After four years at Saint Mary’s, there isn’t much Brian Thomas ’13, the Bellwood, Ill., native can’t handle with a wide smile and a friendly, easygoing attitude. But Thomas remembers back to high school when he didn’t know what a FAFSA was, much less how to fill one out.

The English major decided his sophomore year of high school that he would write a book to help high schoolers and incoming freshmen prepare for college life. For a year and a half, in between balancing his classes, coursework and extracurriculars, Thomas wrote about how to balance classes, coursework and extracurriculars.

Drawing on his own experiences, as well as the advice of peers, Thomas completed and published “The College Life Guide 101” in summer 2012. “I wanted to provide helpful information and guidance to future college students to help make their transition to college a more fulfilling experience,” he said.

The paperback is loaded with straightforward advice about finances, student loans, financial aid, time management, picking a major, buying books, scheduling, handling workloads — even what to pack for college. This past year, Thomas has been speaking to youth organizations and promoting his book, which is available on  Thomas is already at work on a second edition.

In addition to writing, speaking and promoting, Thomas hopes to continue his studies at SMU in the Master of Instruction program this fall — a true testament to the necessity for the time-management skills that he touts in his book. For more information about Thomas, excerpts from his book and a glimpse into other ways he is helping students prepare for college, go to

Print Friendly, PDF & Email