Book 11 of 52: Thriving at College (Alex Chediak)

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Never judge a book by its by-line.  That’s what I’ve learned.

Dr. Alex Chediak, author and professor at California Baptist University, has written a theological and practical book guiding students to live wisely and biblically during their college years.  This book covers topics like study habits, interpersonal relationship, familial relationships, credit cards, scheduling, grades, and even brown-nosing the favorite professor to improve your grade (or wait, how not to do that).

The introduction and first “common mistake” lays the foundation for everything else.  Chediak introduces students to a term that is the bedrock for everything else they will do at college: worldview.  This is the most important thing a student can take with him when he enters his first dorm
room or first elective class.  Chediak emphasizes how important a biblical worldview is to have: because there will be many opposing views that appear – even at a Christian college.

Alex takes this base and then hits on quite possibly every topic that a college student could ask when entering or maneuvering through their college years.  I like the “real-life” questions that he has brought in from current students so he can put feet to his advice.  Chediak also shares examples from his own time in college, or his wife’s experience during her college years.  He also has discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making this a great book to use a small group (maybe high school seniors’ summer Bible study?).   He lays a foundation for fighting against the culture around students that say its ok not to grow up (mooch off their parents, don’t work during college, move back home when you graduate, pile up
credit card debt, be weak and rely on your parents to fight your battles).

Chediak definitely aims at a particular target audience: the Christian high schooler poised to attend college (probably away from home).  He hits this target.  This book will be valuable to them.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Worldview & Character -> Attitudes & Behaviors -> Habits & Destiny” – pg xxxii

“Intentionality involves taking the time to examine our values so that our relational lives more accurately mirror our deepest priorities.” – pg 63

“Never date someone who doesn’t share your desires to live for God’s glory.” – pg 95 (this is different than just dating a Christian.)

“God’s plan is for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church – in an intentional, sacrificial, initiating fashion.  God’s plan is for wives to nurture and affirm the loving leadership of their husbands, complementing and completing them, so that together they stand far stronger than either of them could separately.” – pg 107 (never too early to teach biblical gender roles!)

2 Responses

  1. […] thanks to Matt Perman, Bob Hayton, and Kim for their kind words regarding Thriving at […]

  2. Great review of a book that has not been covered enough from a gospel-centered perspective. I think this is a book I will have to get my hands on!