To all the hopeful Tar Heels visiting campus: I’ve been where you are now.
In fact, you seem everywhere as of late — at first you were here in fits, like the blooms of cherry blossom trees, but soon, like the pollen, you’ll be everywhere. Wide-eyed, hopeful, a little flustered when some biker whizzes past you on the sidewalk. A little dizzy from all the sunshine and blue skies. Most of all trying to picture yourself among the throngs of people who don’t notice you exist at all. Don’t worry, your parents aren’t making a spectacle of you. We’re used to the visitors.
It’s a wild feeling being a senior in high school about to make the biggest decision thus far in your young life. You can almost taste graduation and the glamour of college. You know UNC is where you’re supposed to be.
Or wait, do you? I didn’t. I wanted to know. In fact, I was worried how empty I was feeling towards the idea of UNC. The truth is, I didn’t really ever have the magic tingling feeling everyone talks about when touring colleges. I was filled with anxiety and frustration having been — gasp — deferred from UNC and felt like I was far from making a sound decision. As cheesy as it sounds, something in my heart was leading me here. I had my sights set on moving up north to go to school, but there was a reason for me to end up where I did.
- It might not be clear that UNC is the place for you. Here’s the secret: It probably is. Even if you’re not over the moon about coming here (again, I wasn’t), there probably is a reason you’ll end up on South Campus come August. I’m not saying UNC is a one-size-fits-all kind of school, but I mean it when I say there is something here for everyone. Whether it’s the magical creative writing department or pre-med, you’ll find your place once you get over the all-consuming terror of starting a new chapter in your life.
I envy you in a way; as a member of the senior class, I am, along with all the other once wide-eyed and jittery members of my class, about to close the chapter. To quote one of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke (author of “Letters to a Young Poet”), “Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.” You’re about to begin on one of the most fantastic journeys.