If you're reading this on Oct. 22, my graduation day is in exactly 54 days. If you're reading this on Dec. 16, I'm probably sitting at home, watching reruns of North Carolina men's basketball games on YouTube, wiping my tears on my oversized UNC School of Media and Journalism T-shirt.
As hard as it is to believe that I'll miss most of basketball season this year, it's harder to believe that I have less than two months left on this beautiful campus. So much has happened from the moment I moved into my Hinton James dorm room in 2016, but it's been the shortest three and a half years of my life.
As graduation creeps closer and closer, nearly everyone I know is hitting me with the dreaded question: "What's next?"
Truth be told, I don't know what's next. And that's probably because I'm not quite ready for whatever comes next. I'm a Tar Heel, and I'm not ready to graduate and go try to be something else.
I'm looking at jobs in South Carolina, California, Hong Kong and freaking Boise, Idaho. I have no idea what, or where, is next for me. I do know that no matter where I am, I'll have moments where I'll want to be back here: in Carroll Hall, in the Dean E. Smith Center, on Franklin Street, in The Daily Tar Heel office.
Music is a powerful tool that has the ability to move you emotionally, but I've always found that music also has the ability to bring me back to a certain time in my life. I'll graduate and go start a new chapter of my life, but I know that some sounds will always bring me back to this one.
Carolina wasn't my dream school. I didn't really have a dream school. College was always part of the plan, and when I decided I wanted to be a journalist, attending the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media just made sense.
No, Carolina wasn't my dream school, but now I can't dream of being away from it. I'm hoping these 23 (yes, I did that on purpose) songs will help me stay close to the place I love so much.
No matter where life takes me, I'll always be gone to Carolina in my mind.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.