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How to Survive College

John Mikaelian, a first-generation college student, has written a college survival guide.
Mikaelian is determined to continue contributing to the college community through his writing.
Mikaelian is determined to continue contributing to the college community through his writing.

John Mikaelian is a transfer student from Los Angeles that came to San Diego State University to pursue a major in management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

While studying management is his main priority as a student, Mikaelian has always had a passion for writing. Before attending SDSU, he woke up one day and decided to spend the summer of 2012 channeling that passion by documenting his experiences as a first generation college student.

“Because I’m a first generation college student, I’ve obtained a lot of knowledge from the trial and error process. I wanted to share that with my peers and other first generation college students and give them a guiding force on what they can do to improve their college experience,” he said.

In three months, Mikaelian had published his first book entitled “Reality Check: A College Student’s Survival Guide.” The book is a collection of tips and tricks meant to guide and challenge college students to take advantage of their opportunity to pursue higher education. 

The inspiration

Mikaelian’s main inspiration for his book is to motivate not only current college students but also next-generation students to experience college and get the most out of it. His favorite piece of advice from his book is the importance of first generation college students to pursue higher education.

“I was always under the impression that I didn’t need to go to college to be successful. But times have changed,” Mikaelian said.

He firmly believes in pursuing higher education, not just for the degree, but for the experiences and networking opportunities.

“It’s not just about the college degree; it’s about the people you meet and how they help you become a more well-rounded person. It’s more about the experience than the diploma, being able to compete in the job market, that’s the icing on the cake,” Mikaelian said.

He hopes that his book will one day make its way up to the bestsellers list so that he can reach as many people as possible.

“I wrote this book in the first place to help other people and that’s my main goal. I want college students from around the country to benefit from it. So, as long as it becomes a bestselling book, then I know that a lot of people will hear about it, know about it, check it out and learn from my experiences,” he said.

The future

Mikaelian is determined to continue contributing to the college community with his writing. He is currently in the process of compiling his second book.

 “It’s about how our parents and relatives came to this country to chase the American dream and how the ‘American Dream’ has been reinvented. It’s about starting your own business online, making a presence and establishing your clientele.  That’s what the new book is about,” Mikaelian said.

“Reality Check: A College Student’s Survival Guide” is available for purchase online.

 

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