My Freshman Year

My Freshman Year

What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student

Written by: Rebekah Nathan

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101042502
  • 208 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior—eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions—made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan decided to do what anthropologists do when confused by a different culture: Go live with them. She enrolled as a freshman, moved into the dorm, ate in the dining hall, and took a full load of courses. And she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, too. Her discoveries about contemporary undergraduate culture are surprising and her observations are invaluable, making My Freshman Year essential reading for students, parents, faculty, and anyone interested in educational policy.


“It’s anthropology at its best: accessible, illuminating, contextual.” —The Christian Science Monitor

My Freshman Year… is an insightful, riveting look at college life and American values.” —The Boston Globe