"I wanted to share what I've learned through the trials and errors of my own experience."

These are the words of young Brooke Shields in her first book, "On Your Own" (Villard Books), which hit the bookstores last week. In it she describes the ups and downs of the average college freshman. Average? The premise is that if Brooke Shields can survive her first year of college in good shape, so can you.

She says she wrote the book because "I went to college without one!" She had to learn for herself about roommates, clothes, makeup, getting enough sleep, eating right and dealing with men.

So what's to learn about makeup and clothes when you're a top model? Plenty, when you find yourself alone in New Jersey without a wind machine or makeup artist. Shields explains how she manages to look good despite time constraints, lack of dorm-room closet space and pressures she finds at school.

The book offers tips on eating right, skin and hair care, step-by-step exercises that work best for Shields and the right clothing to make a wardrobe complete. And there are lots of pictures of the Princeton junior.

But much of the book deals with her personal life, which, she reveals, has not been a bed of roses. She writes about her parents' divorce, her mother's alcoholism and problems with her father.

Narrating the book in a "big-sisterly" way, she advises her readers, "Don't think that you're weird or that there's something wrong with you" if roommates don't work out, if you find sexual pressures hard to cope with, or if you have serious family problems.

Shields isn't an expert, but she does have the voice of experience. The book may be just the gift for that young woman who's heading for campus this fall.