for every time I got this question, “what book should I buy to help me get into college?” For the record, I don’t know exactly what I’d do with that kind of money but it would be a lot!

There are literally hundreds of titles that cover high school success and college planning and many of them are traditional step-by-step walks through the admissions process. Which is fine but there are some real standouts, too that will not only help you get into college but will change the way you think and learn. 

I’ve got a number of favorites (books are life!) but a title I’ve recommended many times is: How to Be A High School Superstar by Cal Newport. 

It’s a favorite because it turns some of the conventional thinking about how to be competitive on its head. Newport’s main message is how to be successful without stressing yourself out, making yourself sick, and spending your high school years in misery. Gotta  love that approach. 

Newport’s method is to teach you what he calls the “3 laws of relaxed superstars.” Along the way, you’ll do some really good thinking about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what to do to make it matter in the overall application process.  There are lots of examples from students who have succeeded with this approach and I really like that the book is infused with the science of learning. 

A book is very often the answer.