The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 4th

Don’t just be good, do good for UNC

Today it hit me: there are 60 days before my time as a UNC student ends. There’s nothing like a quarter-life crisis and a concert in the Pit to bring on the senior spring nostalgia. But it’s more than nostalgia; it’s an attempt to find a narrative in the hodgepodge of fond memories we’ve accumulated over the past four years.

UNC

Former Chancellor James Moeser once described this as a philosophy of, “excellence with a heart.” In many ways, it’s what this week’s columns about Eve Carson are referring to when they speak of the Carolina Way.

For me, I found my place at UNC through service in campus activities. I hope every student can find something here that gives their time meaning. If there’s one issue no UNC student ever faces, it’s a lack of opportunities to get involved.

With more than 700 student groups, daily intellectual speakers and everything from varsity basketball to Quidditch, there are always more things to do than there are hours in a day. The only downside is that some students end up tuning out due to sensory overload and miss valuable opportunities to grow from new experiences.

While my time to try new things at UNC is over, I encourage those of you returning next year to turn over a new leaf this spring and do something completely uncharacteristic. You’ll never get the chance to be this spontaneous again.

This week, Student Body President-elect Will Leimenstoll re-opened applications for several positions on his executive board including student body vice president, chief of staff and student body secretary due to a lack of applicants.

In addition, Carolina Creates (a group I’ve been involved in) is looking for leaders for several of its major initiatives, including TEDxUNC. The Black Student Movement has numerous positions available, and the Campus Y has a fantastic roster of committees working in our neighboring community.

These are just a few of the organizations seeking students to help lead them forward and they are looking for, and need, more than just pre-law high achievers.

My experience in these organizations has imbued me with a belief that being a good person is just as important as being a good student.

There is an ethical component to making the most of our abilities: we are obligated to do so not just for our own benefit but for those around us.

At UNC I have found a pervasive culture of civic duty and service. It makes for a virtuous cycle in which I not only benefitted from others’ actual contributions, but was inspired by them to try to make my own contributions.

I’m extremely grateful for this culture. This ever-dynamic university will continue to change after I graduate, but I hope its culture of giving back remains the same.

In order for this to happen though, students have to take an active interest in continuing the Carolina community. I’m asking you to join me in embracing it.

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