There must be something about spring semesters in Chapel Hill. Everything goes crazy. Fall semester usually goes fairly smoothly, aside from a frustrating football season. There must be something in the air when the weather starts to get warmer and basketball season gets into full swing.
Freshman year (Spring, 2006):
February 24: Two students fall out of a 3rd story window in Stacy Residence Hall, which is right beside the dorm I was in at the time. One of the students, the RA of the hall, dies because of the fall.
March 3: UNC graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar decides to drive his jeep through the Pit during the lunchtime rush, when hundreds of students were in the area. Luckily he didn't kill anyone and only injured nine students.
On a personal side of things, I ended a five-year relationship within a couple of weeks of these two incidents.
Sophomore year (Spring, 2007):
March 23: UNC Senior Jason Ray, who played Rameses, UNC's mascot, was hit by a car and killed while walking down the street in New Jersey while traveling with the basketball team to the NCAA tournament. I was in New Jersey with the band when this happened, and had gotten the chance to talk to J. Ray a few times. Nice guy, one of the biggest UNC fans I have ever met. He brought Rameses to life.
April 16: Senior Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 Virginia Tech students before killing himself.
This is the same semester that I rushed Phi Sigma Pi, a national honor fraternity, and met some great friends. I'm still not sure how I did so well in school that semester since I spent at least 3 nights of each week partying with my rush class.
Junior year (Spring, 2008):
February 14: Six students are killed in a classroom at Northern Illinois University when a gunman walks in and opens fire with a shotgun and two handguns.
March 6: An unidentified body was found early Wednesday morning in a quiet neighborhood about a mile from campus. On Thursday, authorities confirmed that the victim was Eve Carson, a senior at UNC and the student body president. I never knew her, but I saw her all over campus. A friend worked with her in student government and said nothing but good things about her. The campus was in shock.
On a personal note, this has been the busiest semester I've had in college. I feel like I never have a chance to breathe. Every week is busy, and there's never a break. Spring break is definitely needed. But while this is my worst academic semester, it's the best semester non-academically. I started dating an amazing girl that gives me something to look forward to after classes and work all day. Just being around her puts me in a good mood and relieves my stress, which is exactly what I need this semester.
So what is it about spring at Carolina? For the last two years pretty good things have happened for me during the semester. But at the same time there have been these terrible events, both at UNC and nationally. I don't have an answer for it all. It just makes you realize that you never know what's going to happen next. Life is random and unpredictable. I'll stop here to prevent from becoming cliche.
I look forward to spring every year. The campus is the most beautiful when the flowers start blooming and students start laying in the quad between classes. It means March Madness and afternoons spent watching Carolina baseball. It's an exciting time.
I just hope that we can make it through the rest of the semester without having to add anything to my list. No more vigils, no more tears.
Everyone enjoy your spring break, but please make sure to be safe.