College can be a horrifically difficult testing ground for the beginning student making demands on time discipline and organizational abilities. Too often the result is a shallow paper chase where an undergraduate is happy to survive the system without descending into mediocrity or worse flunking out altogether.
In From F to Phi Beta Kappa author Ong begins by telling his own story of disorganization and initial confusion in college even pulling down a few F’s: “Thousands of dollars were wasted discovering my own ignorance. Yet I had no idea how to improve myself.” The author eventually dropped out and started again determined to do better. This time around he graduated Phi Beta Kappa magna cum laude with several additional honors as well.
From F to Phi Beta Kappa covers virtually everything a student needs to optimize his time in school from setting up a class schedule wisely to minutiae such as selecting the best kind of notebook or the most efficient way to use a highlighter for textbooks. Even subjects like maintaining good health avoiding perfectionist thinking and balancing study time with a little playtime is examined.
The author has a genius for organization and explains his methods in very clear easy-to-read chapters that will save the reader hours of frustrating wasted time. His method of organizing a textbook with tape flags for an open book exam is a study in practicality efficiency and even humor as he describes a professor telling a story of one of his students opening a text book for the first time during a final exam: “There was the sound of a new book’s spine and pages creaking from expansion.”
Most important the author inspires the student to strive for more than high marks. Ong emphasizes and incorporates a philosophy of the joys of learning into his book. “What matters is what college does for you as a total person which depends on how well you apply yourself and what you learn.”
From F to Phi Beta Kappa will motivate captivate and educate any student serious about making the most of their college years.