Column: No first semester blues
By Cierra Lannon
The letter I finally received in the mail opened the possibility of a new world at Carolina that I had only dreamed of.
The stress I experienced with college applications as a high school senior had paid off, and now I’m pursuing my dreams of being a journalist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism.
Completing my first semester was a struggle unlike any I’d ever known, with difficult classes combined with every distraction possible: new friends, fun events, a sorority, and simply figuring out how to live on my own. Being diagnosed with mono right before finals week didn’t help much, either.
Forgetting to bring my insurance card during my first trip to UNC Campus Health reminded me I had to consistently stay on top of my responsibilities, even when I felt wasn’t feeling up to par. It was yet another reminder that I wasn’t living under my parents’ roof anymore and didn’t have them to coach me on what to do.
I believe the city of Salisbury partially prepared me for college, as much as it could have. I learned how to get along with people with very different views than my own, I learned how to prioritize, and I learned how to sit through mundane classes at East Rowan High School.
The “wake-up call” that many college freshmen experience became very apparent. I found myself constantly making adult decisions that my parents would have made for me in high school.
I would like to say I’ve been successful in my studies and development as a person throughout my time in Chapel Hill. I’ve learned how to code, I’ve evolved my journalistic writing, I’ve developed new relationships and I’ve learned how to appreciate Carolina basketball. Go Heels!
My time at UNC has been amazing, and I truly believe that these years will be some of the best of my life. I have already experienced so many memories I’ll cherish forever, from going to cocktails with my sorority to rushing Franklin Street after beating Duke in basketball. Running from the Dean Dome to Franklin Street after the game was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. I’m looking forward to more wins against Duke to celebrate.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in college is to appreciate my parents more than ever. Every FaceTime call, every picture of my pets, and every care package mean the world to me. I am confident I wouldn’t have succeeded to the extent that I did without their constant love and support from a hundred miles away.
I survived my first semester I had been dreaming of since my acceptance letter arrived, even though a lot of it turned out to be a nightmare. I wouldn’t change anything about my time so far at Carolina, because it’s taught me a lot about who I am and how I need to prepare for the rest of my life.
I’m incredibly optimistic about the next three years, but I’ll always be looking forward to the next time I can come home to Salisbury.
Cierra Lannon is an East Rowan High School graduate and former Salisbury Post intern. She is a freshman at UNC.
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