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Small handwriting sample of Ashley's First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page

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6 March 2006

It’s just one of them days,
When I want to be all alone
It’s just one of them days,
When I gotta be all alone,
It’s just one of them days…don’t take it personal.
—Monica from “Don’t Take it Personal”

Lately I’ve been longing for a getaway place, a place where I am defined within my bounds as a free person, a place where looks, color, sizes and material things don’t turn people against each other—I’m longing for tranquility.

I’ve longed for semesters to be alone without being obligated to be pulled by the arms in different directions from school and work—I’m longing for peace. It’s only my freshman year and I am exhausted, but the sad part is I have put myself in this situation only to learn from this mistake of an overload.

I remember one time I pulled an all-nighter, for the second night in a row, and I felt depleted, as though I could sleep for days. But, instead of picking up that extra day of sleep, I found myself “sleepless in Austin” for a third night for an important quiz.

Although the schedule of my daily obligations was sitting in front of me, I completely agonized over the things that I had to do and found myself not getting anything done. I wish I could just get away for once and not have to worry about all of the factors that drain students, such as school, activities or even being away from home.

I’m like Lenny Kravitz right now who says, “I want to get away…I want to fly away.” If I had wings for a day I would get away from the madness of school and the course load and all of the heavy tuition bills that I am stuck thinking about night and day.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have finally done it: I have finally crashed and burned. I am at a crossroads at school where I feel like I’m doing too much and I want to have a fresh start. I need a new start and most of all I need a break. I can’t believe I’m sharing this moment but I need to give everyone a visual as to how my schedule is going and how I need to calm down.

I had two quizzes that I had to study for but I was too busy setting up committees in organizations, running errands for other people and hanging out with friends. That’s when I realized that “oh my goodness” I had two quizzes back to back that I haven’t even looked over. So I decided to stay up all night to study for one but I was so tired that I couldn’t understand what I was reading.

So what I would do was stay up all night working hard in the Business School and during the day I would try to sleep. But, there is a little problem. I have class during the day! So my plan was to take 30-minute-to-an-hour power naps and wake up and go to class.

This seemed to evolve into another problem. Thirty minutes is not enough sleep for me to feel energized and attentive in a class like calculus! I had this going on for about two weeks and I finally just burned out. I found myself in church praying for help with my life, my course load and my future endeavors.

I am currently back on track, but I’m still longing for a getaway. Luckily spring break is in a week.

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