The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College / Edition 2

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Now a New York Times Bestseller!

From sharing a bathroom with 40 people to sharing lecture notes, The Naked Roommate is a behind-the-scenes look at everything students need to know about college. This essential guide is packed with expert advice, plus outrageous stories from students on over 100 campuses.

Through his advice column, college tour, and website, Harlan Cohen has reached thousands of students with his message of being yourself and making the most of the college years.

"One of the best and most practical college advice guides I've read." -Andrew Tinnin, University of Michigan

"The most useful guide on college life."
-The Daily Orange (Syracuse University)

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The cute little guides that college orientation teams hand out to frightened freshmen offer valuable information, but very few of them touch on the nitty-gritty of day-to-day dorm life. How many of them, for instance, prepare you for the libidinous roommate who habitually brings his love life home with him or the friendly suite mate who turns the study room into a rock concert hall? With its real-life reminiscences of students who survived weird situations, Harlan Cohen's Naked Roommate serves as the crash course that any college student needs to cope with the stress, challenges, and possibilities of undergraduate. It's no wonder that it's now back in a new fifth edition.

School Library Journal
Gr 11 Up-A hilarious and truthful book that gives high school students a look at college life, beginning with "Arriving on Campus" and ending with "It's Almost Time to Say Goodbye." In between, Cohen covers homesickness, laundry, Greek life, sex ("Having It, Not Having It, Hearing Other People Having It"), alcohol, cafeteria food, roommates, making it to class on time (and what happens if you don't). The author talks frankly about "Hook Ups," "One-Night Stands," and STDs. Each topic includes a "Harlan Tip," accompanied by a true story from a college student. The advice is sound; the tone is light.-Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park High School, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Cohen tries to ease that transition by offering humorous insight and wisdom on subjects ranging from the titular naked roommate to drugs and alcohol use." - Journal Star

"A handy guide for those who may be starting college in the fall...Cohen does a great job of offering honest advice to young adults. He covers everything from the residence halls to study habits to friendships, money, drugs and alcohol." - Ashland Daily Tidings

"The essential tome for students preparing for life on campus...true stories add humor and and poignancy to the tips." - Gatehouse News Service

"This book for future college students includes upfront advice and tips on life in the residence hall, homesickness, roommates, friendship, college activities, Greek life, studying, relationships, drinking and drugs, money, sexual assault, and much, much more! These 500 pages include true stories from college students, tips, facts, and cautions for a comprehensive guidebook to college life. A handy index allows students to jump to the topic they need." - Susan Heim on Parenting

"In this update of the 2009 edition, an advice columnist for young people and their parents provides facts and tips on things not typically mentioned in college brochures such as homesickness and depression, naughty or nasty roommates, fraternities and sororities, drinking and drugs, and living on a student budget." - BOOK NEWS

"Harlan Cohen does an excellent job conveying all of the important aspects of college life in this easy to navigate book. He writes in such a way that the reader does not feel as though he or she just reading just another self-help book. Cohen utilizes stories from actual students, faculty and staff to carefully craft his fun and witty narratives and give real world examples for each chapter and section." - NACAC

"A humorous yet helpful look at what students should be prepared to encounter in college. From friendship issues to alcohol and drugs, this book tells students what to expect on campus and how to handle the bumps." - Go Local Prov

"Get the scoop on how to handle some of the issues you might encounter in college — and get a good laugh" - Newsday

"Sound advice for students gearing up for campus life. Issues range from humorous to serious, with useful stories and tips from students themselves.

" - Sacramento Bee

"His advice is honest and unprejudiced, delivered in a way that many students cannot get from other sources like family and friends, who might sugarcoat things in an attempt to calm nerves. Don't let the heftiness of the book scare you. Because it is a guidebook, it doesn't have to be read in order. Readers can take their time with it, knowing that it will be well spent." - The Choice (NYTimes)"Harlan Cohen takes these classic issues and addresses them with loads of wit. From moving in to moving out, Cohen gives pre-collegiettes a comical, behind-the-scenes look at college. Once you read this prep book, you'll feel as if you've already been to college (without the experiences, pictures, and collegiette swag to prove it). " - Her Campus

"Speaking with a just-right mix of humor and authority, Cohen introduces newbie college students to the nitty-gritty of life on campus with advice on dealing with roommates (naked and otherwise), managing finances, going to (and missing) class, navigating the pitfalls of sex and drugs, and other important topics. " - School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402209093
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan Cohen is one of the most widely read and respected syndicated columnists for people in their teens and twenties. His column, "Help Me, Harlan!" is distributed by King Features Syndicate, and appears in more than 75 newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News and Seattle Times. He is the author of Campus Life Exposed. Harlan regularly tours college campuses giving presentations to orientation groups. He lives in Chicago.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Book Orientation: The Stuff before the Tips

Welcome Students
Welcome to the third edition of The Naked Roommate. It's so nice to have you here on page one. I'm Harlan. I'll be your author and host throughout this book. I've included a picture of myself on the back of the book so you can see what I look like. And yes, I've actually been wearing that same outfit while writing this entire book (but I have gained about five pounds). As your host and author, I'd like to offer you something to eat or drink, but I don't know where to find you or if you can eat or drink where you are. If you're reading this at a place where they're serving food or drinks, please get yourself something. I can't pay for it, but if I were there, I would. I just want to make sure that you're comfortable.

So please, slip off your shoes, unbutton the top button on your pants if they're snug, find a comfortable place to sit if you're standing. Do whatever it takes for you to get comfortable, as long as what you need to do to get comfortable isn't prohibited by any indecency laws. If it is prohibited, please take this book home with you. I'm not trying to get you to buy it (well, maybe I am a little), but what is more important than you owning this book is that you are as comfortable as possible while reading it. Because when it comes down to it, that's what this whole book is all about—and it's really what the college experience is about. It's about helping you to get comfortable for what can be an uncomfortable (at times) journey ahead. Now, I'll give you a break to get comfortable. And please, feel free to browse through the book after you settle in.

—A Break inthe Book—

Welcome Back
Hi, Harlan here again, your author and host. As you can tell by browsing through this book, you are probably expecting a lot of tips. When it comes to "tips," there are many different kinds in the world. There are good tips, bad tips, informative tips, tips that touch the surface, tips that give you something to think about, tips you leave on a table after eating at a restaurant, rib tips, finger tips, tiptoes, and various other miscellaneous tips. This is a tip book unlike any other tip book. It's a book that goes far beyond the tip and leaves you with something to think about, and when applicable, even offers you places to go for help on and off campus. I'd like to go so far as to say that this is the best tip book in the history of tip books (minus the 1762 classic, Ten Tips for Settlers to the New Country).

This might come to you as a surprise, but I wasn't a fan of "tip books"—that is, until I wrote this book. I don't just like this one because I wrote it (although that is part of the reason). It's because this book is genuinely different. It's based on what today's college students are honestly thinking, feeling, and doing on today's college campuses. It's their voices sharing their stories and experiences that will expose the uncensored truth about what's really going on in college. Not only will you get page after page of telling tips from students on over one hundred college campuses across North America, you'll also get the latest facts, stats, resources, support services having to do with college life, and some advice from me—someone who has been a freshman twice, has visited over three hundred college campuses, and has interviewed over a thousand students. Whether you're living on campus or commuting from home, whether you're going to a big school or a small school, whether you're the first person in your family going to college or the last—I've made sure that this book has something for everyone.

About the student-offered tips—one thing that I've discovered while writing my syndicated Help Me, Harlan! advice column and interviewing students over the years is that it's the rest of the story, the story of how someone came up with his or her tip or advice, that is the most telling. And that's exactly what you'll find here—the tips and the stories behind them. That's just not something you see every day. (Assuming you own this book, you now can see it every day if that's what you enjoy doing with your spare time.)

Speaking of time, I appreciate yours. I promise not to waste it. This book will be helpful. At the very least, it can always be used as a doorstop, a coaster, or a way to level out a shaky table. The actual information written on the pages of your new doorstop/coaster/level will also prove helpful. Whether you're heading to a college down the street or across the country, this book has something for you. Whether you're headed to college as the star of your high school or you're one of those students who blended into the cement block walls in the back of your classroom, this book has something for you. And that includes all those people who fall somewhere in between blending into the cement blocks and being a star. This is the book that I only wish someone had written for me when I went to college.In fact, this book has proven so helpful over the years that it's now being used as required reading, as a textbook, and as a training guide for student leaders on campus (I'm really proud of this).

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Table of Contents

Book Orientation: The Stuff before the Tips
Welcome Students
Welcome Parents
Welcome High School and College Educators
About the Editorial Content
The Third Edition: 13 Percent More Nakedness
Third Edition Notes to Specific Readers
A Final Note to All Readers
First Page, First Tip, and First Days of College

Chapter 1
Arriving on Campus: So Real You Can Smell It, Touch It, and Taste It
1. Expect the Unexpected
2. Patience, Patience, and More Patience
3. Finding Your Place on Campus
4. When Lost or Confused, Ask
5. Be Yourself: Not Me, Not Him, Not Her
6. About Your Parents
7. Homesickness: Breathe Deep, It's in the Air
8. Technology: The Fifth Wall

Chapter 2
Residence Halls: Living, Eating, and Bathing with Hundreds of Strangers
9. Residence Halls: A Cruise without the Water
10. Meet People without Even Trying
11. Resident Assistants: Your Personal Assistant
12. Not All Residence Halls Are Created Equal
13. The Ugly Side of Residential Life

Chapter 3
Roommates: Good Ones, Bad Ones, and Everything in Between
14. The Ultimate Roommate Rule
15. The Random Roommate
16. The Naked Roommate
17. The Best Friend Roommate
18. The Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Roommate (pick one)
19. The Noisy, Naughty, and/or Nasty Roommate
20. The Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend Doesn't Live Here Roommate
21. The Lying, Stealing, Klepto Roommate
22. The Drunk and/or High Roommate
23. The Roommate in Need

Chapter 4
Finding Friends: Your Social or Antisocial College Life
24. The Snow Globe Factor
25.Shopping for New Friends
26. Why College Friends Are Different
27. Friend Today, Gone Tomorrow
28. High School Friends, Cows, and Cats

Chapter 5
Getting Involved on Campus:
An All-You-Can-Do Buffet
29. Getting Involved: What, Where, When, How, and Why (but not in that order)
30. Clubs and Organizations:
A Smorgasbord of Opportunity
31. Sports and Athletics:
Buckets of College Sweat
32. Academic Organizations:
Where Smart People Gather
33. Religious Activities:
Your Prayers Answered and the Culture Club (no Boy George)
34. The Perks:
Travel and See the World for Free

Chapter 6
Greek Life: Behind the Doors, Windows, and Walls of Fraternity and Sorority Life
35. Greek Life: Getting In
36. Greek Life: The Good
37. Greek Life: The Bad
38. Greek Life: The Ugly

Chapter 7
Life Inside the Classroom:Assuming You Wake Up and Go to Class
39. To Go or Not to Go
40. Nice Professor, Nice Professor
41. How to Get an A (or almost an A)
42. How to Just Pass
43. How to Fail
44. The Cheat Sheet
45. The Art of Reading (or not reading) the College Textbook
46. Take Notes Here
47. Do It in a Group
48. Old Exams, Sharing Notes, and Mostly Legal Ways to Pass
49. The Major Issue: Picking One
50. Advice on Your Advisor
51. Pick a Number, Any Number
52. Time for Time Management.
53. Wine Tasting, Bowling, and Other Important Electives

Chapter 8
Dating and Relationships:Your Higher Education in Lust, Love, and Loss
54. The Rules of College Love (or just lust)
55. The College Hookup
56. Close-Distance Relationships
57. Long-Distance Relationships (LDRs)
58. High School Bitter Sweethearts
59. Imaginary Relationships and Online Dating
60. The Friendly Relationship
61. Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Relationships
62. Cheaters, Users, and Abusers
63. I Have No Life Other Than My Relationship
64. I Got Dumped and No Longer Have a Relationship

Chapter 9
Sex:Having It, Not Having It, Hearing Other People Having It.
65. Deciding to Do It
66. Deciding Not to Do It
67. Doing It Way Too Much
68. The One-Night Stand
69. Pimps, Hos, and Reputations
70. Sexual Souvenirs
71. The U of Birth Control
72. Possibly Pregnant

Chapter 10
Drinking on Campus: Tapping the Keg of Truth.
73. Drinking on Campus
74. Slow Down, Don't Drink Too Fast.
75. Not Everyone Is Drinking
76. The Social Lubricant
77. Safer Unsafe Sex and Alcohol
78. Sexual Assault and Alcohol
79. Don't Be So Stupid That You Accidentally Kill Yourself.
80. Drinking and Driving
81. Still Hungover
82. You Might Be an Alcoholic If

Chapter 11
Drugs on Campus :The Smoking, Snorting, and Pill-Popping Truth
83. About Drugs on Campus
84. How to Avoid Them
85. Why Not to Do Drugs
86. Just Don't Accidentally Die
87. College Smoking Butts

Chapter 12
Money, Laundry, and Cheap Eats:Assuming You Have Enough Money to Eat and Do Laundry
88. Loans, Grants, Scholarships, and Loose Change
89. Your Financial Aid Advisor: Money, Money, Money, Monneeey
90. Part-Time Jobs, Big-Time Benefits
91. The Credit Card and the $600 Candy Bar
92. Bad Checks, Bad Credit, and Bad Ideas
93. Checking Out the College Checking Account
94. Sorry, This Book Is Now "Used"
95. Cheap Strategies for Eating (or barely eating)
96. Laundry Tips: This Page Is Not Fabric Softener

Chapter 13
Things Not Mentioned in the College Brochure: What They Don't Tell You
97. The Freshman 15...or, Um, 45
98. The Student Body Image
99. Exposing the College Eating Disorder
100. Depression: The "Other" Major
101. Sexual Assault
102. To Transfer or Not to Transfer
103. Safe, Schmafe
104. Commuting? Words to Take with You
105. Diversity: Sexual, Religious, Racial— It's All Good

Chapter 14
College: A Higher Education: It's Almost Time to Say Good-bye
106. The U of No Regrets
107. Your Tip Goes Here

About the Naked Author

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    Couldn't put it down!

    I'm the kind of girl who, when excited about something, I'll over prepare. I bought this book and three others and I read this one first. The others just seemed so boring compared to this one. I love the format of it, he'd state the tip, share a TRUE story about it and then give advice about it. It's gotten me really ready and actually EXCITED about college and dorm living. MUST READ!!!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    Excellent read for the incoming freshman!

    The Naked Roommate explains what every college student really wants to know, but never asks. What's different about this selection is that the 'nakedness' really is true. You walk into this experience COMPLETELY NAKED! I was a first generation college student, so this book had information that I could remember learning on the spot, on my own and some situations with other friends/fraternity brothers. It's an outstanding example of 'the college student!'

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006


    This book hits the nail on the head on just about every issue you might run into in college! Everyone who is going to college should read this!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    Dead on!

    A must for anyone making the transition to dorm life. Provides excellent pointers, and funny stories. Makes a perfect HS graduation present! I've bought a few copies for people I know that are recent graduates on their way to college!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    As a college graduate you learn things but never know what you will encounter. The kids today have an advantage. There are books to guide them more. This is one of them Excellent idea

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    Finally, Thank you!

    Having two kids in college and one getting ready to go next fall, I've read all these types of books. This one is by far the best of the best. I loved the stories from real students and Harlan has a great sensibility and sense of humor. It's the perfect balance. I couldn't have said it better. This is sure to become the book on college life and teen life. For other parents like me who read Charlotte Simmons, The Naked Roommate is the real story. Read this one. It's non-fiction and it will help you sleep at night.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011


    Very funny!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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