About This Book

College life can be fun, stressful, exciting, and educational in more ways than one. Campus Chronicles is a book for any current or prospective college student who wants to know what really goes on in the dorms and in the classroom. Story topics range from the academic, like studying abroad and picking majors, to partying and life choices. Read about other college students’ spring breaks, personal growth, relationships with family and significant others, Greek life, transferring schools, money woes, and alternative paths. Campus Chronicles is about growing up, making choices, learning lessons, and making the best of your last years as a student.

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College-bound: Five ways to maximize your experience

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark and Madeline Clapps

Roommates brimming with school pride. Goofy professors in tweed jackets. Those legendary parties on Greek Row. These are just a few things that await as you prepare to begin your college days. But, what can you do to get ready for the time of your life? Practice pulling all-nighters? If you’re college-bound, consider these tips inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles, to help you discover the joys of campus life from orientation week to graduation day:

1. Get to know your roommates. For some, college represents an academic triathlon, but it is also a time for self-discovery and making lasting friendships. Travis Shelley was one of these tri-athlete students, whose story "People over Paper" recounts his choice to sacrifice a social life for his GPA, which meant ignoring his friendly roommates. But when they threw him a surprise birthday party at the end of the year, Travis knew that they would become lifelong friends. Travis needed a little push, but you can make the choice to get to know your roommates. Take some proactive steps to ensure that you and your roommates start out with some basic guidelines of what you both want from your living situation. Is there a time when no guests will be allowed? If one of you wants to pull an all-nighter, will he or she need to go to the library? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before move-in day arrives. And who knows, your roommates may become the best friends you’ve always wanted!

2. Rush or wait? The shock of moving away from home may seem like a big change; so you probably won’t consider trying something new before settling into college life. As Christina Kapp describes in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles, the best way for her to make friends and forget about all those scary changes was to join a sorority. For some, Greek life will expose them to new things and for others it will not. Research Greek life on your campus. Find out what percentage of students participate, and what kind of reputation they have and activities they offer. Decide what is best for you, and remember that you can be happy and make friends whether or not you rush.

3. Open up your world. In college it is tempting to settle into a routine, so if you find yourself doing those things you swore you’d never do, such as wearing pajamas outside or painting your face in your school’s colors for the football game, maybe it is time to consider leaving the comfort of the campus bubble. Madeline Clapps’ story "More Mud, Please," shares her experience in Peru where she helped build stoves for families in need with her college scholars group. In the midst of such poverty, these people were so grateful to have little necessities; she knew that her life would never be the same. While Madeline left the United States, you don’t have to search beyond your own college town to discover new things that will enrich your life. Shake things up! Try sushi for the first time, volunteer at the campus counseling center, start a club that will affect the community or organize a food and clothing drive for hurricane victims. Expose yourself to new people and situations, and you’ll ultimately learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

4. Take a fun class. Fed up with the boring coursework required by his major, Daniel James took a medical anthropology class in hopes of finding entertainment in the classroom. In "Teacher Student," Daniel recalls his fascination with the subject, enjoying his studies for the first time. Take something that piques your interest and if you haven’t decided on a major yet, this experience may lead to the discovery of an unknown passion for a subject or a new career path.

5. Explore campus. Posters advertising student organizations and clubs may serve as wallpaper for most of the building’s surfaces, but reading them may actually be useful. In Amanda L. Southall’s story "Your First Night at School," she advises students to: "Go to everything you have time for, meet people and remember their names, and get to know your campus. Your impressions of it will change as it becomes your home, but that first impression will remain a cherished memory." Student-run organizations are a perfect place to make friends, and they usually have the inside scoop on exclusive educational programs that offer prestigious internships for major corporations. There are also numerous untapped resources on your campus, such as: the study abroad office (it may be more affordable than you think), student government, multicultural centers and on-campus theatrical performances. So, go ahead and settle into your new campus home and enjoy the sights along the way.

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