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A Few Thoughts from a First-Year

As much as I could write about the importance of “getting involved” and how office hours really aren’t that bad…somewhere in the midst of dreading 8AMs, running to catch the P2P, and late nights in Rams, I’ve learned other lessons from my first semester in college.

There will always be another:

Party. Play. Concert. Class. Meeting

Yes, there might be…but you never know! Since being in college, I’ve found that it’s the times when I’ve contemplated changing my plans that I’ve enjoyed myself the most. Being at a University with so many diverse people and opportunities, you find that taking advantage of each moment is essential. Drag shows, A cappella concerts, amazing lectures, and themed parties are just a few of the excursions I’ve had thus far.

(My friends Gabby, Bianca, and I going to a 90s party. It was by far, one of my favorite nights this semester)

Be different from your high school self

In high school, I only applied for positions based on merit and credentials and never thought of running for a position on a public platform. This year, I had the honor of being chosen as Miss Freshman of the Black Student Movement. It was long process that included an application, interview, forum, and voting as well. It was such a new experience to me, and I’ll admit that a few times I contemplated not running, but it was such a rewarding experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

(Mr. and Miss. Freshman following the BSM ball)

Compete, but don’t be consumed

Although “it’s not always a competition”…it kind of is…especially in college. Although I’ve trained myself to not be changed by the pressure, it’s shocking to see how drastically competition can change other people (whether it’s for a position, job, etc.) Being “competitive” is natural, and it is healthy in helping avoid complacency. However, it’s important that competition isn’t consuming. I’ve learned that you can never underestimate the pressure of competition, but it’s how we handle it that matters the most. Don’t let the competition of getting a position, and winning a title to be your only motivator.

Enjoy it

I mean, really enjoy it. Whether it’s taking a few extra minutes going through the quad to admire the leaves, staying in Lenoir just a little longer, or just putting yourself in a new position. I’m only here for four years, and I plan on exploring every avenue, and taking advantage of every opportunity.

As I continue reflecting, I hope you all use winter break as an opportunity to reflect as well! Happy Holidays. HCXO!

Renee is currently a Freshman at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Journalism. In her free time she loves making Starbucks runs, taking pictures of people and places that are interesting, and utilizing her mantra "no pressure, no diamonds."
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