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

6 March 2006

And, finally, the work piles up. A victim of my own miserable procrastination, I find myself becoming a hermit. I’m surrounding myself with French textbooks and dictionaries, chemistry printouts, course packets and history books, highlighters and inky pens. My once-neat room has morphed into a tornado of clothes, folders and diet Coke cans.

It’s the cruelty of those first few weeks, the light loads of easy readings before impossible exams and the simple Lewis structures and Miltonic verse that fool the prototypical student into thinking that 18 hours just isn’t that bad, that perhaps studying is overrated and sleep is underrated. Alas, it’s just not that simple. Ha.

So, now, I’m listening to Kelly Clarkson (don’t judge me!) and flipping through my bright blue planner, attempting to allot enough time in the day to breathe.

In other news, I just drank the last of my diet Coke. Caffeine deprivation will begin shortly.

I can hear the bold chimes of the Tower bells, and, in all honesty, I’m loving it. There’s something comforting about the awkward rendition of “Winter Wonderland” on a blustery day, a happy melody to accompany the freezing rain. They’re also a harsh reminder of time, sobering when you’re running late for class. I like their stability. It’s soothing on such a chaotic campus.

Chaos seems to have overtaken this campus. During the week of voting for Student Government, I had flyers and T-shirts thrust into my face with every book-laden step. According to the Daily Texan, IMPACT (the campaign doing the aforementioned thrusting) spent $7,000 on their race. I can think of far better uses for that $7,000. It made walking across campus hellish.

Seriously, instead of wasting it on flyers, pay for my tuition, buy me food, put a down payment on a house in West Campus for me. And then, ask me to vote for you. My response might be slightly different.

Or, perhaps, take that $7,000, and pay for health care for uninsured students. They could use it.

I’m still an idealist, even after a semester outside of my suburban bubble. I still believe that I, as insignificant as I may be right now, can make a difference. I don’t think it’s fair that University Health Services charges you for lab tests you don’t need, that people who don’t have health insurance can’t go to the hospital because they don’t have the money, that just because I was born on this side of the Atlantic, I’m sitting on a comfy couch in a study lounge and a girl my age across the sea can’t go to school. And the worst of it is, we (yes, we, the collective student body) don’t realize just how lucky we are.

I’ll acknowledge that life isn’t fair. But, I won’t acknowledge that we can’t make it fairer.

I’ll challenge you, reader, to do one nice thing for someone else today. Smile at someone you don’t know, drop a quarter in that old veteran’s cracked coffee mug, hug a friend randomly. You get the idea.

OK, I think I’m done with the disjointed ramblings.

God, the Tower looks gorgeous. It’s dark, and it’s lit, and it makes me deliriously happy.

Do forgive my whining. Questions, comments, concerns, compliments (hint, hint)—

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