It is no secret that this is one of my favorite times of the year. For me, the tradition of welcoming new and returning students at the start of the fall semester is only rivaled by taking the stage at graduation and offering my personal congratulations. These bookend moments at UNC create lasting memories.
While helping students move into the residence halls last Thursday, I reflected on my own experience starting college. I could relate to the emotions, the mix of excitement and nervousness in starting a new journey: Building relationships that will last a lifetime. The beginning of independence. Charting a personal and professional path to success.
College is so much more than earning a credential. It is also about being engaged, trying new things, and meeting people. Our official welcome celebration this past Friday represented one such opportunity to get involved. We replaced a more traditional ceremony with a pep rally of sorts before Taste of UNC, an incredible event featuring cuisine from our top-notch Dining Services.
If you missed out, there are more fall welcome activities and plenty of other opportunities to get involved. I invite you to join me at events. I will be playing the cowbell at home football games, running out on the field beforehand, cheering on all of our fall sports teams (cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball), attending events at our cultural centers, enjoying a milkshake from a restored 1950s soda fountain as part of a campus exhibit, and playing rounds of disc golf on our campus course.
So much learning happens outside of the classroom, and there are ample opportunities to enhance your academic experience. You can join one of our many clubs or organizations — there’s something for everyone. Take an internship or job that helps you apply your classroom learning. See who’s hiring here. Whatever you choose, get involved!
Also, undergraduates, remember to take a full class load. That means 15 credit hours a semester. Doing so will put you on track to graduate in four years. To remain on that path, be sure to ask for help and offer it, too. We are here to support you, and here are some resources to know about:
- for time management and test taking
- Tutoring, math, and writing help (the most successful students take advantage of these free resources)
- Degree Works, a web-based tool to monitor progress toward your degree
- Advising (be sure to meet regularly with your advisor)
- Bear Central, centralized resource for getting help with billing, financial aid, registration, and more
If I can do anything to help you, please let me know. When you see me on or off campus, please stop me and say hello. Seriously.
Wishing you a great semester.
Rowing, Not Drifting,
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P.S. This year we will be engaged in a planning process that will include reaffirming the vision for our university. Student voices are vitally important, and opportunities to participate throughout the semester will be posted in the Around Campus student e-newsletter. I look forward to your participation.