The Time Has Come

With my first visit to UNCW and Wilmington, I somehow knew this would be the place I would spend the next years of my life. These past four years as a Seahawk have been a rollercoaster ride that seemed endless, but here I am, at the end. I have experienced so much over the last 4 years and those memories will last a lifetime. For current and future Seahawks, I have 10 bits of advice.

  1. Go in undecided- I was undecided until first semester sophomore year. I highly recommend taking the first year to get complete most of your general education classes. I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I needed time to find my place.
  2. You’re going to have a bad roommate- It is almost inevitable. Living with people you are not familiar with is always tricky. However, I met one of my best friends as a random roommate assignment.
  3. You will regret not getting the dorm experience- I lived in the dorms my freshman year and I am so glad that I did. It is a rite of passage in a sense. If you live in Galloway, I am sorry.
  4. It is okay not be involved in Greek life- UNCW doesn’t have a huge Greek life but for some reason I felt like I had to join because all of my friends did. You know yourself better than anyone. If you have any doubt you will not like it, don’t get involved.
  5. The student athletes believe they are the best…at everything- I have many friends who happen to play college sports. They have a very strict schedule and love what they do. However, they can be very picky about who they hang out with. Find your people. You don’t have to be friends with the soccer players because you played soccer in high school.
  6. Join 2-3 clubs/organizations- I have been told numerous times to join as many clubs as possible. From experience, I have learned that less is better. Most clubs meet weekly. Do not overcrowd yourself with extracurriculars. UNCW has an amazing assortment of organizations. Find the best one or two for yourself.
  7. Study abroad- The best choice I ever made was studying abroad. I traveled to Paris, France and Berlin, Germany. If you have some place that you have always wanted to visit, check out the study abroad website. Imagine getting to travel to somewhere beautiful while getting school credit. What more could you want?
  8. Get to know your professors- This is something I deeply regret. I have had the privilege of being taught by some of the most talented professors. I wish I had taken time to visit them during their office hours; having a conversation that might not even relate to class. Remember professors are people too.
  9. Explore your community- We are so lucky to attend school in an environment that has so many unique features. From Wrightsville beach to the battleship; there is so much to discover. I also would highly recommend taking the ferry from Carolina Beach (Fort Fisher) to Southport.
  10. Don’t take these 4 years for granted- One day, while you’re living your best life on Spring Break, you might get an email saying your classes are now all online and that you are not allowed back on campus. Everything suddenly gets taken away from you.

I know because it just happened to me. There I was, excited to end my time here at UNCW. Getting ready to take my graduation pictures with the Seahawk in front of Hoggard lawn. Spending the last few weekends living my best life with my roommates. Instead I’m in my hometown. Writing this sitting at a foldable desk. In my childhood room.

College doesn’t last forever. It is just the next stage in your life. It will end. To all future Seahawks, remember you’re adding to our legacy. The time has come for you to take over. Do us proud.

Madison Lancaster, UNCW COM Class of Spring 2020

Madison’s passion is fashion – she enjoys expressing her creativity through clothing and is an avid supporter of the pantsuit. After graduation, Madison plans to be an event coordinator and travel the world.