Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You

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9780471491194: Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You
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In Binge, Barrett Seaman reveals what every parent, student, and educator needs to know about the college experience. Seaman spent time with students at twelve highly regarded and diverse colleges and universities across North America­. During his two years of research, he immersed himself in the lives of the students, often living in their dorms, dining with them, speaking with them on their own terms, and listening to them express their thoughts and feelings. Portraying a campus culture in which today’s best and brightest students grapple with far more than academic challenges, Binge conveys the unprecedented stresses on campus today. While sharing revealing interviews and the often dramatic stories, Seaman explores the complexities of romantic relationships and sexual relations, alcohol and drug use, anxiety and depression, class and racial boundaries, and more. Despite the disturbing trends, Seaman finds reasons for optimism and offers provocative and well-informed suggestions for improving the undergraduate experience. Sometimes alarming, always fascinating, and ultimately hopeful, Binge is an extraordinary investigative work that reveals the realities of higher education today.

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From the Inside Flap:

After thirty years as a correspondent and editor for Time magazine, Barrett Seaman embarked on an independent two-year investigation to uncover the real story of college life today. He especially wanted to see how—and why—undergraduate living has changed since he was at college in the tumultuous late 1960s. Seaman was surprised by the realities of student life on today's campuses—and is concerned by the implications they hold for the future.

In this major new book, Seaman reveals what every parent, student, and educator needs to know about what really goes on after classes let out—in dorm rooms late at night, in fraternity and sorority houses, and outside the quads. Seaman spent time with students in their dorms at twelve highly regarded and diverse colleges and universities across North America—Harvard, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Hamilton, the University of Virginia, Duke, Indiana University–Bloomington, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, Pomona, and Canada's McGill University. During his two years of research, he immersed himself in the lives of the students, often living in their dorms, dining with them, speaking with them on their own terms, and listening to them express their thoughts and feelings.

Portraying a campus culture in which today's best and brightest students grapple with far more than academic challenges, Binge conveys the unprecedented stresses on campus today as well as the sense of isolation students feel from the "real world" and often from each other. The book reveals the complexities of an environment in which romantic relationships and sexual relations are often casual and ambiguous, alcohol and drug use are widespread and dangerously unchecked, anxiety and depression are common, and boundaries along class and racial lines are too often permeated with tension. He exposes the increasing aloofness of professors and the stereotypes that student athletes struggle against and sometimes reinforce. While sharing revealing interviews and the often dramatic stories of those he encountered, Seaman explores some difficult questions:

  • Just how hard are students studying?
  • What are students' real reasons for going to college today?
  • What's the "right" drinking age?
  • How can parents help—or hurt—their child's chances for success?
  • Why have students come to expect less from their professors?
  • Has diversity worked on campus?
  • Who is really in charge—the administration, professors, residential advisors, or the students themselves?

Despite the disturbing trends, Seaman finds reasons for optimism. Today's students, although troubled by the increasing uncertainties of life today, are smart, resilient, and eager to take their place in the adult world—if only they were given the chance. And Seaman offers provocative and well-informed suggestions for improving the undergraduate experience. Sometimes alarming, always fascinating, and ultimately hopeful, Binge is an extraordinary investigative work that lays bare the realities of higher education today.

From the Back Cover:

Advance Praise for Binge

"Amid all the talk about what life is like on college campuses, Barrett Seaman has done something very valuable: he actually went out and reported what really is happening. From sex to drugs to studying, he provides a fascinating and reliable report that every parent ought to read carefully."
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

"Barrett Seaman has done his homework well. Binge, his picture of life on American college campuses, is an accurate representation of my experiences and those of my peers. As a student at a midwestern Big Ten university, I got nearly perfect grades and nailed down two majors and two minors, but was always first at happy hour on Monday or karaoke on Thursday and pulled all-nighters for studying and partying alike. Told with vigor and moxie, Binge doesn't condemn as reprehensible the behavior of a vast majority of American college kids—it simply tells it like it is without reproach. This is an excellent book."
—Holly Johnson, Indiana University class of 2004

"A lively, thought-provoking, witty, sometimes unsettling look at contemporary undergraduate culture outside the classroom—this book will be widely read and debated on college and university campuses across North America. Binge is an important book written with the insight and passion of a college trustee and the objectivity and eloquence of a veteran journalist. Seaman's comprehensive recommendations are logical, sensible, and ambitious. If heeded, they should be a major catalyst for change."
—Eugene M. Tobin, Program Officer for the Liberal Arts Colleges Program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and former president of Hamilton College

"Barrett Seaman gives us an authentic and fascinating view into what really happens to kids when they go away to college. This is an essential book for parents who want to get the inside story."
—Nancy Samalin, Founder and Director of Parent Guidance Workshops and author of Loving without Spoiling

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780470049181: Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You

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ISBN 10:  0470049189 ISBN 13:  9780470049181
Publisher: Wiley, 2006
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9781620455654: Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You

Wiley, 2006
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