Author takes a ‘shot’ at student life

By Staff Writer
November 21, 2002

“One day it is going to happen. You’re going to look around and realize your parents are gone, your laundry is dirty, you’ve gained, lost and gained back again fifteen pounds. You’re in college.”

And so, the saga begins. From orientation to job hunting, from hooking up to finals, Steve Hofstetter, a 2002 grad of Columbia, covers it all in his first book, Student Body Shots: A Sarcastic Look at the Best 4-6 Years of Your Life. “What could I have in common with an Ivy Leaguer?” you may ask. Well, you’re a college student of course and this book is for all of us, so Hofstetter said.

Student Body Shots is basically a collection of statements and observations, mixed in with a little advice, about the life of a college student. This book takes a look at topics such as “The Daily Grind,” “Men and Women,” “Social Life” and “Academics.” Each clever comment reminds you of something you did, thought, or said at least once during your college career and if you didn’t you know a friend who has.

“If my professor gives out 200 pages of reading I’ll only do the first fifty and wonder why they assigned so much. So the next week they give 50 pages. I read the first ten pages and wonder why they assign so much.”

In the forward of this book, Rider Strong, the actor who plays Shawn on Boy Meets World takes note of how real this book is. He remembers returning to his dorm room after taping a “Very Special Episode” about college dorm life for Boy Meets World and finding his real roommate passed out on the floor. “TV is twenty years behind the times,” says Strong but Hofstetter’s book is not. Unlike a PBS special about the dangers of binge drinking and how college students are such nuisances to society, this book would make anyone not in college excited to get there and anyone in college sad to admit they have to leave some day.

The idea for this book came from a column Hofstetter writes called, “Observational Humor” on Anyone who wants a preview of this book and its laugh-out-loud characteristics needs only to check out this column. Instead of doing the readings assigned for class, flipping through this book is a great way to waste your time and much more interesting than IMing your roommate.

Many of the experiences Hofstetter writes about are remarkably similar to those of any college student, and he does an excellent job of writing it all down. Anyone who has ever thought of keeping a journal throughout college so that they can remember all the great times needs only to get this book. While every school is different, and every person is different everyone is able to enjoy this book. As Hofstetter said, “The only things that make college ‘normal’ are the minute details we have in common, those little acts of stupidity, or naivete or college level ingenuity that together we can look back upon, or forward to, shake our heads and gladly realize we’re not alone.”

rating out of five
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