For sophomore Julia Elway, the day began like any other. She was struggling to stay awake during her 8 a.m. class.
“As my class ended, though, I heard the screech of a bus and smelled the B.O. of people who don’t know what deodorant is,” she described, wrinkling her nose at the memory.
Elway was quickly surrounded by 45 11-14-year-old middle school students from George Washington Middle School. All she could hear was their non-stop talking.
“They kept talking about all of the things they couldn’t wait to do, like steal all of the cookies from Lenoir, or get in the way of as many students walking to class as possible,” she described. “I almost lost it when they got excited about deliberately talking loudly next to students trying to study in Davis.”
Elway became quickly overwhelmed, as the universally destructive tendencies of all middle schoolers had reminded her of her own traumatic experiences as a middle school student, including suffering from intense My Chemical Romance fandom.
Looking for escape options, she spied Greenlaw. “It would have been perfect! There are so many stairs, and the elevator is so slow, I thought I would be safe on the 4th floor!”
Junior Ellis Wiley, also caught in the crowd of middle schoolers, had a similar plan. “I remember yelling, ‘Quick! Get to Phillips!’ because it’s so easy to get lost in. Seriously, there are senior math majors who still can’t find their way around Phillips.”
But there was no escaping the tsunami of tweens. Students would reach a building they thought was safe, only to find a sheepish UNC tour guide leading a group of kids around said building.
Senior Chad Wick decided to go on the offensive. “I bought every deodorant, perfume and cologne I could find in every store from here to Franklin Street,” he announced, gesturing towards a large pile of empty bottles. “I started handing them out to any UNC student who looked scared. I was hoping it would make those kids run away and never come back, or teach them a lesson about personal hygiene.”
After 4 impossibly long hours, the students of George Washington Middle School were finally ushered back onto the buses by exhausted chaperones to the cheers of UNC students.
Elway was among the crowds of excited students. “I would’ve cheered too, but I was too exhausted from running from building to building trying to avoid them,” she claimed. “At least it’s over now.”
As Elway said that last sentence, another yellow bus arrived at the South Road bus stop, full of kids from Thomas Jefferson Junior High. Elway was unable to comment on this development, as she was too busy using the last of her strength to run as far in the opposite direction of the middle school students as she could.