Top 10 First-Year Flings

A bucket list for your first year at Carolina

Students at an icecream social in Upper Quad community.
Upper Quad residents enjoy ice cream at a community program.

Everyone has their own Carolina experience. Of course it will involve studying and going to class, along with going to the dining hall and sharing a shower with your suitemates. Some get really involved in the Campus Y, some join sororities/fraternities, some volunteer, some become community governors and some play every intramural sport out there – even inner tube water polo.

But there are some things that would be a shame to miss in your first year being a Tar Heel.

  1. Make friends with your suitemates/hallmates. Getting to know these people will be one of the biggest differences in your first year at Carolina. It will make everything easier because you will have people with whom you can share (and laugh at) your experiences.
  2. Participate in Week of Welcome. There isn’t a better way to dive right in and get your feet wet than participating in Week of Welcome (WOW).

    Photo of Old Well
    Old Well
  3. Drink from the Old Well on the first day of class. It’s a tradition that might land you that coveted 4.0 by the end of the semester. But just a word to the wise: there will be a line, so get there early.
  4. Go to Fall Fest. It’s the fastest way to get involved because everything you want will be in one place. Whether you are interested in playing on a competitive club sports team or writing for the DTH or joining the Muslim Student Association, it’s all there. On one street. With over 1,000 people. All trying to get free stuff. Its crazy awesome.
  5. Go to a football game in the fall and sign up for a basketball ticket (and hopefully get one) – Nothing will solidify your love for Carolina as much as crushing Dook on the field and singing the alma mater with a stranger, locked arm in arm. Everyone chanting and singing Carolina’s praises together makes the sound of Tar Heel voices ring clear and true (yeah, that’s from the song).

    Sumo Wrestling at Manning Beach Blast
    Sumo Wrestling at Manning Beach Blast
  6. Go to your hall programs. This is a great way to get to know your RA (yes, you really want to do that) and your hallmates. There will, most likely, be free food involved, and you will probably come away with a tidbit of knowledge that might win you some money on Jeopardy some day or at least at trivia on Wednesday at Linda’s.
  7. Go to Franklin Street for Halloween. This is a Halloween celebration that is recognized above all others. We’ve even had to ask non-Chapel Hill residents to stay out because it’s so popular. You will see some creative costumes, as well as some that will leave you speechless. But it really is something you’ve got to say that you did at least once.
  8. Grab a DTH every Friday. Once you’ve read the Daily Tar Heel’s Kvetching Board once, you’ll be hooked. Better yet, write a Kvetch about something you see on campus and submit it. You’ll beam with pride when you and all your friends read it on Friday morning.
  9. Eat at Late Night at Rams Head. Who doesn’t want a Belgian waffle sometimes at 11:30 at night? Well, the answer to your late night study cravings can be cured at Rams Head dining hall. Plus, some of the stories that come out of that place are hilarious. Just picture a table of 10 girls all trying to do the Saltine challenge (6 saltines in one minute, no water) while laughing. Epic.
  10. Join Community Government (RHA) – This ensures that you will have great things to do in your community at least twice a month. It’s kinda like student council from high school, but without the training wheels. You actually have the power to make things happen. Wanna have the biggest ping-pong tournament on campus. You can do that on Community Government!
This post was originally published on March 10, 2011. We opted to republish it today, because the information and advice is still relevant for incoming first-year students.

One thought on “Top 10 First-Year Flings”

  1. All of these are great suggestions, but here’s something I wish someone had told me when I was starting out here: It’s okay to skip this, too. Carolina is full of outgoing, energetic, friendly, people-people, and that can be intimidating and frustrating if you are a quieter, more introverted person like me. It’s okay to be more reserved, though! I found it useful to pick one or two social or extracurricular things to do each week and not try to fill every day. I’ve ended up with a great group of close friends, an extracurricular life that keeps me engaged with my community and excited about my school — and enough space to breathe at the end of the day!

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