Have you ever wished you could have had a step-by-step guide to surviving high school? Avik Banik, a freshman at University of South Alabama, made one. He interviewed hundreds of high school students …
Have you ever wished you could have had a step-by-step guide to surviving high school? Avik Banik, a freshman at University of South Alabama, made one.
He interviewed hundreds of high school students in Baldwin and Mobile counties to create a book full of tips for making the most of the high school experience.
The book, titled "Navigating High School: A Student's Guide to Achieving Straight-A's, Creating an Exciting Social Life and Making the Varsity Team," provides students with advice on excelling in high school academically, athletically and socially.
"I was inspired watching my classmates who made the varsity team, had better grades or more friends than me. It got me thinking, 'what are were these kids doing that I wasn't?'" Banik said. "During my sophomore year, I reached out to some of the kids in my school and talked to them. I realized I could create something out of this and decided I would reach out to as many people as I could from Mobile and Baldwin County."
Banik, who graduated from W.P. Davidson High School in Mobile, said he relied on research and interviews with students and faculty to craft the book.
Banik said that while it was a struggle to balance writing the book with his schoolwork, the COVID-19 lockdown gave him the time needed.
"It feels weird to say, but COVID-19 actually played a positive impact in my life by giving me more time to work on this," Banik laughed. "I did still have to make sacrifices to work on my book. I skipped prom, homecoming and other senior events to work on my book. I kept telling myself that this book had to be a top priority because it handles a problem that so many people go through."
Banik said he initially self-published the book but has since received interest from several publishing companies regarding the title.
"I really wanted the book to be traditionally published, but I didn't realize how tough the process would be," Banik said. "I just really wanted this book out now so it could help all the kids going through school right now. But, the same month it was published, the LA Times heard about my book and reached out to tell me how much they liked the idea."
Banik said that the LA Times invited him to attend the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April 2024, where he hopes to get picked up by a major publishing company.
"This book has helped me so much. Now that I have started college, I have applied a lot of these lessons to my own life," Banik said. "My school life has been so much better. I now have a 4.0 GPA and a lot of friends."