Washington Adventist University selected Byron Pitts’ Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges for the First Year Experience Summer Reading Assignment this year. Incoming WAU students read the book over the summer; their first college course assignment, four short essay responses to questions about the book, was due on their first day of class.
The Summer Reading Assignment at WAU emphasizes reading and writing skills and the important connection between the two.
Step Out on Nothing was selected, in part, to encourage students to emulate the author’s discipline and determination in the face of life’s challenges. As they embark on their college journeys, students “will be faced with all kinds of challenges,” writes FYE Director, Sophia Ward. “Learning how to conquer these situations will be a key component of your success.”
As they read the book, students were asked to consider how they could apply Mr. Pitts’ approach to success to their own lives.
As you begin to identify hurdles you, your family members, maybe even your friends have encountered, ask yourself: How did I deal with these difficulties? What lessons have I learned from those experiences that can help me rise above any challenges I may face while at WAU? What tools will I need to be successful in college? What is my plan? Keep asking these questions, and as you begin to form answers, recognize that even this process is part of your college journey.
—Why this particular book?: Washington Adventist University FYE Summer Reading Assignment
For the first writing assignment, WAU provided nine short essay questions and asked students to answer four of them. Click here to view the questions. The assignment was not simply to answer the questions; it called specifically for first-years to give thought to the ideas and do their best work in order to make a positive first impression as WAU students.
Step Out on Nothing • St. Martin’s Press • 304 pages