I wrote this book because I have been an eyewitness of countless stories. Thousands. I feel an urgency to share with you what I’ve seen and learned, and I believe the content of this book will help you make the most of your college years, rather than make a mess of your college years. On that note, I humbly ask you to trust me! I have seen innumerable college students make the most of their college years, and I have shared in their joy and celebrated their success. Equal in number, I have known those who have made a mess of their college years, and I have been present in their frustration and patiently and lovingly helped them pick up the pieces. That being said, I have some advice to offer. My writing style can be rather blunt at times. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, but I’m also not concerned if I do. I believe that my honest approach to these pivotal years of your life will help prepare you and guide you along the way.


As you read, you will discover nine parts to this book containing 90 mini-chapters. These are bite-sized sections where I quickly and bluntly share my thoughts on a variety of topics specific to college. I also write from the perspective of a former college pastor of a very large college ministry. My former students are scattered throughout the nation and world. They are in New York, California, Florida, Haiti, South Africa, Germany, China, and Australia. They are teachers, doctors, dentists, missionaries, and pastors. They are photographers, wedding planners, news anchors, soldiers, and humanitarians. Some are significantly rich and others are living on nickels and dimes. Some are happily married, while others have experienced nasty divorces. Some are parents to multiple children, while others have experienced multiple miscarriages. Some love their jobs and others count the hours until the weekend. Some are meaningfully contributing to their communities while others are drunks or addicts. Some are fervent and passionate in their faith life, while others are still on their journey of discovering God.


I have been a college pastor to thousands of students, and their experiences in college have influenced this book. But I wrote this book for you — the individual young man or woman about to embark on an adventurous four-to-seven-year ride called college. I pray that God blesses you on your journey, and I thank you for letting me come along.

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