Interview with Robert Berry

Why should high school seniors read "The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics"?
High school seniors should read the booklet because the booklet provides them with information that was not learned in the high school classroom. High schools within the United States do a good job of helping their students learn the academic information they need to know in order to achieve academic success in the college classroom. With that said, I believe that many high schools fail in providing their students with information that is non-academic in nature, yet is still so crucial if students hope to excel in their college coursework. The booklet provides students with the non-academic information that is so crucial for success. Information in the booklet such as the importance of choosing good professors for your classes or the importance of knowing where to turn for help on your campus if you are struggling with your academic work, amongst other things, is the sort of information that is crucial for incoming college students to know if they hope to succeed in their freshman year.
Why did you decide to write a booklet, rather than a full length book?
I decided to write a booklet rather than a book, because it is my hope that all high school seniors will read “The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics” before they head off to college. I know there are many students who do not enjoy reading for pleasure, and I know that many young people today prefer to read blog posts and other short written pieces on the internet rather than full length books. It is my hope that by providing students with quality information that can be read in around 30 minutes, students will be more inclined to read the booklet and put the advice in the booklet into practice during their freshman year of college.
Why is "The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics" important to the rest of us?
The booklet is important to the rest of us, because according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 59% of first-time college students who pursued a bachelor’s degree at a four year university graduated from that same university within six years. Also according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 31% of first-time college students who pursued an associate’s degree graduated in three years. About 3.3 million students will graduate from high school this spring, and almost 70% of them will enroll in college this fall. This fall there will be over two million new college students. Hundreds of thousands of these new college students will never earn their degree, and they will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on wasted tuition in 2014 alone. In today’s global economy more than ever, we need skilled workers in the United States if we hope to compete and thrive on the world economic stage. The booklet is important to the rest of us, because it provides students with the information that might just make the difference between dropping out of college, or developing the skills needed to compete in today’s economy while graduating with a college degree.
What is the story behind "The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics"?
Why I decided to write "The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics" is an interesting story. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from college in 2013. During the awards ceremony for business students I remember looking up at my classmates standing on stage who were graduating Summa Cum Laude. Looking at these high achieving students I remember thinking to myself, “You have the potential to be up there with those really successful students, so what happened that prevented you from reaching that goal?” As I examined this question, I realized that the academic struggles I encountered during college primarily took place during my freshman year of college, particularly the first semester of my freshman year. I realized the reason I had not graduated Summa Cum Laude was because I had struggled academically during my freshman year of college.

During the summer and into the fall of 2013 I worked on developing business ideas. I had ideas ranging from a grocery delivery service, to a biodiesel company. I settled on starting a luxury clothing company, I worked on my business plan, and I took a class through my local community college that helps entrepreneurs learn how to start their own businesses. Through this process I realized that I would need approximately $50,000 in capital to start my business, and I knew I needed a way to raise this money in some other business venture. One night as I was driving home from class I decided to write a humorous booklet called "The Slacker’s Guide to Undergrad". The booklet would be a guide that would show slackers how to achieve very average grades in college. On the final night of my entrepreneurship class I gave the best presentation of my life, as I explained how the booklet could be used by students to achieve good grades in college. My classmates all enjoyed my presentation and thought I should share the knowledge that I had gained about how to be a successful college student with high school seniors. I followed my classmates’ advice and this led to my new booklet “The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics”, which provides incoming freshmen with the knowledge they need to know in order to make the successful transition from high school to college. How the booklet came into being has been a yearlong process which I have enjoyed very much.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Stuart Woods, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, and Dan Jenkins. The “Stone Barrington” series by Stuart Woods is my favorite book series. Every time a new “Stone Barrington” novel comes out I am incredibly excited to see what interesting trouble Stone is getting into now. Jeffrey Archer is a great author. I have enjoyed every one of his books that I have read. I am particularly enjoying the “Clifton Chronicles” right now, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment. John Grisham’s legal thrillers are always an enjoyable read. My favorite John Grisham works are those that involve tort law. I have recently discovered Dan Jenkins, a long-time golf writer, and I can say that I do not believe I have ever read books that are as funny as his. For me if you combine great golf writing with incredible humor, that is a recipe for success every time.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure I enjoy reading both nonfiction and fiction. From the nonfiction world I primarily read books related to history, business, and sports. I especially enjoy reading anything related to the robber barons such as books about John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Commodore Vanderbilt. I enjoy reading anything related to sports, particularly books that are related to golf and basketball. In the fiction world I enjoy reading anything by Stuart Woods, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, and Daniel Silva. I particularly like Stuart Woods’ "Stone Barrington" series and Jeffrey Archer’s "Clifton Chronicles". My favorite book is "The Back Nine" by Billy Mott. If you give me any book about golf I am one happy camper.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I enjoy playing golf, watching sports, walking my dog, and reading. I have played golf since I was three or four years old, and every year I am very excited when the snow finally melts and golf season begins. I love watching sports, particularly games involving my favorite teams the Creighton Bluejays, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Minnesota Twins. I also enjoy walking my yellow lab whose name is Molly. She is a great dog, but similar to the lab in “Marley and Me”, she is an absolute devil with a mind of her own. My final hobby that I enjoy engaging in is reading. My mother is a librarian, and she developed my passion for reading books from a young age. My first favorite books were the “Nate the Great” series and my love of reading has only grown from there.
Published 2014-04-12.
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Books by This Author

The Freshman's Guide to College Academics
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 7,490. Language: American English. Published: April 2, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » College Guides, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » College prep checklists
The Freshman’s Guide to College Academics is a short booklet that provides incoming college freshmen with information about what practices they need to engage in in order to make the successful transition from high school to college. The booklet was written by a recent college graduate and provides valuable information that will enable your freshman to achieve academic success in college.