UNC – Chapel Hill
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2021
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Public school in Cold Spring Harbor, NY with a graduating class of 162 students. There was a very big culture of going to college. It was rare for people to not go to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It’s a lot of reading and a lot of essays. The most interesting part about my major is it involves fieldwork. [The school gives us a long list of places to choose from and], we have to do an internship at one of those places. So, we work with people that we would be working within our field.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s competitive, but there is a great comradery at UNC where people are open to helping each other and people want to work on problem sets together. It’s competitive because it’s a top-level school with people trying to get where they’re going.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think they do a great job of preparing you to know what your course load will be like. I was very prepared to declare my major because, after speaking with professors and using the website, I knew what was coming. On the flip side, the classes are very tough so you have to be ready to work.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I’m definitely happy with my choice. My cousin has autism, and I was always involved with special needs kids in high school. When I got to school I knew I wanted to go in that direction, but I had no idea of how to get there. I went to a fair for majors and minors and found it. I had no idea it existed before that.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s difficult, but it would be more difficult if you didn’t have so much help surrounding you. It’s very, very hard to not get yourself up in the morning and go to lift or go do your run test because you have your teammates by your side through the whole thing. In terms of academics, we have great counselors who make sure we’re on the right track. Our tutors are amazing and they make sure that we’re getting our work done and we’re doing what we need to do.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Most first-year athletes live in either Parker, Teague, or Avery. They’re all on South Campus. They do that because it’s right next to the academic center for athletes. It’s a great location for a first-year.
Sophomore: Granville Towers, which are dorms but they are on Franklin Street. They’re a little bit further away, but they’re still on campus. They’re like little apartments. We have our own kitchen and we have our own rooms.
How was transitioning from living outside of New York City to Chapel Hill, NC?
It’s definitely different. The biggest thing I noticed is that nobody jaywalks. People actually wait for the light to change, which people don’t do in New York. Everyone seems a lot nicer than they do in New York. It’s hard to judge where you are because most of the time I’m with my teammates who are from all over the country, so I haven’t gotten a good read on the town.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Maggiano’s, which is by the mall in Durham.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
We love going to the mall because the mall there is huge and you feel like you’re not at school for a little bit.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Our campus, I believe, is beyond safe. I’ve never felt uncomfortable walking home alone. There are people everywhere constantly on campus, and people only ever go to Franklin Street, so that’s surrounded by college students too. There aren’t that many people from out of town coming in.
Pros and cons of being located in Chapel Hill, NC?
Pros: (1) It’s so beautiful.
(2) Safety. I never feel uncomfortable being on campus.
(3) How accessible the town is. Franklin Street has everything you need within walking distance.
Cons: (1) It’s far away from my house.
(2) The nightlife in Chapel Hill, just because they can be really strict at bars.
I don’t have too many cons for Chapel Hill, it’s one of the best places in the world.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
At UNC it’s a mix of frats and then there are a lot of bars. I usually end up hanging out at my team’s and the men’s team’s houses. It can get a little stagnant at times. Out of season, I go out probably three times a week and in-season it’s probably two times a month.
What have been some of your favorite times at UNC?
I think my favorite time this past year was around the holidays. Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and Christmas are the most fun. Franklin Street is the best place for a college campus because it’s surrounded by kids in houses, dorms, and frats, so it’s like the college kid’s little town. During Halloween they shut down everything so no cars can come in, and it’s a huge party on Franklin Street.
How happy were you with the nightlife at UNC? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I love the nightlife. It’s perfect for me because I love going to bars and stuff. Our frats are kind of on and off. There have been some fraternities suspended, so we don’t tend to go to those too often.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My closest friends are on my team.
How would you describe the social scene at UNC?
I definitely see both sides because I have one close friend who’s in a sorority and loves it. From an athlete standpoint, you’re not just with your team all the time. You do have many opportunities to hang out with other people. At the same time, because all the athletes are seeing tutors together and are in specific classes together, you make a lot of friends with people on other teams. Our team is really close with certain other teams, so it’s not like you’re excluded to one group at the school.
How would you describe the student body?
There is definitely a wide range of people. There is no specific look to the student body, there is every single shape and form. In my group at orientation, every single person had a different background, ethnicity, or sexuality. There is a huge range of people at your disposal to make friends. [The undergraduate population at UNC is 61% White, 14% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 8% Black. About 82% of students come from North Carolina. 40% of the in-state students in the Class of 2022 are from rural North Carolina counties.]
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I don’t think I’ve been in a class with [a large group] of people of the same race or sexual orientation. There are definitely different people everywhere, and no two groups are the same. I haven’t seen many groups where it’s all White kids or all Hispanic kids.
What career preparation have you done so far through the school?
My coach does a great job of bringing people to talk to us about the future and create opportunities. This past semester she brought the seniors to New York to go on a business trip and speak to different people in the business community about taking the next step. She makes great opportunities for us through networking and connections. But, as a freshman I didn’t do too much of that.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about UNC before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had a better understanding of how to choose classes and what courses to take. They give you a course catalog and they explain it to you, but it’s kind of vague. I just took a bunch of classes to see what I liked, but I didn’t really have too much direction. That was tough until I chose my major and they explained to me what classes I should have been taking.
What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
At times it felt as though you’re on a loop and you’re just doing the same thing. You wake up, you have lift, then you have classes, then practice, and then you go to bed. It feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. It’s important to make time for yourself. In the little amount of time you do have, you have to make sure you’re not just napping. Do something for yourself that will break the cycle and relieve some stress.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I would be interested in the off-campus houses. I didn’t see any of them on my visit. When you’re a junior and a senior you live in the houses on campus. It’s fun to see how everyone hangs out.
Reasons to attend UNC:
1) The academics are unreal. You’re going to have a great education.
2) If you love athletics. Even if you don’t want to play, the games are really fun to go to.
3) The community at UNC. Everyone is super friendly. It’s great to have Franklin Street to go, meet a bunch of people, and hang out.
Reasons to not attend UNC:
1) If you’re going as an athlete and you’re not ready to commit all of your time, you should rethink it. Even if we’re not practicing, we’re together constantly. If you’re thinking of maybe joining a sorority or other clubs or program, you should maybe rethink your decision because it’s a full-time job commitment.
2) School is very hard at UNC. You have to be ready to commit your time to school.
It’s hard to come up with reasons not to. I bleed Carolina blue.