Levine Scholars Blog

Imagine 20 individuals meeting each other for the first time at an airport, getting onto a bus, and heading off to live in the wilderness, in tents, for the next month. It sounds like the setting for some binge-worthy TV series, and yet this was real-life.

Charlotte was not on my map. Roughly 700 miles away from my home and having no connection to my life, the city was out of sight and out of mind. I virtually forgot it existed. In other words, Charlotte Immersion was a much needed experience.

The transition from high school to college is a very important time. Confusion will be common at first along with many questions, insecurities, and self-doubt.

In researching UNC Charlotte, I stumbled upon the Levine Scholars Program and made the decision to apply. That decision has given me so many unique experiences and opportunities, all of which I am extremely grateful for! 

I was sitting in my second Organic Chemistry II class, failing to comprehend anything, when I had an epiphany: I wasn’t happy.

As May approaches, signaling the end of my undergraduate studies as a Levine Scholar at UNC Charlotte, I am simultaneously struck by overwhelming gratitude for my experience here as well as my responsibility for the gift I have been given.

My journey as a Levine Scholar began with a meeting at the beginning of my senior year of high school with my college counselor, Mr. Yager. During our meeting, I was explaining to Mr. Yager that I was set on staying in Puerto Rico for my undergraduate career.

I have many friends in my life, but I’d like to tell you about my very best friend. Her name is Claudia. She can be a bit needy at times, constantly looking to hang out with me and loathing when I have to leave.

With COVID-19, I had no idea what this fall semester would look like. There was so much uncertainty with a pandemic underway, and this was to be my first year no less. Still, I was thrilled at the opportunity to be on campus, which I saw as the beginning of my life independent of my parents.

Before the pandemic started, I had plans to spend the fall semester of my senior year in Taipei, Taiwan, studying in an intensive Chinese language program. I was only five when I moved from Taiwan to North Carolina with my mom and sister, returning during the summer every one or two years to visit my dad.

When I was a freshman, as many are fated to do, I found myself sampling the pot of extracurriculars that life on campus afforded me. In my cohort (‘21), and the Levine Scholars Program as a whole, it’s almost impossible to not be friends with a biology major so when my friends mentioned tree-planting for extra credit in one of their biology courses and an opportunity for volunteer hours I tagged along to breathe some fresh air and muddy my hands a bit.

Scholars volunteering to cook meals at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Charlotte is an enduring tradition for the LSP.