An Interview On
UNC – Chapel Hill

Background

Interview Date:August 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Sexual Orientation: Gay
Graduation Year: 2018
High School Experience: Public school in Raleigh, NC with a graduating class of about 700 students.
First Generation College Student: No.
Major: Communications with a concentration in Media Production. [This major is in the College of Liberal Arts].
Minor: Urban Planning
Extracurricular Activities: I participated in a Literary Arts Fraternity, I participated in the UNC radio station, and I participated in Tramping Club, which is a backpacking club, and I volunteered at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, which is a UNC run organization, and I also volunteered at a yoga studio.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your college experience?
My fraternity had a big impact.

Academic Experience

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your college experience?
My fraternity had a big impact.

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It would be a lot of readings and essays for the theory-based classes and then the practical classes had a lot of screenings, discussion, and reproduction where we would actually make films.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I don’t think they gave us enough of a background in film theory and film history. But I think they gave us a lot of freedom to do our own group projects. Another thing they did well was they gave us a general understanding of everything, so it’s not only just a normal narrative television, but I took a lot of documentary classes and experimental classes and also screenwriting classes. They really covered it all, which gave me the opportunity to figure out what I want to do in the long run. The production equipment was lacking and old and we could really use some studio space.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think the introductory classes are not competitive and aren’t super collaborative. But once you get to higher level classes there are students making really good work and it gets more competitive and you do have to participate in your project and carry your own weight.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Introductory to Documentary Production

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
I forget the name, but it was a communications skills class that focused on interpersonal skills.

Why did you choose your major?
Because I have always liked film and have always wanted to do something that was creative. I was working with another student who was in this major my first year on one of their film assignments, and I got to learn about what they were doing and I was into it.

Are you happy with your major choice?
I’m, like, okay with it. I probably won’t continue pursuing it after school. I’m much more into my minor. I don’t think it got me too excited about film.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Craig Dormitory with one roommate and we lived in a suite with 7 other guys. It was a lot of people sharing one bathroom. I didn’t really hang out with them that much but they were nice.

Sophomore: Off-campus with 3 other people

Junior: Off-campus with four other people

Senior: Off-campus with 3 other people

5th Year: Off-campus with 2 other people.

What was your favorite living situation?
My favorite living situation was my sophomore year.

Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
I feel very safe on campus. Off-campus is slightly less safe but still very safe. There are certain areas I’d walk different directions to avoid around certain hours, but that’s me just being overly cautious and paranoid. Not that they’re unsafe, they’re actually pretty safe.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
I really like Venbale’s in Carrboro.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Carrboro, which is the town over from Chapel Hill, but is basically connected to it, and I like to go to Weaver Street Market.

Pros and Cons of being in Chapel Hill, NC?
Pros: (1) It’s the quintessential college town. You get that true American experience.
(2) The climate is pretty great.
(3) It’s part of the triangle, so it’s a small town but you can drive thirty minutes and there’s a lot to do and see.

Cons: (1) It’s in the south so it can be more conservative than I would like. But it’s still relatively liberal.
(2) There are no mountains around or other natural landmarks.
(3) It’s not in or near a really big city.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are a lot of house parties I went to my first couple of years. Once I turned 21 I started going to bars. The house parties are really fun and the nightlife at UNC is generally really fun. I just went out Fridays and Saturdays mostly. Sometimes I’d go out on a weekday, like Thursday or Tuesday. I didn’t follow the nightly bar thing.

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
We’d party in the dorms and we’d all get on this bus called P2P or you’d take an Uber if you were going to a house. Then we’d get to the party and we’d not really know anyone there but it’d still be really fun. We’d dance and socialize, and then maybe go to another house party and then go home.

What have been your favorite times at UNC?
I really like spring at UNC because it’s a really beautiful campus. The campus kind of comes alive during the spring. The last day of classes is really fun.

What is an alternative to a party or a bar that you like to do on a night out?
You could go to a more relaxed kind of bar, there are a lot of those. You could go to Carrboro [the town next to Chapel Hill] and just socialize with people. You can also just stay at home and watch a movie with friends. There were lots of smaller social gatherings I’d go to if I didn’t want to go out.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s definitely pretty big, but it’s not something you have to participate in to have fun. There’s a lot of alternatives.

How has being an LGBT student impacted your nightlife?
There are some places that I would avoid and some places that I would be drawn to because there would be other people like me there. Like certain bars and house parties and the fraternity I’m in. But, most other fraternities I avoided.

How happy were you with the nightlife at UNC? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I was pretty happy about it. I wish fraternities were a little more inclusive of everyone. But it’s also fine because everyone does their own thing and has fun.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them my first year through classes and being introduced to people by friends. And a couple of my close friends were from high school. I also did this backpacking trip my first year and I met a lot of people I’m still close with through that.

How would you describe the social scene?
I would say it’s pretty vibrant and fun. It’s so big that everyone builds their own small communities. They’re cliques, but that word has a negative connotation, it’s more of everyone finding their own group of friends and hanging out with them.

To what extent do you think of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I would say races are a little more segregated and sexual orientations are pretty integrated.

How would you describe the student body?
I would describe the student body as kind of conservative, more conservative than the town and professors themselves because there are a lot of people from rural parts of North Carolina. But very nice people, very down to earth, very intelligent, very type A people with go-getter attitudes and likes to have fun too.

Careers

Have you used the career office much?
I’ve used it once.

Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
I took a programming class so I learned some Java and HTML. I learned most of the Adobe suite, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about UNC before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had known more about the different programs at UNC. Just because it’s such a big school, there are so many different programs that you don’t hear about. Like I wish I had learned more about the journalism school for instance.

What is something that a student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Carrboro. It’s Chapel Hill’s sister city and I think it’s pretty interesting.

Reasons to attend UNC:
1) It’s a work hard party hard school. You get really great academics, but you also get to let loose and have fun.
2) It’s big so there’s endless different activities and programs you can enlist in. There are also endless people you can meet.
3) It is the essential American college experience. The kind you see in movies almost.
4) It has an edge to it too. There is an arts scene and interesting music venues you can go to.

Reasons to not attend UNC:
1) It’s big, so it can be very overwhelming and takes a little bit of time to get used to.
2) It’s a small town so after four years it does start to get old kind of.
3) Greek life isn’t dominant, but the fact that Greek life is very present and is not very inclusive.

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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