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The Daily Tar Heel

All that you ever wanted to know

What I’ve figured out over the past four years is that the knowledge you get in the classroom is just the beginning of your college education (I know it sounds cliché, but stick with me). College classes are good enough for sparking your interest in a subject, but it’s up to you to grab hold of an issue you learn about in class and run with it.

It could be anything from the AIDS pandemic to the crisis in the Middle East to global warming — but whatever it is, take the inspiration you feel after learning about the issue and find a group on campus that will get you involved!

But that’s just my advice. You’ve been hearing my opinion all year, and I’m sure by now you’ve had enough. So I asked some other upperclassmen what their advice to underclassmen would be. Here are their wise, witty, and somewhat quirky responses on how to live well during your college years:

  • Chasity Chan: “Welcome to UNC-Chapel Hill, where your best is not enough. So don’t take it too hard if you get a C on your first exam or paper. That’s just reality giving you a friendly slap in the face. College will eventually teach us to punch life back in its face, but really, that’s ultimately up to you. Learn to dominate, tolerate and most important of all, celebrate senior style. Take this advice from a person who could’ve turned into a stripper but opted to get a college education instead. Don’t get it? Read my name at the beginning of the quote.”
  • Caroline Guerra: “Don’t spend half of your undergraduate life in Davis — mix it up! There are fun coffee shops all over the place. My best papers were written in Open Eye — not in Davis.”
  • Ben Turman: “Get out of here! Go abroad! By graduation I’ll have spent two years and two summers studying and interning abroad — and ultimately it’s been cheaper than if I’d stayed here. (And I’m in-state!) Don’t let money stop you from living it up.”
  • Cara Peterson: “Introduce yourself to those people you see all the time but don’t know. Whether you become friends or not, it just makes it less awkward.”
  • Miquela Ingalls: “Don’t let any one thing completely dominate your senior year, whether it is a club, a sport, a class — or worst of all, a silly thesis.”
  • Sam Cranford: “Some things are more important than grades. I’m leaving this open to interpretation, but some examples are a sunny day in the quad, a dinner or lunch with friends, going out on a weeknight now and then, and just enjoying some quality time with people.”
  • Chris Foong: “Study abroad! Don’t let your major, finances, or fears keep you from one of the most amazing experiences UNC has to offer. Besides, you can always rush Via Verdi when we win the national championship.”
  • And now for a poem by Nancy Gong: A rapt knock/An endowed voice bellows out/Office hours.

So there you have it. Honest advice from students who have earned their wisdom over their years at UNC. Now it’s your turn — we seniors leave the campus in your hands to make into whatever you want it to be. And the next time I see you, it’ll be from the other side of the college bubble.

Sarah Dugan is a columnist for the Daily Tar Heel. She is a senior environmental health science major from Asheville, N.C. Contact her at

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