The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 27th

Column: What I'll miss about UNC over winter break

Squirrels explore a cow statue on UNC’s campus on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. UNC’s squirrels are more brave and curious than other squirrels because they’re accustomed to people.
Buy Photos Squirrels explore a cow statue on UNC’s campus on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. UNC’s squirrels are more brave and curious than other squirrels because they’re accustomed to people.

Editor's note: This article is satire.

A month doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you spend every waking moment absorbing the sounds, smells and sights of a campus filled with beloved people and places— the "Winter Break Withdrawal" hits hard. 

We’re all going to miss the big things about campus, like the sporadic chiming of the bell tower or the sound of laughter on a sunny quad day, but I’d like to highlight the little things. The things you don’t necessarily notice every day, but all contribute to making campus the living, breathing entity that it is. 

Maybe it’s a specific flower you pass on the way to your 10:10 a.m. Maybe it’s that guy you always find yourself walking at an uncomfortably similar pace with who has never been seen without his striped green beanie on. But for me, this list is what I’ll think of when I miss campus the most.

10. Davis Library women’s bathroom sinks 

First off, of course, we have the Davis Library women’s bathroom sinks. With temperatures so hot they threaten to boil the top layer of your skin off (I’m convinced that there must be some kind of active volcano below Davis), these sinks will warm your hands — and heart — faster than any bonfire you could gather around over the holidays. 

9. Campus squirrels 

Never before coming to UNC have I seen squirrels with so much audacity. These furry little animals encourage me to be the most interruptive, attention-seeking version of myself — whether I’m cutting in front of people in the Sushinara line or knocking over every bike in the rack outside Dey Hall.

8. This rock

I just like this rock.

7. The blue light system

Nothing makes me feel safer than the mile-long walk between each blue light on campus. Intentionally placed to be nowhere near each other, these lights are there to encourage students to improve their reflexes, speed and agility in case you ever feel unsafe when walking alone at night. I’ve gotten so fast running from light to light, I’m currently walking onto the UNC women’s track team!

6. The noise that the food trucks make in the quad

You’re sitting in the quad. It’s a slow, peaceful day. A few girls are whispering under the tree. A bird chirps out a joyful tune, and a friend happily replies. The wind is softly pushing the grass from side to side. Nothing could possibly interrupt this quaint scene, then, BOOM. The food truck outside Wilson has arrived, and the engine is rumbling louder than a 5.5 magnitude earthquake, spewing smoke and the smell of gasoline in every direction. 

You might be thinking this is a negative disturbance, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Such a blaring noise forces quad-sitters to shout to friends that are sitting less than a foot away, adding a level of excitement and energy to this patch of grass thAT COULDN’T BE ACHIEVED OTHERWISE. (Sorry, I had to raise my voice. The truck is at it again.)

5. Lenoir Burrito Bowl station

Believe it or not, this actually has nothing to do with the quality of the meat or the consistency of the guacamole. This station has a special place in my heart for an entirely different reason: self-validation. The truth is, going through that line and answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each topping option makes me feel heard like nothing else. It doesn’t matter if I failed an exam or got excluded from a party last weekend — when I’m forming my burrito bowl, I’m the most important person in the world.

4. Sitting on the Wilson steps on a cold day

Why they had to be made of marble, we have no clue, but on a sub-40 degree day, nothing wakes you up better than placing your butt cheeks on Wilson steps. Instantly sending a chill through your body, these steps will have you jittering more than a triple shot of espresso from Stone & Leaf. Not to mention, you’ll be completely alone on the steps, giving you ample room to stretch and even act out Jack’s death scene from the Titanic if you so please.

3. Trash cans that always feel like they’re going to eat your hand

To this day, I’m convinced that these trash cans are robots that are going to come alive and devour my hand right as I insert my trash — but what’s life without a little danger, right?

2. Seeing the Carolina Review and Daily Tar Heel newspaper boxes side by side 

When I walk past the Carolina Review and Daily Tar Heel newspaper boxes sitting just inches from each other in the quad, I’m instantly reassured that the future of our country is in good hands. By standing together as a united front, these two opposing newspapers are fighting polarization one issue at a time. If that isn’t the true meaning of democracy, I don’t know what it is.


I didn’t make a number one because I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite. Every day, something new on campus catches my eye, adding another piece to the vibrant, bustling, lively puzzle that is UNC — and I can’t wait to keep adding to that puzzle this spring. 

Here’s to the little things. 


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