The University of Texas at Austin wordmark
Small handwriting sample of Brooke's First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page
Brooke holds her red guitar

Brooke's stuffed monkey, Larry

Detail of neck and strings on Brooke's red guitar

“I don’t get many things right the first time…
In fact, I am told that a lot.”

—Ben Folds, “The Luckiest”

And so it begins. The second semester. A second chance to make the first year of college incredible and unforgettable. A second chance to make new friends, improve some grades and learn a few things. I’m going to class this semester. I have so far, and I’ve enjoyed it really. I think I missed out on a lot of interesting information last semester with all of the skipping I did.

I have a bunch of goals for this semester. First and foremost, Roommate and I have decided to make the very most of living in Austin. We’ve got a list that extends most of the way down our wall of things that we need to do before the end of the semester. We’re going to do a lot more exploring in the city and in the hills. We’re going to try new things. We’re going to view as much live music as possible. This would be much easier if we were 21.

Goal number two, better grades. Sure, my grades last semester were fine. But had I made those kinds of grades in high school I would have been mortified. So I’m going to class and doing some out-of-class reading. Really it makes the days go by much more quickly. It’s a win-win situation I suppose.

Goal number three, come to a better appreciation of the people around me. I spent the first semester missing my “old” friends. This semester I’m going to work on having a good time with my “new” friends. This goal is being helped along by the fact that I have classes with people that I already know. I can’t tell you how much more pleasant this makes my life.

Goal number four, convince my parents to let me live in an apartment next year.

And the list goes on.

It’s nice to start things fresh. It’s nice to come back to school and have class with an entirely new set of people. It’s nice that everything has started over. There are no projects left over from last semester hanging over my head. I didn’t have to return to the teachers that I didn’t like from last semester. There aren’t many situations in life where you get to start all over again.

Oh yeah, as for the break, in case you were wondering…it was absolutely wonderful and amazing. All of my friends are still the same. Some of them have more facial hair. Some of them have new highlights. Some of them look like walking advertisements for their sororities. Some of them have a bit more direction these days. But they’re still my same old friends. And it was wonderful to get to spend time with them again.

I got to go to the Sugar Bowl over the holiday. Geaux Tigers! What an excellent football game. National Champs…It makes me proud to be a Louisianan.

And as promised, here’s my Mark update. Long distance relationships are hard…but they’re doable. We talk a lot more than we would if we were in the same city. You know, when you’re with someone, silence can be perfectly comfortable. Just being with one another is enough. You don’t need words. But when you’re seven hours apart, words are necessary. So we talk. We talk all the time about all kinds of things. And the whole seven hours apart thing…well, it ensures that every moment spent together is cherished as it should be. So, we’re still doing the long distance thing. It’s still working out just fine. And I still miss him like crazy.

It was kind of awful to leave my friends after six glorious weeks with them. My very best friend in the whole world called me numerous times during my first few days back, though, and that helped more than words can say. Thank you, Shellie. Come visit me soon!

And that’s about it. I’m excited to see what the spring holds in store. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be lovely. Spring is, after all, the very best time of year.

Questions, comments, compliments or complaints can be sent to If you put WEB JOURNAL as the topic there’s a far greater chance that I won’t mistake your message for junk mail and delete it without reading it. Thanks.

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