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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

9 May 2006

“This could be the very minute,
I’m aware I’m all alive,
All these places feel like home.”
—Snow Patrol

Finals are approaching. Ah, that sense of impending doom…

I’m taking three, plus working on a term paper that quite literally is my grade for my English class. So, in other words, I’m stressed, tired and mildly cranky.

My last entry was about finding my home on this campus. For me, that home happened to be my sorority. But, I’ve realized that here, in Austin, I feel at home in more than one place, and with more than one group of people.

Over the past scholastic year, I’ve made some amazing friends, and thankfully, I’ve kept many of my old friends, too. With the advent of this whole college thing, I was terrified of being alone on this campus. Now, well, even when I actually crave solitude, it’s elusive. Being me, and an occasional hermit, I’ve ferreted out hiding spots around campus.

I love my life. I really, really love my life.

And to my friends, to those of you who bug me for more journal entries, those of you who tickle me, those of you who listen to me rant, those of you who try to talk me into coming out of literary retirement, those of you who’ll help me get rid of those nasty late-night food cravings, those of you who notice that I’m upset before I even open my mouth, those of you who go for late-night walks outside with me when I’m too agitated to study, I love y’all.

Thank you.

While going through my year here, I’ve found that what’s kept me from absolute madness were my friends. This campus really is overflowing with people, and familiar faces really make me feel more secure. And, now, for my wise words of the entry—make friends at orientation, talk to the other people from your high school who are coming here, talk to the other people in your hall during move-in, because that first few weeks, every familiar face is a godsend.

The other thing that really kept me going this year was the constant support from my family. I’ll admit, I’m terrible about calling home, but every time I do, they make me feel so much better. Even a mere text message from my father brightens my day just a little bit. I also like knowing that they miss me a little bit. It’s comforting. And each time I speak with them, I’m reminded that no matter what happens, there are always people in this world who love me unconditionally.

Family is the only reason I believe in unconditional love. No matter how many mistakes I make (and my mistakes are numerous), no matter how upset I make them, no matter how much a rebel, they’re always there for me. I love them dearly.

So, my other bit of advice—hold onto your family. Even if you think you’re never going to call home, you’re never going to visit and you’ll never be homesick, call anyway. You’d be surprised just how much you’ll miss them. I know I was.

And yes, I survived summer camps and weeks without them—but oh, coming to college made me realize just how important my family is.

Well, this entry is a tad sentimental. I blame the end of the year, my and finals stress. On that note, go ahead and e-mail me at with your comments, critique, whatever. Just, um, as previously stated, don’t be creepy. I’m not looking for my soulmate through a first-year journal. Trust me.

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