Dear UNC,

Dear UNC, 

It’s my first year… 

Remember my first move-in day? About 15 members of my family showed up. Two cars packed to brim. Crossing Paul Hardin dr. with a mini-fridge and stacks of boxes filled with clothes. It was raining. The room was more spacious than I thought it would be. My roommate, Kristen, showed about two hours into the move, with her mom, dad, and sister. We met on Facebook, but this was our first in-person interaction it went very well. Hardin Dorm, my first home away from home. 

Remember that day on the first floor of the Student Union? I was sitting with my friend Phipps from high school. She introduced me to Anna. She said, “both of you listen to Justin Bieber, you should be friends.” And we still are to this day. 

Remember my countless trips to advising, trying to figure out what I wanted to major in?  

Remember when I stood in line for hours with my new friend Ezra to see former President Obama speak in Hooker Fields. How once we got inside we got stuck in a mass of people under the scorching hot sun? How they began passing around little cups of water for us to take a sip to keep us from passing out? 

Remember the 2017 National Championship and the rush to Franklin. How Anna and I got lost in riot Tar Heels?

Remember all the amazing people I met the first year? 

Dear UNC, 

It’s my second year…

Remember meeting the late Dr. Rial, former geophysics and climatology professor. I wanted to combine my interests in geology and communications so I joined his project NARNEA. A model for a renewable energy system. I started out looking for journals to publish the transcript in and then began conducting my own research on the project with my research partner Ava. 

Remember how that moment with Dr. Rial, led me to present our research to science professionals at national conferences in Florida and Washington DC? Even giving Ava and me the opportunity to host our own seminar at a conference. 

Remember those nights I’d sit in our apartment living room and talk to Jaylyn and Idalis for hours. They are two of the brightest and most thoughtful people I know. I’m so glad to have them in my life. 

Remember when I was sitting in MEJO 153, writing and reporting.  I didn’t know it yet, but I was sitting next to someone who was going to become one of my closest friends. Her name is Nora, our first assignment was to write a feature story to present to the class.  At the end of the class she turned to me and said “so should we be friends now?” I said, “Yea, I think so!” 

Remember the snowpocalypse that had us out of class for a week? How my friends and I spent days playing in the snow without any cares? Until the third day when we started to get restless. Who would’ve thought that an unexpected week off of school would cause us to start working weeks ahead on class readings? 

Remember all the amazing people I met in my sophomore year? 

Dear UNC, 

It’s my junior year…

Wow, I’m almost done. Four years are going by quickly. 

Remember when a basketball watch party I was supposed to go to got canceled? Shortly after a couple of my friends called inviting me to a different one at their friend’s house. It was so much fun. There were about five of us. I actually met my bestest friend of all that night.

Remember formal? It wasn’t just any formal, it was geology club formal, also known as Synformal. Location: the rock garden outside of Mitchel hall.  

Remember when I talked to Professor Lou Killeffer about how I was interested in finding an internship in strategy and he said I should talk to my professor Josh Carlton. How those conversations led me to Steven King and my year-long internship at Reese Innovation Lab? I can’t thank them enough for all that these three have taught me.  

Remember all the amazing people I met in my junior year?

Dear UNC, 

It’s my senior year…

I’ve had so many great memories thus far. 

I went to New York this year with a group of people who love advertising just as much as I do. We visited a ton of agencies like Wieden + Kennedy, BBDO and Ogilvy. I was re-inspired by the lights of Time’s Square and the long line for a Popeye’s chicken sandwich. We said we’d start our own agency one day.

PC: Miranda Veal

Remember finally getting into not one but two classes taught by Gary Kayye?! Our first semester I worked as a strategist on our Envision Carolina Campaign. Our second semester on our personal branding.  

Remember the D00k game? I got to go this year! I won’t mention the ending, but my friends and I went to eat Bojangles afterward and that was a good time.

It’s LDOC today. My last one. No, I won’t get a “normal” graduation, and yea I haven’t been able to see my friends in a while. But I’ve been able to think a lot about all of my experiences and I’ve had so many positive compared to the negative. I’ve learned so much in my time at UNC and have met so many inspiring people. 

It really is the people that make UNC what it is. So thank you to everyone who got me through 4 years of UNC and Zoom University.  

Thank you to my parents, my extended family, my friends, my advisor and my professors. I couldn’t have done it without you all.

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