rebelling against low expectations

Thriving at College by Alex Chediak


Our friend Alex Chediak, an Associate Professor at California Baptist University, has written a great book called Thriving at College. Here is the foreword we wrote:

College can be a wonderful and a dangerous place. We’ve seen some of our peers flourish and find their identity at school and we’ve seen others completely lose their way—or even self-destruct. Is the college experience inherently bipolar, good for some and unavoidably bad for others? Or is there another possibility, that each outcome is a path we can choose to take? In this terrific book former college student and current college professor Alex Chediak says the answer to that last question is “Yes!”—and we wholeheartedly agree.

For most high school graduates today, going to college is the default. As a result, a lot of teens end up drifting from high school into college, without any clear plan in mind. Maybe you are going to make your parents happy, or to get away from somewhere or someone, or maybe college just sounds like a fun new experience. Whatever your motivation, entering college without a sense of purpose is dangerous.

Why? Because for most young adults, college provides at once more freedom and more responsibility than they’ve ever had before. Whether you choose to focus on the freedom or the responsibilities of college will determine whether you thrive—or just survive. At college there are no parents to make you read your Bible, do your homework, get sleep, eat well, or do laundry. At college—even at Christian universities—there are “friends” willing to support whatever lifestyle you choose to engage in: from bookworm to party animal.

So college is both a crisis and an opportunity. A crisis, because while embracing the freedom of campus life can lead to temporary fun, the end result can be a lifetime of regret. An opportunity, because embracing the responsibility of college can result in incredible intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical growth.

The student who thrives at college—the student who glorifies God with his or her college years—is the one who sees it as a great opportunity that requires great responsibility. Alex Chediak understands this better than most, with the experience and heart to help students reach their full God-given potential. Thriving at College will help you navigate the common pitfalls relating to faith, relationships, academics, and extracurricular activities.

There is no better guide to college than this.

If you are currently in college or heading in that direction, this book should be part of your “college survival kit.” On April 14th, is hosting a “book bomb”—which gives you the chance to grab a copy and spread the word!

Join the discussion by answering the following questions:

  • Have you seen friends “thrive” or “lose their way” at college? Why is that?
  • If you are planning to go to college, is it the default or part of a plan?
  • If you are in college, is your focus on freedom or responsibility?
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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →