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

Ashley's earring

Ashley's necklace

20 February 2006

When it’s cold outside, there’s no need to worry
’cause I’m so warm inside.
—John Legend

The Texas weather has officially been going crazy these past couple of weeks. From rain to ice to cold temperatures, you would think this could bring out some unpleasant moods, but trying to stay positive in any type of situation is leaving me with this warmth on the inside that symbolizes my motivation and confidence and keeps me moving.

Here we go again.

It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen…midterms! I figured coming into this semester it would be a tad bit easier preparing for everything, but slowly and surely things are starting to look exactly how they previously did—stressful. This upcoming week I have three exams all in one day for accounting, calculus and economics. Not exactly a walk in the park, is it? To make matters worse my last exam ends at 9 p.m., and the next morning I have to be in the great city of Houston for my big interview with an accounting firm at 9 a.m. sharp.

That is why I stress discipline and time management to the fullest. I could have easily gone with my friends to the big NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, but through discipline I told myself that this week of interviewing and exam-taking is twice as important as an event I could go to another year. I am not saying that everyone should be like me and make those sacrifices because my schedule is probably not at all identical to many people who are able to do a little bit more.

However, I will say this to all incoming freshmen: Be aware of the load you put on yourself because it will either make you or break you. What I mean is that if you want to be impressive you can take on many courses at a time and join 50 million organizations, but you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. Trust me on this because I am a living testament.

This year I started out taking six classes, and I was involved in seven activities total. I will admit that is just too much. Soon classes began to drop and so did some of my activities. I stuck with the classes that I knew would be beneficial to me in my major and also the activities that fulfilled me the most.

Speaking of fulfilling organizations I have a big announcement to make. I made financial officer in the Black Business Students Association! I find it exciting just thinking about grabbing a leadership position. This particular opportunity opens the door for me to progress as a student and as a leader.

My responsibilities as an officer are already piling high, but I think that it comes with the job description. I do what any treasurer would do—prepare budgets and monitor all the spending that goes on in the organization. I was pretty proud of myself because I looked at this position as a statement that I am making as a first-year student. I know what I want and when I am sure about the things that I want, I try my hardest to get it. If I don’t then I either “dust myself off and try again” or draw the conclusion that maybe it wasn’t right for me in the first place.

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