This debut advice guide provides recommendations for 17-year-olds on handling the “life-defining” college years.
“Further education, inside and outside of college, is a foundation on which to build the rest of your life,” writes Walsh, who urges his target reader to use the earliest years of adulthood to become “a rounded person with good judgment, many skills and a strong moral fibre.” Walsh’s starter suggestion is to create a two-column chart, highlighting what one is “Good At” and “Poor At,” and then to “get to work” on strengthening oneself in both areas. He emphasizes that everyone has failings, however, and that one should seek help if dealing with anxiety or despair. Walsh then offers an “Upskilling” chapter, advice on finances (be careful with credit cards), living away from home (learn how to cook), and socializing. His third chapter focuses on study habits, urging readers to learn how to touch-type and to limit distractions when they’re hitting the books. In a final “Lifestyle” chapter, Walsh discusses sexuality, noting that “you need to build robust management skills for this powerful drive within you,” such as by thinking “spiritually.” He concludes by quoting a poem by Baptist pastor Clyde Box. Walsh, in his first book, doesn’t provide any details about his own background, although readers may find the tenor of some suggestions to be European (“Listen to BBC radio for definitive English”), as they will his inclusion of Irish university photos. Overall, he’s a folksy and engaging authorial voice, offering the kind of obvious but perhaps necessary advice that one expects from an elder (such as “You can enjoy yourself well without indulging in certain practices which really do kill joy and scar life”). That said, his target readers may not embrace all that he espouses, including his advice to keep relationships “at the ‘friends’ level” as much as possible.
A sincere, simple life-instruction booklet for young adults.