An Interview On
UNC – Chapel Hill

Background

Interview Date:January 2019

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Chinese
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public school in Charlotte, NC with a graduating class of about 500 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Biology
Minors: Health and Society, and Chemistry
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in Greek life and Pre-Health Fraternity, I volunteer at the hospital, do cancer research, works as a tour guide.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
A lot of the things I do are formative to my experience in college. They have helped shape what career path I might be interested in. They have also helped build the community and friends I surround myself with.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for Biology?
It’s a lot of readings, labs, practice problems, and going to office hours.

Is there anything you feel the Biology department does especially well or poorly?
I think they are really bad at allotting a sufficient amount of class sessions for such a large major. There are lots of people who are Biology majors, and there are only two sections for a required course. I think they are bad at accounting for the large number of students, but I think they are good at figuring out what content to teach students. They understand a lot of students are Biology majors because we are pre-health. [In 2018, there were 2,671 Biology majors.]

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I would err on the side of more collaborative, but definitely in the middle.

Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
It was something I’ve always been interested in since high school. I was always really good at it, so I thought it was the best choice. It’s easy because I’m pre-health, so the classes I need to apply to graduate school fall under my major. I’m happy with it, but if I could do it over again I’d try to double major in something else, or do a different major.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Ehringhaus Hall with one roommate and seven suitemates.

Sophomore: Teague Hall with one roommate and seven suitemates.

Junior: Off-campus house with seven other people.

How was transitioning from Charlotte to Chapel Hill, NC?
For me, it was pretty smooth and easy. In terms of location, I don’t think I felt out of place because a lot of people from my hometown came to Chapel Hill.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
It’s pretty safe because I’m always around people. I never try to be in situations where I feel unsafe, but I think Chapel Hill may not be the safest all the time.

Pros and cons of being in Chapel Hill, NC?
Pros:
1) It’s part of the Research Triangle Park, which is perfect for people interested in those areas.
2) It’s a nice community full of connections which is good for undergraduate students.

Cons:
1) It’s a college town, so there isn’t much to do outside of Chapel Hill.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I’m not 21, so I don’t go to bars yet. I’ll go out occasionally but not every weekend. My first two years I went to frat parties, but now I go to house parties.

How happy have you been with the nightlife at UNC? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it because I don’t go out as often as I used to. If I were 21, I might be a little happier with it. UNC doesn’t have too much of a bar scene.

How has Greek life impacted your weekend options?
It gives me options if I wanted to go out. It hasn’t impacted it much, because it doesn’t change when I decide to go out.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
They were all the people I lived with freshman and sophomore year. I met their friends and people I randomly talked to in class.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I would say it’s pretty good, but at some points it’s not inclusive in terms of going to frat parties. You need wristbands to get into parties, and if you can’t get bands, it’s hard to go out go out if you’re under 21.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Little to mild. I think it depends on your social group and circle. [The undergraduate population at UNC is 61% White, 14% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 8% Black.]

How would you describe the student body?
The student body is pretty diverse, but I may not see it so much within my social circle. I think it encompasses a large group of people.

Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of UNC by senior year? Do you think people leave loving UNC?
Yes, I think so. I rarely hear of people transferring out of UNC. [UNC has a 97% first-year retention rate.]

How do you like the size of UNC in terms of undergraduate enrollment?
I knew I wanted to go to a bigger school because I felt like it increased my chances of meeting people that are different than me and with different experiences. This has been very formative to my three years so far. [UNC has 19,117 undergraduate students.]

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I haven’t talked to any alumni yet. Current students within my organizations have helped me find research positions, internships, and shadowing opportunities. At a school like UNC where a lot of kids are pre-health, it can be hard to find those opportunities.

What have you used the career office for? How helpful were they?
I haven’t used it yet.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
I took an introduction to programming class where we learned TypeScript. This is kind of the baby version of a lot of programs, but I think it’ll be helpful if I ever use it.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about UNC before entering as a freshman?
I wish I were made more aware of the different options I had in terms of majors, clubs, activities, and things I could do off campus. If I could do it over again, I would still be a Biology major but would’ve tried for Public Health.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
We say our tours are experienced-based. Even though we try to make it as experienced-based as possible, I think this is hard to get that from an hour and fifteen-minute tour. They don’t get to see what student life is, which is something they would miss out on.

Reasons to attend UNC:
1) For the connections.
2) It’s professional and social.
3) The personal growth.

Reasons to not attend UNC:
1) If you’re not willing to put yourself out there and be open to other people.
2) Look into what you want to major in, and if UNC doesn’t offer that I wouldn’t come here.

Notice: UNC – Chapel Hill is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by UNC – Chapel Hill.

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