As incoming first-year student Bryce Jones gets ready for Carolina, he’s leaving himself open to all kinds of new experiences. That’s the only way, he says, that he’ll be able to accomplish his primary objective of college.
“I want to come out of college a better person than I came in,” Jones says. “I don’t really know what it’s going to take to become a better person, but I want to come out different than I came in, having experienced something that alters the way I act and what my goals are.”
That goal — and the sense of school spirit in Chapel Hill — is what brought Jones to Carolina from Philadelphia in the first place. With the help of his new classmates and the Robertson Scholars Leadership program, he is ready to begin working toward his mission.
“I just want to come out with a new perspective on life and the way the way world works so I can go try to change it to the best of my ability,” he says.
Learn more about how Jones plans to make the most of his Carolina experience
What do you plan on studying at Carolina?
I’m planning on studying public policy. Initially, I wanted to be a philosophy major. But after reading more about both programs, I figured that public policy would be the best option for me because I do have intentions of going to law school one day. Carolina’s public policy program is excellent. There are really, really good opportunities for me in that program, and I’m excited to get started.
What does it mean to you to be a Tar Heel?
It’s a special feeling to be coming down to Chapel Hill and becoming a Tar Heel. “If God didn’t love the Tar Heels, the sky wouldn’t be Carolina Blue.” I heard somebody say that the other day, and when I heard it, it made me smile. It made me think about how lucky I am to be coming down to Carolina and be part of a community that’s bigger than myself and that’s had a lot of people in it before — a lot of people that have done great things in this world. Now, I can try to make my mark on the Carolina community. I’m excited for that. I couldn’t be more ecstatic to get down there and get to see some of the school spirit everybody talks about, get to try different things, get to drink from the Old Well — just be a part of a place that is welcoming, inclusive and that is geared toward the success of the students that go there.
What are you most looking forward to in your first semester?
I’m a big sports guy, so it’s my first experience at any game. I won’t limit it to a football or basketball game. I want to go to the field hockey games and lacrosse games. Any game, really. Any sporting event is going to be awesome for me, just to see that level of competition at one of the best schools in the nation for sports. It’s going to be an awesome feeling. Being able to watch them, support my school and getting to know some of the athletes and their perspectives is going to be awesome.
What do you hope to bring to the Carolina community?
I hope to bring diversity and another perspective. Everybody has a different perspective on life and the world. I think my perspective can change a lot of people’s thinking, especially when it comes to my interests in diversity, equity and inclusion and criminal justice reform. I can bring a different perspective.
Just being a fresh face with a different perspective and a different set of ideas, in whatever room that I’m in, it’s going to make an impact, slowly but surely. I look at it this way: You’re taking one person, and you’re making Carolina 1% better with a student that’s going to come in with an open mind and a new perspective. If you have 100 of those, it’ll make the school 100% better. I just want to be that 1%.