When it came to my first year in Chapel Hill, I was one of the lucky ones.
As a natural introvert, it would have been difficult for me to make close friends. None of my close friends were going to UNC and I was a little apprehensive about putting myself out there.
But I lucked out when, a few months before orientation, an old buddy from middle school reached out to me: Did I want to room with him at UNC? I said yes, and I often think about how different my college experience would be if I had turned him down.
That's because my first-year suite at Ehringhaus consisted of seven of the coolest people I'd ever met, along with myself. I lived with my friend from middle school, four of his high school friends, a friend of one of his friends and, weirdly, an acquaintance with whom I went to high school.
Despite being very different people in a lot of ways – different ethnicities, interests and ways of seeing the world – the eight of us became fast friends, and to this day several of them are still the people I'm closest with at UNC.