A quick Twitter search this week for #UNC23 reveals hundreds of tweets from students sharing their excitement upon discovering they had been accepted to UNC.
On Jan. 25, UNC released its admission decisions for the applicants who applied by the Oct. 15 deadline. For the 14th straight year, UNC received a record number of applicants, with a total of 44,784. As the emails arrived, thousands of seniors became one step closer to their next destination.
For Emmanuel Durojaiye, a senior from Land O’ Lakes, Fla., UNC had not always seemed like a realistic goal. He explained how growing up, he was huge basketball fan and the stories of Michael Jordan made him think about the greatness of UNC.
“I didn’t think I could go to Carolina," Durojaiye said. "I grew up thinking to go to Carolina, you have to be like Michael Jordan.”
The reality of attending UNC didn’t hit Durojaiye until he visited campus in the summer of 2018.
“When I toured the campus, it just felt like home," Durojaiye said. "The people were so nice, the weather was great and the campus was beautiful.”
The feeling of belonging is what made Durojaiye realize attending UNC was an attainable goal, and he felt like UNC was the place where he wanted to spend his next four years.
Durojaiye said he is looking forward to attending basketball games he has thought about since he was 12 years old and meeting his new classmates. Durojaiye said he is staying up to date with current events and local news.
Regarding the controversy of Confederate monument Silent Sam, Durojaiye was proud of the way UNC handled the situation and thought the school remained honorable in its decisions.
Anthony Howard, a senior from Raleigh, applied to UNC because of its reputation as having one of the best journalism schools in the country. Howard also said he applied to UNC because of the tight-knit Black student community on campus.
“The close Black community on campus is really appealing to me because that is something I am into for my college future," Howard said. "It seems like a prevalent force on campus.”
Howard is still deciding if Chapel Hill will be his home for the next four years, but he is strongly considering it. He said he's excited to meet new people, start a new chapter and experience some personal growth.
Howard said the situation regarding Silent Sam has influenced his decision-making both positively and negatively. Although he appreciated the way students grappled with the situation, he said there were negative aspects in how the administration dealt with the controversy.
“It showed me the inclusion of the campus and how students are fighting for equality and inclusion, and how it is not just students of color, but also white students that stand in unity with one another,” Howard said.
Upon receiving his acceptance, Howard felt a weight lifted off his shoulders, knowing that his hard work in the classroom and extracurricular activities had paid off.
Charlotte native Lexi Stewart described UNC as her only real choice and the University she dreamed about since sophomore year of high school. The reputation of the school's academics, the campus community and beauty of the campus were some things that grabbed Stewart's attention.
Stewart said she hopes to major in either sports administration or communications and to work for the women's soccer team.
“What piqued my interest was the women’s soccer team because I want to become a coach one day, and I knew their coaching staff with Anson Dorrance was something special that I wanted to be a part of,” Stewart said.
Stewart said she is excited to begin her journey at UNC and has already started to connect with some of her fellow future Tar Heels. After hours of studying and community service, Stewart is proud that all her prior decisions throughout high school culminated in admission to her dream school.
Although these students were attracted to UNC for different reasons, they all achieved the same goal and will be going on the same journey together.
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