The University of Texas at Austin wordmark
Small handwriting sample of C.J.'s First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page
Sam with her pink sunglasses

Sam's green frog, Snuffulupagus

Sam in her favorite shades


Name: Saman, but most people shorten it to Sam.

Major: English

College/School: College of Liberal Arts

Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas

High school: W.P. Clements High School

Facts about your family:
I’m the oldest of three. I have a younger sister and a younger brother. My parents moved here from Pakistan to attend the University of Houston in the 1980s. We’re Muslim.

Why did you choose to attend The University of Texas at Austin?
Logistically speaking, it was financially easiest. It’s also the perfect distance from home—far enough that I can grow, and close enough for home-cooked food. And when I visited campus, I fell in love with its vibrancy. I wanted to go to a college that felt alive. I’m tripping into love with Austin, definitely bleeding orange.

What do you want to do when you graduate from the university?
Take over the world. Or go to law school. I’m still deciding.

If you could choose one personal object to represent you (an item you brought to campus with you), what would that object be?
My green frog, Snuffulupagus.

If you had to choose one thing about yourself to share with the university’s Web audience, what would it be?
I define myself in shades of pink.

Who are your heroes?
John Lennon. Marilyn Monroe. Faulkner. Coco Chanel. Emily Dickinson. Emily Bronte. Captain Don Hetherington, my NJROTC instructor.

If you could travel to one spot anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?
Italy’s my current fantasy. I’m dreaming of Venice, Milan and Rome.

What are your current favorite books? What books would you recommend to someone you just met?
I love books, and I mean that. Asking me to pick is harsh. But I truly adore “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” “About a Boy,” “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Angels and Demons,” the Harry Potter series, “As I Lay Dying,” “The Princess Bride,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Wuthering Heights,” “No Exit,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The School of Night,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” “The Notebook,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “A Long Fatal Love Chase,” “The Rescue,” “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Little Altars Everywhere” and “Pygmalion.”

Depending on the person, I would recommend “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” or “The Time-Traveler’s Wife.” Or perhaps a good classic—“Wuthering Heights.”

What pushes your buttons? What are your pet peeves?
Disgusting fingernails. Brown belts and black shoes worn together. Slow computers. Losing my cell phone and/or keys. Being ignored.

What music are you listening to currently?
Everything. As I’m typing this sentence, I have “Slowdance on the Inside” by Taking Back Sunday blaring out of my laptop. I think the best way to describe my taste is randomly eclectic. I adore sickeningly catchy pop like Savage Garden, Michelle Branch and Kelly Clarkson, musicals (Les Mis is my all time favorite, but Rent is a fantastically close second), rock (Nightwish, Nirvana, Chevelle, Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Iced Earth, Snow Patrol, Radiohead, Goo Goo Dolls, The Foo Fighters, Live, Lifehouse, Muse), assorted jazz and classical pieces, a country tune or two.

Favorite colors?
PINK!! (And because I have school spirit—burnt orange) Right now, my side of the dorm room is pink and black, and I love it.

Favorite Web sites? Why?
I’m a addict, actually. It’s an amazing way to keep in touch.

Favorite foods?
Sushi, hummus, PB&J on wheat bread with no crusts, strawberries, dark chocolate (the darker the better), rainbow sherbet, salads, mangoes and Mango Mantras from Jamba Juice (they do qualify as food).

All-time favorite movies? Why?
I’m a closet chick flick junkie. I love The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Legally Blonde, Clueless, Mean Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I’m such a girl.

I also adore old Hollywood: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Some Like it Hot and Rebel Without a Cause are my old loves.

A good Disney movie snags me too. I think I’ve seen them all. The Little Mermaid and Aladdin were my childhood favorites.

And, just to redeem myself, I really liked Chicago, Moulin Rouge, The Phantom of the Opera, The Dead Poets Society, Frida, Garden State, Fight Club and A Beautiful Mind.

Favorite artists?
Andy Warhol. I have three of his prints on my walls. I love impressionism too, such as Monet and Van Gogh.

Favorite academic subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?
I love literature, writing. I’m actually looking forward to doing theses my senior year. History and philosophy fascinates me as well, and I’m considering minoring in French. I’m really interested in studying abroad and the Humanities program here. I’d love to do the literature-history-philosophy concentration.

Favorite spot on campus?
I can’t pick one yet. I’m still exploring. But I loved the sea of burnt of orange at the football stadium, my adorable (albeit messy) dorm room, the Kinsolving dining hall, and the quad. OK, I just love this whole city.

Favorite places to go in Austin? Favorite things to do in Austin?
Jamba Juice, of course. Anywhere that’s playing live music. I’m still hunting for a quirky bookstore. Oh, and I’ve fallen in love with football. I went to my first game and within the first quarter I was cheering like mad.

Favorite free-time activities?
I’m up for anything, really. I love writing, reading, running, dancing, people-watching. I give my roommate makeovers. I’m especially fond of wandering aimlessly. I can talk endlessly. I have a love-hate relationship with shopping, unless shoes are involved, in which case, it’s rapture. I love laughing and making other people laugh.

Interesting facts about you:
I can make the Puss-in-Boots face from “Shrek 2.” I eat my Skittles in a certain order. I own 27 pairs of shoes (but not all of them came to Austin). I am mildly obsessed with Harry Potter. I sing, but only in my car. I can’t leave my dorm room without putting on eyeliner.

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