Thursday, November 3, 2011

Together We Are Carolina

This week, we're delighted to welcome a post by guest blogger Alexandra Kong, who reflects on her first two years at Carolina. She has kindly agreed to monitor the post for your thoughts, so please feel free to comment.

As a first-year, I arrived as an out-of-state student with no ties to the university. I knew nothing about the school’s history, tradition and distinction or – I’m embarrassed to admit – even that Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm walked through the same quad that I do every day now.

Two years later, I have taken advantage of a variety of opportunities on campus including joining a sorority, working on campus using my work-study grant and fighting against cancer with UNC Relay for Life. However, nothing has made me realize the significance of attending Carolina more than being a part of the team that made the 2011 Late Night with Roy possible.

Week after week, for hours at a time, I and the other fifteen members of the CAA sports marketing committee would talk about Late Night. A lot of candy was eaten, some ideas were thrown out and a few songs were chosen but we finally came up with a finalized show we all approved.

As the number of days until Late Night decreased, our excitement increased - that is, until we were told that a lot of our ideas were nixed. Songs, dances, skits – all gone. A few minutes of collective disappointment later, we put our heads together and threw around ideas until it was late and time for us to go home.

Despite the minor setback, I couldn’t wait to see the final outcome of all our time and effort. I looked forward to the event like it was Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, the dress rehearsal, we went to the Dean Dome where we watched the team perform the dances, got our official t-shirts and backstage passes, ran through the event schedule and received some motivational words and a signed poster from Roy. Already, I felt privileged to be behind the scenes of one of the most highly anticipated events of the year.
The next day surpassed any expectations I had about the event. I don’t remember not smiling from the time I checked in at 3 p.m. until the end of the scrimmage, save the occasional Miami fan sighting or when I was nearly trampled by fans who wanted their light-up Styrofoam giveaways.

I was literally floored by the entire experience, and I even got my two minutes of fame when I went onto the court to hold a carton of Goldfish during the Harris Teeter promotion.

Being a part of Late Night showed me what being a part of this family is about. I have grown from the detached first-year I was two years ago into a Tar Heel, and I’m proud of it. I am so thankful for everything that Carolina has taught me so far, and I know there is still so much for me to learn.

“Together we are Carolina” was declared to be the theme for the 2011-12 men’s basketball team, but it goes so much further than that. This institution would not be what it is without the support of every single person that passes through and I’m fortunate to be able to say that I have contributed to its legacy.

--Alexandra Kong, '13
Communications Studies