Pin It

Goodbye, UNC 

About an hour ago I wrote my last paper ever for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I'm wary to count my chickens, but for all intents and purposes I'm through with UNC.

I just took a quick walk through campus as I was finishing up the last pack of cigarettes before keeping my "I'll quit when I graduate" promise (like that'll happen). I was really looking at this place, not just running about with ciggie in hand and my coat flapping behind me like Batman's cape, like I usually do.

As the dazed and exhilarated realization of finally being free of UNC is wearing off, the amount of life experience that's been packed into a measly handful of years is starting to set in. There were the times like skidding my way through the night of last year's ice storm with two friends just so I could catch the Aimee Mann show at the Carolina Theatre. I've had emotional turmoil out the wazoo. I had my heart broken for the first time and I lost my virginity. They were two different people, mind you. I've withdrawn from school, I've gone part-time, I've fought with professors, dismissed others whose ability to have earned a Ph.D. will forever remain a mystery, and begged still more just to give me a D so I could be free of that place. And all while trying to wrap my head around everything that's been thrown at me.

Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe it's the university that's through with me.

It's been a wild ride, and there've been a lot of growing pains, but I learned one thing that will forever change my life--writing is my passion. Grades and everything else be damned, I was going to be a journalist. I worked three years in a 60-hour work week job disguised as an extra-curricular activity. I got little respect, no sleep, horrible grades and pay that makes Southeast Asian factory wages look attractive.

But for the first time in my life, I went after something I wanted completely on my own, and held nothing back. I run into my old writers from The Daily Tar Heel and their faces light up when they see me. I created my own kind of family and I've made sure to let them know how much I love them all. And regardless of all that's been thrown at me, not only did it not break me, it's made me a better, wiser man for it all.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Russ Lane

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity

Comments

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

Most Read

Latest videos from the INDY

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation