“There is so much that I wish I could be doing with my friends right now, especially all of our senior traditions. That is what I miss the most.”
I applied to Carolina more or less on a dare.
I picked Carolina because as soon as I set foot on campus, I knew there was something great here. I fell in love with Carolina at my first Bell Tower relighting.
Carolina has been my home for just about four years, and it is so weird to finally leave. There is so much that I still wanted to do. I wanted to climb the rock wall at the Rams Head Recreation Center, sign one more petition, feed the campus squirrels, take one last nap on campus and so much more. I never thought that the Friday before spring break was my last chance to do all that.
I know I can always come back and do those things, but it won’t be the same. There is so much that I wish I could be doing with my friends right now, especially all of our senior traditions. That is what I miss the most.
Carolina traditions were a big part of the reason this community became a home for me. It wasn’t just the traditions themselves. Doing them with my friends and seeing everyone come together is what made them so special. At my first Bell Tower relighting, there was not a moment of hesitation among everyone when linking arms with the stranger next to them. I immediately felt like I belonged, and I got to experience that same feeling time and time again. I felt it when charging Franklin Street to celebrate the 2017 national championship, when we sang the alma mater after every football game and when everyone in HoJo would gather in their balconies to celebrate away victories. I experienced so much, but there was still more to do.
I was excited to climb the Bell Tower with my friends and finally sign my name on a brick. It would have been a chance to see most of my graduating class in one place, to see some of the people I took my freshman year classes with and learn about what they are up to now.
I won’t get to see the campus filled with seniors taking their graduation pictures, and I won’t be one of them. It is weird and odd to think I waited three years for those opportunities, and they won’t be happening how I expected them to.
Soon I’ll be moving back home, and it will be sad. I will definitely come back to say a proper goodbye to the community that taught me so much. But for now, I’ll wear my cap and gown around the house and text my friends about everything we are going to do when we can come back.
Gabriela N. De Jesus is a biology and classics double major with a chemistry minor.