The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday August 11th

Column: First year expectations – the good, the bad and the ugly

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Editor's note: This article is satire.

Welcome, baby Tar Heels. You’ve finally made it. After four years of all work and no play, you’ve gotten into your dream school: a place of no work and all play.

Just kidding, there’s work. But also play.

Going into your first year, I know you must be worried about what college will have in store for you. You may be familiar with the inner workings of UNC from a sibling, older friend or subreddit (no shame there). 

Well, I am here to inform you that however familiar you think you are with UNC — you know nothing. But don’t worry, this article will be a guide to every niche, little-known, “first rule of fight club” detail of college life. Feel free to hang it on your fridge, laminate it at your local FedEx or place it gently under your pillow before you fall asleep. To each their own.

But no matter what, make sure you internalize the lessons in order to turn your First-year Fears into First-year Cheers, your First-year Frights into First-year Heights, your First-year Frets into First-year Let’s (go sit near the quad and enjoy a beautiful fall morning before class).

Speaking of cheers, why don’t we start off with a bang, a boom and a rah-rah-Carolina:

UNC's cheers

The most important thing you’ll need to be equipped with in the Fall is not a book, binder or limited-edition backpack. It’s not even a meal plan or a halfway understanding of how to work ConnectCarolina. It’s our famous Carolina cheers. 

While I’m no stranger to procrastination, it is essential that you prepare ahead of school by memorizing these chants. The internet can be a tricky place, full of bored, peaked-in-college UNC alumni trying to make you look foolish, but as a rising junior who has had two years of pandemic school and never actually learned the cheers in person due to online orientation — you can trust me.

The old classic cheers have undergone some minor changes this summer to better reflect our ideals and values as a student body. Take notes.

We've abandoned "Hark the Sound" for a shorter and more energetic chant to show off at football games: 

"Rah, rah, Tar Heels, go! Rah, rah, Tar Heels, show! ConnectCarolina giving you trouble, Josh Downs boutta make it double! We wear our blue loud and proud, Kenan’s getting quite the crowd! Student lottery — did I win? No, you have the wrong ONYEN!"

"Here Comes Carolina" was completely scrapped for "Tar Heel Love," a basketball favorite:

"We got Love (x3) Tar Heel Love, Old Well Love, Franklin Love, Kenan Love, Dean Dome Love, Live-Laugh-Love, Leaky Love, RJ Love, Mando Love … CALEB LOVE. Caleb Love (x10)."

Mascot madness 

The cheers may be sensational, but no cheer is half as effective without a mascot to rally the student section. You may be familiar with UNC’s long-beloved Rameses — our battering ram, our buff beast in blue. He’s a face to look for on the field when all hope is lost, a sign that the tide can turn and that victory can prevail. 

That is, until a recent unlucky incident in which a certain horn impaled a first-year's left eye (they are currently in ICU but are expected to make a semi-full recovery — and his right eye is working great). 

With this scandal threatening to sink the Board of Governors' reputation even lower than it already is, Rameses was deemed too dangerous of a mascot and will be replaced this year by none other than the slow, ever-so-safe substitute: Tristan the Turtle. 

To give you a quick visual, Tristan is a turtle wearing a UNC jersey and a monocle. While Tristan may not have the same high energy and raw athleticism (or access to steroids?) that Rameses exhibited on a daily basis, he’s pretty great at the shell shuffling game — and that’s good enough for me.

The quad spill of Chapel Hill

We all spill things sometimes. Just yesterday, I spilled a little coffee on my kitchen table. Today, a friend spilled the avocado off of his avocado toast, making it into regular toast with an unusual green tint. 

Well, we just got word that UNC spilled something too — except this spill doesn’t affect one kitchen table or slice of bread, but a once-beautiful field of green grass that could fit a million kitchen tables and a billion slices of bread. Yes, you guessed it: the quad is closed for all of next year due to a fertilizer mishap. 

I know you must be disappointed about losing out on this beloved and renowned UNC gathering place, but everyone makes mistakes. I know I’ve made my fair share of errors in math classes over the years. Whoever calculated the fertilizer supply probably just forgot to carry the one.

Superior study spots

Study spots are something you will explore and discover on your own this fall, but just to start you off on the right foot, here’s a quick list of some of the best places to study on campus:

  • Inside the top of the bell tower. The sound of the bell every 15 minutes may be a bit distracting, but you’ll never need to ask anyone for the time!
  • The P2P bus which shuttles students around campus at night. I find it a great, rhythmic (albeit slightly rocky) place to work on my English essays.
  • Chancellor Guskiewicz’s personal building. Of course, we’re all told that we “can’t go in there” because it’s “private” and “restricted to the chancellor,” which is why I’ve never been and it’s probably best that you first-years don’t go inside either. (By the way, Chancellor, I love that new wallpaper you just picked out—what shade of green is that?)
  • The meditation room in the bottom of the student union. Sure, you might be surrounded by a few napping or crying students, but I find that there’s nothing that helps me focus more than ambient lighting!

Class registration: survival of the fittest

You may have heard rumors about the trials and tribulations of class registration. It is truly a process From Hell, with sweaty palms, ConnectCarolina buttons that won’t click and classes that say they’re available for enrollment but really aren’t. Needless to say, no one looks forward to registering for classes each semester. 

But this year, you’re in luck: the administration has decided to mitigate the technological and anxiety-inducing errors of registration by making it into a physical, survival of the fittest, Mortal Kombat-esque competition. Think gladiator style. Think swords. Think England’s annual cheese rolling race, except the cheese is a class that everyone wants, and the runners are UNC students violently trampling each other, grabbing at hair, skin, eyes and whatever will get them closer to ENGL 143. 

No matter how experienced you are in combat, I urge you all to start training now for this grueling fight. Plus, even if you don’t get the class, the adrenaline rush beats sweating in front of your computer any day.

So, there you have it. The very best information you could possibly have going into your first year is now at your fingertips, and I hope you make good use of the advice I’ve given you. Remember, meeting people in college may seem intimidating, but everyone else is going through the same exact thing as you. So relax, get involved with campus activities and the rest will come naturally. And who knows, maybe they’ll even clean up that fertilizer situation before the semester begins.

I can’t wait to see how hard you all work (and play) this fall.


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