Sakai, Supdogs, and Self-Worth: What I Learned my Freshman Year at UNC

Whoa. The year is almost over. In two weeks, I’ll no longer be a baby Tar Heel. I’ll be an upcoming sophomore with a lease on an apartment and a cancelled meal plan and only one introductory-level course to speak of in her schedule. Honestly, I didn’t really foresee this week coming so quickly. I’m pretty sure I only moved into Horton a few days ago, and now you’re telling me to move out?? What?? And I can’t even begin to think about being away from this beautiful campus for three months. Or my friends. Or Supdogs bacon cheesy fries.

A lot of people are probably like, “Sara, we get it. You love your school. That’s nice. You literally mention it in every single post though. Is that necessary?” Which I get. I mean, I can only talk so much about how much this university means to me. But coming to Carolina has undoubtedly been the best experience of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself this year. I’ve learned so much about everything this year.

Back in high school, I think I was pretty cranky. Most of that, of course, stems from being depressed and feeling like I was going to be stuck in the same place for the rest of my life. I wasn’t really good at making friends until my senior year of high school, and even then, I wasn’t the best. But here, it’s different. I can make friends. I have people to say “hi” to on the sidewalks. I have sisters. I have Sabrina, my roommate, who is literally the best friend I’ve ever had.

I learned what it’s like to be a friend. I learned that friendship isn’t something you deserve, and it doesn’t mean just making small talk. It means actually being invested in someone’s life, and wanting to hear about their day or their troubles or anything they want to talk about. It sometimes means sacrificing your night to take care of a girl who is crying her eyes out because of a boy. Other times Most of the time, it means late night cheese-fry runs. But all the time, it means showing someone that you love them as simply as you can.

The first night, featuring work on Skipper Bowles, the P2P, and a newfound friendship.

I learned about myself as a student during my first year. I discovered that, much to my parents’ surprise, I am not the most high strung student in the world. In fact, I’m not even close. This year, I really learned that while, yes, grades are important, they do not define me. If I don’t get an A in a class, that’s okay. I learned that no, I am not cut out for a field that requires the daily use of math, because, well, I don’t like math. And I learned that there is a reason English has always been my best subject in school – because it’s my passion.

I learned a lot about boys this year. (I’m sure you read that sentence and rolled your eyes. Honestly, I rolled them just writing it). But, it’s true. I think a part of me expected to have a boyfriend by the end of freshman year. But with two days left until LDOC, I can assure you that isn’t happening for me. But honestly, I’m not upset about it. This year, I learned a boy does not define my worth, and how I should view myself.

I learned that you can’t force a relationship that just isn’t going to work out. Sometimes, people meet that aren’t meant to be together. That doesn’t mean you should try your hardest and give your heart away to try and make it work.

I learned that you don’t have to try to be with someone just for the sake of being nice. I have tried too many times to make myself like someone just because they’re really nice to me. I learned that “niceness” is not worth losing your sense of self-worth because you want to make another person happy. This year, I learned that “I” is so much more important than any “we” I could be a part of.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I’ve found a place where I can be loved and accepted the person I am. Who honestly, I didn’t know existed until this year. She’s a girl who will give her heart to the people she cares about with abandon. She’s a girl who can remember everyone’s names, to the point of it being lowkey kind of creepy for the other person. She’s the kind of girl who messes up a lot (no seriously. A lot a lot). She is the kind of person that I think I always wanted to be.


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