The Freshman Survival Guide

The Freshman Survival Guide has sold over 200,000 copies (and counting) since its publication by Center Street Press/Hachette Book Group and was featured on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

A completely revised and updated version debuted in March 2024. Co-authored by McG Media’s principal, Bill McGarvey it is available in either print or electronic formats anywhere books are sold.

About The Freshman Survival Guide
College is a time for asking all sorts of questions, from smaller ones like “How can I cope with a difficult roommate?” to much bigger issues such as “What should I be doing with my life?” There are many guides for getting into college, choosing a college, getting good grades etc., but The Freshman Survival Guide is the first to deal with the whole student, treating the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual lives of college students as intimately connected aspects of their overall success. Play at kingcasino today if you’re looking for games that are games are engaging and enjoyable.

Freshman are using social media apps to learn more about lifestyle and education, some are sharing their experiences with films and using SocialBoosting to have more engagement and get to more people to view their journeys and help them with theirs.

Praise for The Freshman Survival Guide

Hundreds of thousands of commuters in NYC, Philadelphia and Boston saw this great feature on the book in their local Metro paper. Check it out online, here.

Washington Post
Bill McGarvey is the featured guest on the Washington Post’s Conversations/Live Q&A

School Library Journal
“…the writing is friendly and the topics are presented in a very approachable manner. Incoming freshman looking for something more than a party guide to their new home will appreciate this book being available to them.”

Odyssey Cable NetworksOn Page app has just posted a video of their interview with Freshman Survival Guide author Bill McGarvey. You can go download it on their app or check it out here.

Georgetown’s CARA Report reviews Freshman Survival Guide

Journal of College Student Psychotherapy
“The value of this book is in helping the student be aware of areas of life that will require making decisions—academic, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges The book gives straightforward, simple recommendations about ways to respond to these challenges. This level of concreteness will be of value to many. While its primary audience is students, the book may also be of interest to parents and help some of them transition from being “attack helicopters” to “rescue helicopters.” Given these two audiences, this book might be a good choice for summer orientation programs for incoming students and their parents. The book might also be recommended by college counseling center staff either as a supplement to counseling or in conjunction with outreach programming on adjusting to college.”
–Stewart Cooper, Ph.D., Director of Counseling Services, Valparaiso University

National Campus Ministry Association
“Any book that includes praise and recommendations from the likes of Father Martin Moran, Executive Director of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, Wayne L. Firestone, President of Hillel and Eboo Patel, Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core—as this one does—should get your attention.  It got mine.” (more…)

A Musing Reviews
A book review blog
“I love this book. Why?  Point of reference:  I am a mother, a high school counselor, and a college survivor.” (more…)

“Every freshman needs to read this book. The first truly holistic approach to the first year of college, The Freshman Survival Guide anticipates the inevitable fear and confusion, as well as the elation and enthusiasm, that can prevent us from making good decisions. Lively, sensible, provocative, insightful and even fun, the book offers time-tested wisdom for the body, mind and spirit. If you’re a senior in high school, buy it get ready for the most exciting year of your life. If you’re a parent or a friend of a new college student, you’ve just found the perfect gift. And if you’re a freshman, put that beer down and read it.”
James Martin, S.J.,
author of The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything

“The Freshman Survival Guide” is the most comprehensive guide for college students. It is a wonderful resource for students as they begin their college careers. The information in this book is invaluable for students as they find themselves starting the scary and exciting journey of higher education. The Freshman Survival Guide will help them to keep their faith and find their path. If you are preparing to send a student to college, this book is a must read!
Fr. Martin Moran
Executive Director
Catholic Campus Ministry Association

“The Freshman Survival Guide is a strikingly clever work from Bradbury and McGarvey in which the potentially tremulous first weeks of college life are dissected into 25 must know survival tips. From healthy relationship building to avoiding the disastrous pull of procrastination, the guide colorfully dispenses common sense and holistic development. The newest members of any college community will find in this guide a wonderful blend of down-to-earth advice and answers to the deepest of life questions. It is not afraid to address the big life questions of faith, service, the meaning of life and one’s spiritual journey. I can not think of a better gift to give a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, a godchild or grandchild who is heading off to college.”
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D.
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

“Whether you are in college or are about to be, Busted Halo’s FRESHMAN SURVIVAL GUIDE is essential reading. Filled with real life advice from college students and chaplains, whether you are wondering what to do about sex and dating or how to hang on to your faith after leaving home, this book will help you think about those major issues that aren’t on the campus tour, but that can make or break your college experience.”
Donna Freitas, author of SEX AND THE SOUL: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance And Religion On America’s College Campuses

“The Survival Guide is especially helpful and readable because it takes students quite seriously, and, in addressing their issues, it speaks their language candidly, frankly and honestly. The Guide draws on the experience of other students and a broad range of folks who deal with them every day. I suspect a lot of us will say, “I wish I had said that,” and students will say “I’m glad the Guide did.””
Charles Currie, S.J.
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

“In the 21st century, young people from diverse faith traditions are interacting at a higher frequency than ever before — and it’s often on college campuses. The Freshman Survival guide helps illustrate how to engage and understand this religious diversity to build the all-important bridges of cooperation rather than barriers
Dr. Eboo Patel,
Executive Director
Interfaith Youth Core

“In today’s turbulent waters, everybody needs a life-line; for college freshmen, the editors of are offering one that’s reliable, smart and engaging. The practical guidance is fresh and open, reminding the reader that whether the issue is dating or homesickness or study or religious diversity, there are always options. Years after college-graduation, I prize their advice: “shed your skin, but keep your skeleton.” I’ll send the book to friends with this advice: Read it. Trust it. Use it.”
Michael Gilligan
Henry Luce Foundation

“College students arrive on campus with impressive resumes and advanced academic skills. Many, however, do not have the ability to confront the profound questions of meaning, values or spirituality that will face them as they enter the adult world. This book makes an important contribution to helping college students navigate these defining moments.”
Wayne L. Firestone
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

“Who am I, Why am I here? What do I believe? What should I do with my life?” These questions and more are explored in Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey’s Freshman Survival Guide. Their text treats the issues of mind, body and spirit as one in what is the first holistic look into the lives of college students today. It is filled with practical advice from teachers and students alike — a rich mine of material that will enlighten and challenge all those who participate in this extraordinary experience.”
Dr. Anthony J. Cernera
International Federation of Catholic Universities

“Every young person goes to college with a computer – and now they need to go with The Freshman Survival Guide! This handbook provides extensive information on The 25 Things you need to know about College, including handling academics, relationships, spirituality, safety, resident life, drinking and drug use, and on and on. Bill and Nora offer practical advice and guidance to enable young people to navigate the personal, spiritual, values and relational issues that are part of the college experience. And the handbook is enhanced by which provides additional information and where experienced RAs respond to submitted questions. Kudos to!”
Bob McCarty,
Executive Director
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

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