GGYF Orientation


The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Sophie Nachman.

Friday night we all gathered in Richard’s living room for dinner. Richard, director of the Campus Y, oversees the Global Gap Year Fellowship with Sarah Smith, the GGYF director. There were about 16 of us: six of us fellows, and the rest a mélange of people from the Campus Y and other UNC programs, here to tell us stories and share their support for us over the next five years.

It was cozy. Belle the dog with her droopy eyes and soft ears kept padding around the room looking for bits of baklava, rice, and chicken kabob that may have escaped our plates. After some laugher and lots of wide-eyed stares from me and my friends, Richard reminded us, as he likes to do, that our gap year experience will be “a wave.” What he meant is that there will highs […]

The Unplanned Progress at the Planning Sessions

One of my favorite parts of the GGYF Summer Intensive were the planning sessions. Yes, Chapelthrill, an extensive scavenger hunt through Chapel Hill, was exhilarating. Yes, navigating through the IDI, an assessment of one’s intercultural development, was fascinating. For sure, the late night dance parties with my GGYF family were comical, but, in my opinion, the gap year planning sessions held the most genuine moments.

During our planning sessions, we would all scatter around the CUBE, the highest room in the Campus Y Building. Each of us would set up our laptops, prop up our feet, put in our headphones, and diligently begin working on the seemingly impossible task of planning our gap years. The sessions were always void of any noise except the sounds of fingers furiously tapping on keyboards. To me, the silence was a signifier of how hard we were working, how much there was to be done, and […]

An EGGcellent Idea

The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Lauren Jurgensen.

Taking our map off the wall made the reality of leaving set in.

The blue and white dishes were put away in cardboard boxes, and the room was starting to look unfamiliar. The groceries we hadn’t eaten sat in a single, brown Harris Teeter bag. Except for two things: a chilled carton of milk and some eggs.

It was Sophie’s idea.

She had mentioned Jimmy Fallon’s “egg roulette” bit a few times over the past two weeks. It was our last night together. Instead of moping, we recovered a large pot from a box, filled it with water, and set the burner on “hi.” After jamming out to approximately one-third of Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” album, into the pot went thirteen eggs.

Klaus, Sophie, Thilini, and I sat on the clammy kitchen floor across from one another, the beige egg […]

By |July 25th, 2016|GGYF Orientation|

The Call

by Talpha Everette

I was standing outside of the store on vacation in Hawaii waiting tirelessly for my mom to get out of the shoe section when I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. I reached for it casually and then noticed a missed call notification followed by a voicemail.

I began to listen to the voicemail, and within 5 seconds I let out my first scream. It was a call from the UNC Global Gap Year Fellowship Office saying that I was accepted as a Global Gap Finalist! However as the call got more in-depth, the caller was explaining to me that he had been trying to get in contact with me for the past several days, and not only that but that the deadline to follow up with him was less than 48 hours way!

My heart started to pound: I was having a meltdown in the middle of […]

By |May 11th, 2015|GGYF Orientation|

How I Hope my Gap Year Will Change Me

by Quincy Godwin

As the mid-spring showers fell hard over the green campus, the tonic smell of rain hung in the air, like tangible triumph. The red brick walkways were covered in a sheet of water, inches thick. My converse sneakers offered little resistance against the cool water, which I could now feel sloshing between my toes. It was only about 4 o’clock, but the heavy rainclouds seemed to prematurely bring on the twilight, the darkness of which was at stark contrast to the two preceding days. A sense of crisp melancholy had settled over Chapel Hill.

Kalli and I shared an umbrella. It may have been sufficient cover for one of us, but with us both under it the majority of our bodies were exposed to the pouring rain. It was a nice gesture from Kalli, though. Out of all the people that I had met, Kalli was the one I felt […]

By |May 4th, 2015|GGYF Orientation|

Coffee with an Extra Shot of Reality

As we began to take our seats in the auditorium, I found the adjustable desk that swung in front of my seat; typically this small table top would be used to hold the computer or notes of a student who was taking a class in this auditorium. However, today it was to support my coffee cup–the very same coffee cup, mind you, that made it past the “no food or drinks” sign outside of the auditorium. No sooner had I set down the practically boiling cup of coffee, the adjustable table top decided to adjust itself all the way back into its resting position. Of course, the cup of coffee did not continue to hover in midair unsupported, but was now burning my legs and the legs of my fellow cohorts. I can hardly express my disappointment in the structural soundness of this certain desk.

I tell you this story, […]

By |May 4th, 2015|GGYF Orientation|

First Taste

by Leah Simon

Have you ever accidentally hit the “Enter” key mid-sentence chat, and your message sends before you are ready? Well, this seemingly harmless situation played out in the earliest hours of Friday, March the 17th, before the start of my orientation.

A wave of panic rushed over me as I saw the letters in the Facebook message text bar vanish and then reappear in the chat box. I frantically continued typing, hoping to complete my sentence and apologize before my recipient read the embarrassing half-thought-out quarter sentence I had left her. Within a second, the Facebook chat notification signal sounded, making my heart skip.

“Hey!” appeared on my screen. The quickness of the response especially for the time of day and the fact that they had actually responded to my careless error pleasantly surprised me. I quickly apologized, as planned, hoping she wasn’t secretly mad at me for disturbing her […]

By |March 29th, 2015|GGYF Orientation|