The First-Year Experience

Hey you. I know I haven’t posted in a while. But I guess that’s just because, well, life happens. And a lot of life has been happening for me lately.

I’ve always been a big fan of bucket lists. I like the idea of having things that you want to do with people you love during a time in your life unlike any other. Me and my friends in high school used to make bucket lists for the summer. Even when we didn’t accomplish everything we wanted, it was still a memorable experience. Carolina is no exception. You come here, knowing you have things you want to do, and then all of a sudden at the end of the year you get to do almost every one of them.

Without further ado, here are the things I got to cross off my Carolina bucket list in the last three weeks:

March 30, 2016 – Holi Moli

One of the coolest things about being at Carolina is our acceptance and appreciation of other cultures. Holi is a Hindu festival that generally takes place in India, involving lots of colored powder and celebrating. Holi Moli is the UNC version of that, where hundreds of students gather on Hooker fields to cover each other in color and celebrate the festival with our friends. I’m pretty sure my black converse are ruined, but they’ll always remind me of this awesome tradition.

April 1-2, 2016 – UNC Dance Marathon

Wow. Just, wow. It’s been almost two weeks, and I still don’t have the words to describe Dance Marathon. I honestly hoped I would by now. If there was one thing I knew I wanted to be involved with during my time here, it was Dance Marathon and Carolina for the Kids. I remember the thrill of getting the email that said “You have been selected for the Morale and Recruitment Committee,” before I even knew what I was getting myself into. I remember Dancer Recruitment Week, and helping recruit almost 2,500 people to sign up to dance – a new record. And I remember the night before the Marathon, setting up and thinking “wow, this is all really happening.”

And then, the Marathon happened. Everything I had been looking forward to for an entire year happened. It was fun. It was exhausting. It was inspiring. And it was for the kids. I saw a number “6” go up at the end of 24 hours, meaning we had raised over $600,000 for UNC Children’s. Words cannot describe any of this. You truly have to just live it.

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April 4, 2016 – NCAA National Championship

This is one that’s a little sad, a little harder to write about. We came. We saw. We shouted as loud as we could as if people could hear us all the way in Houston. We saw a shot from Marcus Paige, a beautiful three that only comes once in a lifetime for even the greatest players. And then, we saw a buzzer beater from Villanova. A lot of people have written about the game, so I really don’t feel like I need to elaborate on it. But I will say that our boys make me proud to be a Tar Heel every day. On and off the court, our basketball team stands out with their dedication and passion for this school, for this team, and for each other. So maybe we didn’t win the National Championship this year. But this game showed me more than anything the pride that we all have for this school, and the love and sense of community that radiates from everyone who goes here.

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April 8-10, 2016 – Pi Kappa Phi Formal

Eight kids, one minivan, a five-hour drive to Hilton Head. You can imagine what just the car was like that weekend. In all seriousness though, I like to think my first fraternity formal was a successful one. It helped me meet some pretty awesome people, not to mention I found out that “Pequeño” is apparently a very memorable last name. It also reminded me that no, painting a cooler is neither fun nor relaxing. It sucks. A lot.

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April 12, 2016, 10:45 A.M. – Registering for Classes 

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Ohhhh boy. Well, this is what my schedule could have looked like, if there weren’t so many reserves for first-year students and the seats didn’t fill up so quickly. I may or may not only be in nine hours after one of my classes got cancelled. It’s fine. I’m fine. But most importantly, registering for classes means that my journey here at Carolina is almost 1/4 of the way over, something I am already so sad yet so excited about. When they say college is the best four years of your life, they aren’t kidding. And while I’ll be sad not to be the new little freshman next year, I can’t wait to see what a new year here is going to have in store for me and everyone else in the UNC community.

And that’s what you missed on Glee.

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