- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: North Wilkes High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about UNC is the camaraderie students and alumni share. That could probably be said for all universities, but I think it's more intense here given our rivalry with and total detestation of everything Duke. If only thing I would change about UNC is the expensive cost of food on Franklin St. When I'm able to I walk or drive to nearby Carrboro where food is cheaper. When I tell people I got to UNC they either love it and are impressed or absolutely hate it. I guess a lot of people hate UNC because students and alumni have so much school pride that it's mistaken for arrogance. I spend most of my time on campus between classes in the Student Union. I hate libraries and it has great corners to hide and study, a tasty bagel shop, and comfy chairs to sit in and chat with friends. I even feel comfortable enough that I'll take naps there between classes. I think Chapel Hill is the quintessential college town. The town built up around the university and caters to students. Anything that Chapel Hill doesn't have, (like a big mall), can be reached in Durham or Raleigh by a short bus ride or drive. There's a ridiculous amount of school pride here. I don't think I could encounter a school with more of it than I see here. I completely understand it though, I absolutely love my school. I've said that I'm glad I didn't go to other schools I considered so many times. When I'm outside of Chapel Hill I'll often talk about it to my non-UNC friends and they get a little tired of hearing it and sometimes mistake it for bragging. I honestly don't intend to brag, but it's hard not to when you love it as much as I do. I think there are alot of unique things about UNC. I can't quite explain all of them though. Maybe it's just the overall atmosphere. When I visited the campus for a tour I immediately felt that this is where I belonged. People just seemed to be so happy here, despite all the homework and studying. I also visited a handful of other campuses like Wake Forest and Appalachian State. Before my UNC tour I had decided to go to Wake Forest (which I had visited). Wake is also intensely academic, but I felt it was missing that social aspect I needed to keep myself sane between classes and exams. When I walked through The Pit for the first time at UNC in November 2005, there was a group of guys chugging milk and eggnog and throwing it back up into trash cans. As gross as that was, I thought it was hilarious and knew I'd never see that at Wake. I'm serious about my grades, but I also like to have fun. That can also be said about the student body here. We're known for our academics, but also for our antics. However, the thing that separates us from a "party school" is our delegation of priorities. In general, the people I've encountered here study hard and then go out and have fun. Being surrounded by people with these priorities helps me keep mine intact. My most memorable experience here thus far is when our mens basketball team beat Duke's team at Duke last year. It's what I'd been hoping to experience as soon as I sent in my first deposit to UNC. It was exhilirating. People literally ran from middle and south campus up to Franklin St. I was ecstatic and felt that I had achieved the biggest part of my UNC experience. I didn't jump over a bonfire like many people do because I'm really clumsy, but I screamed a lot and took plenty of pictures. The most frequent student complaints are about the distribution of mens basketball tickets. This is no surprise since we have an excellent program and most people follow it religiously. Students (including me) also complain about the alumni at games. Many of them pay gross amounts of money for season tickets and never stand up or clap during the games. Many also leave before the games are over with to beat traffic, even in tied and rival games.
Most of my teachers for my smaller classes have been grad students. They've learned my name, especially since those classes are more participation-oriented. However, only a handful of professors have known my name. This is mostly because they teach classes with 200 students in them. But, I rarely go to office hours for professors who teach large classes like these. Most of my professors who I've had for smaller classes knew my name though. My favorite class so far if News Editing. It has about 20 people in it and is taught by a professor who is engaging and has 30+ years of experience with big newspapers. The class is pretty intense since it's three hours long and twice a week, but I feel like I've gotten a lot out of it so far, and really enjoy talking with my professor about journalism and everything else! My least favorite class has been Intro to Psychology. The part that I really hated was the instructors. One was old, senile, and went ballistic anyone's cell phone or laptop made a noise and would stop class for ten minutes to lecture us about it. The other instructor was in his 50s and dates female undergraduates. This is common knowledge around campus. I just couldn't get past how creepy and unattractive that man is to learn about Psychology. Students here study a lot. I personally spend most of my free time, (besides late night weekends), doing homework and studying. Most of my friends are the same way. Class participation is very common here. For many bigger classes, like political science and history, students are required to sign up for recitation sections that cover related material. TAs instruct these sections and the main purpose of them is to make students discuss readings related to lectures. The amount of participation in these sections highly reflects your final grade since the TA ultimately oversees and assigns it. I often hear other UNC students participating in intellectual and political conversations outside of class. I sometimes participate in them too. I think this really enriches our college experience since what we're learning in our classes is meant to be applied in our lives. Students are extremely competitive here. Classes and recitations are somewhat structured like this since we are graded on our participation. Sometimes it's hard to get a word in because there's always one person in your class that talks as much as possible. The most unique class I've taken is Classical Political Theory. It was a small class with about 45 people and taught by a professor. She structured the class very loosely and we never had tests. We only wrote papers and paragraphs on short prompts throughout the semester. The main component of the class was participation. It was a very hard course since it required a lot of reading and was completely structured around that. I'm a Journalism major and I feel that I'm in an excellent place to be one. We have an amazing Journalism and Mass Communication school here with down to earth, yet highly qualified professors. They are also very dedicated to helping the students network, which can yield great professional opportunities since graduates from the school are spread out over the world in excellent careers. I like to go by my instructors' office hours and talk with them about any questions I have about course work or relating to the subject. I correspond with many of my teachers through e-mail too. I've found that for the most part they're prompt in responding and make special efforts to be more available to students. I have also seen several of my instructors around campus and at school events. They seem to immerse themselves in campus life too and enjoy their jobs. I feel that UNC's academic requirements can be a little crazy at times. Especially the foreign language requirement. We are required to have at least three levels of the same language as part of the general college requirements. You can place out of this through a test on your high school foreign language but most people I know don't. The school's intentions behind this are to make sure that students are fluent in a foreign language when they graduate. I think this is a great intention, but the language classes are extremely demanding of one's time. It's difficult to learn a new language when you're also taking four other courses. I think education here is geared toward getting a job and learning. A lot of the classes that fulfill general college requirements like philosophy and literary analysis are meant to make us think more about the world and develop our opinions. However, once people get deeper into their majors classes are more similar to real life. For example, my news writing class gave us cluttered information to write a good news story in a time restraint like we would in a real news room. Since completing that course, I've felt I could write in a news room and work under pressure and time constraints.
We have an extremely diverse student body here. I went to a predominantly white high school and I love UNC's diversity. The real world is diverse and I feel comfortable interacting with people of all backgrounds and places. There is a group of evangelical Christians who come to campus frequently and preach. Although I have a Christian background, I don't agree with most of the things they say. However, the environment is so open here that people stand around and listen to them and argue with them about certain topics. I think that speaks well about our student body that individuals are comfortable enough with their beliefs that they'll confront others in public about theirs and discuss things with them. Most times, the students are more open to hearing what the evangelicals say and then make their arguments although the evangelicals aren't willing to listen to what anyone else has to say. I see students wear all kinds of things to class. Some wear caps, polo shirts and boat shoes. Whereas others wear sweatpants. Most of the time I wear a t-shirt, jeans and flip flops. However, I feel comfortable enough to wear sweats or dress up a little nicer depending on my mood and how much time I have to get ready. I think that different types of students interact. When it comes down to it there will always be cliques, but there are so many individuals with different backgrounds here that it's easy to mingle with people who might be from a completely different background. Out of four tables in the dining hall, one would be athletes, another would be frat guys and sorority girls, and then the other two would just be a mix of people. There are so many different groups that really the only people who stick out are people who are in specific organizations or groups that are labeled, like Greek organizations and athletic teams. However, a lot of times these individuals break these stereotypes. Most UNC students are from NC since it's a state school and has to have a certain amount of in-state students, (I think it's 85%). A lot of them are from the Raleigh and Charlotte areas, since those areas are so populated anyway. I think most students are from the middle class, but there are so many scholarships awarded here that I have several friends who are on scholarships that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford college. Political activity is pretty big here. There are many political groups around campus who go to conventions, protests, and campaign for political candidates. I overhear many conversations over politics. Just a quick flip through the campus newspaper The Daily Tar Heel will prove how politically oriented the student body is. Since UNC has a liberal arts curriculum, it gets a rap for being a congregation of a bunch of liberals. I often hear it called, "Liberal Hill." There are a lot of left-leaning people here, but I think the majority are moderate. There is still a strong presence of right-leaning people on campus though, even though they seem to be overwhelmed by the liberal presence. People definitely joke about how much they'll earn in their future careers, especially since there are business, law, medical, nursing and dental schools here. But I think it's natural for people to talk about that at a university since they are preparing for their careers.
The Best Things
How everyone loves being here!
The Worst Things