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Advice for UNC’s class of 2020

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Briefing for Concerned LSU Parents Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

This past Friday, UNC welcomed the class of 2020 to campus (I am sure that will make a lot of you feel really old). According to UNC, this class is made up of students from 96 counties in North Carolina, 41 different states, and 18 countries.

As a graduate from the class of 2005, I look back on my four (OK, maybe five) years at UNC as some of the best years of my life, and wish I wouldn’t have taken that time for granted.

I know there is nothing more a young person wants to hear than some advice from someone who graduated over ten years ago, but I am going to offer it anyways. Here are some suggestions to help you, Class of 2020, to have the best experience possible during your four (or maybe five) years at UNC.

Play hard, but study harder.

I speak from personal experience when I say, don’t miss your classes. It is not the best strategy to miss classes and just show up to take the exams. I understand it is not always easy to wake up for an eight o’clock ECON class; however, if you have trouble waking up early, do your best to schedule your classes for later in the day. Also, study. Go to the Undergrad Library and study with some fellow classmates, or if you are really serious about studying for that exam, head on over to Davis Library. Certainly, make sure to enjoy all that Chapel Hill has to offer (see below), but don’t forget why you are in college in the first place.

Drink from the Old Well on the first day of classes.

It is tradition, but don’t count on it helping you get straight A’s.

Explore Franklin Street.

Franklin Street is as much a part of the Carolina experience as anything else, so go exploring. Enjoy the unique shops. See a movie at the Varsity Theatre. Eat at the different restaurants that line Franklin Street. Franklin has so much to offer, so take full advantage while you are a student.

Read the Daily Tar Heel and do the crossword puzzle.

Go to as many sporting events as you can.

Go to football games, and go early. Go to basketball games, if you can get a ticket, and cheer loud. Enjoy a spring afternoon under Carolina blue skies while watching a baseball game. Attend olympic sporting events like soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, softball, and tennis (even if you might not know all of the rules).

Ride the P2P.

Enjoy all that Chapel Hill has to offer.

Bring a date to the Morehead Planetarium. See a Clef Hangers show. Dress up with thousands of others and make your way out to Franklin Street to celebrate Halloween.

Take a drama class to learn how to play off tripping on one of the bricks.

Volunteer in the community or at the school.

Help with Habitat for Humanity. Become a Big Buddy at the Campus Y. Volunteer to help with the UNC Dance Marathon.

Go see a band at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro.

Take advantage of all of the recreational facilities that UNC offers.

Play a round of golf at Finley Golf Course. Play some racquetball in Fetzer. Go for a swim in one of the pools. Pretend that you are on one of the Tar Heel basketball teams from the 1950s and shoot some hoops in Woollen Gym. Grab some friends and play on one of the best disc golf courses in the area at the Outdoor Education Center.

If you drive a car on campus, be careful where you park and make sure to feed the meters.

Play intramural sports.

If you are lucky enough to win a championship, wear your championship t-shirt proudly.

Cherish every second.

Whether you are sitting in the Pit or walking back to Hinton James. Whether you are eating lunch with your classmates in Lenoir or taking a nap on Polk Place lawn. Whether you are sitting down for your first exam in Hamilton Hall or singing “Hark the Sound” with your fellow Tar Heels.

These are some of the best days of your life and they will fly by. Cherish every second.