Will Pizio’s new book offers college advice


Photo courtesy of William Pizio

“Investing in your future is doing your job,” said Will Pizio, associate professor of justice and policy studies.

This was one of the many lessons encompassed in Pizio’s latest book, “Preparing Yourself to Succeed in College: A Professor’s Guide to Choosing a College and Thriving in Your First Year,” which took two and a half years to write.

Pizio grew up in Syracuse, New York, and spent much of his life there, even going back during his sabbatical to get a master’s degree in cyber security from Utica College. He spent most of his college years at the State University of New York at Albany in order to obtain his doctorate.

Brimming with knowledge, Pizio wrote the book to be an informative read for both high school and college students.

“It’s not just academic advice,” said Pizio. “It’s advice on how to navigate this road.”

Pizio’s own college experience informed his writing.

“I wasn’t a good college student in the beginning,” said Pizio. “Before I went to college, it was simply going to be a means to an end for me … My first year, I was awful, and part of it was I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but part of it was I just didn’t care.

“When I figured out what I wanted to do, I became a straight A student.”

Pizio also hopes students understand that, upon beginning school, they don’t have to have everything figured out.

“I remember that process of not knowing what I wanted to do and how that affected school,” said Pizio. “I don’t think that 18-year-olds should have to choose what they want to do for their life if they don’t know.”

While working as a First Year Seminar professor at Guilford, Pizio consolidated much of the advice he’d given over the years into a guide on how to engage in school efficiently and effectively. Over the years, he has counseled over 85 advisees.

“It’s every piece of advice I’ve tried to give over 25 years,” said Pizio. “The whole purpose is to make you an accountable student … I taught a lot of First Year Seminars … And I’ve advised a lot of students.

“I realized that I had given a lot of advice over my time here about college … and it made me think a little bit about writing a book.”

One of the most significant factors Pizio made sure to include during his process was the approval of his target audience: students.

“The first three chapters were read by a student here, who’s now a (first-year),” said Pizio. “So, I had Guilford students read it in years it was relevant to them to tell me if I got it right, or to tell me if I got it wrong.”

One lesson Pizio advises to remember in the college process is that it is for an individual alone, not anyone else.

“This is your education, not your parents’,” said Pizio. “You have to do the work, you have to do your job. Do it better and do it efficiently.

“I think college does two things for you. It teaches you (academic) content, and it also teaches you how to be an adult.”