(photo courtesy of the Carolina Inn)
Before coming to college, there was one thing I knew I wanted to do.
I wanted to give tours.
It seemed like one of the best jobs in the world. These students were the faces of their respective universities. They all had multiple majors and impressive “fun facts.” They had internships and global experiences. On top of that, you could tell they loved their school. It felt like this hour and half tour was the best part of their day, and I wanted in on that feeling.
When I first got to Carolina the application for Admissions Ambassadors passed me by. I totally forgot about filling it out and thought, maybe next year. As I passed every tour group throughout my second semester, I was kicking myself for not doing it. In that moment, I made a promise that I would become an ambassador.
And I did.
Those first couple of solo tours were magical. There was a group of 25-30 people around me who were so eager to hear what I had to say. I got to brag on a place I knew and loved. This was perfect.
Slowly, as the second semester of my junior year rolled around, tours started to become more of a burden. I thought I had more important things to do. Papers to write, video to shoot, people to manage. I didn’t have time to waste on leading a tour group made of mostly juniors who might not even apply to UNC. I fell in to a rut and decided to go inactive for a year because it “wasn’t worth my time.” In hindsight, I couldn’t be more wrong.
As a senior, I am clinging on to every piece of this place and nervously counting down the days until they kick me out. It isn’t because I’m not excited about the future. The idea of getting to do something everyday for the rest of my life that I’m passionate about and have worked so hard for is incredibly exciting. However, Chapel Hill is home, and it’s really hard to leave home. It’s especially hard when you have a home as amazing as UNC.
As I came out of my brief tour retirement I realized how valuable giving tours was. I needed to show the rest of the world how special my home is. In the midst of applying to jobs and dealing with the stress of having to figure out a life plan, giving a tour allows you to hit pause. The only thing you’re concerned with in that moment is telling people about all the amazing things your home has to offer. I get to tell them how UNC has made me into the person standing before them. I tell them how it’s knocked me down, and helped me get back up. Talking about winning a National Championship, or sitting out on the quad on a sunny day makes tearful late nights in Davis seem like ages ago. All the stress I felt about giving up an hour of my time feels selfish. This university has given me so much. The least I can do is tell my story.
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