Letter to finalists from William Dahl ’25: ‘You are the best you there has ever been and will ever be’

Blog | February 3, 2022
Quote graphic from William Dahl ’15
The Morehead-Cain Final Selection Experience begins on February 6, 2022.

Written by William Bernard Dahl ’25 of the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team

Dear Morehead-Cain Finalists,

First off, let me start by congratulating you for all you have accomplished. I am sure that you all have so many fantastic facets of your lives that you should be deeply proud of.

My name is William Dahl, and I am a part of the Morehead-Cain Class of 2025. I am probably not even a year older than most of you, and know that I have no right to preach to any of you from my metaphorical soapbox, but if you will allow me, I would love to let you in on my mantra:

You are the best you there has ever been and will ever be.

Now, I know this is cliché, but I fully believe it. Each one of you is a unique person with so many fantastic gifts that you have shared throughout the plethora of organizations and communities you inhabit.

Speaking from personal experience, it is tough to fully believe that mantra during the college application process. This time last year, I was constantly wishing that my scores were just one point higher, that I had won an election, that I had taken the extra class. I am sure some of you can sympathize with me.

Going into the Morehead-Cain Final Selection Experience, these feelings compounded as I looked at all the impressive finalists around me and felt major imposter syndrome.

Before the weekend even started, I had already conceded that I didn’t have what it took to be a Morehead-Cain. If any of you have felt the same way, let me remind you of something:

You are the best you there has ever been and will ever be.

Throughout the experience, take a breath and relish being there. Know that you are there for a reason and allow all the awesome qualities you possess to shine through. If you ever have an issue doing this, please remind yourself of my mantra.

Last week, I was sitting on the futon in my cozy dorm room, and I slowly began to notice a fantastic phenomenon that was occurring beside me. My suitemate, Sebastian Mateu ’25, rapidly flipped through a series of papers as his eyes widened. With each line he read, his excitement became more palpable and soon engulfed the whole room.

I finally asked, “Sebastian, dude! What are you looking at?”

“I’m looking at the things that Morehead-Cain sent me last year,” he said. And, after a brief pause, he added, “Gosh, I wish I could be a senior again.”

I know, the inner senior in me was also confused. Why would anyone want to go back to a time of previously unmatched stress and uncertainty? But as Sebastian was looking at the “things” (the informational pamphlets Morehead-Cain had sent him), he was reminded of how it felt to read about the Summer Enrichment Program opportunities, Morehead-Cain Alumni, and the Lovelace Fund for Discovery for the first time. He realized that senior year was a time of unmatched opportunity and excitement.

So, I implore you: feel the excitement of being a finalist, value the enriching conversations you can have with your peers on Socio, and appreciate the impressive achievements of the alumni speakers.

Allow yourself to be truly present in every moment that makes up an unmatched week, and please, never, ever forget that:

You are the best you there has ever been and will ever be.

All the best,
William Bernard Dahl ’25

More about the author

William Dahl ’25 of Wilmington, North Carolina, covers the alumni and selections beats for the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team, with a focus on business.

The first-year scholar graduated in spring 2021 from Cape Fear Academy. In high school, he served as student body president and was an active member of his school’s theater program. At UNC–Chapel Hill, William serves as a business analyst for Consult Your Community and as an advocate for the Community Empowerment Fund.

William plans to pursue a major in business and minors in philosophy, politics, and economics and classical humanities at Carolina.