Categories
UNC

Halfway to the Hill

I got an email last week from my school’s Academic Advising department congratulating me for being halfway through my undergraduate career at UNC, and I had to stop and think about it for a minute — halfway through?? That feels impossible to me, and more than anything tells me to relish in it while it lasts. I’m also proud of myself (because college is hard, man!)

My sophomore year has been nothing short of incredible — I have met so many more awesome people this year to add on to the wonderful people I met last year. I joined a sorority and a small faith group, and I served as Public Relations Chair for the tap club I’m in, Carolina Tap Ensemble. I got to do so many cool things and I also got to learn a lot too (Hi Mom and Dad, I went to class, don’t worry!)

I also thought it was only fitting that I shared some highlights from every month this school year:

AUGUST 2017

Highlights: Move-in, reuniting with friends, Fall Fest, Sunset Serenade, starting Fall classes!

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SEPTEMBER 2017

Highlights: Ed Sheeran concert, getting a bid from Kappa Kappa Gamma, UNC football games, KKG New Member my-tie cocktail with pals

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OCTOBER

Highlights: Big/Little Reveal, Halloween 2017 (I went as Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove), Parents’ Weekend

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NOVEMBER

Highlights: going to Asheville for a semiformal, getting to hang out with puppies (my heart was so happy) and getting initiated into Kappa

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DECEMBER

Highlight: awesome beach trip with my friends to Manteo, NC (the rest of this month while at school was spent studying for exams :/ )

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JANUARY

Highlights: celebrating my birthday with friends, getting to watch UNC basketball games at the Dean Dome and the SNOW DAY! (which resulted in a snowball video that I captured and tweeted, and it weirdly went viral, links below)

http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2018/01/bopfqdhzcd4bkeo

 

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FEBRUARY

Highlights: beating DOOK and rushing Franklin Street, watching Jared and the Clef Hangers sing in Charlotte, Heartbreakers and tap rehearsals

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MARCH

Highlights: spring break with friends, Big/Little Reveal (this time I’m the big), initiating my little, Torrey, dinner outings

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APRIL

Highlights: C-Tap show, Formal, exploring Raleigh, LDOC

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I am truly so thankful for everything this year has brought me and I can’t wait to do it all over again in August!

Happy Summer ☀️

Categories
Life UNC

Third Time’s the Charm

I like to think that my sorority recruitment experience was quite unique. I went through formal recruitment in fall 2016, then I tried informal recruitment in the spring of 2016 (which also didn’t work) and then decided to try one more time (my third attempt) in the fall of 2017. I was extended a bid to Kappa Kappa Gamma and happily accepted it.

Ever since I was four, I have been part of a group or team. My competition dance team was my whole life for several years, and when I came to college, I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I felt like something was missing from my college experience. The sense of belonging (one of the elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs, thank you Psychology 101) was mostly fulfilled by attending my dream university where I fit in well with wonderful people, but I really wanted a smaller group to be a part of.

I wasn’t sure how much I was going to love being in a sorority, but I knew I was going to try to get the most out of it that I could. It took a while to get comfortable, but now that I have, I am so thankful that I am a part of such a cool organization.

In the short time I’ve been a member, I have met people that make being in Kappa so worthwhile. There are truly girls from everywhere who all have different experiences that I’ve enjoyed learning about. This means I’ve gotten to make some incredible new friendships that I know my sophomore year at UNC would have been so different without!

It has given me the opportunity to participate in philanthropy events for some really cool causes (our national philanthropy is for children’s literacy, and our chapter philanthropy is an organization that focuses on earlier breast cancer detection.) In addition to this, our social events that involve dressing up in formal dresses or in funny costumes are always memorable. For instance, a few weeks ago I literally dressed up as a crayon!

KKΓ has given me outstanding friendships, awesome opportunities to serve my community and a chance to make UNC’s big campus feel a little smaller. The cliche does happen to be true in this case: the third time was definitely the charm!

Categories
Sports UNC

#Redemption

 

One year ago already? I feel like it was just yesterday. The best day of my college career so far was the day that UNC won the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Since I’m mourning the loss of the “Reigning National Champions” title today (as I’m sure all UNC fans are) and I thought this would be the perfect way to start out my blog. Demonstrating my love for UNC basketball is the perfect way to introduce myself. My name is Cara Siliakus, and I am a Tar Heel.

The entire NCAA tournament last year was incredibly exciting. UNC was back for #redemption after a painful 2016 final result (OK, we won’t talk about it.) It was nerve-wracking at times, but round after round, we kept going. There was Luke Maye’s legendary shot in the final seconds of the Kentucky Elite 8 game. Then came the Final Four game, where we beat Oregon by 1 point to get the chance to prove that we were deserving of a national title, and on April 3, 2017, the energy on UNC’s campus was electric.

I decided to watch the game at the home of UNC basketball, the Dean Dome. My friends and I made the trek down to the arena and settled in to watch the game on a huge screen they had set up for us. I remember feeling so many emotions right before the game started: happiness, pride, fear, anxiety, excitement, you name it. I was incredibly nervous (just like everyone else on the planet who was rooting for the Tar Heels) but deep down I also felt confident that the boys could get it done. After witnessing their successful season a few times in person (thank you UNC student ticket lottery) I had a lot of faith that they were going to send Gonzaga packing.

The game came and went, and I honestly can’t remember much of it due to all of the adrenaline, but I know my friends and I were riding an emotional rollercoaster as the Tar Heels gained the lead, then lost it, then gained it again. I do remember the last two or three minutes of the game, though. This was when we turned to each other and said, “I think we’ve done it. I think we’ve just won this game.” There was an eerie sense of calm among all of us, and sure enough, time ran out, and the Heels were on top.

Next came the madness. The Dean Dome was euphoric with cheers and screaming. Happy tears ran down my face, and I didn’t exactly know what to do next. Then I remembered the age-old tradition: We had to run. All the way to Franklin Street. If you’re familiar with UNC’s campus you know that the Dean Dome and Franklin Street are on opposite sides of campus. And if you know me, you know I’m not a runner. This was about to get ~interesting~.

The best part about this run was the fact that it began with the mountainous Skipper Bowles hill. I thought I would fast-walk up the hill and then begin running, but the thunderous herd of fans around me had a different idea. So I ran up the hill (which I bet wasn’t a pretty sight) When I made it to the top, I seriously felt like I was dying (maybe I’m a little dramatic.) I then convinced my friends to half-run, half-walk the rest of the way. There’s no way the celebration would be over by the time we got there.

The party was just getting started by the time we got to Franklin Street. People were flooding the main intersection and everywhere in between, yelling and cheering for the Heels. Someone shot off fireworks overhead. It was a perfect scene – thousands of people all united by their love for the Tar Heels. Fires were started, people were hugging each other and lifting each other up on their shoulders. We reunited with some of our friends we had lost during the run there and took countless pictures to document the night, and celebrated for several hours after that.

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I distinctly remember never wanting it to end, because it was the happiest feeling to be surrounded by fellow UNC students and experience this win together. I will always feel lucky to be able to have had that experience and that I shared it with some of my best friends!

The next day I got my hands on a copy of the Daily Tar Heel, which had the huge headline “REDEMPTION” on the front page along with a full spread of pictures from the championship. The mood on campus was so cheerful, the weather was beautiful and no one noticed how tired they were from staying up late soaking up the win.

Everyone immediately bought the championship T-Shirt, which I bought 3 of (and now my parents and I match.) I wore it today to commemorate the occasion.

Then came the team’s return from Phoenix, where everyone returned to the Dean Dome to welcome the National Champions back from their 7th title win (In case you were wondering, Dook Duke only has 5.) That was so awesome to be a part of, because nothing beats seeing a smile on Roy Williams’ face and showering the team with appreciation in person.

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And now it’s a year later. The tournament this year may not have had the same ending, but you can’t be sad for too long if you picture the 2017 banner hanging with the others in the rafters of the Dean Dome. I wish I could relive that night all over again, but I know another National Championship can’t be too far down the road for the Heels.

So, Happy One Year Anniversary of that time that the Tar Heels won the National Championship (for the 7th time!!), A.K.A. one of the best nights of my life and an incredible memory of my time as a UNC student.

I’ll leave you with this awesome quote that I found shortly after the championship that sums it all up:

“We get to do Carolina basketball tonight and tomorrow and next fall and forever, and we’ll get to tell stories about this year’s Tar Heels, who may have taken years off the end of our collective lives, but it was so, so worth it. We’ll get to remember where we were and who we were with and who we hugged. Lucky us.”

-Adam Lucas

The ceiling IS in fact the roof!

Cara