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College debuts: She picked UNC

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 9, 2009 1:46 PM

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Lauren Player

Since moving to Wayne County in seventh grade, Lauren Player has set her sights on going to college at Carolina.

In part because her parents went to the University of South Carolina, she says, she decided she "wanted to go to the other Carolina."

"It has a really pretty campus and the academics are really good," she added. "UNC is like one of the best ones in the state."

Couple that with the renowned school spirit and the academic atmosphere and the 18-year-old knew it was where she wanted to go for an education.

The salutatorian and recent graduate of Spring Creek High School applied to three other places, and was accepted, but UNC-Chapel Hill was always her first choice, she said.

She plans to major in biology, with aspirations of becoming a doctor.

"I'm not really quite sure what kind of doctor, but I want to help people, probably children," she said, crediting her father with encouraging the profession. "He wanted me to have a really good job and career."

Despite the academic draw, it is also the area she anticipates could be the biggest adjustment.

"I have never made a 'B'," she said. "Everybody tells me that you're going to make a 'C'. I think that will be really hard for me. I'm used to pushing to make A's. I have always tried, so I don't know if I'm trying harder than other people. I study but I also listen in school. I will have to study next year."

Ms. Player is also keenly aware of the possibility she could be in school for up to 12 more years, if she continues down the path to becoming a physician.

"It seems like a really long time," she said. "I have already been in school 12 years, so I'm only halfway done. But I don't think it's going to be a problem."

She tries to have realistic expectations of what lies ahead, although she does admit to being a fan of "Grey's Anatomy," the popular medical drama.

"Hopefully I don't have the false notions of what doctors are," she said with a smile.

Before she dons a white coat and stethoscope, though, she is focusing on her immediate future -- recently meeting her roommate, from Raleigh, and packing up for "early move-in" to her dorm Aug. 19 before classes start.

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and the school experience, being part of something really good," she said. "I'm also really nervous because my school was so small and now I'm going to a really big school. But I'm excited. It will be something that will teach me things and take me out of my comfort zone into something bigger."