It is another dull Monday, marking the beginning of yet another hectic week containing: 16 hours of classes, 35 hours of work and not to mention the ever-looming homework assignments, extracurricular activities and somehow squeezing in a social life. If anyone told you that college was a breeze, they were blatantly lying to you.

Nevertheless, to stay sane through the long days, I often find myself mentally leaving my current location and placing myself on a sailboat. Not any old sailboat – but a 30-foot, sky blue one with a big white, billowing sail. On my sailboat I am in a state of ecstasy; I can only hear the roaring ocean and the sighing, salty winds. I can feel the old boat swaying and dipping over the steady currents. Then my ship wrecks.

I am awoken from my fantasies by the sound of fellow students rustling through their backpacks and grabbing paper in preparation for the pop quiz on everything we just learned while I was "sailing." It makes no difference because that brief moment of tranquility will be enough for me to make it through the day.

Gazing around the class, I can tell I'm not the only one who does this. The girl below me is flipping through Lilly Pulitzer dresses and a row down from her, a guy wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with red text that reads, "The voices in my head may not be real but they have great ideas!" is looking at machetes. Not to mention the guy sitting in the back row who is looking at porn, no matter how discrete he thinks he's being about it. So what do these people all have in common?

The girl browsing Pulitzer attire is imagining herself in that dress; the gawking she'd receive from men and the envious glares of her friends. The guy looking at porn is envisioning himself with one of these well-endowed women. As for machete kid ... I'd rather not venture there.

Human life is so bound up in stories that we are almost desensitized to their strange and enchanting powers. Whether it's the stories we tell ourselves throughout the day or the explanations we have for bigger event in our lives; humans are simply creatures cursed by the sense of plot – of beginnings, middles and ends.

We do it everyday whether we realize it or not. Retelling an event in our life we are oftentimes the victim or hero, but never the villain. Life is full of these false replicas of what life is. We often explain the events in our lives that may not always make sense by creating what we believe are reasonable explanations.

This is, what I believe, what drives our bigger life questions. Since the dawn of man, various cultures have struggled with the possibility that humans came about through mere chance. We are driven to tell the essential story of where we came from and why. These stories we have created give man the false sense of solving life's interminable puzzles and provide the satisfaction and peace that has become so necessary for mankind's survival.

What I believe is that life, in general, is a great book. We do not stop at the conflict of our stories because it is in our nature to find out how it ends.

We are the authors of our own books and although life, at times, may seem hectic, it is us who can control the future outcomes. We as humans have this remarkable ability to rewrite the confines of our lives. With this in mind, I'd like to remind people to take a deep breath and be the captain of your own ship.

I, for one, will continue to sail through this week on my sky blue boat with the big white, billowing sail.

Kaila Curry is a freshman in English. She can be reached at kcurry6@utk.edu.