One year from today, the class of 2011 will be graduating from Carolina. This is a terrifying realization because as much as I’m excited to join the real world, I don’t want to leave Chapel Hill.  Sure, being done with classes may sound great (especially after finals week), but I love this whole “being in college” thing.  I can still remember moving in, August 18th, 2007, bearing the 100-degree heat while trying to get my stuff to the ninth floor of Hinton James and to think that I’m now 75% done with my undergraduate career is absolutely terrifying.

This coming year is going to be one of excitement, stress and confusion for all seniors as we try to get through and find out what life has in store for us.  Careers?  Graduate Schools?  The dreaded unemployment? In this economy, nothing is for sure. I know I’m trying to prepare for anything – studying up for the LSAT and GRE because in case I don’t end up getting a job, I want some sort of backup plan.

But this is also a year that we should take advantage of all that Carolina has to offer us.  Do everything we’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s joining a new club,  taking that class that’s always looked so interesting but we’ve never had the time to take (for me, it’s Milton and Chaucer), discover a new favorite restaurant on Franklin Street or explore around the castle (YES!  We have a legitimate castle just off campus!  More details on that will follow, I promise).

I want to officially challenge the class of 2011 to, in the next 365 days, make the absolute most of our time at Carolina, because no matter what happens in our lives, when we look back on this time spent at UNC, we don’t want to have any regrets.

365 days, Class of 2011.  Let the countdown begin.

– Samantha Ryan