College Talk

College Talk

From Chicken Soup for the College Soul

College Talk

It seemed to come on like the flu. Suddenly, out of nowhere, everyone was talking about college. Lunchtime discussions changed from who’s dating whom into who’s going to what college and who did or did not get accepted. And just like the flu leaves its victims feeling awful and helpless, such was the case for this new fascinating subject and me.

I don’t clearly remember the actual conversations. I do, however, remember why I wasn’t interested in all this “college talk.” We didn’t have enough money for me to go to a real college. I would begin my college years at a junior college. This was the final word and I had accepted it. I didn’t even mind terribly. I just wished every one would stop talking about this university and that Ivy League school.

The truth is, I was jealous. I had worked so hard to get good grades in school and for what? Each time I found out someone else I knew had just been accepted to the college of their dreams I would turn a deeper shade of green. I didn’t like feeling this way, but I couldn’t help it. It felt like they were going to jump ahead of me. They were going to have the big life experiences that turn a teenager into an adult and I was going to get left behind.

My boyfriend was very sweet and barely mentioned it every time an envelope arrived for him with a “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to yet another college of your choice!” I knew about them only because his parents lacked the sensitivity with which he was so blessed. He always shrugged it off and would tell me, “You would have had the same response. Watch, you’ll get a full scholarship to the college of your choice in two years and you can laugh at us all for foolishly killing ourselves to arrive at the same place.” He had a point. I just thought it was awfully sweet of him to make sure I saw it this way.

My friends and I kept in touch those first few months and, more often than not, I was the one offering words of support and understanding. They spoke of roommates from hell, classes they couldn’t get into, and the ones they did being so big they couldn’t even see their professor. Not only could I see mine, but one of my favorites invited us to his house on a lake. We would go there for class and stay hours afterwards talking and sharing our theories on human behavior. It was because of this class that I decided to major in psychology.

Needless to say, my tortured thoughts of being left behind while they went out and gathered life experiences in huge doses changed to thoughts of counting my blessings. I was getting a fine serving of life experience. I was letting go of friends and my first true love. I was moving into a humble abode that for the first time in my life I could call my own and I was taking a full load of classes by choice, not requirement.

As time passed and I grew more and more comfortable with my circumstances, I was also able to understand something I hadn’t when I was angry and envious. Real life will be filled with moments of friends making more or loved ones being promoted first. When these things happen, I know I will be prepared. I have already had a taste of this experience and I passed the test quite nicely.

Kimberly Kirberger

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