By Jordan Mathews
In August 2015 my mom and I were sitting at a stop light in my hometown of Tampa, Florida, on the way to the airport. I was about to fly back to UNC for my senior year. My final year. As we sat at the stoplight, my mom started to cry. This was nothing out of the ordinary. She cries every time she drops me off at the airport. You should have seen her before I got on the plane to Italy to study abroad for the semester. She was crying so loud I thought security was going to kick her out.
While the tears were rolling down her face I was rolling my eyes. Here we go again, I thought. Then she began telling me how proud she was that I was going to graduate from such a great school at the end of the year and how much it meant to her that I worked so hard to get where I am. We eventually made it to the airport, where we hugged each other goodbye and I ascended the escalator to terminal C (shoutout to Southwest Airlines for always getting me to and from home safely) for my last first day of school.
I thought about what my mom said during the plane ride. Then, for the first time ever, it truly hit me that this year would be my last at Carolina. I remember bonding with my first-year roommate about our love for binge watching Grey’s Anatomy like it was yesterday. Now, I’m applying to graduate and it seems like my time here went by in an instant. Sitting on the plane, I began reflecting on everything I love about UNC and all the things that make it so unique. Then I asked myself…would I rather graduate from UNC at the end of the year, or be a student at UNC for the rest of my life? I didn’t have an answer for that question, but what I did have was an idea for the hardest would you rather game—would you rather, Tar Heel edition. Good luck!
Thanks to its status as the oldest public university in the nation, Carolina actively fosters a culture of public service amongst students. The majority of Tar Heels partake in some sort of volunteer work during their time at UNC. For junior Grace Gunter, the passion to serve is taking her to Nicaragua to volunteer this winter break.
Grace, a junior transfer student and Linguistics major from Mebane, North Carolina, has made public service an integral part of her Carolina experience. Grace is a Buckley Public Service Scholar and will have completed 300 hours of public service, four public service skill training courses, a senior service reflection and at least one UNC service-learning course by the time she graduates.
“I wanted to challenge myself here,” Grace said. “I wanted to push myself and learn more about how far I can extend my capabilities. Volunteer work has been a large part of that.”
During the school year, Grace volunteers one day a week in an ESL class on campus. Her service doesn’t stop when the university breaks for the semester, though. Grace will be spending part of her holiday break in Nicaragua to assist in building the region’s only secondary school, to help develop a water purification system that will supply drinking water to more than 12,000 locals, and to teach English to elementary school students.
Grace came to Carolina and has helped better the lives of others locally and internationally. What kind of Heel print will you leave?
Did you know that Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recently named Carolina the best value in American public higher education? This ranking is based on academic quality and affordability, and we couldn’t be prouder that we’ve topped the list for 15 years in a row. We’ve also been named best out-of-state value, a new category added this year.
The top ranking is no coincidence— Carolina’s commitment to low cost is a value built into the school’s mission and its history. Despite rising costs, tuition at UNC-Chapel Hill has always been among the lowest of all comparable universities, including public schools.
If you haven’t yet applied, be sure to submit your application on the Common App website by the January 15 final deadline for first-year students! The final deadline for transfer students is February 15.
Only your portion of the online application must be submitted by the deadline. Other materials, including your transcripts, school reports, teacher recommendation, and test scores, may arrive after the deadline. You can find more information about The First-Year Application and The Transfer Application on our website.
If you’ve already applied, we look forward to reading your application!
Are you thinking about applying to UNC but still feeling uncertainty? We asked our leading UNC experts, current Carolina students, what they would say to high school students who are considering applying to UNC. Here are their words of wisdom to any students considering completing that Carolina application.
“What do you have to lose? More importantly, what do you have to gain? Carolina has so much to offer its students. You will gain a network of peers that are passionate about every topic imaginable, you will gain the support from incredibly smart and helpful faculty and staff, you will gain access to a ton of resources like research opportunities, career services, financial aid and more. You may be on the fence about applying to Carolina, but don’t look at what you have to lose. Instead, look at all you have to gain.”
-Kayla Schliewe: Senior; Global Studies Major and Social and Economic Justice and Spanish Minor; New Bern, NC
“UNC is going to open doors for you that you never even knew existed. UNC will make sure that you get to where you want to go. It will connect you, train you, smooth your rough edges (lovingly), and then give you a degree from one of the best universities in the country. Thanks, UNC!”
-Enrique Lambrano: Senior; Public Policy Major and History Minor; Miami, FL
“I think what most students worry about when applying to UNC, or any college, is what it will actually be like after they move in. I would tell a student considering applying that Carolina creates one of the easiest transitions I’ve ever experienced. When people say southerners are the nicest people, they mean it. When people say the campus is perfect, they mean it’s safe, easy to get around and not too big or too small. Carolina truly provides everything a new student is looking for as a home away from home.”
-Dana Rodriguez: Junior; Psychology and Art History Major and Hispanic Studies Minor; St. Louis, MO
“Simply put, UNC is a truly unique school. It’s so different than any other school I’ve seen (and I’ve visited A LOT of schools) and based on that alone, you should apply and visit.”
-Vishal Reddy: Senior; Anthropology Major; Cleveland, OH
“APPLY APPLY APPLY. UNC definitely looks at your application holistically and evaluates every aspect. Applying is the best decision I’ve ever made. As soon as I got accepted, I knew I was going to come here and receive one of the best educations I could have ever asked for.”
-Aaron Epps: Sophomore; Political Science Major and Social and Economic Justice Minor; Fairmont, NC
“Apply! Even if you don’t think you’ll get it, even if you’re not sure it’s exactly what you want, even if you’re still torn between a number of different schools, just apply, because you never know what could happen. I was totally unsure of what I wanted from a school, and I doubted my chances of getting into UNC, but Carolina opened this massive door of opportunity for me. Now, I can’t believe I was ever unsure of what I wanted. So apply, because you never know what opportunities and experiences await you unless you take that first step and at least try.”
-Kayla Wilkinson: Senior; Media and Journalism Major; Frederick, MD
By Theodore V. Prime
I was a junior transfer student to Carolina and I understand the struggles you may be feeling as you select your next home or prepare to transition to this institution. There is no program or initiative that can fully prepare you for your move because everyone deals with change differently.
For me, the hardest parts of transferring to Carolina were desiring an upperclassmen experience yet having a first-year’s perspective of campus, trying to survive upper-level classes while not fully knowing my spectrum of resources, and making efforts to feel connected to the university in hopes of finding likeminded friends. At times, the toughest feeling to shake will be self-doubt. I know your troubles will feel unsurmountable and overwhelming, but there is beauty in this struggle.
Carolina is a big institution with a small-town feel and this backdrop is the perfect opportunity to create any identity you desire while discovering your niche. There is no pressure for any transfer students to change themselves to fit in, but growth will occur by the nature of being here. There are some big misconceptions we may often believe, like we’re inadequate, or we don’t belong, or everyone except us has their life in order. I challenge you to own your journey and not let your thoughts become clouded by these misconceptions that will never assist you in achieving your personal goals.
Transfer students inject instant change and flavor from their unique experiences. Carolina values transfer students because the growth of our institution is predicated on finding the best people to be here. Every transfer offers new insights into solving problems differently, pushes the university to expand in thought and practice, and globalizes our ideas on individual levels. Transfer students are relocated gems, not thoughtless travelers. Transfer students, you are wanted here.
By Gabriela Pickett
What do you get when you combine the discounts of Black Friday and the generosity of Giving Tuesday? UNC Student Store’s Mammoth Monday!
Across the country, many see Thanksgiving as a precursor to the first big shopping day of the holiday season. Giving Tuesday, a movement in its fourth year, aims to inspire a global audience to take the goodwill of Thanksgiving and put it into action by giving back. UNC has put its own spin on this day of donating with “Tar Heel Tuesday.” A day that encourages students, alumni, and donors to give to UNC, Tar Heel Tuesday is also a day to reflect on what UNC gives us as students.
The day before Tar Heel Tuesday, UNC Student stores hosted Mammoth Monday – a day when all items in the store were 30% off. Not only was this a great day to stock up on Carolina Blue gear, but it was also a time to pause and think about what a three-story building filled with coffee mugs, shirts, and books actually means to this campus.
UNC Student Stores provides jobs to Carolina students who want to supplement their income while still remaining on campus. In addition, all funds earned from sales at UNC Student Stores go directly back to our students through scholarships and fellowships.
So, if you spent Mammoth Monday buying Carolina sweatshirts or Tar Heel cookie jars, your purchase is helping support your campus and fellow students! Our student store gives back to the university, so on this Tar Heel Tuesday let us all think about the ways we can show appreciation to UNC and celebrate #GivingTuesday.
By Raymond, ’16
1. It becomes socially acceptable to don ugly Carolina holiday sweaters around campus.
2. Seeing holiday lights on all of the fraternity and sorority houses makes you super giddy.
3. You suddenly experience FOMO when you’re not studying at Davis Library or the Undergraduate Library with everyone else you know.
4. You start taking sips from the Old Well on a daily basis because you’ve convinced yourself if it can help you get a 4.0 GPA, it can help you ace your exams.
5. You start drinking way too much coffee from The Daily Grind, Alpine Bagel Co. and Student Stores.
6. Academic Advising’s Exam Paws event is the best part of your week.
7. You feel an epic sense of camaraderie with your fellow Tar Heels hunkering down in the library #GotYourBack
8. Your resident advisor becomes your favorite person on earth because he/she starts making everyone late-night brownies, pancakes, and other study snacks.
9. You find yourself appreciating the beauty of campus a little more because you know you’ll soon be leaving for a few weeks.
10. Even though you feel stressed, you also feel grateful because you know you’re lucky to be completing another semester at this great university.
Good luck with exams, Tar Heels and prospective students!
To High School Seniors/Prospective Students,
As you all may know, it’s almost that time of year where everyone is settling in for the holidays. It is a time for love, peace, and family gatherings. Before all of those things, though, comes a college student’s worst nightmare – finals. There is no sugarcoating this topic. Finals can be overwhelming without a proper approach. I have quizzes, papers and projects due before my final exams, which mainly consist of more papers. For some of my friends, their finals are mainly tests. We’re all consumed with our work to finish the semester strong; however, we’re not in this alone.
Students at Carolina have resources all over campus to aid with the stress of finals. There are literally exam stress relief events galore. During #ExamSZN (“exam season”), my favorite resource is my resident advisor (RA). As a first-year student, my RA hosted an event where she blended smoothies and gave away snacks. She also passed out scantrons and examination booklets (which saved us time, money, and a trip to Student Stores). Stress balls and bubble wrap were also offered. It may seem silly, but those little things are helpful for students dealing with finals. Many of us are so focused on studying that we do not want to waste our time, but stopping by to see our RA on the way to our rooms or the library is always effortless.
There are plenty of other resources on campus that students love and enjoy during #ExamSZN, including Exam Paws, Wellness Hours, and Finals Boot Camp. Exam Paws is an event where the university brings in certified therapy dogs to help students relax and enjoy some puppy play time. You can find a more thorough explanation from a past semester here. As a Covenant Scholar, Wellness Hours have been most helpful for me during exam time. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or just need a listening ear, I would definitely say do not hesitate to reach out. If you feel like you’re lacking motivation during finals, I’ve heard great reviews from fellow Tar Heels about the Learning Center’s Finals Boot Camp. They offer quiet study spaces during reading days and final exams, plus snacks and extra help! Studying is supervised by academic coaches to help keep students on task.
Remember, finals should not equal stress. UNC’s coursework is rigorous and you may feel overwhelmed at first, but have no doubt—Carolina will take good care of you.
From a Tar Heel who knows,
Achsah “Reneé” Coleman is a junior majoring in Child Development and Family Studies. She works as a Communications Assistant for the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She can be reached at email@example.com.