Chronicles of a NODA Intern: Nashville Signs

by Maggie Sutton

Part of the NODA experience is getting to live and work in a new place that’s different from where you’re currently living. Huntsville is a neat place all on its own, but it is also conveniently located near a city that I was excited to explore - Nashville, Tennessee.

I am a huge country music fan, but in addition to being Music City, Nashville is also home to my dear friend and sorority sister, Jen. Once I announced that I would be living in Huntsville for the summer, Jen and I began to plan a reunion of “Nash-villian” proportions.

I was nervous when I first set out on my journey. I am terrible with directions and get lost very easily, especially when I have no idea where I’m going. However, I found it surprisingly easy to follow the signs along I-65 to Nashville. Once I let go of the fear, I was able to really enjoy the ride. Of course, Trisha Yearwood’s “Nashville Sign” was stuck in my head the entire time, “…full tank of gas and a ’69 Tempest, takin’ me to that Nashville sign!”

Letting go of the fear of getting lost on my trip was the first of many things I let go along the way. During my long weekend in Nashville, I let myself really enjoy my time there, without worrying too much about the repercussions. Jen and I took Uber and Lyft the whole time we were downtown - something that I would never do on my own. I allowed myself to eat 
delicious food and enjoy local Nashville favorites. Jen and I got dressed up and danced late into the night at Honky Tonks downtown. It was so much fun to talk and laugh without abandon. 

I tried to think about the last time I did something just for the fun of doing it, without there being any other purpose behind the action. My life is full of fun and exciting adventures, but there’s always a purpose behind those adventures other than just to have fun. For example, I’m having a blast at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, but fun is just a side effect of the experience, not the purpose. The purpose of the internship is to gain professional experience and earn course credit for my masters degree. This trip to Nashville was something just for me. For the first time in a while, I was allowed to just ha
ve fun and enjoy myself.

I will surely pay - both at the bank and at the gym - for letting my inhibitions go while living it up in Nashville with one of my dear friends, but I do not regret one single country fried ham biscuit or tacky souvenir purchase. Following the Nashville signs led me to the realization of how important it is to allow yourself the freedom to have fun. Our lives are so filled with tasks and check lists and work outs and bills and goals and objectives, that it’s really easy to forget to enjoy it. I will continue to work hard to make my dreams a reality, but I will not forget to take the time to enjoy myself along the way.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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  1. This is my hometown! I am so glad to hear that you had a great trip to's a one in a million town!

    1. It was a wonderful experience! I will definitely be visiting again soon!


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