From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting In...To College


If there’s a book you really want to read,
but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

~Toni Morrison

This book was created in response to a real need — a book that provides emotional support to high school students and their parents as they navigate the college application process. This is the most traumatic episode in many kids’ lives, and in the lives of the parents suffering alongside them. Record numbers of high school students are graduating this year, and applying to colleges, which are sorting through double, even triple, the number of applications they received just a few years ago, for the same number of slots.

My teenage daughter, my teenage neighbor, our high school intern, my friends... have all asked for this book. It is not a how-to book. It’s a book to support you as you go through this painful process. You are not alone, and the stories in this book open a window into the experiences of other high school students as they prepare to apply to college, go through the application process, wait for the answers, and grapple with their choices.

My kids would have benefited from this book while they were applying to college, and that is why we made it for you. Last year, my eighteen-year-old daughter, a college freshman, asked me to please create this book for the kids behind her. As the Toni Morrison quote above says, if there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then go ahead and write it — or ask your mother to do it! That’s the beauty of Chicken Soup for the Soul — we saw a need and we have responded.

I really wanted to vent in this foreword. We had mixed results in my household — my daughter and all her best friends got into their early decision or early action schools in December of their senior year. On the other hand, my son and many of his friends suffered major disappointments despite stellar test scores, grades, and accomplishments. And neither of my children was accepted by my alma mater, which was quite upsetting for a loyal alumna. Last winter, I seriously considered chopping up my wood Harvard chair and throwing it in the fireplace.

The college admissions process is inherently unfair, random, and inexplicable. I felt a bit like an admissions officer in reviewing the stories that were submitted to us for this book. We picked 101 great stories and poems, and we regretfully passed on dozens of additional great stories. Random, unfair, and inexplicable — I apologize.

We have included a few stories from around the world — from kids applying to schools in Australia, Canada, England, and Scotland. Since you are all students of grammar, I just want to point out that we have deliberately retained British spelling in stories from contributors outside the United States.

Enjoy this book. I hope it relieves your stress a little. The good news is that there are millions of other kids going through the same process, but of course that is the bad news too. Anyway — good luck. You will live through this.

~Amy Newmark
Publisher, Chicken Soup for the Soul

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners