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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

21 November 2005

“There is no future
There is no past
I live this moment as my last
There’s only us
There’s only this
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today.”

—Rent, “Another Day”

As I type this, I’m pausing from stuffing clothes into duffel bags, last-minute laundry and general chaos. And, all of a sudden, like a brick, it’s hitting me.

I’m packing my dorm room and going home for Thanksgiving.

I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. This college business still seems surreal. Yesterday, it was the beginning of senior year. The day before that, it was the middle of my junior year and I was moving across the country. And the day before that? That was middle school, when 2005 was so far away, and I had the most unflattering haircut of my life, and I was chubby and awkward.

And now, it’s the day before Thanksgiving of my freshman year of college, and I’m heading home. I was initiated into Alpha Xi Delta (my sorority) last weekend. I’m registered for my spring semester. I actually like my hair. I bought the most  fabulous pair of boots last night. I’m already mildly stressed about finals. I’ve miraculously gotten enough sleep.

I’m happy about going home. My big fat Pakistani family, in all their insanity, is gathering at my aunt’s house tomorrow for a Pakistani-Brazilian-American Thanksgiving extravaganza. I love my family. It’s impossible to be bored, what with the rioting, hungry children, the pots clanging in the kitchen, the inevitable shortage of oven space, the constant laughter. My mother and her three sisters, and my grandmother, who will all be in Houston this year, have already started cooking. And believe me, they’re all excellent cooks. I’ve already allotted for the anticipated weight gain.

Sometimes, I’m tempted to transcribe my family’s boisterous conversations.

On a more academic note, I’d just like to gloat. My registration for the spring semester was a success. I’m genuinely excited about some of the classes I’m taking: Human Nature (a philosophy class), Introduction to Psychology, an English Honors section (Pre-modern Lives), Chemistry, Western Civilization and, finally, that upper-division French. It’s a total of 18 credit hours, which is quite a lot, but I sincerely think I can do it.

Finals are coming up. I only have two, and I’d really like to get A’s on both. Which means, of course, that the studying must begin. In high school, I was notorious for procrastinating, for avoiding my textbooks. And in college, I’ve realized that I can’t be that girl anymore. For the first time, I have to study.

Take it from me, if you think UT won’t make you work, you’re wrong. I’ve never done so much school work in my life. Ever.

In all honesty, I’ve also never had so much fun in my life. Ever. I’m just all-around happy. And that’s the best part of UT – it’s intoxicating. The bad melts away, and suddenly, it feels like you’ve been in college forever, and packing for Thanksgiving is just another day.

Comments? Questions? Go ahead, drop me an e-mail at

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