By Amy Williams, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
To explain the title, it would be easier to simply say that that is what the students at UNC call themselves. It has some links to the Confederate side of the U.S Civil War, but that’s all I know.
Writing this I realise that I’ve been here at UNC for three weeks, but it feels so much longer. Settling into campus life hasn’t taken long, and I even have the joys of my first midterms next week.
Everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming; my roommate has taken me to a few UNC events, and my mentor from the EASE program here has been amazing at answering any questions I have – and I seem to have a lot.
Having a roommate is a lot easier than I expected, although saying this, mine managed to get a single room after three years of wanting one, so technically I no longer have a roommate. That being said, I may still get another one in the future, so I can’t completely take over the room.
The campus itself is beautiful, and very easy to get lost in, as I have demonstrated many times. I’ll put it this way, I’m not entirely sure how many universities can say they have a arboretum on campus, but I hope that gives an idea of how big the university is! It took a while to get used to the heat here, and whilst the temperatures are only very marginally warmer than England, it is significantly more humid here, which makes all the difference. Fortunately, there haven’t been any effects from any of the recent hurricanes, but severe thunderstorms and tornadoes do occur here, which includes a large amount of rain – so haven’t quite go away from the British weather.
It was the first football game of the season last Saturday, and what should last an hour, took around four with all the various time-outs and breaks between quarters. Still, it was an amazing time out with some other international friends, and a true American experience.
Whilst the university didn’t have an entire week of settling in before classes started, they did have Fall fest, which is basically the equivalent of freshers fair. It was packed with every kind of stall you can think of, with all the free stuff you can think of; I even got to try out Ice hockey, but I think I may stick to field. The place was packed though, and despite the odd walk through the Campus cemetery to get there (yes, that exists), I had an amazing time, despite losing my roommate so many times due to the amount of people there.
Orientation was basically a day where they told us all of the necessary information, including the many holidays we get, but also important information for how to get back in the country, and how long my visa lasts for etc. but it was also a great day to meet loads of other international students. A lot of them turned out to be British, as a large number of students come from King’s College of London.
UNC has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to see what else happens here at this university, but also in the country as I get to see a bit more of it on my travels.