College For Kids

December 7, 2012
The day had just begun in the sleepy little town of Moberly. Dogs didn’t bark, cats didn’t meow, and life had just slowed down. For a Sunday in June it was the hottest yet, the sun being merciless to all. Inside, children played, mothers watched and fathers read the newspaper. A typical Sunday, or so it seemed.

The cool air rushed through the vents like an arctic wind off a mountain. Tires spun, trees sped by and my heart raced as we continued toward my destination. Sitting alone, with bags packed all around me, the anticipation was so real that it hurt. I had been preparing for this week from home for months, but seeing as how I was only nine years old, this was going to be a pretty big deal.

“Are you ready, Abbi?” my mom inquired. I was too frightened to speak. The dormitories of William Woods loomed above me, like an immovable mountain, taunting me to come inside. My life was quite boring compared to what this week had in store for me. Ice cream fights, late nights, and secret pranks on the other dorms. But then, looking up at those dorms, I had no idea that all of that and more awaited me at the magical place called College for Kids.

My room advisor, Whitney, was very excited and had a smile to match when I met her.

‘Hi, my name is Whitney, but you can call me Whit. I hope you are ready to have the time of your life! Are you? Are you ready?”

It was like I was seeing myself ten years down the road. Loud, fun, and with enough energy to power a rocket, she was just like me. Still in shock, I couldn’t respond. I vaguely heard her and my mom chatting but then, all of a sudden, I had a question.

“Who’s my roommate?” I inquired, no doubt rudely interrupting their conversation.

“I will let her introduce herself once she arrives.” mysteriously countered Whitney.
I would soon learn that her name was Emma, that she had short brown hair, blue eyes and was a jack-of-all-trades when it came to getting her way. She was nice, at first, and I started to think that this week might not be so bad…

Mere hours later, that assumption was proved very wrong. I would come to know little perfect Emma, to be conniving, mysterious and a total drama queen. But then again, this was only the first day.

The dorms were miniscule, even for tiny nine year olds such as me. The lights were bright, the showers were something out of a dollhouse, but looking back everything seemed amazing. I remember that first afternoon, unpacking, making my bed, and getting ready for the opening ceremony where this week of wonders would finally be explained. We walked to the superdome where the ceremony would be held, sat down, and waited, just waited, for the show to begin.

“Good evening ladies and gentleman!” called Sue Craghead, the head honcho of College for Kids.

“Good evening Sue!” we all replied in unison. Introductions were made, rules were laid down, cell phones were collected and finally College for Kids began.

After the parents were long gone, and dinner had begun, I sat and observed, just thinking. “All of these kids are just like me, quirky, athletic, fun and smart.” I thought to myself. I was stunned that we were all here, for the first time, and yet we’d never felt more at home.

Get to know you games were played on the front lawn, but it felt like we had known each other forever. As the night wore down, we relaxed in our dorms, and games of werewolf and kung fu ran wild. But as we fell asleep, we all knew that we would never forget this day.

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