Tag Archives: UNC

Reminiscing

7 May

One year ago today, I spent my last Friday night in Joyner 413.  I conquered my last final in Carroll 111.  I cooked pasta for the last time in the joyner 3rd floor kitchen.  I splashed water all over myself and my innocent kitchen observer… Okay, maybe he wasn’t too innocent since he got me back.  I watched a movie on the “magic futon” for the last time, the futon that was good and lumpy those four years of college.  The futon that has so many memories associated with it, so many laughs, some tears, some food spills, some of everything life in a dorm will throw at you.  That futon that now resides in the basement at my parents unless they finally took it to the dumpster, because really, it’s just uncomfortable and not fit for sitting anymore.  

Most of my room was packed and stored under my bed, waiting for my parents to arrive the next morning and take home before graduation Sunday.  The walls that were covered in basketball posters, pictures from previous years of college memories, camp awards, they were barren.  I was fighting back tears that night as so many things were changing.  I knew that after Sunday, my life would forever change.  No longer would I be a 5 minute MAX walk away from my best friends. Most of those friends, I could just yell out my room and they would be there.  People that so quickly came into my life, who I spent a long time hugging over the course of Friday night through Sunday afternoon, who shaped the person who is typing this tonight, would no longer be as present.  Sure, I still keep up with most of them frequently.  Many still live within 30 minutes of Raleigh.  But I can promise all of them are still, and forever will be, in my heart.

I sit here thinking about how much my life has changed since that final final at Carolina.  Sure, I’m still in school, in fact, summer school starts tomorrow.  But life is certainly not what I expected it to be when I left Chapel Hill a year ago.  I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it’s definitely different.  There are definitely things I wish were different, but I am happy here. Over this past year, I have matured and grown and my faith has gotten stronger, God has definitely been working in my life the past year. But what really astonishes me is how much Carolina impacted me. 

Moving into Joyner for the first time that hot August day in 2007, I never imagined the impact UNC would have on me. I learned what it meant to have real community. I learned how to accept defeat, when the biology major crushed my dental school dreams (which was such a blessing in reality, I would have been miserable).  I learned that some people will take advantage of how naive I was, and I guess, I still am, but not everyone will.  I learned that not everyone thinks I’m crazy for being so passionate about autism, but that not everyone wants to talk about it as much as I do.  I learned that there are more important things to learn at school than what is graded in a classroom.  I remember the late nights studying for tests with friends, but I couldn’t tell you what we were studying.  Pulling what was closest to an all-nighter as I ever did, studying orgo until 5 am, only to drop the class a few weeks later because I hated life because of that class, only to get so delirious that I ended up making a crown out of the molecular structure kit.  I learned that life is about more than diplomas, good grades, and a strong resume.  I learned that I am smarter than I thought, and not nearly as smart as I thought at the same time.  

I made some wonderful friends and memories at UNC.  It’s not about the prestige of the university. It’s not even about the great basketball team.  It’s about the people I grew and lived with those four years.  Even the people that I met who weren’t fellow students.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, relive May 6, 2011, just to take in how blessed I was those four years.  One year later, my love has only grown.  Walking those paths of uneven bricks, past the Old Well and the Davie Poplar, taking it all in on Franklin Street as I pass a busker wanting to sing me a song, passing the pit.  It all brings back memories I will forever cherish.

Believe. UNC Basketball 2012

26 Mar

When I look back on this season in a few years, I will remember the injuries.  I will remember how we had Kendall Marshall, Dexter Strickland, and Leslie McDonald on the bench for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.  I will remember how there should have been no hope of making it past Kansas Sunday.  

I will also remember Stilman White and his amazing performance.  I will remember how Tyler Zeller played with heart, and how much of a solid guy he is.  I will remember that even with John Henson and a sprained ankle, we had hope. We tied Kansas at halftime with 3 stars in suits on the bench.  I will remember that every day is a great day to be a tar heel because this team went on that court at the beginning with hope. How the entire Carolina family rallied together with #Passfir5t for Kendall and used that to pay it forward. I will remember how the team really was a team.  I will remember how much I love the team, and win or lose, there is no team I would rather cheer for.  I will remember that we totally dominated Dook on their senior night, where they never held a lead.  I will remember being ACC regular season champions.  I will remember how I have never been prouder to be a tar heel, not even when I was a student in 2009 as I was rushing Franklin Street.  That’s crazy, some may say.  But I disagree, because in 2009, we had an easy path to the national championship, beating every team in the tournament by at least 10 points. This year, we came out, and those guys gave it their all.  We overcame adversity, and for some time in that Elite 8 game, every Carolina fan believed in what should have seemed impossible.  

And thinking, come back home.

24 Feb

“But sometime when the springtime comes and the sifting moonlight falls, they’ll think again of this night here and of these old brown walls, of white Old Well and of Old South. With Bell’s deep booming tone, they’ll think again of Chapel Hill, and — thinking — come back home.” -Thomas Wolfe

It’s a beautiful day in North Carolina.  Just a few days ago, there was snow on the ground, and now it is in the 70s.  And while it is beautiful in Raleigh, days like today I really miss the quad in Chapel Hill. I miss the shouts of Gary, the Pit Preacher.  I miss passing tour groups by the Old Well.  

Those four years at Carolina were wonderful.  Not just because of the education, no that is merely a small part of it.  Chapel Hill is a place that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.  And days like today are one of the reasons why.  There is, in my opinion, no place more beautiful than Chapel Hill in the springtime.  And after four years, they ask you to leave.  It hurts.  I can’t believe it’s been around 9 months since leaving that place..  I don’t think it is something I will ever get over.  And I don’t think it is a feeling anyone that didn’t attend UNC can ever understand.  I have friends that say it’s pretentious, that give me a hard time about being so in love with UNC and barely caring about Meredith where I am getting my graduate education.  

For me, it’s the person I became in my four years at UNC.  I discovered I could achieve many things. I discovered that some people are way too smart.  I connected to everyone on campus when we played Dook, bonded by our love for the University and our hatred for that darker blue school down the road.  I grew closer in my faith with the help of friendships formed in my dorm and on campus, small groups I was a part of, and campus ministries I attended.  I discovered, in part, my passion for people with autism, through UNC.  I faced challenges, and overcame.  I learned about heartbreak and about true friendship.  

Chapel Hill and my time there will forever be in a part of my heart.  Luckily, I’m only 30 minutes away today, which is close enough for a visit.  Tonight, I will dine on B-Skis and walk Franklin Street.  I will revisit my dorm and my friends.  And I can’t wait. 

 “We’ll hold it briefly, feel its pulsing heart before letting it go to impart that Carolina magic to those students there now, and to all those who will come in the endless future, stay awhile, and leave a part of their soul in a place called Chapel Hill.”

Devil worship.

9 Feb

Now, I don’t want to be mean, but if you cheer for Duke, you’re a devil worshipper… just throwing that out there. Just kidding… but seriously…

Last night was one of the biggest nights of the year for any Carolina, Dook, or simply NCAA basketball fan. The biggest college basketball rivalry. And what a great game it was. Sadly, for Carolina fans like myself, it didn’t end the way I would have preferred. Sitting in the lounge of the dorm I spent my four years in as an undergrad, watching with a lot of people I didn’t know and some friends I love dearly, last night was a night we spent as one group who wanted simply for a Carolina victory. If you aren’t a graduate/student of either university, you can’t understand the intensity of this night. Watching Austin Rivers hit that 3 as the buzzer rang sent a devastating cry of “NO” heard across campus, while eight miles down the road, the dookies were celebrating.

For many, last night was worse than my experience. Sure, I went to Harris Teeter with some other girls after the game to get chocolate and console ourselves for the loss. But after the game was over, instead of rushing Franklin Street in celebration, I was still joyful. In a Dook victory? Never. But because my joy rests in something much more solid than a winning basketball record for my team. My joy rests in the salvation I have through Christ. And that is something that can never be taken away.

It’s so easy to turn sports into an idol, especially when you go/went to what is considered a great athletic university. Academics is another thing that I believe many UNC students hold as idols, but that’s beside the point. Think about it? When is acceptable in today’s culture to scream and paint your bodies and get riled up over something you personally have no control over? Athletics. Athletics consumes us, and seeing a “L” on the records can break hearts. I’m not saying cheering for your team is bad, but why obsess over it. At the end of the game, the win or loss won’t change the suffering of your heart, it won’t change the people who love you, it won’t change anything. We can’t let idolatry of something so small consume us. It’s hard not to get caught up, but when I got back to my apartment last night, I still had a family and friends who love me, I still have a diploma from one of the top universities in the country, I still have the chance to change lives. And most importantly, I still have the love of a savior that can NEVER be taken away.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8