What It Takes for High School Graduates to Succeed in College

It’s that time of year: graduation season.

Across the country, seniors in high school are walking across stages and receiving their diplomas. Amidst the celebrations, many of these new graduates are gearing up for the next chapter of their lives: college.

Unfortunately, not all high school graduates who find their way to a university campus are guaranteed to finish with a degree in hand. Nationally recognized speaker and author Antonio Neves finds this is unacceptable. So, he decided to do something about it. What did he do? He wrote 50 Things Every College Student Should Know.

Antonio knows first-hand the challenges that the college experience can provide. He was a first generation college student who went on to earn a master’s degree from an Ivy League institution. Though on paper the odds were stacked against him, Antonio succeeded. He went on to have a successful career in New York City in the television industry as a reporter and producer with top networks. Today, he travels across the country speaking to college students about how to succeed on and off campus.


We sat down with Antonio to learn more about his book.

Neves_50Things_High Resolution Front Cover

Why did you write this book?

Many of the most powerful lessons that happen during the college years don’t take place inside of the classroom. They happen in the world outside of it. I wrote the book to help students get the most out of their education and investment from day one on campus.

What are some of the areas you focus on in the book?

I focus on three key areas: life, career and relationship building. With life lessons I share how students are going to have good days and not so good days. The book provides insight on how to harness the great days to their advantage and learn valuable lessons from the tough ones. With the career lessons, college students face an extremely competitive employment landscape in a digital age where everyone seems to look great. The book provides tip and strategies that helps them stand out in the crowd. With relationship building, the lessons provided focus on the core message: it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. The book helps students learn how to build a network of allies and develop strong, positive relationships.

There are 50 lessons in the book, which one is your favorite?

All of them! But if I had to pick one it would be number 16, “Supporters Are Greater Than Followers.” This chapter focuses on how in this social media age we tend to put a lot of attention on “followers.” Most of the time these are people we have never met. The point I try to get across in the books is that regardless how many “followers” we have across social media, real life supporters are the most valuable thing in our lives. Nothing can replace true human connection. Especially during challenging times.

How do you like to use the spotlight?

I use it two ways: to drive people to my books and also to book speaking engagements.  Almost every day I get an inquiry about a speaking engagement from someone who found me on and I’ve sold lots of books via the platform. Spotlight is fantastic.

Zoë Björnson is a Product Marketing Manager at She loves cheese and is currently traveling the world while working remotely. You can find her on Twitter @kzoeb.


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