My name is Elaina Rollins, and I am a junior Business Marketing major with a Digital Marketing minor here at UNC. Now that classes are back in person, it's bitter a sweet moment. I’m not too fond of the idea of everything being back in person as of now due to the high number of COVID rates and the risks to everyone’s safety. However, I completely understand students and faculty wanting to get back to campus and returning “back to normal”. Zoom University has been hard on all of us. I think one of the things I enjoy about being in-person are the events taking place to instill and foster those opportunities for community and connection-making that I would argue a lot of us missed during lockdown. College is a place for finding yourself and meeting new people while also growing as an individual in your respective field, and, navigating the numerous relationships you make during your time here contribute to this self-growing experience.

On top of all this, is moving about college as a person of color, which is something difficult all by itself. While being at a PWI (predominantly white college), can make one feel as if you’re the only POC (person of color) there yet, it's important to use the different resources on campus that are available and ready to provide support as you trudge through these uncharted waters. The main one I found helpful during my freshman year was Cultural Services, specifically, the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center. The Cultural Centers are here to help people of color find a source of community with those that look like you and are going through the same things. They offer so many resources to help you succeed because they want to see you walk across the stage at the end of your college journey with the biggest smile on your face!


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