As a high school senior and huge duke fan (seriously, a big duke fan), I have been debating where to go to college next year.
I did was not able to get in to Duke (wait list), however, I did get in to UNC.
My question is, anyone have experience, or know of anyone else that went to UNC as an avid duke fan? I obviously will never cheer for UNC in any occasion, but the question still remains. I don't know if I can walk around campus having to deal with all the UNC mantra!
I was in grad school at UNC. Actually got called out by a professor in class for being a "Duke Sympathizer". It was (mostly) in good fun though. Just put away the Duke paraphernalia and avoid calling Roy a hick in public and it will be fine.
Sometimes good comes of it too. I was on campus the day Dean retired. No place on Earth I'd rather have been.
Of course, I'm a fogie who went there in the late 80s/early 90s, so maybe things have changed. But when I went there, while most people wore UNC gear (natch), I was surprised at how many folks wore gear from other schools. Particularly NCSU gear. Nobody really cared.
Frankly, I think the students handle it a lot better than the locals. Seriously.
My dirty little secret-- I had an absolute blast. Loved the student body, loved the eclectic architecture, loved the atmosphere. The mass population freshman dorms are an awful rite of passage, but you make a lot of friends. Franklin Street is great and the bus system is actually useful. I thought the administration was awful, but that's true in a lot of schools.
For a safety school it's not bad. ;-)
IM if you want to talk further, but my bottom line is that it's just a great school and you'll quickly get over the appalling shade of blue... just hold on to your soul, man-- hold on to your soul!
Duke and UNC were my #1 and #2 choice, and I got into both. During my Duke years I had occasion to get a library card at UNC for material that wasn't available at Duke. I took a little pride in rising above the rivalry/fray by taking advantage of the research materials at both schools. Of course, I chanted 9F whenever we played them in hoops, but other than that, I never thought for a minute that they were a terrible school or anything. To quote a Duke prof of mine, the top students at each school would probably be the top anywhere. My corollary to that: the median students are where you will find the differences which show Duke to be more selective.
Couple of thoughts, your choice:
- get off to a great start at Carolina and, if you still really want to go to Duke, inquire about transferring after a year. I don't know the process or the difficulty of achieving admission by that means, but I believe it has been done.
- Go to Carolina and, for four years, bathe yourself in baby blue. Seriously, you will be much happier to be part of something bigger than yourself than you will be constantly feeling irritated at the sports rivalry. I'm not saying to go off the deep end and pass on lies about Duke, getting Maryland-style nasty or VaTech-style threatening toward whoever the most-hated Duke player of the year is, but just cheer for your school, you'll be happier. After you graduate you can rise above that minor-league version of nationalism if you wish, but I think you'll really sabotage your college years if you're constantly at odds with your classmates over sports rivalries. Go to Duke for grad school if you still are unsatisfied after 4 years.
Go to South Carolina. I'm serious. The people there are very, very nice. I went there for the College World Series last year while wearing my Duke hat and shirt. Got a ton of "Go Duke"s since they've got a mini-rivalry with UNC.
In all seriousness, cspan makes a great point. I went to a different high school starting my sophomore year because a new school opened and I had to attend it because of redistricting. I hated that. I loved my old high school (mainly because the baseball coach supported me and I had heard REALLY bad things about the guy at the new school...but that's neither here nor there). Anyways, I basically spent 2 years rooting against my school and it wasn't until my senior football game that I rooted for my actual high school. Ironically, this was against my old high school. What is even more ironic, is Duke QB Anthony Boone was the QB there. I had so much fun at that game (even though I was rooting against a future classmate). Just getting to be loud and crazy with my friends was great. Looking back I really wish I had invested more into my school.
All of this is completely arbitrary though if you happen to find a group of friends who are all Duke fans! Then you can be the guys at the Carolina games in all Duke gear!
Also, the people in my high school who were Duke fans, but didn't go to UNC. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Carolina is a...fine...institution. My best friend goes there and we'll make the trip over to each others' campus a couple times a semester to visit each other. I do like the Southern architecture. However, our Alpine Bagels beats the snot of of their Alpine. They do have Yogurt Pump though. Which I want to steal.
I don't really know where this all is going. Reading back through it seems like I jump all over the place. The moral of the story find a place that's going to make you happy...or possibly who gives you the most money (which was my back-up plan). And wherever that place is, make it home.
2011 Tent #1
2012 Tent #1
2013 Tent #1
You may get in off the waiting list yet! (Assuming you're planning to stay on the list.)
I took some courses at UNC after graduating from Duke (easy As...and, of course, in-state tuition). It was kind of nauseating, and the UNC kids really were pretty obnoxious about knowing I was from the better blue. But it IS fun being around campus when the sports go south. The year I was there, UNC was preseason top 10 in football (Mack Brown years). I'll never forget the Daily Tar Heel article about the upcoming UNC-Syracuse game. According to the Tar Heel, UNC was going to crush Syracuse. Syracuse had nobody at quarterback, you see. Some lousy senior, some lousy junior, and some sorry freshman named McNabb.
Syracuse went on to destroy UNC. It was awesome to watch that Tar Heel arrogance get a punch in the nose.
Interestingly, the same year I also took some courses at State. Totally different experience with the kids. The State kids were lots of fun, even knowing I was from Duke. The rivalry stuff was much more good-natured. And it's a totally different group of kids - much more of a blue collar feel, and very refreshing.
Anyway, good luck. UNC, for all it's light blue faults, is a great school and you'll get a degree there that's worth something, not to mention a great education. Just try to avoid being sucked into the cult.
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
ttam110: where else did you get in? There may be other/better options for you than UNC depending on where else you got in and what you hope to study (assuming you know yet, which admittedly many kids don't).
davekay1971, interesting perspective on NCSU. Sometimes I roll my eyes at the near-love shown for NCSU on this website - wondering why they seem to be the 2nd favorite ACC team, always pulling for them to return to relevance, more so than for other ACC cellar-dwellers. Perhaps your experience is one piece of the puzzle that explains that.
ttam: sent you a PM on this.
Basic gist is this. You're obviously smart enough to make college decisions regardless of your fanhood. And you're obviously smart enough to get into UNC and w-listed at Duke.
Wherever you go, embrace the school as yours. Don't go to UNC and wear Duke stuff around campus. That's okay if you're in grad school, but if you're going to undergrad there, you should cheer for your school.
Duke Magazine reports the jump being from 13,950 in 1997 to 31,600 in 2012. That's +127%.
For curiosity's sake, I'd like to know what the acceptance rate was in 1985 (and split ED/RD. I was ED ... and ironically, most people I knew didn't understand that ED acceptance rates are higher than RD and that might have helped me get in).
WRT the waitlist: the most important thing is for Duke to know that, if it offers you admission, you are certain to accept. It gets really crazy filling the last slots, and no admissions staff wants to waste time on people who will reject the Duke offer and go elsewhere.
Anyway, good luck!
If you are thin skinned and take criticism poorly, it would be tough to go to UNC. One piece of solace was that, whenever Duke lost, I was around friends who felt just as bad as I did. I never actually applied to UNC b/c I wanted to do engineering, but if I had received a scholarship I would have gone there.
Then again, I imagine being a Duke fan at UNC is not much different from going to public school in NC as a Duke fan, and I survived that OK. I agree with cheering for them in sports (except maybe when they play Duke) as well.
Bottom line, go where you want to study and where they will give you the best opportunity to succeed later in life. If that means you have to listen to a bunch of obnoxious UNC fans for 4 years, so be it. UNC is a great University, and will set you up well.
And if you just can't take it, Duke is only 15 miles away. Plus there's always the Robertson's scholars program
"There can BE only one."
I've heard from people who knew him in Henderson that Charlie Rose started at UNC and transferred to Duke. Of course, he never mentions it.......only talks about doing both UG and law at Duke.
Any thought to doing well the first year and transferring?
That said, as a retired admissions professional, I echo others comments. Be certain to let Duke know you would enroll, if admitted.
Thanks for everyone and their insight. Providing great advice to consider.