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Coming full circle

It’s a sad day, y’all.

Today is the last- last day of school (or LDOC as we affectionately call it here at Carolina).  This isn’t a normal last day of class– it’s my last day of college.  Or maybe last day of class, ever.

Below is a picture of me and my little sister Alexis on my very first day of school and my last first day of school.

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Brb crying.

No more homework or dozens of emails reminding you to do your course evaluations.  No more red squares instead of green circles during registration (on second thought, I’m okay with leaving those in the past).  Almost all of our lives have been spent in school and it’s over.

It still hasn’t hit me and that’s surprising me.  I’m a cry baby and I haven’t shed a tear about this in weeks.  Some may say I’m in denial and I would have to agree.

Maybe it’s because I try to put on a happy face and avoid being sad during my last days here… but I am sad.  I don’t want to be a grown up.

I can’t imagine leaving the place I’ve spent my whole life working towards.  And I mean my whole life– I remember at some point in elementary school I forgot about a project until the last minute, had to do it before class and got a C.  A C!!! I wasn’t going to college, Carolina wasn’t going to accept someone with a C.

Thanks for letting that one slide, Carolina.  I appreciate it.

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If you had told me the day I moved into Granville Towers that I was going to have an incredible time in college, I would have believed you because that’s what we heard over and over before moving in. My wildest dreams couldn’t have imagined that Chapel Hill would not only be where I’d spend the next years, but that it would feel like home.

Chapel Hill will always be one of my homes.

“I love UNC. I love the quad in spring and the arboretum in the fall. I love the Pit on a sunny day and Graham Memorial Lounge on a rainy one. I love Roy all the time. But what makes UNC truly special is not our beautiful campus, our distinguished reputation or even our basketball team. It’s us – the student body – who make UNC what it is.” — Eve Carson, deceased student body president

I’m lucky to have gotten into my dream school and to have had such an incredible 4 years here.  I’ve done club cheerleading, joined a sorority, joined clubs, done Dance Marathon, *attempted to* run 5Ks and tripped on bricks more than I’d like to admit.  I’ve gone to Late Night with Roy, gone to Coach Dean Smith’s memorial service, stormed Franklin after beating Dook, gone to countless Clef concerts, had far too many nights in Davis and a few too many cinnamon sugar bagels from Alpine.  I’ve struggled in classes, excelled in classes and learned that school could be fun again.  I’ve made amazing friends from places I didn’t know existed.

I’ve had the time of my life at Carolina.

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These 4 years flew by faster than I would have liked them to so if you’re lucky enough to call yourself a Tar Heel right now, cherish every moment until you have to leave.

“Without even noticing, UNC seeps into your pores. By junior year, she’s in your blood. You can’t remember a time when you didn’t have moments on campus where you lose your breath for a second and all you can think is, ‘Wow, I love this place.’  …And then UNC tells you to leave. And it hurts. But I understand. Four years have taught me what loyalty is about, what being a Tar Heel is about.” — Elyse Ashburn, Daily Tar Heel editor, 2004

I wouldn’t say it’s been a perfect run because it hasn’t– I’ve had bad days here too.  I’ve wondered how I got into this school because sometimes the expectations seem unattainable.. a lot.  That thought crossed my mind once a day during the fall semester of sophomore year (you win, biology).

The good news is I haven’t failed out and *fingers crossed* I’ll pass all of my exams and earn my diploma.

That’s a joke if you’re reading, daddy.  I promise I’ll pass.

There have been times where being in Chapel Hill was more stressful than fun but I’ve made it past those times and I’m happy.

When I used to come to my mom with problems in a friendship or relationship back in the day, she would always ask me “How do they make your life better?” and that’s stuck with me.  I’ve tried to remind myself that if someone– or something– isn’t helping me become a better person and dragging me down, it isn’t worth it.  I definitely haven’t mastered that way of thinking yet, but I’m happy with the people in my life and they all make my life better– and hopefully I’ve helped theirs too.

 

I’ve made great friends along the way and even had some friendships that didn’t make it from freshman year to now.  I never got to do Holi Moli or win biggest flirt at UNC.  I’m not getting my MRS degree either despite working hard to earn that degree.

And I’m going to try to avoid the cliche that I’m sure hundreds of country songs say over and over, but if I could do it again, I really would do it the same.

Well, for the most part.  I probably would go out a few more nights and replace a few naps with time with friends.  I’d try to stress out a little less about random things and spend more time enjoying my time here, because it flew by.

But we’ve had a great run, Carolina.  I love you and I know you’ll keep calling me home.

“Most residents stay only four years. Some hang around for a few more. But time doesn’t matter. Those who give themselves to Chapel Hill at all walk away with the right to say they’re Tar Heels — born, bred, and dead — and that’s a gift that lasts a lifetime.” — Nic Brown, journalist, 2011

Hark the sound.