading a book - so find what works for you and stick with it. Studying and otherwise! 

Out of all Sarah's advice, Chapter Ten on "Balance and Self Care" stuck out because this, for me, is the hardest part of life - not to mention college. The list of advice includes phrases like: "Cut out negative self talk," "Don't be too hard on yourself" and "Say no sometimes" (77-78). 

college celiac casey
My favorite section!
Fact is, I kick ass at academics. Not because I'm super smart (which most people assume), but because I'm more stubborn and determined than most. A fact that my celiac journey definitely proves. But putting down the book for a random trip to True Foods Kitchen - that's where my determination can go overboard

So, this year even more than last, I'm going to "remember that there is more to life than what you crank out and produce" (82). I'm going to goof around in the kitchen making a gluten free feast with friends for two hours. I'm going to turn down extra hours of work for a night of Netflix, yoga and chocolate. And when I get glutened or celiac disco dances in my stomach, I'll recognize my need for rest over reprimands. 

Here's to more of these!
As new textbooks begin to invade my room, mixed emotions hit me. Joy at returning to my home away from home, plus worry over juggling my 17 units, 2 jobs and internship. But, besides giving me a few new tips for my academic toolbox, Sarah's Ebook emphasizes how possible it is for anyone to not only survive, but thrive at college. In class, in clubs and with the crew. 

And that's no laughing matter. 

You can find more information about and purchase Sarah's Ebook here

What's your best tip for college success? Which of Sarah's points do you relate to? Comment below! 


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