A UNC Hussman senior reflects

UNC Hussman students, along with the entire Carolina community, have faced challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, and have met many of them with innovation and ingenuity. On the last week of classes (follow #UNCLDOC2020 on social media), we’re sharing some of those stories. Below, Courtney Decker '20 looks back on her time at UNC Hussman, ahead of her graduation this Spring.

Nearly four years ago, I walked into Carroll Hall for the first time. It was the second day of the Fall 2016 semester, and I found myself surrounded by at least 400 strangers in Carroll 111 for MEJO 101 with Deb Aikat. At the time, all I could think of was the fact that the class was bigger than my entire high school, but looking back now, I have floods of memories rushing through my brain. Over the past four years, those 400+ “strangers” became my classmates, and many even became my friends.

Although I won’t ever know every single person who was in my MEJO 101 class, I know that we are all bonded because of our experiences at the Hussman School. As members of the Class of 2020, we’re still getting used to putting “Journalism” before “Media” in our school’s name. We know the struggle of registering for MEJO classes, and we’ll never see a typo without thinking of the “Minus 50 Rule.” We all consider Carroll Hall our second home, and it’s where we had classes with professors that made learning fun — professors like Spencer Barnes, Lois Boynton, Marshele Carter, VK Fields, Livis Freeman, Chad Heartwood, Joe Bob Hester, Gary Kayye, Stephen King, Chad Heartwood, Dana McMahan, Lynn Owens, John Robinson, Dr. T and so many more. For me, that professor was John Sweeney (aka Sweendog). His Sports Communication Program made me realize that my dream of working in sports communication could become a reality, and I’m so grateful for the experiences I had in the program.

My experiences at Carroll Hall have undoubtedly shaped my future, and I know every member of the Class of 2020 can say the same. I’ll never forget furiously typing papers the night before they were due. I’ll never forget getting lost on the third floor of Carroll. I’ll never forget the joy of seeing my friends during the rush between classes. I’ll never forget walking to MEJO 634 on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester with one of my best friends. (Yes, that friend was one of the 400+ strangers in MEJO 101). Most importantly, I’ll never forget how thankful I am that MEJO 101 convinced me to major in media and journalism — one of my best decisions at UNC.

Even though March 3, 2020 was the last day I physically took a class in Carroll Hall, I know that Carroll will always welcome me back home. I can’t wait to get back on campus with my friends and classmates for graduation, but until then, I hope that every member of the Class of 2020 can take pride in his or her accomplishments over the past four years. Congratulations to my fellow 2020 Hussman School graduates — we did it! (Insert blue heart emoji).