Moses' Book Discusses College Life

After 14 years of advising Harvard first-year students, Dean of Freshmen Henry C. Moses has decided to broaden his audience.

Moses has written a book, released this week, intended to advise and help prospective college students with problems they are likely to face during university life.

Inside College presents a series of problems and choices that most first-year students face, including roommate troubles, choosing courses, juggling extracurricular activities and deciding on a major.

Moses discusses making the transition from being a top high school student to being an average college student, or "a small fish in a big pond."

Throughout much of the book, the dean uses excerpts from 13 years of letters he has received from students describing their concerns.

Sample chapters from the book include "Leaving Home, with Baggage," "Living with the Rules," and the final chapter, "Shaping Your Own Education."

Moses said he wrote the book "to describe the experiences of college students" for high school students and graduates.

"This book will not answer the questions for the readers, though," Moses said. "The readers will have to answer the questions for themselves."

The College Board, which published Moses' book, was interested in satisfying the market for a guide to college, according to Carolyn Trager, associate director of publications for the College Board.

"There really isn't a book that deals with the philosophical and intellectual questions that this book raises and that incoming college students may be facing themselves," said Trager, who edited the guide. "The long-time experience of the author, in his many years of dealing with students' problems and questions, made his comments particularly valuable."

Moses said he hopes his readers will be able to draw from the experiences in his book, but he knows that he can't write for everyone.

"My problem was who to write to, who to address this book to," Moses said, "so I sort of wrote to my children and to some of my advisees."