Over the weekend I experienced my last Battle of The Blues aka Carolina vs Duke Basketball game as a student. It was a bittersweet moment, because it’s a reminder that my college career will be over in a few short weeks.
This particular game made me a bit nostalgic. You see, I’m not one of those Tar Heels who came to UNC loving the school. There were several times I considered transferring to a different university, to give you an idea of how much I did not love this school. Here I am, nearly four years later, and I can recall the moment I knew I’d eventually find it in my heart to love this institution.
Picture it. Chapel Hill. February 2014.
It was a Thursday night. Lot’s of smack had been spoken, since the original game had been postponed. Emotions were running high. We were 0-3 in the ACC and unranked. Technically luck was not on our side, but by some miracle we won 74-66. This game would become the only home win against Duke for the remainder of my college college.
While the order of operations are a bit of a blur, I do recall lacing up my grey Chucks, grabbing a sweatshirt, and joining my peers as they raced down the hallway to make the trek to Franklin Street. We ran most of the way. Listening to the bell town chime. Chanting”TAR. HEELS.” in a call and response manner. Locking arms to sing the alma mater. It is was then I knew one day I would come to love this university nearly as much as my peers did.
#GDTBATH : Great Day To Be A Tar Heel!
Aside from the actual game, the most exciting part about playing Duke at home is seeing fellow Tar Heels express their love for the game, for the rivalry, and for the university. There are people who travel from all over the globe to see this rivalry in person. We have students who wake up and camp outside, at ab ungodly hour, to obtain seats in the stadium. Since I was a bit nostalgic, I decided to walk roughly 3 miles from one end of campus to the other, taking pictures of people enjoying the festis.
Coming Full Circle
Call it the magic of Jordan or wanting to end our senior night out a high note, but we broke our three year dry spell. When we beat Duke this year, there was not lacing of Chucks or listening to the bell tower chime as I made my way to Franklin Street. So much had changed over the last three years, but so much had stayed the same. I found myself, doing the same thing I had done three years ago. Rushing with a dear friend, only this time we had our inside jokes with more laughter, more joy, and more entertainment. I took a moment to appreciate my last time witnessing the celebratory chaos as student. Snapping a photo, seeing a hint of smoke – the first years don’t know how to start a fire – reminded me there are some things in the world that will remain constant. It was a night of coming full circle and knowing this too was a beginning.
Because unlike three years ago, I ended this night with an unforgettable and wise (sic) phrase: The Ceiling is the Roof.