Sean-Michael Green looks like a typical college student; he meets new people, finds himself at parties on the weekends, and rushing to classes during the week. But Sean-Michael isn’t a typical college student — he doesn’t stick around long enough for final exams.
The Things I Learned in College delves in to the journey of a 34-year-old former Marine who spends one month at all eight Ivy League schools just for the sake of understanding what makes each individual university unique and what are its quirks and attractions. Along the way, in between classes, he finds himself at a strip club, a bar with a lesbian cast of The Wizard of Oz, and on the verge of more than a couple of altercations.
Beyond the witty experiences, Green takes readers through the real ups and downs of the Ivy League, leaving them with a sense of the heartfelt relationships and meaningful experiences of college life. Anyone looking to attend college, whether or not he or she is applying to the Ivy League schools, should read this book closely to get a more realistic picture of university life: the parties, the relationships, the laughs, the tears, and the nights you find yourself without a way to get home at three o’clock in the morning.
The work moves through Green’s rich experiences at each of these eight highly selective and most academically challenging universities: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. The Ivy League is known to attract the best and the brightest students from around the world and, by doing so, they shape tomorrow’s global landscape of business, politics, technology, medicine, science, mathematics, and the humanities. Competition is fierce and the stakes are high.
By reading Green’s engaging assessments, a prospective student would learn about things as mundane as which Ivy League college has the best pizza, to which ones are more liberal or more conservative politically, which ones live up to their academic and/or party reputations, along with more important ones such as which ones eschew fraternities for “eating clubs.”
Green adeptly details the social landscape of each college to the point that anyone could jump in and understand how to get his or her bearings. Readers will discover the particulars that won’t be covered in college brochures; everything from which student newspapers have sway on campus, and how students actually view their professors, to which types of the ubiquitous fringe people who hang out by the different campuses, along with other idiosyncrasies that are distinct to each institution. In Green’s own words, he learned how to embrace a Zen-like state of acceptance when parking in Philly; that one should be wary of a smiling dog; that a cappella singing is sexy; and that marching band is not.
Join Sean-Michael Green on his enlightening journey through the Ivy League to discover that there is so much more about life on campus to think about than what can be found in the college guides or the university websites. Anyone seeking to round out their information about student life at any of these eight colleges would be well served to read the candid, often humorous, but always informative, The Things I Learned in College.
Next, we hope that Green tackles the science and engineering institutions of Cal Tech, M.I.T., Stanford, and ….