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100 Days till Graduation

28 January 2010

We are in the last days of the month of January and tomorrow marks the beginning of the 100-day countdown to graduation. I, for one, am ambivalent about this. To paraphrase a friend, quoting her mother, the saddest thing about parenting is that, if you’ve done your job well, your child will leave you; a university is the same way. UNC has done me well and, although I am sad to leave, I know that it is time.

In her amazing article in the Daily Tar Heel, describing the evolution of a Carolina student, Elyse Ashburn put it like this:

By senior year, the utmost fulfillment is trying to serve the UNC community — working in your own small way to better society through improving campus life.

You understand that the University is hope captured in bricks and mortar, the ramparts upon which the state hangs its economic and social future.

You feel deep in the pit of your stomach that you have a stake in that future, and you want desperately to shape it in some positive way.

And then UNC tells you to leave. And it hurts.

But I understand. Four years have taught me what loyalty is about, what being a Tar Heel is about and why leaving will be okay.

This University has torn me down and rebuilt me as a stronger, better version of myself. It has challenged and nurtured me. In that way, I too have become a Tar Heel born and bred.

And no matter whether I ever set foot on this campus after commencement May 9, I will remain a Tar Heel.

You see, being a Tar Heel isn’t just about having a physical connection to this place or even having an active role in the University community.

Ultimately, being a Tar Heel is about having the wisdom to know which battles — big and small — need to be fought to better society.

It’s about having the courage to initiate those battles. And it’s about having the conviction and dedication to see the fight to the end, even when everyone around you is retreating.

Given that, I sincerely hope I’ll be a true Tar Heel to my death.

Hark the sound.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    6 February 2010 07:50

    Why did this give me goosebumps?

    Yea, it just did.

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