Meet a New Tar Heel: Meixing Liu

An aspiring optometrist, Meixing Liu sees opportunities at Carolina to expand her social circle and build her future.

Meixing Liu kept a pretty busy schedule throughout high school.

When she wasn’t a full-time student at Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School — where she was also earning her associate’s degree — Liu was running the front of the house at her family’s Chinese restaurant, working six hours a day during the week and 12-hour shifts on the weekend.

Working a full-time schedule at the restaurant in Spring Hope, North Carolina, made it increasingly clear that she didn’t want a career as a business owner or in the food industry. She still wanted to work closely with people, but in a health care setting instead. So, balancing a fear of blood with aspirations of becoming a health professional, Liu determined optometry was her future.

“You get to learn a lot when you’re working that in that type of setting, but over time, it gets monotonous,” she said of working 50 hours a week in the restaurant. “I wanted to go into health care because I like to help people. I just gravitated towards it. I definitely looked at other careers, but they just didn’t suit me. I need to be in a people environment because I can’t work at a desk all day.”

The incoming first-year student at Carolina will begin making strides toward her goal when she officially begins her studies in Chapel Hill this fall. The Tar Heel plans to study biology and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, possibly adding a minor in chemistry, as she spends the next four years preparing for her future career as an eye doctor.

Putting herself ‘out there’

In addition to her biology and neuroscience coursework, Liu will be both an Honors Carolina Scholar and Woods Family Scholar at Carolina. She plans to take advantage of both programs to maximize her learning experiences.

She intends to study abroad through the Honors Carolina global programs, which feature internships and academic opportunities around the world. Liu wants to visit Japan or Korea or return to China, where she lived with her grandparents until she was 5.

Through the Woods Family Scholarship program, Liu hopes to hone her leadership and communication skills — assets she wants to strengthen for her medical career.

“I’ve always been kind of introverted, and I want to put myself out there more and out of my comfort zone,” she said.

Life in Chapel Hill

But it’s not only the academics that Liu is excited for. She’s wanted to come to Carolina since her elementary school teacher first told her about the University in third grade, and she’s eager to now become a Tar Heel.


I definitely like the academic rigor. I feel like that’s something awesome. I felt very welcomed when I toured the school. I want to expand my social circle and get a feel for how classes will be.


Though Liu still may be heading back home to help out at the family restaurant, she plans on staying busy in Chapel Hill by diving headfirst into life at Carolina — from game days to volunteering in the community.

She already has her first stop as a Tar Heel planned out.

“Exploring Franklin Street,” she said. “I’ve never really been there. I want to check out all the stores and restaurants.”

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