Dear Robertson Program Staff,
Now that the Robertson office is calming down a bit and the semester is drawing to a close, I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts from the past months.
I had always been excited about the move to Duke and was surprised to feel a little nervous as my mom helped me move into my new dorm room. After dropping her off at the airport and exiting onto 15-501, the move was frighteningly concrete: on the left was Chapel Hill, my home for the past year and a half, the place filled with familiar faces and the comfort of stability. I felt my stomach lurch as I took a right towards Durham and hoped for the best.
The first few days of class, I felt as though the "Go to Hell Carolina" shirts that so many Dukies sport were directed solely toward me. I soon learned, however, that being in a new place has countless rewards . . . the fun of meeting new people, the excitement of exploring a new campus, the opportunity to enjoy new resources, and the inevitable pride that comes from finally learning how to join the Duke culture. I now know how to meet someone on the "BC walkway," how to ask a cashier to "use food points, please," and which trails I should take when running on nice days.
This undoubtedly has been my best semester in college. I always knew that I could benefit from the resources of both universities, but it was not until I lived here that I realized how limitless those possibilities are. I have attended services at Duke Chapel, heard Alice Walker speak, and met countless students who have made my life this semester easier. As if that were not enough, I only have to take a short bus ride to return to all of my Carolina friends and enjoy the events that UNC has to offer.
This reflection comes as a result of Finalists' Weekend as I thought about how fortunate I am to be a part of this scholarship program. The experiences we have are truly remarkable and this journey into tow very different and very special schools is unparalleled. I will leave Duke this semester with an appreciation for what I have at UNC, but also with a new respect and attachment to Duke. I am even considering buying a Duke t-shirt one of these days.
The "switch" aspect of the Robertson program has surprised me with new challenges and enriched me intellectually, socially, and culturally more than I could have anticipated. I want to thank you and everyone involved for helping to make our transition smooth and for providing us with constant support and guidance.