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

7 November 2005

I share with complete strangers my most personal of pleasures.
I scribble tidbits of useless mind info—trash, treasure.”

—The Honorary Title, “Frame by Frame”

It’s a gorgeous day. It’s November, and somehow, I can sit outside in a T-shirt and a skirt enjoying a dainty breeze and a cheerful sun. God, I love Austin.

I just thought I’d point that out.

Anyways, I’d like to forewarn you, dear reader, that I’m in a random sort of mood. With that in mind, I present my musings.

I see people in colors. I’ve always defined myself through pink. I am very much that mix of tempestuous, passionate red and innocent, peaceful white. My friends are a box of crayons—orchid, fuzzy wuzzy brown, blue violet, hot magenta, sea green.

This campus is burnt orange.

There’s something vivid and fun in orange, a peculiar spunk. It’s surprising. And UT has that same kick. And yet, burnt orange bears serious undertones. Its darker undertones color it with studious industry.

Here, in the midst of this burnt orange sea, a little pink spot can join a sorority and talk books, cheer fanatically for Longhorn football with pedicured toes. Here, this spot has learned to play hard and study harder.

So yes, UT radiates burnt orange—a unique personification of an old cliché—“work hard, play hard.”

On a more academic note, in a moment of temporary insanity, I was approved to take 18 hours of courses for the spring semester. I register at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Frankly, I still have nightmares about orientation registration. That day, in the Flawn Academic Center on campus, the panicked girl next to me hiccupped on the phone to her mother, I stared ineffectively at a computer screen for two hours and a boy threw his pen at the monitor in frustration. Full classes, computer mishaps—everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

I’m terrified. My current schedule plan is a precarious balance of pre-requisites and clever timings. And thankfully, it has no 8 a.m. classes. None. I’m quite in love with it. And after my first disaster, I’m petrified that my delicate arrangement will be ravaged by the registration gods, destroyed by a flood of desperate sophomores whose last names come before mine.

A word of advice to any prospective students reading this: If you pick UT, don’t take the last scheduled orientation. Ever. That registration will scar you. Permanently.

And, of course, my innate social butterfly fears for its life. A typical liberal arts course schedule hovers around the 15-hour mark, with five or so classes. Mine, on the other hand, is a solid 18 hours—six classes. I may not emerge from my dorm room for the duration of the spring semester.

We’ll see.

You know, I thought high school was melodramatic. That slightly batty way of taking everything just a tad too seriously, the girlish squabbles and the very male shows of strength—all that seemed just so juvenile. With the onset of collegiate life, independence and a tad bit of maturation, I thought we’d all grow up.

We didn’t.

And, I’ve realized—that’s OK.

There’s something empowering about cherishing youth. And on that note, I’m going to go blast the Spice Girls and force Roommate to dance around our dorm room.

Any to say? Go ahead. E-mail me at

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