As graduation nears, I have come to the realization that I may not have very much time left here in the Triangle. Sure, I’m looking for jobs in the area, but my search has been pretty broad geographically. If I do end up moving away, that leaves me 6 weeks between now and graduation weekend. For this purpose, I am creating a Chapel Hill Bucket List. This is something I should have started on much sooner. For all of you potential Advanced Standing students : don’t let your time slip away! Earning a Masters degree in 1 year is one of the greatest things ever, but it’s also a very short time to live somewhere if you don’t stick around. Maybe my bucket list can give you somewhere to start.
- Campus Events. Being a grad student means you still get all the perks of being a student. UNC is bubbling with opportunities, many of which I will have significantly less access to after I graduate. For instance, last night I saw Iron and Wine for ten dollars at Grand Memorial Hall. For those of you who are familiar with this type of music, you know how exciting that is. I also recently went to see Raisin in the Sun performed on campus, which was beautifully done. When you’re here: check out the music, the plays, the sports-anything you have increased access to as a student.
- SSW Opportunities. There are always workshops, seminars, trainings, etc. happening in the School of Social Work. Some are topic based while others are tailored to practical skills needed in our next steps (resume building, negotiating salaries…those types of things). You may be tempted to go home and take a nap or keep working on that paper, but don’t let these events slip through your fingers! They’re specifically for you!
- The Beach! Whenever I talk to people who are from this area about WHY they love the Piedmont, I normally get some variation of the fact that it fits snuggly between the beach and the mountains. Guys. I’ve lived in North Carolina for almost five years, and I’ve never been to a North Carolina beach. Not only that, but I’ve lived 2 1/2 hours away from Wilmington since May and still have not been. This will absolutely change in the coming weeks.
- The Mountains! I’m a mountain girl at heart, but I still haven’t taken advantage of the fact that Chapel Hill is ALSO close to the Appalachians! Sure I’ve gone home (any of you from Tennessee?), but I haven’t taken the opportunity to go to the mountains for the weekend and just soak up the beauty. For those of you who enjoy Bluegrass, there’s a wonderful festival called MerleFest in Wilkseboro, NC that’s an easy drive, a beautiful location, and great music. Also on my Bucket List.
- Hidden Treasures. I know this last category is broad, but I find it to be the most difficult thing to cross off my bucket list. Why? Because they’re hidden! You know what I’m talking about. Those wonderful restaurants or tucked away hiking trails that only the “locals” know about. A couple weeks ago I went to a magical place called Maple View Farm. This is a dairy farm in Hillsborough that is probably a 10 minute drive from Chapel Hill. They have fresh ice cream, and rolling countryside you could just stare at all day long. You know. Those kinds of things.
And that, friends, is my bucket list. I’m sure it will become more specific as my weeks begin to pass more quickly. I’ll keep you posted.