Final Exam Study Suggestions

Even though Thanksgiving Break is not until next week, it is sadly time to start thinking about Finals preparation.  It may seem like there is still a lot of time, but the reality is that Finals begin exactly two weeks from today.  However, with this awesome list of tips and suggestions, you all should be on the right track toward acing those exams!

1) Start organizing your study plan now.  Be sure to mark your calendar with the date and time of your exams, and then decide which exams take the highest studying priority.

2) Seek out help where you need it.  Find classmates to study with early on in the process so that you have someone to turn to if you don’t understand course material in the future.

3) Be realistic about your study goals.  You can only study so much for each class, so set goals that you can achieve in a reasonable amount of time.

4) Eat plenty of fruit.  Fruits such as apples and blueberries improve memory function and can increase the quality of your studying.

5) Time yourself while you take practice tests.  You will have a limited amount of time to take your final, so simulate the environment and make sure you will be able to finish in time.

6) Sleep! Studies have shown that students score higher when tested the morning after a good night’s sleep than right after the studying takes place.  You need sleep to help convert your studying into memory in your brain.

7) Take study breaks/reward yourself.  Studying for finals can be a dark time, and you need to relax a little bit to keep your focus and maintain good morale.

8) View your grades from a reasonable perspective. While I expect everyone to perform extremely well, there are far worse things in the world than a D on your Chemistry final. Think about the problems people around the globe face each day and realize how lucky you are to be a student at Carolina.

9) Form a googledoc study guide with your classmates.  Writing the information in a way that others will understand it will help you study, and your classmates will remember information that will serve you well.

10) Wear a watch while you take the exam.  You may not be able to see the clock during your exam, and it is important to keep track of time.

Carolina Crawl/UNC Women’s Basketball Sunday Funday Residence Life Challenge

Got anything better to do this Sunday than supporting your fellow Tar Heels? Neither do I. The UNC Women’s Basketball Team will play UCLA at 2pm, and while a Carolina victory is the only incentive you should need to come, there will be ample opportunity to win prizes.

1) The first 400 students will receive a free Carolina Basketball t-shirt

2) The residence hall with the highest participation percentage will receive a “Watch and Eat” party for a Men’s Basketball game

3) The residence hall with the highest participation percentage will receive a Grand Prize worth up to $500

4) The winning residence hall will earn points towards the Community Cup

5) 2 Carolina Fever points will be awarded to those who attend

In addition to all this, the Carolina Crawl, a walking tailgate, will begin at SASB plaza at 12:00 noon.  The tailgate will feature food, performances by the UNC pep band and cheerleaders, and a visit by Ramses for pictures at the Bell Tower.



Student Organization Spotlight: Michael Kirchner


Michael Kirchner

Organization: Swimming Club and Water Polo Club

Year: Sophomore

Major: Business Administration and Advertising

Dream job: CMO of a sports company

Favorite food: Bacon

Hometown: Kensington, Maryland

Fun fact: “I did radio ads when I was eight years old.”

When did you first get into Swimming and Water Polo? “I’ve been swimming since probably right when I came out of the womb. My parents got me in the water really early on, and I’ve been swimming competitively since age five.  I didn’t want to swim at the varsity level in college, and I’m not necessarily at that level, so I joined Club Swimming as soon as I got to UNC.  I wanted to expand a little bit as well, so I decided to join Water Polo as well, even though I had never played it before college.”
Which sport is more physically demanding? “I would have to say that Water Polo is much more physically grueling. Not necessarily the practices because we don’t take them as seriously as we should, we just have a good time basically.  But during games, [there are] four seven minute quarters and you are dead tired about two minutes in because you have to sprint up, sprint down, and you’re always grabbing your player.  The referees can’t see underwater, so there is a lot of jockeying for position.”
How would you describe Water Polo to someone who is unfamiliar with the sport? “It’s a combination of basketball, swimming, and wrestling in one sport.”
How has your involvement in Swimming and Water Polo affected your study schedule? “I honestly believe that they have helped my study schedule.  Having outside activities that I have to go to every night of the week really helps me to focus on times where I have to get work done.”
Which would be more exciting for you, winning a relay race as the anchor leg of your team or scoring the game-winning goal of a Water Polo match? “That is a very tough question.  I would have to go with scoring the game-winning goal because it’s something I’ve never really done before.
What is your favorite stroke to swim and why? “It is definitely freestyle because that’s the fastest stroke for me, and I’m best [at freestyle] when compared to other competition.”
What advice would you give someone who has little experience in Swimming and Water Polo but is considering joining either of the clubs? I would definitely recommend at least going out to a couple of practices for either Swimming or Water Polo and just trying it out. The officers are always really friendly and they understand that some people are looking to have fun, some people are looking to be competitive, and some people are just looking to stay in shape, and there are roles for all of those types of people on a team.  So you should just come out and feel things out, and there is definitely a club sport for you somewhere.”
Residents! If you are involved in a great Student Organization and would like more people to learn about it, contact us so we can Spotlight your Organization on the UNC Residence Life blog!

Hardin Career and Academic Advising Center

South Campus residents, did you know that you have access to academic advising right next to home?  The Hardin Career and Academic Advising Center is located in the Seminar Wing of Hardin Residence Hall, right on Manning drive.  The “Hardin Hub,” as it is called, has all the same resources as the Steele building most of you are probably accustomed to visiting.  Schedule an appointment by visiting the Career Services Center Website, or visit Hardin Hub during drop-in hours at your convenience. The Hardin Hub is open Monday- Thursday from 8 am to 7pm and Friday from 8 am to 5 pm; drop-in hours are Monday-Thursday from 4 pm to 6:30 pm and Friday from 2 pm to 4 pm.

I have had the pleasure of stopping by Hardin for an appointment myself, and had a great experience.  Since the Hardin advising branch is little known and off of main campus, wait times are often brief.  My visit was a drop-in, however I was speaking with an advisor in a couple of minutes.  Senior Assistant Dean Alice Dawson and Assistant Dean Chloe Russell are available for your help, along with a team of five advisors. During my visit, I spoke with Ms. Russell, who gave me some great advice about planning for a possible double major in business and economics.

For those of you that don’t want to give up time during your lunch or afternoon on main campus, I really recommend stopping by Hardin and taking care of your advising needs.  The staff is excellent, the location is convenient, and you will be glad you took a painless trip to Hardin to have your questions answered!

UNC’s 725 Student Organizations

For first years looking to get involved in campus life and adventurous upperclassmen alike, the 725 student organizations at UNC are a great way to start.  The organizations cover a broad spectrum of interests, as you might expect at a large and vibrant university like UNC.  There are social, professional, greek, and religious organizations, clubs for most academic disciplines, clubs dedicated to community service, sports and recreation clubs, political organizations, and basically a club or organization for anything else you can think of.  Have you come up with an idea for an organization that doesn’t already exist? Create it yourself! There are ample opportunities to spend time doing what you are most passionate about at Carolina, and you can only add to the experience by creating something new at campus.  Whether you are looking for career-building experience or new friends at UNC, pursue your ambitions and you will meet great people along the way at Carolina.

As a brother in Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and a member of Carolina Marketing Club and Carolina Sport Business Club, I have had a terrific experience with student organizations at UNC. Are you having a great experience participating in your organization as well? Let us know! I will be doing periodic Student Organization Spotlight posts, and I would be glad to help the UNC community learn about why your organization is a vibrant part of the Carolina community.

Here is a link to a listing of all the officially recognized student organizations at UNC:

Who’s Got Next? The Best Places to Play Pickup Basketball on Campus

In honor of Late Night with Roy tonight, I’ve decided to share a review of my favorite places to hoop on campus.

Morrison/Hinton James Outdoor Courts-  These two courts can be put in the same category because of their relative similarities, although I think the Morrison court is a slight upgrade because of its location.  While the hoops here aren’t the best- we’re talking plexiglass backboards and double rims- these courts are all about the outdoor basketball experience.  I usually play in one of the gyms on campus, but on a perfect spring or fall day the Hojo and Motwon courts are hard to beat.

Rams Head Recreation Center- This is the flagship UNC pickup basketball venue in my opinion.  Rams has three different courts, all with newly finished floors.  Part of what makes Rams the best place to play is the level of competition.  On any given day you can expect to compete with members of the club and junior varsity teams, as well as stud athletes from the various UNC varsity sports teams.  Occasionally, the varsity basketball team will even make an appearance, although the line to play them grows quickly.  The only downfall about Rams is that it sometimes gets extremely crowded and is difficult to find a game.  Of course, this problem can be solved by winning to hold down the court.

Woollen Gymnasium- Woollen has stood the test of time as a great place to play basketball on campus.  It has been around since the 1930s, when the Heels played their home games there.  My first impression of it was an old middle school gym, just really, really big.  With eight courts available for use, you will rarely have to wait long to get a game.  Woollen tends to draw an older, sometimes less competitive crowd than Rams, but usually still has a high level of play.  The bad thing about Woollen? It can get really hot in there because there is no air conditioning, but hey, it’s part of the atmosphere.

Cobb Courts- The Cobb Courts are made out of the same material as most tennis courts, making for a great outdoor surface to play on.  The basketball hoops are a big upgrade to those at Hinton James and Morrison- they are very close to what indoor gyms use.  Participation at the Cobb Courts is a bit spotty during the spring and fall semesters, but the summer pickup scene is definitely worth checking out.  Be sure to go at night and to benefit from cool temperatures and the excitement of playing under the lights.


Luxury in Morrison Residence Hall

With Fall Break rapidly approaching (it officially begins October 15th) many students will have their first chance to bring additional furniture and accessories to their home on the UNC campus.  To inspire creativity and the motivation to add that extra lava lamp or upgrade your room’s futon situation, I decided to provide a look-in at one of the more well decorated rooms on campus.  Thanks to Erika Lewy and Sophia Oliverio for allowing me to feature your room for this post!

As you can see from the photos, the ladies decided to go with the über space efficient bunk bed format.  There are many floor plans that utilize the limited square footage of the room well, but none more so than bunk beds.  As for the rest of the room, the girls implemented a hybrid of unused family furniture and inexpensive accents to give their space a homey feel.  An old oriental rug and a vanity (taken from Erika and Sophia’s attics, respectively) provide a level of class unparalleled by most french colonial mansions.  To keep things real, an Ikea futon sits opposite the beds, and assorted posters flank the wall behind it.  How did they achieve the swanky ambience, you ask?  Strings of color changing star-shaped lights and classic bulbs adorn the perimeter of the ceiling, for those occasions when the fluorescents just aren’t doing the trick.

So just when you are becoming content with “its just my place at school” as an excuse for why your room hasn’t lived up to it’s potential yet, scan those craigslist feeds, browse a little bit on Amazon, and do yourself a favor by making your room a home.

photo               photo (1)

First Year Friday Recap: Tournament of Champions

As I walked into Rams Head Recreation Center last Friday, I was taken aback at the sheer volume of people on hand for the Tournament of Champions.  While there were eight and twelve teams of three for the volleyball and basketball tournaments, respectively, scores of students that weren’t competing came out to TOC.  Perhaps it was the advertised free Insomnia Cookies, but Rams Head was probably as full as I’ll ever see it on a Friday night.  A live DJ and continuous trivia provided additional entertainment for those who required it, although I was not one of them.  I am still not sure how it is possible that all of the kids in the basketball tournament were freshmen- some of them were huge!  I did not expect to witness some of the teams dunking on consecutive possessions.  Maybe Roy was able to get some new recruits last summer that I didn’t know about.  Stephen Hansen, a junior resident advisor in Hinton James, caught up with me during a break in the competition.

“I’m happy Hinton James’ First Year Friday is the Tournament of Champions,” said Hansen, “I think its definitely one of the cooler events because of all the stuff going on at the same time. This year’s tournament is a bit more exciting for me as well because I’ve placed a few bets with other RA’s on whose residents will win.”

Unfortunately for Stephen, neither the basketball winner “336 Mafia” or the volleyball winner “A Couple of Guys and a Couple of Gals” hails from his floor, however he was still able to score a couple of Insomnia Cookies and a sweet pair of plastic shades.


RA Spotlight: Michael Lewis


 RA SpotlightIMG_7494

Michael Lewis

Hall: Hinton James, 9th Floor

Year: Sophomore

Major: Business Administration and Spanish

Dream job: Sports Announcer

Favorite food: Lo Mein with chicken

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Fun fact: “I participated in the track Junior Olympics in high school.”

What is your favorite thing about being an RA? “Getting to know the residents.  I really enjoy meeting new people, and being an RA gives me the chance to meet people and help new students with their transition to college.  Since I’m an out-of-stater, it’s especially rewarding to be able to help out kids who were in my shoes last year… But I am happy to assist the in-state kids too” (laughs).
How did you decide on Hinton James as your Residence Hall? “I lived in Hojo last year, and I just really liked the vibe.  It seems like there is always something going on here, and I would say it is one of the more fun dorms to be in.  Plus, it’s really close to Kenan-Flager, which is convenient for me.”
What’s the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents? “Actually a few of my residents started having a rap battle when we were all meeting up at the beginning of the year.  Everyone was there, so it was pretty cool.”
What are your favorite things to do on South Campus? “It’s a little bit creepy, but I love people watching.  There are so many different types of people living here- athletes, musicians- you name it, and I enjoy seeing what everyone is heading off to do with their day.  Also, basketball at Rams is a lot of fun.”
What is a good piece of advice for first year students that are setting up their first residence hall room? “Go to the poster sale on Franklin Street.  A poster or two can make your dorm room feel like your room from home without much effort.  The place has so many different things to choose from, and it’s all pretty cheap.  I got a huge MJ mural there for 10 bucks.”
What else are you involved in on campus? “I’m in Delta Sigma Pi, which is a business fraternity.  Joining it was one of the best decisions I made at Carolina.  I’ve made some great friends within the brotherhood, and DSP has definitely helped me connect with a lot of interesting people.  The brothers are also a great resource for when I have questions about one class or another, or want to have a few extra people look over my resume.”
What would you tell someone that is deciding whether or not to apply to be an RA next year? “Definitely be prepared for the time commitment.  The first six weeks are the busiest because your residents are making their transition to campus life.  Apart from that, the benefits are great.  You get a room to yourself, you have the opportunity to be a mentor to other students, and the network of RAs is awesome for everything from doing homework to just hanging out.”
Residents! If you have a great RA and think they should be featured in a Spotlight like this one, please send in a nomination! RAs! You can nominate awesome residents too!

5 Essential College Items

Move-In Day is only one week away, so I’m sure you’ve been working tirelessly all summer to gather the decorations and supplies you’ll need for your new room on campus. Here are a few things you may have forgotten that I recommend that every student living on campus have ready to go for the perfect room.

Damage-free hanging strips and hooks

These are essential for hanging anything on your walls: photos, banners, posters, whatever! You can’t put any holes in your walls in our residence halls, so these guys will ensure that you can cover those boring white concrete blocks with whatever your heart desires.


Shower caddy

If you’re living in a four-room suite, a caddy is essential, because you can’t leave any personal items in the bathroom. They’re a good idea in a two-room suite as well, because four people storing bottles in one shower can get a little crowded. In my first year on campus, I chose one with a separate mini-caddy that I could use for just my toothbrush and toothpaste, so I didn’t have to take the entire thing- shampoo bottles and all- into the bathroom multiple times a day. Forget one of these, and toting bottles back and forth will get old very quickly.

Storage drawers and bins

While your room will come with a desk and a dresser, you might find you don’t have enough storage for things like snacks and school supplies. Extra plastic bins and drawers are great because they are light and easy to move in, plus you can even pack your things in them ahead of time. If you’ll be living in Craige, Ehringhaus or Hinton James, check out this post about your built-in closet dimensions and get storage bins that will fit above your closet!

Extension cords

Because the outlet never seems to be exactly where you’d like it to be, does it? Especially handy if you plan to loft your bed and want to have a clip-on lamp up there for nighttime reading.

PS. Two-pronged extension cords are not allowed in residence halls.


Foam Mattress Pad

Sleep is important for a college student, so get one of these and make those eight hours count!

What do you find essential for living in a college residence hall? Share in the comments! And for an extensive To-Bring list, check out the 2014 Move-In Guide.