Team Bonding, and a lot of it

Emmy and Josh have already explained that the start of our semester has been very different from everyone else’s at UNC. Rather than being thrown into classes and a set schedule, we’ve been eased into the flow, which out here in the Outer Banks is leisurely. Not only do people follow the speed limit but some even go under; the Charlotte driver in me is screaming. Aside from the driving, there are plenty of things to love in our short-term home. One thing that has been both daunting and exciting is group formation. Not only are we trying to learn about the complexity of the OBX but also attempting to grow together. This has led to some very fun days and nights, which I will talk about now. Hope you liked that segue. Oh, and get ready for some cliché analogies.


Casually shredding and some celebratory hot dogs, or just a bun if you’re Anya.

Since we are spending a semester “at the beach,” we just had to have a surfing lesson. I was worried because my history with water sports is not great. My balance is usually good but that’s on stationary objects on land, not moving water. Luckily, I felt more supported in the group setting and just went for it, and I managed to pop up on my first try. I did end up laying on the surfboard for most of the day, but it was exciting to see everyone successfully catch a wave. Don’t worry, there were plenty of falls and I took many a tumble. However, I found that falling and getting up ready to go again was the most fun part. We can take many lessons from surfing, but my main ones are to “lean in” and that it is okay to stumble.

Puzzle Night:

Our finished masterpiece.

A perfect team bonding activity was building a 1000-piece puzzle in one sitting. I did not expect the night to go this way as I had just walked downstairs to get some food. We were orderly, yet chaotic. Pieces that matched were piled, others went directly into the bigger picture, and some ended up on the floor. It only took us a couple of hours to finish it, and the rush of satisfaction was amazing. Hopefully, we continue to have puzzle nights and at the same time, figure out how we all fit together.

Sunsets and Beach Days:

Sunset over the sound at Fort Raleigh

Hot sand, salty water, ocean breeze, and the smell of sunscreen have consistently drawn us to the beach. We read, throw frisbees, swim, and let the waves wash over us. I’m sure we’ll eventually get tired of going, but right now, it provides an easy place for everyone to simply be in the same space. Plus, we can always go back as the sun starts setting to have quiet moments of reflection as we look back on the day and wait for new ones to come.


Testing out Jane’s phone lenses.

While not one activity, there are a bunch of little things we get into. From being chased by Quinn to arguing about how to play dominoes, I find the moments we can let our guard down and just be dumb together to be the most enjoyable. I’m sure the lack of sleep we’ll inevitably get as the semester ramps up will fuel more of these moments, and I can’t wait.

I hope I didn’t bore you with any cliché analogies or vague descriptions about what we’ve been doing. I guess I used this more as my reflection on fun experiences. Anyways, knowingly or not, everything we’ve done has contributed to our group framework. Bonds and dynamics are forming and being strengthened. They will probably be pushed, broken, and reformed, but we can’t run from it. The world seems small here, and we are just trying to find our place in it.