First Year Experience Halls At A Glance

Dear Baby Heels (a.k.a. Newly Admitted Students):

First of all, let me just extend a great, warm welcome to you by saying CONGRATS ON BECOMING AN OFFICIAL TAR HEEL! This place freaking rocks, honestly, and we can’t wait for y’all to join us here on campus. But before you can join us, you have to sign up for on-campus housing by May 15!

I know what you’re thinking at this point.

“But… But I don’t know where I want to live! What are my options? What’s the difference between all the halls? I am #stressed. Please help me, a wee lamb just trying to make it to Chapel Hill in one piece!”

I was there once, too. We all were. But fear not! We’re here for you.

Below is a list of all the halls available to First Years for the 2017-2018 school year, what they offer, and what current students in those halls love about where they live!

Hinton James
Hinton James, affectionately known as HoJo, is the biggest First Year hall (with 10 whole floors!), making it a very social place. HoJo is coed and has 8-person suites with window AC units. It’s on South Campus and is super close to the Dean Dome.

“My favorite thing about HoJo is the energy and positive vibes. Coming home from Davis and walking into loud upbeat music playing in the lobby puts me in a good mood!” –Elysia Ruiz

“[My favorite thing about living in HoJo is] the view and sitting on the balcony. I also love the lively and diverse community of people.” –Shodeah Kelly 

Craige is a South Campus, coed hall. It has 6 floors of 8-person suites with window AC units. It’s a fairly social hall and is close to the Dean Dome, Rams, and SASB.

“My favorite thing about living in Craige is that it is a large, social community and yet still feels like home. On warm days, tons of people come to the sand volleyball court to play games, listen to music, or just watch and study. There’s always something going on, and living within a few floors of all my best friends is pretty fun too.” –Katie Davenport

“I would say my favorite thing is that I find more and more friends that live here. Also, even if I don’t always get to go, there is always something going on that you can attend!” –Julie Wohala

Manning East Community (Koury and Horton)
Koury and Horton are coed halls with 4-person suites. They are both 4 floors and have central AC. They’re on South Campus, lining each side of Manning. SASB, Rams, and the Dean Dome are all short walks away.

“It’s quiet! I can do my work in my room and with my suitemates, as well as go to bed at a reasonable time. And I love having a four-person suite.” –Rachel Augustine (Koury)

“I love only having to share a bathroom with three people! Also, we have free waffle nights about once a week and they’re delicious!” –Alyssa Geary (Horton)

Ehringhaus, commonly known as E-Haus, is a coed South Campus hall. It’s 6 floors and has 8-person suites with window AC units. E-Haus backs up to Boshamer Stadium (where the Heels play baseball) and is a close walk to SASB and Rams.

“[My favorite thing about living in E-Haus is] probably the proximity. Even though it is still on South Campus, the E-Haus path cuts off a ton of time when walking to class because you don’t have to cross the road at all. We still have that South Campus feel, though, being close to all of the other freshmen and having that community within the dorm as well.” –Mac Renslow

Olde Campus Lower Quad (Aycock, Graham, Everett, Lewis, and Stacy)
The OCLQ community has 5 halls, all hall style and all on North Campus! Aycock is all-female, Graham is all-male, and Lewis, Everett, and Stacy are coed. Each building is 3 floors, they are all hall style, and they all have central AC. The OCLQ community is in close proximity to classes, the Pit, and Franklin Street.

“[My favorite thing about Everett is] definitely the sense of having a community at any given time. In Everett, my friends and I have an open-door policy in that people are welcome whenever. We do things together, whether it be intramural teams, eating, or watching sports.” –Rio Chamberlain

So Baby Heels, don’t sweat it. You have plenty of options. And no matter what, you’ll still be living on the beautiful and lively campus we’re lucky enough to call home.


*Featured image submitted by Shodeah Kelly showing off her #views from HoJo.

RA Spotlight: Maddie Pontrelli

Everyone knows Resident Advisors are superheros. We like to shine the well-deserved spotlight on them, and the RA of the day is Maddie Pontrelli, a junior RA in Hinton James!

When did you decide to apply to be an RA?

After my first year.


Why did you decide to be an RA?

I wasn’t super close with my first year RA and wanted to be able to be that close RA for other first years.


What is your favorite part of being an RA?

Seeing my residents grow up and find what they’re passionate about both on and off campus.


What is your least favorite part?

Having to have difficult conversations sometimes where I have to draw the line between RA and friend.


What is a day in the life of an RA like?

A day in the life of an RA is fun! I’m a student first, but I get to spend time with residents and get to know what they’re interested in and passionate about. I love that they’re all so different and each and every one of them is capable of teaching me so much. A day in the life also includes me planning and implementing ways for them to get to know each other, me and hojo as a community. Knowing them and they’re interests makes it easier to plan fun events and exciting hang out time that they’ll get something out of.


If you could be an RA in any hall which one would it be and why?

If I could be an RA in res hall, I’d choose first years, but more specifically hojo. I love that first years are brand new to the college experience and I love that I am able to help guide them through their transition to college. I also love being a resource for them as they’re trying to find their fit on campus.


What else would you like people to know about being an RA?

Being an RA is challenging in so many ways: emotionally, physically, mentally etc. with that being said, I really can’t think of a more rewarding experience. It shapes your perspective on so many different things, and the life lessons you learn from your staff and community will carry with you long after you graduate. It’s a one of a kind opportunity and i wish everyone had the chance to experience it.


Tell us a funny story about being a RA.

One of my residents has a twin brother who lives on a different floor in hojo. One time I ran into the twin (not knowing it was the twin) and called him the wrong name and had a whole conversation with him while thinking it was my resident. He was too nice to correct me to he just went along with it.

If Maddie is your RA be sure to tell her thank you!

Why RAs Are Actually Superheroes

Guardian Angels. Life Savers. Free Therapists. Housing Heroes. Resident Advisors.

Contrary to popular belief, a Resident Advisor (see also, “RA”) is not someone who’s out to ruin your life. In fact, anyone who has ever actually lived in a UNC residence hall probably knows that’s the complete opposite of what any RA wants to do. Keeping residents safe and making sure people are following community living standards are definitely important, but that is only part of the job description. RAs are there to be your friend; they are there to guide you, help you, work with you, laugh with you, look out for you, and occasionally even feed you.

Carrying the respected RA title is an honor, really. They are caring, vibrant individuals who have a passion for helping others. They bring life to a residence hall and play an important role in enhancing the sense of community within a hall. Each RA has unique experiences, interests, and identities to bring to the table, which creates a diverse living experience from the start. They are the foundation for an exciting residential community in which those living in it can form lasting relationships and gain new perspectives.

Not only do RAs contribute to the general environment of the hall, but they also play a vital role in each resident’s individual experience. RAs are like guaranteed friends that come with your Housing contract (that is, only if you want them to be your friends, which I highly recommend since they’re pretty A+ humans). Your RA wants to actually know you and make your Carolina experience even better by being someone you can trust, hang out with, confide in, and approach with any questions. So when they talk to you or wave to you or bring you baked goods or leave you encouraging notes on your door or send you meme-filled emails, embrace it and make a friend!

RAs are basically superhuman. I mean, they remember tons of names and faces, an incredible feat which can definitely only be explained as a superpower. On top of that, they check in with residents, attend meetings, plan programs, and assist and advise others while still finding time for clubs, social lives, volunteering, and that pretty important thing called “school.” (Honestly I got tired just writing that. How do they actually do it?) They do so much for their residents and sacrifice a lot of their time just so they can fully dedicate themselves to their job. They work harder than we know. So make sure to give yours a round of applause, a high five, a hug, a cookie, whatever you do to show extra appreciation—they deserve every bit of it!

-Elizabeth, AKA number one fan of Resident Advisors


Think you have what it takes to be an RA? Well lucky for you, it’s not too late to apply! The application is due on Wednesday, December 8th, and there are still three more information sessions you can attend (it’s mandatory you go to one of them if you want to apply, so hop on it, folks):

  • Monday, Dec. 5th, Union 2420, 5:00PM-6:00PM
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6th, Hinton James Study Lounge Wing B, 7:00PM-8:00PM
  •  Wednesday, Dec. 7th, Union 2420, 1:00PM-2:00PM

Check out the housing website for all the deets! 

UNC Housing Fall Bucket List

Fall is my favorite season on campus. Everything is even more beautiful than usual, and the weather is perfect for strolling around campus. I compiled 13 things you have to do this Fall on campus – you’re welcome.

  1. Eno amongst the changed leaves. All the spots on this list are even better when you’re surrounded by fall foliage.
  2. Stargaze in Kenan Stadium. Nights stargazing in Kenan Stadium are even more romantic with blankets and hot chocolate.
  3. Try every Pumpkin Spice Latte on Franklin St. So many coffee shops, so little time.
  4. Carve a pumpkin for your suite. Pick up a pumpkin or two for your suite and have a carving contest with UNC themed designs.
  5. Jog around the historic district. The Franklin-Rosemary Historic District and roads like Country Club Rd. and Gimghoul Rd. are even more gorgeous in the fall with the changing leaves. Plus fall is perfect jogging weather.
  6. Tailgate a Football Game. Tailgates are even cuter when you can wear cute boots and Carolina blue scarves.
  7. Take a #FALL picture on the quad. Grab squad, throw some leaves in the air, and snap a pic.
  8. Attend Late Night with Roy. If you didn’t go this year you missed out, but don’t worry, we get to watch Joel Berry dance every year… oh wait, he’s graduating *sobs*.
  9. Have a fall themed picnic on the quad. Grab every pumpkin snack you can think of and have a cute picnic on the quad. Pro-Tip: Do this when you take your #FALL picture for extra Instagram likes.
  10. Go to the first home basketball game. NOVEMBER 4TH.
  11. Halloween on Franklin St. There’s a reason we’re known for Halloween.
  12. Halloween Food Truck Rodeo. Before you head to Franklin stop by Stadium Drive for food trucks and fun, courtesy of your favorite Housing Department.

Happy fall everyone 🙂


What topics do you want to see on the blog? Comment below and win a Top Lottery Pick!

Comment on this post with a NEW blog topic (one that has not been featured before) and be entered to win a Top Lottery Pick for 2017-2018 Housing Selection! To win, you must be a current student and plan to live on campus Fall 2017. Only one topic submission per person allowed. To be considered for a Top Lottery Pick, you must submit your topic between October 26, 2016 through November 20, 2016 at midnight. One winner will be randomly selected, will be notified between November 21-22, and will select a space on November 28.


The Perfect Trifecta: Carolina Football, Local Restaurants and Awesome Prizes



Imagine it’s Saturday and you’ve just finished all your homework in time for the big football game. All your friends are going. You’re excited to go cheer on the Tar Heels with them… but you’re also starving.

Naturally, you want to treat yo’self to a nice meal after putting in ~werk~ at the lib, but your friends want to get to the game early to get Carolina Housing Claim the Game points, duh. So, as any good friend would do, you suck it up, put on your Carolina blue dress, stick a cute little Tar Heel on your cheek and go to the game.

Just as you’re starting to feel faint from hunger, you smell the most delicious fumes wafting down the bleachers from concessions. You follow the smell and discover a wonderful surprise: UNC’s newest concessions options!

That’s right, gone are the days when nachos, popcorn and hot dogs were the only game day food to choose from. This season, UNC is introducing even more flavor to Kenan Stadium — as if you needed another reason to go cheer on your favorite Tar Heels in your favorite place!

Local restaurants Al’s Burger Shack and Merritt’s Store and Grill have opened up shop in Kenan to serve up some OG Chapel Hill goodness to you and your friends.

You want to munch on a Bobo Chili Cheese Burger as you watch UNC kicker Nick Weiler hit yet another amazing, game-winning field goal? You got it. You want to belt out “Sweet Caroline” with a Merritt’s BLT in one hand and UNC foam finger on the other? I do too tbh.

You no longer have to make the trek from HOJO to Franklin Street to get your foodie fix; all you have to do is attend a UNC football game. And, on top of it all, when you swipe into the game with your Onecard, your residence hall is automatically given “Claim the Game” points that could win your community a sweet prize at the end of the season.

If you don’t like burgers, sandwiches, or prizes, that’s okay (I guess?) — not everyone at Carolina has the same taste. But there is one thing I am confident we can all relate to: the overwhelming sense of pride that consumes us when we become a drop in the sea of Carolina blue at a sporting event. The feeling of unity we get while singing “Hark the Sound” at the of a game, win or lose, that reminds us why we are all here.

The food and the prizes are great, sure. But I promise, the memories will last forever.

Crying the Carolina Way

An incomplete list of the times Carolina brings on the waterworks

UNC has made us all cry at some point. And if it hasn’t made you yet, it will. Be it tears of joy, pain, laughter, anxiety, awe, or anything in between, we have all let a tear or two (or hundred) fall for Carolina.

While it’s true I’m a sensitive soul who cries at least once a day for any number of silly reasons, I don’t think you have to have the same emotional muddle of a mind I do in order to experience the many overwhelming feelings that come with being a Tar Heel. There are just some things that resonate deep within all our Carolina souls and hit us straight in the Tar Feels—and we can’t help but cry.

  1. Moving out of your residence hall at the end of the year
    Especially your first year residence hall. Saying goodbye to it is the worst part of the month of May (besides exams and having to actually leave Chapel Hill for a bit). This place was your humble abode for almost nine months. It was home base during one of the most formative years of your almost-adult life. You have lots of #tbt moments here, and it was here you met some of your best friends, had a mental breakdown, pulled all-nighters, and ate lots of pizza. Seeing the walls stripped bare, the lights torn down, and any evidence of your time here wiped away can really tug at your heartstrings.
  2. Beating Dook
    Okay, so we all know every day is a GDTBATH. But when we beat Dook, it is the best day to be a Tar Heel. There are few greater feelings than crushing our enemy, sprinting to Franklin with straight adrenaline pumping through your veins, and joining thousands in a celebration unlike any other. The electrifying atmosphere that charges the night’s festivities lasts on campus for several days afterwards. Cries of “TAAAAR” are enthusiastically answered with “HEEEEELS” throughout the night, from Top of the Hill all the way down to the South campus residence halls. Cheers and chants last until morning. You’re crying tears of pure joy over a basketball game, but y’all, this is not just any game, so it’s fine.
  3. Seeing a sea of Carolina Blue everywhere you goimg_3548It really is the best school color. There’s just no denying it. It’s universally flattering and reflects nature itself. And it’s even more beautiful in mass quantities. A truly breathtaking sight that causes my eyes to water more than it should, really.
  4. Singing “Hark the Sound”
    In celebration after winning a big game. In mourning after a devastating loss. After the streakers finish their library lap. After the Bell Tower lighting. Even just with some close friends on a walk back to the dorm after a night out. Any chance you get to belt out our alma mater while arm-in-arm with a group of fellow Tar Heels is enough to warm your heart and bring a tear to your eye.
  5. Losing to Dook (or to Villanova… in the last second… by one shot…)
    With the highs of sweet victory also come the devastating blows of defeat. Some of the most intense heartbreak is felt when you’re screaming at the top of your lungs for two hours and mentally preparing for the mad dash, but instead the buzzer sounds and a solemn silence spreads over Chapel Hill in an instant. No matter where you’re watching, everyone around you stands absolutely still. The players fall to the court in agony. You trudge back to your room and drown your sorrows in ice cream. Again, you’re definitely crying over a basketball game, but at least everyone else is, too (including your professors who cancel class the next day).
  6. Suddenly remembering you go to THE University of North Carolina
    Something as simple as walking through the Pit, putting on some Carolina Blue, or hearing the Bell Tower toll. Something as iconic as rushing Franklin after beating that school eight miles down the road, spelling “CAROLINA” with your arms in the student section, seeing how beautiful our campus is in bloom, or taking a sip from the Old Well. Something as exciting as making Dean’s List or getting that text from your friends who saw you in the crowd on ESPN, or even something as boring as writing that six-page paper about… Well, who knows what it’s about, honestly. All the little things that hit you hard out of nowhere and remind you of how amazing it is that you get to call this incredible place home. Wow… *sniff sniff*

Okay, so maybe these things don’t make you sob like me, but you can’t deny they at least give you chills. They’re just a very small sample of the things that “bind us to this place” and will bring back the mems when we’re older. So if you don’t already cry about them now, perhaps you will then.


After The First Week

You did it! You survived your first week of college. Maybe you’ve already met the group of people that you’ll be best friends with for the next four years. Maybe you signed up for a ton of clubs you’re super interested in. Maybe you love all your classes and maybe your professors are super cool and understanding.

Or maybe not.

If all of these things happened to you, then that’s awesome! But chances are they didn’t. And that’s okay too.

With the prominence of social media on campus it may seem like everyone is already having the time of their life, while you’re just stressed, homesick, and lonely. While some of the lucky ones may actually be having the time of their lives, way more people than you realize feel exactly like you. I remember my first week of college I was constantly going back and forth between being ecstatic and being sad. One second I’d be walking through the Pit overwhelmed with how much I loved my school and the next second I’d be calling my mom crying.

So to all the first-years out there so aren’t loving it yet… don’t worry, you will. You made it through your first week, and it only gets better. Soon you’ll meet your new best friends. Soon that cute boy in your Bio 101 class will sit next to you. Soon you’ll find a club you’re passionate about and be able to get super involved. Soon you’ll love UNC (almost) as much as I do.
Because even when you’re having a bad day, it’s ALWAYS a great day to be a Tarheel.


Dear Out of State Students,

Sup! Or as people here like to say.. Hey, how are y’all doing?

So you’ve decided to leave your home state and become a Tar Heel, huh? Whether you’ve crossed an ocean, the whole country, or simply a state border, congratulations! You’ve made it here now, and you’re part of the 18% that aren’t North Carolinian!

While that number may seem smaller than a dook heart (we’re talkin’ very small), it’s more than it seems and more than enough to make you feel at home. If you’re not from the South, one thing you’ll quickly learn about it is its spirit of welcome, manners, and warmth. As you grow a new sense of home here, those features of the South are definitely your friends.

Before the fall, I hadn’t given going out of state any thought, hadn’t even considered the change of Southern culture. After all, I was coming from only two states away! No big deal, right? Well, gonna be honest here, not expecting things to be different resulted in culture shock hitting me like a biology textbook in the face.

Continue reading Dear Out of State Students,

The official student blog about life in campus housing at UNC Chapel Hill