By: Online Editor Hayden Vick
Retrieved via From Franklin to You
From a blog I do for fun, From Franklin to You:
We were walking down one of the many brick paths, enjoying the gorgeous weather and taking it all in. We then started up the steps of one of Carolina’s most legendary and celebrated buildings, Wilson Library. The great columns in front of the library stared down at us, the building’s southern heritage evident to prospective students visiting the University. As I concluded the “academic” segment of the tour, the lone mother in the group asked a question, which I answered, and we proceeded down the same steps we had just climbed, their precarious nature undoubtedly the same on the way down as on the way up. Our feet again hit one of the brick paths, and we set off across campus.
“Wow, so the Old Well was really the only source of drinking water?” It was a question most certainly posed before by another mother of a high school senior who’d just been admitted to the greatest place below the Mason Dixon. They were from Ohio and were experiencing Chapel Hill for – if I remember correctly – the first time. The sun was shining, and we were staring at arguably the most iconic symbol of any university in the United States: the Old Well. At this point in the tour, I usually talk about Franklin Street and how the Chapel Hill community coexists with the campus, various Carolina traditions, and the “Kissing Bench,” which is said to guarantee marriage to any pair who share a kiss on its seat. “Wow,” she said.
“Wow” is a term uttered often on tours of Carolina’s historic and landmark-filled grounds. It portrays perfectly the feeling that the campus elicits for all different types of people, celebrating the spirit of diversity in which its students take pride. As I heard it on this tour, it stood out to me because I was only guiding two prospective students and one parent, no doubt a new experience for me. I delivered my “Why Carolina,” which is the speech given at the end of tours that orally illustrates what the University means to me personally. This prompted the conclusion of the tour and I led the trio to the next sessions of their visit.
11:00 am: a time of high traffic as a result of class changes. As we made our way back through campus following the tour, I knew the next sessions would begin at 11:00, so as the Bell Tower rang out (as it is doing amidst my writing this), I had no doubt that they would be a few minutes late. I apologized for the 15th time, and that’s when the lone mother in the group made me realize that we were rushing down another one of those brick paths for no good reason. “We’ll get there,” she said. “I’m glad we had the opportunity to see all the students walking across campus.” They ended up being about five minutes late, which was absolutely fine; like she said, she had been glad that their tardiness allowed them to view the campus during a time of class changes. Had we been in too much of a hurry, in too much of a rush, they would have missed their chance of seeing the campus in that light.
Sometimes, taking a moment to enjoy where you are and what you have is much more important than arriving on time for a meeting or lecture. Meetings and lectures are necessary to success (believe me when I say that), but running everywhere a million miles an hour is pointless without appreciating your surroundings. We often take our personal situations for granted, forgetting how good we have it and merely focusing on as many negatives as we can find; this was a major topic of conversation in my Education class today. Stop, look around, and appreciate: a three-step process that can make a world of difference.
College is teaching me that we can be as busy as physically possible, but none of our involvements matter if we aren’t appreciative and thankful of all the wonderful things around us. Yesterday afternoon, I took three hours to sit on the top of the South building steps, looking across Polk Place and watching my fellow students go to and fro. I failed to accomplish much work (of course), but I succeeded in taking some time to admire the place I call home, the school I dreamed of attending my whole life. All of these things considered, what’s the rush anyway?