The Rivalry

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen a few tweets about the State-Carolina basketball game in Raleigh at the PNC arena last Wednesday.

NCSU students with Ramses

Gotta love rivalries :)

It’s no secret that I am a huge NC State fan. I grew up wearing red & white and cheering loud for the Wolfpack. Living in Georgia has taught me to appreciate the ACC basketball country that I grew up in. Have you lived in North Carolina? Then you might know what I am talking about…

In North Carolina, everyone has a favorite team.

Duke?! UNC Chapel Hill (Carolina)?! NC State?! ….and even sometimes Wake Forest!

In elementary, middle, and high schools the Big Four schools are represented by students in class. There may be a few Wake fans but it is mostly Duke/NCSU/UNC. Everyone cheers for a team either because their parents went there, because their parents cheer for that team, or because it is the team that is winning at the time (fair-weather fans).

You may hear people (UNC fans) say “Not our rival” about NCSU-UNC (and Duke-UNC gets national attention)…but I honestly believe that in North Carolina the “State-Carolina” is the real rivalry. Why else do you think there are schoolyard rhymes such as “Duke is puke, Wake is fake, the team I hate is NC State” or “Can’t go to heaven in a red canoe cause God’s favorite color is Carolina blue”?

In North Carolina…

  • March is a special month for students because teachers play the ACC Basketball tournament in class.
  • Children/families/adults/college students joke about the opposing team on a constant basis.
  • The games are often exciting, close down to the wire, and heartbreaking for one side of the rivalry. (And yes, I know NCSU has been struggling to get back to their level of basketball success since before I was born…)

It is fun to chat with friends and fans of opposing teams about the games (all in good fun). Sometimes people take rivalries too far, but I would not give up my experience growing up on Tobacco Rd for anything. North Carolina is a wonderful place to be! (I hope to move back there after graduation). If you move to NC be ready to be immersed in one of the most exciting, most intense college basketball rivalries in the country.

“…there must always be one true believer. And I told the kids that something good would happen for us someday. Of course, I thought it meant beating Carolina or something.” Jim Valvano


Student Leader Stories

Last weekend I drove to Raleigh for an oral history interview with NCSU Libraries. The Student Leadership Initiative Project has grown more than anyone could have ever imagined, and they have an awesome collection of stories from NC State leaders.

Student body president Chandler Thompson talks to students atten

2011 Legacy Luncheon
Photo Credit: NC State

Talking about my year as Student Body President was fun and exciting, but it also reminded me that one of my unfulfilled goals or plans for my term as was to maintain a weekly blog. I blogged a few times for but I really did not prioritize or find the time to consistently collect my thoughts.

My biggest piece of advice for student leaders is write down and record your thoughts. Whether you do it on a blog site, in a paper journal, in Evernote, etc. The method does not matter but having a collection of your written thoughts to piece together memories and experiences from one of the most exciting (and busiest) times of your life will be something special to learn from and cherish.

I wish I had done this, and luckily I have various documents to track my experiences as a student leader. This advice is not just for those in student government, or actually even leadership positions. Everyone has a unique experience in college and life and could benefit from writing. I just wish I had done it more during that special year.

The whole point of this post though is to let you know that the Student Leadership Initiative is awesome, and you should check it out. Maybe one day my stories will be on there too! My favorites and “must watch” recommendations include:

“Girls don’t become student body president” – Cathy Sterling
Adjusting to New Leadership – Dr. Tom Stafford
Tuition Increase Controversy – Tony Caravano and Will Quick