Avengers: Endgame arrives on April 26. The last chapter of the saga that started way back in 2008 with Iron Man. After 21 movies in 11 years, this part of the journey is over. This day not only marks the endgame for the Avengers, it also marks the endgame for another group….all of us UNC Seniors.

It’s the end of a journey. A journey I started way back in 2002. 17 years of classes have come down to this.

It’s no ordinary LDOC (last day of class)….its the last LDOC.

(Well, at least I hope it is….There’s still a few classes left to pass.)

Although the journey to this point includes the first 13 years of grade school, the past 4 have had the largest impact on my life. So with a week of class left, I’m gonna start to reminisce on my days here at UNC.

This part of the journey began in June of 2014 with an invitation to an “Application Essay Writing Workshop at Carolina.” I didn’t care too much for UNC at the time. I figured it was way above my level and that I didn’t have a real chance at getting in. I figured I could use the help in writing essays since college application season was approaching, so I signed up. As the oldest in my family and a soon-to-be first generation college student, I really didn’t know what I was doing in terms of applying and choosing a college. This event also provided a chance to help me understand what I was about to get into.

This mid-August visit was the first time I had really been on UNC’s campus. I remember pulling up to Jackson Hall that morning and being in awe at the beauty of the buildings and the scenic green trees. The buildings seemed old, yet classy. “This is way nicer than anything I’m used to,” I thought to myself.

I don’t remember much from the actual essay workshop, but I remember the feeling I got from the experience. The speakers seemed genuinely happy to talk to us and they made UNC sound like an attainable place. The tour after the workshop left me even more impressed, although I did find the school immeasurably big.

UNC seemed like a perfect place, and so by the time I left to go back home that day, I started to believe that I might have a chance to go here. I still thought the odds were against me, but it was nice to at least have some belief. I couldn’t admit it at the time, but I secretly started having dreams of being a student at UNC. Dreams of living and walking around the campus. Dreams of hearing the Bell Tower everyday. But, like I said, they were just dreams to me at the time. Realistically I was just hoping NC State would accept me.

I remember rushing through my applications for NC State and UNC so that I could turn them in for the early deadline. I didn’t even get a chance to get my essays proofread. I was accepted by NC State in December and it was, at that point, the happiest I had ever felt in my life. So much so that I even claimed to not even care whether or not UNC accepted me, but in late January the UNC decisions were posted. I checked on my phone while I was at a red light. I caught a glimpse of the first sentence and my heart sank. I had been deferred. I wasn’t sure what it meant exactly, but I knew I wasn’t in, so I threw my phone down and drove home in silent sadness.

After researching what it meant to be deferred, I realized I still had a chance to get in. A tiny chance, but a chance nonetheless. However, I didn’t have much hope and instead set my mind on attending NC State….but I didn’t commit yet. I kept an eye out for when UNC was releasing their next set of decisions, but it still snuck up on me.

On a Friday night in late March, my world was completely flipped around. I got home late from work. Exhausted, I went over to our home computer. I then saw a post on a website I followed called College Confidential. The UNC decisions were out.

I was so set on being an NC State student and I felt like I had no chance to get in UNC, so I reluctantly went over to check my decision. I could imagine the rejection letter as I opened it. My tired eyes read through the first sentence…then I stopped. A little more awake now, I went back and read the first sentence again, then again, then again…

I was accepted!!!

I don’t think I can describe the feeling I had in that moment. Fully awake now, I ran over to my parents’ room and woke them up with the news. It was truly a special moment.

That was just over four years ago and although a lot has changed since then, I’ll never forget that feeling from that night. This was the first special moment UNC gave me. It was the moment I became a Tar Heel.

It’s the endgame now. Time for the last push.

As the Avengers: Endgame tagline says:

“Whatever it takes”

(yes I am very excited for this movie)



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