Ministry Journey Blog

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27 Oct

Product Review:The Graduate’s Survival Guide

Posted in Uncategorized on 27.10.11 by Merlyn

Published in Youth Worker Journal- Date: November/December 2011

The Graduate’s Survival Guide

Rachel Cruze

Lampo Press, 2011, 132 pp., $19.95,

Finances and college life are not exactly the most entertaining or hot topics to cover in your youth group, and youth and even parents might not think these topics are worthy of air time in your youth ministry.  Yet these topics and issues are very important to the youth in our churches, especially those who will soon be learning to manage their freedom and independence after high school.

The Graduate’s Survival guide includes a DVD with four short sessions as well as a Q & A book about college life and financial management. The vignettes on the DVD are informational conversations covering topics such as roommate relationships, college finances, student loans, registering for classes, marketing to college students and other aspects of college life. The book provides answers to a variety of questions on topics including credit cards, student loans, financial planning, working while in school, career planning and more.

This product could be helpful to parents thinking about and discussing college life with their teenagers. It can serve as a great tool for creating healthy dialogue about various aspects of college life. The short video clips address a wide variety of topics important to college life, and the length and organization of these clips makes them easy to use. The product does not address all of the topics claims to address, at least not with depth and clarity. This product may not reach most teenagers, because it is geared entirely to those who are going away for college. There is little conversation about faith and the impact one’s faith has on the issues being addressed. The product does not feel developmentally appropriate and many youth who watch the clips may have trouble connecting with the individuals in the clips as they appear to be the perfect kids many of our youth feel like they cannot measure up or relate to.

Buy this product if you are looking to help parents engage in dialogue with their youth, especially if you are looking for a resource for families to use with their youth who are preparing for college. Do not purchase this product if you are looking for a tool to use with your whole youth group to talk about college life and finances. While I enjoyed the product, it would not land with my youth group, so I would not be likely to purchase it.

Rev. Marcus J Carlson

Associate Pastor, Bethel Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO (

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