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Chicken Soup for the College Soul: Inspiring and Humorous Stories About College Paperback – September 1, 1999
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About the Author
KIMBERLY KIRBERGER is the coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Journal, the New York Times bestselling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II and the #1 New York Times bestselling original Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. She is also president of Inspiration And Motivation for Teens, Inc. (I.A.M. for Teens) and frequently speaks at high schools and youth organizations nationwide. She is based out of Pacific Palisades, California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You've never done this before. You can't even come up with some neat comparison to a past experience to make you feel less awkward. It doesn't help that everyone else is doing it, since it's because of them that you have to do it in the first place. Suddenly you have to accept this totally backward behavior as if it were logical, from now on, no end in sight.
In college you wear shoes in the shower. You are halfway across the country living by yourself for probably the first time. Your childhood seems like it's over. You are surrounded by people you don't know, from places you've never been, who probably all have athlete's foot. Your dorm room is supposed to be the same one you saw on your college tour, but you know it's smaller, colder and uglier than the one you saw when your mom was with you. You walk in and are standing in front of a girl you've never met, who you will have to live with all year. She is dressed differently from you and is from a state you've never visited. You probably have nothing in common. No amount of protective footwear is too drastic under these circumstances.
The first few days are like a dream. The shower continues to be the testing ground for your ability to adapt to these conditions. You are sure that everyone but you has figured out how to shave her legs in these small cubicles. You glance wistfully at the people in the hall wondering who could possibly fill in for the best friend you left at home, in whose bathroom you could always go barefoot.
You cry yourself to sleep a couple of times and find yourself counting the days until Thanksgiving. What were you thinking? The state college thirty minutes away would have been just fine, probably much safer. You call home and tell your parents how homesick you are. Sure, you went to that party Saturday night, which was okay, but surely they understand that that's nothing compared to your misery. Your parents say "Give it a chance" so often that you become convinced that they are putting the phone down next to the family parrot and walking away.
But after a while, the Shoeless Night happens. It comes to everybody, sooner or later. Perhaps for you it is a midnight McDonald's run with some girls on your floor and a post-McNugget conversation, way into the night. Your fear of various foot diseases begins to fade somewhat. You might actually like some of the girls.
You might still cry yourself to sleep that night, but something's changed. For a few hours, you got to remove the mythical shoes from the feet of your soul. Because the important thing about The Night is that it is followed by Other Nights. The night of party hopping is preceded by a two-hour primping session with the same girls, before piling far too many of you into one car. The night of stealing other halls' furniture together allows you to let them see you in the morning after an "I'm too tired to wash my face" night.
Eventually, when you need to cry (because you still might, for a while), you find yourself walking down the hall to someone else's room instead of getting on the phone to your parents. When you do call them, all you can talk about is that girl down the hall who understands everything you say and listens so well. Your parents are thrilled and begin teaching the parrot to say, "That's great, Honey!"
One night while standing at a party you turn to your friend and say, "Are you ready to go home?" Then you realize you're referring to your dorm, that place that seemed so cold and ugly the first week. Well, they must have turned the heat up, or repainted or something. You still wear shoes in the shower, but you and your friends know it's just because of those people on the next floor.
You can't be too careful.
(c) Lia Gay and Rebecca Hart, 1999. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc. from Chicken Soup for the College Soul, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, and Dan Clark. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
Top Customer Reviews
The Chicken Soup for the Soul series deals in inspiring, heartwarming, and sometimes sad stories about human perseverance and kindness. They are short stories, just enough to read a couple a night or sit down and read the whole book in one sitting because it does read fast. This particular book is supposed to be about college, and there are a lot of college stories here detailing feeling overwhelmed at starting, dorm rooms, roommates, grades, and other such things you would associate. There's the requisite story about drugs being bad and to avoid them on campus and stories of parents pride at seeing their kids go off to get their education. And then there's just some random stories that have nothing to do with college at all, like the one of the mother explaining the meaning of sex to a little girl in a waiting room. That one puzzled me. But there were a few stories I liked, mainly the ones saying that if you try hard enough you can achieve anything, because I do believe that is true.
The majority of the stories in this particular edition of Chicken Soup are positive. The people are mostly kind and want the best for each other or they impart valuable lessons to the reader and the protagonist. But I couldn't really feel connected to any of them. Sorority girls, class presidents, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered 8 of these for high school graduates. I read several of the stories & felt they were very appropriate for my special seniors. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jkse
I found this book at a thrift store. I love it since I am currently in college. I just ordered their newest one from 2009. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Sara
I read it before going to college and it helped me out a lot. Very heart warming!Published 19 months ago by Emeline Barthelemy
I bought it for my niece who's off to college and thought it would be perfect for her especially since one of the recommendations was by a staff member of her school.Published 22 months ago by Lee A Morren
I've read several of the Chicken Soup books before, and this one fell completely flat. There were few stories, and most of them were by a select group of the same authors, which... Read morePublished on June 6, 2011 by ALittleMadHatter
If you've read other "Chicken Soup for the Soul" anthologies, then you already know the format of this book. Read morePublished on March 23, 2011 by Cactus