The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university with over 30,000 students, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Cypress Bay alumni Riley Carpinteri is currently a freshman at the school. 

What made you choose to go to the University of North Carolina (UNC)? Going to UNC has been my dream since I was 7, and after touring the school in my sophomore year in high school, I fell in love with the campus and the people. UNC gives off such a caring, supportive environment and everyone always does their best to lift one another up and support each other’s goals. UNC also has great programs that help students find internships or study abroad opportunities that greatly help advance both your academic career and build your resume. 

What is your favorite part of UNC? 

I love how supportive everyone is. Whether it’s the administration, teachers, or fellow students, everyone does the best they can to make sure you’re doing your best. I also love our beautiful campus and can spend hours walking around the Quad, which is a park. 

What about you makes you a good fit for UNC? 

At UNC, we value service-learning and using your talents to help others in your community. Throughout high school, I was an officer in numerous extracurricular activities such as the National Honors Society (NHS) and the Student Government Association (SGA) and helped run numerous philanthropic events to help out our local community and give back to those in need. At UNC, I’ve continued to give back to my new community by joining organizations and helping to plan events such as a Dance Marathon. 

How do you like the environment in Chapel Hill compared to Weston? I love Chapel Hill a lot. When I first moved here it was definitely a difference, even though Weston is by no means a city, I felt as if I’d come from such a loud, busy environment. All around town are forests and creeks full of beautiful trees and deer, and I’m in love with all the fall foliage. 

Were the people of Chapel Hill welcoming to your arrival? 

Chapel Hill is certainly no stranger to Southern hospitality and everyone is always smiling, so friendly and they truly make it feel like one big family. Meanwhile back at home, I feel as if we regard people we don’t know more like strangers. Even though I’m not from here, the people treat me as if I’ve been there my whole life. 

How did the Bay prepare you for UNC? 

Cypress truly is an incredible school, and I believe it prepared me a lot for UNC. Because of the larger population at the Bay, I did not feel overwhelmed to go to a larger school and found it

easy to make friends in a place where I knew no one. In addition, the rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) and (Advanced International Certificate of Education) AICE classes I took at the Bay make my college classes feel like nothing. Although Cypress may feel large and competitive, it truly makes transitioning to a larger university easy and seamless. 

Would you recommend a student at the Bay attend UNC? 

I would 10000 percent recommend anyone at Cypress to attend UNC. UNC has a wide range of academic programs for all interests, whether it’s entering the Kenan Flagler business school or joining the journalism program and writing for the Daily Tar Heel, there’s something for everyone. In addition, being in the Research Triangle allows us to partner with Duke and other universities for scientific research projects, and our Experiential Education requirement sets each student up with an internship throughout their academic career at UNC. Going out of state for college may seem intimidating, but UNC’s programs have truly made it worthwhile and worth the cost.