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A Love to UNC from an (Almost) Second-Semester Senior

I still remember the moment I stepped onto your campus for the first time.  It was love at first sight, and I could no longer imagine why I would want to spend the next four years of my life anywhere else.  But I was an eager, clueless high school junior and soon realized what kind of academic rigor was required to make my dream of becoming a Tar Heel come true.  I’ll let you in on a secret: I was not up to par.  But after months of signing up for more clubs, re-taking the SAT for a better score and enrolling in extra AP classes, you finally noticed and accepted me to the university of my dreams.  And that, to this day, is the best day of my life (aside from the part where I opened my letter of acceptance while driving because I couldn’t wait until I got home, and I accidentally ran my car into a VERY SMALL wall…no big deal at all, Mom).

Like I said, I was naïve and thought the hardest part of college would be getting in.  And that, to this day, is the most mistaken I’ve ever been in my life.  Don’t get me wrong; the majority of my most memorable moments took place within the city of Chapel Hill. But in addition to fun nights out, new best friends and great opportunities, you gave me mental breakdowns, nights without sleep and semesters with a not-so-hot GPA.

Now, with my fourth and final year upon me, it’s almost time for us to part.  I have dreams of starting an exciting new chapter in my life, and you are forever stuck in Chapel Hill, unable to run away with me.  So I want to leave you with some parting words:

You are the main reason that I am who I am today.  And even though we have an inevitable breakup date, you have forever turned my heart Carolina blue.  You have pushed me to my absolute mental limits, past what I ever thought I was capable of four years ago.  You made me cry, yell and throw things, but you also gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment in myself when I made an A on the test that I studied all night for. Because of your stubborn belief in me, I now know that “you can do anything you set your mind to” is more than just a cheesy cliché.  You’ve helped me see that statement as a reality, and for that, I can never thank you enough.  While you were my one and only, I know that you were always juggling thousands of women (literally).  But I truly hope I have made at least a small impact in your existence as well.

It’s going to be hard not hearing the ringing of the bell tower every hour.  I’m going to cry in the spring when I think about how breathtaking the Old Well must look and knowing that I’m not there to see it. And I will be nostalgic when I’m watching a UNC game on television instead of cheering in the sidelines of Kenan Memorial Stadium. But it’s time for me to go, and you unfortunately must stay. I want you to know that I will always hold you in my heart, and this isn’t goodbye forever.

I’ll be seeing you,


Rachael is a senior public relations major at UNC–Chapel Hill. In addition to being the president/co-campus correspondent of Her Campus Chapel Hill, Rachael is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a mentor for EASE, a study abroad organization. She is an enthusiast of Snapchat, strong coffee, and "hardcore parkour" goat videos.
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