Crying the Carolina Way

An incomplete list of the times Carolina brings on the waterworks

UNC has made us all cry at some point. And if it hasn’t made you yet, it will. Be it tears of joy, pain, laughter, anxiety, awe, or anything in between, we have all let a tear or two (or hundred) fall for Carolina.

While it’s true I’m a sensitive soul who cries at least once a day for any number of silly reasons, I don’t think you have to have the same emotional muddle of a mind I do in order to experience the many overwhelming feelings that come with being a Tar Heel.

There are just some things that resonate deep within all our Carolina souls and hit us straight in the Tar Feels—and we can’t help but cry.

  1. Moving out of your residence hall at the end of the year
    Especially your first year residence hall. Saying goodbye to it is the worst part of the month of May (besides exams and having to actually leave Chapel Hill for a bit). This place was your humble abode for almost nine months. It was home base during one of the most formative years of your almost-adult life. You have lots of #tbt moments here, and it was here you met some of your best friends, had a mental breakdown, pulled all-nighters, and ate lots of pizza. Seeing the walls stripped bare, the lights torn down, and any evidence of your time here wiped away can really tug at your heartstrings.
  2. Beating Dook
    Okay, so we all know every day is a GDTBATH. But when we beat Dook, it is the best day to be a Tar Heel. There are few greater feelings than crushing our enemy, sprinting to Franklin with straight adrenaline pumping through your veins, and joining thousands in a celebration unlike any other. The electrifying atmosphere that charges the night’s festivities lasts on campus for several days afterwards. Cries of “TAAAAR” are enthusiastically answered with “HEEEEELS” throughout the night, from Top of the Hill all the way down to the South campus residence halls. Cheers and chants last until morning. You’re crying tears of pure joy over a basketball game, but y’all, this is not just any game, so it’s fine.
  3. Seeing a sea of Carolina Blue everywhere you goimg_3548It really is the best school color. There’s just no denying it. It’s universally flattering and reflects nature itself. And it’s even more beautiful in mass quantities. A truly breathtaking sight that causes my eyes to water more than it should, really.
  4. Singing “Hark the Sound”
    In celebration after winning a big game. In mourning after a devastating loss. After the streakers finish their library lap. After the Bell Tower lighting. Even just with some close friends on a walk back to the dorm after a night out. Any chance you get to belt out our alma mater while arm-in-arm with a group of fellow Tar Heels is enough to warm your heart and bring a tear to your eye.
  5. Losing to Dook (or to Villanova… in the last second… by one shot…)
    With the highs of sweet victory also come the devastating blows of defeat. Some of the most intense heartbreak is felt when you’re screaming at the top of your lungs for two hours and mentally preparing for the mad dash, but instead the buzzer sounds and a solemn silence spreads over Chapel Hill in an instant. No matter where you’re watching, everyone around you stands absolutely still. The players fall to the court in agony. You trudge back to your room and drown your sorrows in ice cream. Again, you’re definitely crying over a basketball game, but at least everyone else is, too (including your professors who cancel class the next day).
  6. Suddenly remembering you go to THE University of North Carolina
    Something as simple as walking through the Pit, putting on some Carolina Blue, or hearing the Bell Tower toll. Something as iconic as rushing Franklin after beating that school eight miles down the road, spelling “CAROLINA” with your arms in the student section, seeing how beautiful our campus is in bloom, or taking a sip from the Old Well. Something as exciting as making Dean’s List or getting that text from your friends who saw you in the crowd on ESPN, or even something as boring as writing that six-page paper about… Well, who knows what it’s about, honestly. All the little things that hit you hard out of nowhere and remind you of how amazing it is that you get to call this incredible place home. Wow… *sniff sniff*

Okay, so maybe these things don’t make you sob like me, but you can’t deny they at least give you chills. They’re just a very small sample of the things that “bind us to this place” and will bring back the mems when we’re older. So if you don’t already cry about them now, perhaps you will then.


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