Meet Brittany Darst!
Hometown: Apex, North Carolina
Major: Journalism and Mass Communications–Public Relations/Chinese
Current Residence: Aycock
Where did you live your first year? How was it different from this year?
Last year, I lived on the fourth floor of Hinton James. Now I have the privilege of rolling out of bed instead of taking a 20-minute hike each morning, but I do miss the built-in workout! In August, I experienced a few awkward days of PHJS (Post Hinton James Syndrome), in which I frantically dashed out of Aycock at 8:40 only to arrive at class 12 minutes early. That certainly didn’t last long….
What is your favorite part of living in Aycock?
Socialization! I often linger in the lounge through the wee hours of the morning for the friendly banter, hilarious conversations, and philosophical debates always going on among nine or ten hallmates. Sharing one floor with 60+ other students makes it nearly impossible to avoid meeting new people and enjoying their diverse perspectives.
Tell us about Carolina Swing Club. What do you like most about it?
Swing dancing is exhilarating fun, an intense workout, and an easy way to make friends all in one. Not only that, but members of the Carolina Swing Club are some of the friendliest and most welcoming students I have met here.
What is one thing you wish you knew as a first-year?
I wish I knew not to worry about making friends. Carolina students are incredibly diverse in age, interests, and backgrounds, and I found organizations and even classes for interests I didn’t even know I had. So my most important advice to first-years is this: be confident, and be yourself. No matter who you are, you will find a place here!
What has been your most treasured memory at Carolina so far?
See my blog post, “Carolina Snow Day”!
What is your favorite thing about your majors?
I love my majors because they both involve learning a skill (practicing public relations and speaking Chinese) instead of studying a subject. Interestingly enough, I have yet to meet a single other student with the same combination.
With such an emphasis on Carolina academics, how do you choose to relax?
When I have free time, I often take to my heels and explore. On rainy days, I gather my sheet music and find a new piano to play. On cool days, I rollerblade around the quads or stroll through the old cemetery. And on sunny days, I find a cozy reading nook in the arboretum or investigate a new shop or restaurant on Franklin street.
Do you ever get homesick? How do you deal with that?
Since I live thirty minutes away, I haven’t needed to adjust to a new climate, landscape, or culture. Still, sometimes I want nothing more than a few hours with my parents and three younger siblings, Kevin, Daniel, and Faith. When that happens, I call my mother for advice, text a funny picture to my dad, or send my siblings a postcard. And when I can, I hop in the car and head home for the weekend!
What advice do you have for staying healthy and in shape?
Live in Hinton James and never take the bus.
Just kidding (sort of).
Honestly, one of Carolina students’ best resources for a healthy lifestyle is the dining hall. In Lenoir or Rams Head, a typical dinner can consist of either pizza and cookies OR a colorful salad, baked turkey, and a whole-wheat roll. Eat smart.
What is one silly thing you want to do before the year is over?
One day, when I accidentally show up to a canceled recitation, I will have a one-woman dance party in the empty classroom. Not that I’ve ever done that before…*cough*……
Read more of Brittany’s posts here.