My views on why the “First Year Experience” is so important.
“South campus is soooo far from everything. Definitely live on mid campus”.
Statements like this were constantly thrown at my roommate and I as we debated where to call our home for our freshman year. Should we try for Carmichael? Maybe Avery? Having never stayed in a residence hall on campus, we were thrown for a loop. How were we supposed to know what would be best for us? As incoming student-athletes, my roommate and I were able to opt out of tradition first year housing and live in dorms typical of sophomores and student athletes. These shiny mid-campus dorms promised things like a shorter walk to class, proximity to the dining hall, a two minute walk to weights and many more ‘advantages’. But as we talked to more students and researched, we realized that these dorms were missing one very important thing, Carolina’s First Year Experience.
So many students come into their first year at Carolina trying to be cool and independent, and I believe they miss out on so many things that are available exclusively to freshman. Yes, south campus is further from class. Yes, other freshman dorms like Everett and Aycock are far from south campus. But all of these dorms are part of the first year experience. Almost every student gets to participate in this program. From the Week of Welcome, to FYE events all year long like the Food Truck Rodeo, there are so many opportunities to get involved and meet new people. As cliche and cheesy as this all my sound, that is what a real first year experience is. So branch out, form new connections, try something you’ve never done before, and I promise you, it’ll be a first year experience you’ll never forget.