Anyone who knows me knows that I love Chapel Hill. I’m obsessed with everything about it, from the campus buildings to the local restaurants. When I graduate in May, someone is going to have to drag me kicking and screaming away from what’s quickly become my corner of the world.
I love Chapel Hill so much that I very rarely leave. With the exception of the Summer after my freshman year and major holidays, I’ve spent every second I possibly could at UNC. It’s not that I don’t love going home to my parents or my hometown on the outskirts of Charlotte, there’s just something about UNC that’s truly magical to me.
During sophomore year, I made it a goal of mine to obtain an internship in the triangle area that would allow me to spend my summer at school. I landed a gig working as a marketing intern for Carolina Housing and never looked back. Since then, the longest I’ve been away from Carolina at a time has been less than a couple of weeks (and even then was too long).
I do this to myself, it’s not like Charlotte is terribly far away. I could make the two-and-a-half hour trek South nearly any weekend if I really wanted to, but Chapel Hill has become my home, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
However, like I’ve reiterated in many of my previous blogs, college is stressful. I’m no psychologist, but keeping yourself in the environment that causes you so much stress can’t be healthy.
College survival tip #12: Escaping the bubble of your college town is rejuvenating, no matter how much you love it and hate to leave it.
This weekend I went to Manassas, Virginia with my tap company for a competition. It was the first time I’d left Chapel Hill since Christmas break and I didn’t realize how much I needed an escape until I got out.
Being in a new place without the libraries and classroom buildings you spend your hours in always in your line of vision is strangely therapeutic. There’s something empowering in getting out, seeing fresh sights and leaving the non-stop busy lifestyle miles in the distance.
That’s not to say that hectic pace won’t be there waiting for you when you get back, it definitely will. When I came home from Virginia, I felt more exhausted than ever. But all it took was one good night’s rest to get caught up and realigned.
I suppressed the fact that college can be a lot and we all need a break from the physical space at times. I’m currently in full senior mode, trying to soak up every last second I have left in my Southern part of Heaven, I certainly didn’t want to take a weekend out of my already dwindling nights left at UNC.
But at the end of the day, adventures outside of your bubble shape and define your college experience just as much the time spent at your routine spots on campus. After all, the time spent off campus makes the time you have on it that much more special.