Warning: This edition of “Best Year Ever” is for the eyes of the Tar Heel nation. If you are not a Tar Heel or a Tar Heel fan, then I encourage you to brace yourself as I recount all the wonderful moments of the 2011-2012 academic year.
After five painstaking hours of reviewing formulas, identifications, and charts – hello, exam week – you take a fifteen-minute study break to relieve your brain of the throbbing sensation associated with a cerebral overload. You are not on Facebook – your best friend changed your password. You are not at Alpine – the line for a Good Morning Camper has wrapped the Union couches, twice. The streakers have come and gone and the flash rave died down. Aside from taking a nap, which you know you will not wake up from in a timely manner, you have nothing else to do but to think about Carolina, or this heaven on Earth. This land of angels has done a lot over the years, from championships, record-breaking service projects, award-winning research and the list goes on. But, let’s be honest, the 2011-2012 academic year was one of the best years ever! This past year is definitely one for the history books, and as you sit in the library wishing you would have went to a less challenging university, you instantly change your mind and reaffirm that there is not other place you rather finish the last bit of your teenage years.
The Look Back
It was five o’clock in the morning, and no one was in his or her bed. Instead, students were standing on Hooker Fields, waiting to enter Carmichael Arena to see President Barack Obama. Just three days ago, President Barack Obama visited Carolina and discussed a topic near and dear to our hearts: college affordability. As he walked into the arena, President Obama enlivened a crowd of 8,000, making his visit one that no Tar Heel will ever forget. President Obama called for Congress to extend the legislation that maintains a low interest rate on college loans. Chanting “Don’t double my rate,” he asked for students to do their part in influencing Congress to sustain college affordability. If all goes well, Congress will pass the legislation by July 1, relieving the financial burden of not only Tar Heels, but also all college students.
And just when you thought President Obama’s visit made this year the best one yet, he brought along friends. Not only did a sitting president visit campus on Tuesday, but also comedian Jimmy Fallon and artists The Roots and Dave Matthews Band graced Carolina with their presence. Jimmy Fallon hosted his late night talk show and had President Obama, The Roots, and Dave Matthews Band as guests. Although the filming was exclusively for seniors, it still gave all Tar Heels bragging rights. I mean who else has such big names on campus in one day?
Although only three years ago, the grandeur of 2009 seems as though it is a distant memory. And when three of Carolina’s star basketball players entered the NBA draft, chances of reliving the memory poofed right before our eyes. The second biggest moment of the 2011-2012 academic year is our loss of Harrison Barnes, John Henson, and Kendall Marshall. After fighting their way to the Elite Eight in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the three players decided to hang up their Carolina jerseys for good. Words cannot express how distraught Tar Heels were, as they read the Daily Tar Heel the next day. People debated the future of Carolina basketball – will there be another Carolina victory in the near future, or have our dreams been crushed? – but with newest recruits joining our already star-studded team, I foresee a bright future for Tar Heel basketball. As for Barnes, Henson, and Marshall, we wish them all the best in the NBA, and we know they will uphold the Carolina legacy!
While we are discussing basketball, rival Duke University lost to number fifteen seed Lehigh University of Pennsylvania in an embarrassing blow out during the NCAA Tournament. A Duke loss is a Carolina victory any day. Dare I say, go Heels!
Lenoir Dining Hall
On to other important matters: food! Early on in the year, Carolina revealed the newly renovated Lenoir Dining Hall and I think everyone can agree that this was a welcomed change. Lenoir now holds additional seats, a whopping 2,000 more, and has a new sushi bar! How many other campuses can say they have fresh sushi regularly? Along with its modernization, Lenoir also has a new aura about it. Sophomore Schara Brooks said, “It is a lot more friendly now that no one’s killing each other for seats.” No more dining elbow-to-elbow. Lenoir’s renovations are a Carolina blessing!
We all know that Carolina is a multi-faceted university, and the men’s soccer team reinforced this claim with its championship victory against UNC Charlotte in January. The men’s soccer team took home the College Cup after 65 minutes of play. It was been the team’s first championship victory since 2001. Upon victory, the Top of Lenoir held a celebration for the champions, where all Tar Heels congratulated them on a season well played. The soccer team’s championship win proved that the basketball is not the only team that can bring home victories. The championship legacy continues!
What were your highlights of the 2011-2012 academic year?
1. The Daily Tar Heel
3. Carolina Dining Services