The Tar Heel Blog

Current students write about life at Carolina

The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jan 10

An Undercover Look at the Carolina Way

By Jenn Morrison


It’s almost time. The recently extended regular decision deadline of Monday, January 16 is quickly approaching, and we know how hard you all have worked in translating your best self onto paper. And believe it or not, we really do read every word you send and enjoy getting to know you. So as you hit the final stretch before submitting your application, we want to help you get to know us a little better.

Sure, you know the legacy, the rankings, the traditions, the iconic spots of campus, and some fun facts about UNC. Hopefully you’ve either come or are planning to come to campus and gotten a feel for the student body as well. But there are some things that you may not know just from looking around.

It’s the little moments, the ones you might not catch on a tour, the ones that aren’t in the books, that define what it means to go to UNC.

To an outsider, “The Carolina Way” might sound cheesy, but it’s undoubtedly a philosophy that runs deep in our campus, since its inception from Dean Smith’s approach to basketball in playing hard, playing smart and playing together.

Over the years, my favorite moments at UNC absolutely fall into that category. Carolina isn’t just a proper noun; it’s not just a place or a setting. It’s also an adjective. People will describe an act as being “so Carolina,” and it carries a distinct meaning.

It’s when students in Kenan-Flagler Business School raise money each year to send children with life-threatening diseases to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, when an undergraduate started a food pantry for hungry students on campus, or even when students line up for hours to get a coveted volunteer position at the hospital.

But it’s also the moments of a more quiet kindness that we as students see and take part in every day.

It’s when a professor invited any of his students who couldn’t make it home to his own for Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s when I was walking through Lenoir Dining Hall, and a student dropped her belongings on the floor. Within seconds at least ten students had dashed up to help her. When thanking us with an unsurprised but humbled tone, she said, “You guys are the best,” to the group of otherwise strangers.

Of course you can find small acts of kindness on any campus, or so we hope, but what makes Carolina so unique is that these are not rare occasions but rather the moments that easily accumulate into the fabric that ties together this campus. It’s a common thread of community, around the way that we treat each other every day.

So whether you’re making the final tweaks of your application or eagerly awaiting your Early Action decision, we want you to know that we do deeply appreciate your interest in us and we wish you the very best.