Survival Strategies in 30 seconds or less...

Author Bill McGarvey in conversation about The Freshman Survival Guide

With the 2024 publication of the updated Freshman Survival Guide, author Bill McGarvey sat down with his longtime friend–and one of the original contributors to the book–Prof. Christine Whelan, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Their conversation about the challenges facing students making the leap from high school to college was wide-ranging and referenced some of the Freshman Survival Guide’s most timely advice.  They were joined by Quinn Kinzer, a recent undergrad who is currently working on her doctorate at UW, Madison.

The 16-Second Survival contest
from the book's original publication

Picking one winner in our Freshman Survival Guide 16 Second Survival video contest was so difficult that staffers and interns almost came to blows at Busted Halo HQ. Thank you to everyone who us sent a video with their best advice for incoming college freshman in 16 seconds or less. There were a lot of great nuggets offered by students and recent graduates from all over the United States and Canada. In the end we decided that the contest was so close that we would need to award prizes to three runners-up in addition to the grand prize. Congratulations to Josef from Concordia University, our grand prize winner, who will receive a $100 gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond. Our runners-up (in no particular order) are Ian from Monroe Community College, Aarti from University of Buffalo and Mark from Seton Hall University, each of whom will receive a $25 gift certificate.

Grand prize winner

Many thanks again to everyone who sent in a video. Stay tuned for more videos and contests as the Freshman Survival Guide publication date — April 7, 2011 — gets closer.

Got advice for college freshmen? Got tips on dealing with difficult roommates? How about getting along with professors, managing your time, eating healthy on campus, dating, campus activities, or study tips? Offer your best advice in 16 seconds or less to our online Freshman Survival Guide. On your video introduce yourself and tell us what school you go to. The clock starts running right after you say “My advice for college freshmen is…” Upload your video to a YouTube account and email the URL to