All posts by Jess Schmitz

HRE Administration

How to Survive Spring Exams

Campus is at it’s most beautiful… the darties beckon… and the weather is way too nice to sit in Davis. So how can you possibly study for exams?

Exams suck no matter what, but exams in the spring suck even more. Campus is gorgeous and so is the weather. There is always a ton going on to distract you. So how does one find the motivation to study? Here is my guide to passing your spring exams with as little pain as possible.

Don’t confine yourself to the library. There are a million other places you can study this time of year. If the quad is too busy and distracting, find a spot to set up in the Arboretum! Hang your eno up by the Forest Theater or explore Battle Park for the perfect study spot. If studying outside isn’t your thing, then take the bus or make the walk to Franklin Street/ Carborro to find a new cafe or coffee shop. The key to making studying less painful is mixing it up.

Take advantage of campus events. Around exam time there are a ton of events centered around studying. Upcoming LNAPs (Long Night Against Procrastination) have a ton of resources and food to help you crank out your final essays. Keep an eye on Carolina Housing social media for upcoming events. If you try hard enough, you can get a free study snack every night of exam season.

Find a study partner or group. It’s good to have a partner keep you accountable. If you’re meeting someone you’re much less likely to stay in bed an extra hour watching Netflix. As long as you can stay focused together, a study buddy can help you pass your exams. Finding a study group in class or on your hall is also really useful for some classes. I personally like studying with people for classes that are quantitative or analytical. Chances are, someone in your group can help you learn that equation you’ve been struggling with, and you can help them memorize a tough formula that you already mastered.

TREAT. YO. SELF. No matter what, exams are hard. It is important to take breaks, get enough sleep, and treat yo’ self as often as possible. Get a fancy latte instead of your usual black coffee. Buy some new super-comfy sweatpants to keep you comfortable while you plan. You deserve it!



And always remember, even during exams: it’s always a GDTBATH.



Why You Should Join Community Government

Joining co-go will not only help you succeed in college, but in the real world too.

We interviewed a member of community government turned college graduate on how his participation in cogo helped him in his job at Oracle in Austin, TX. Meet David Marsh.


UNC Housing: Why did you first join co-go?

David: I wanted to get involved in the place I lived. I had seen what cogo did my freshman year when I lived in Ehringhaus (shoutout ehaus 2012) and knew I wanted to get involved as a sophomore. It seemed like a great way to get more involved and meet more of the people I was living with. I also wanted to be able to have a tangible, positive impact on my classmates which is why I ran for and became the community governor for Parker Community.


UNC Housing: How did cogo help you throughout the rest of your college career?

David: Running for and being community governor helped me expand my leadership skills early on during my time at UNC. It also helped introduce and open me up to many different areas of student life. This exposure helped shaped my run for Student Body President. I got the awesome opportunity to learn about all the different student groups on campus.


UNC Housing: How did cogo help you after college?

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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.

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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.


Caffeinating on Campus

How to get your buzz on in a dorm room.

Having worked as a barista in high school, coffee has been an essential morning routine for years. Knowing that my days were only going to get busier in college, I was worried about how I would get good coffee in school without breaking the bank. If you’re an addict like me, never fear, I have included all my secrets on how to stay caffeinated on campus without ruining the environment and blowing money on a Keurig.

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Best Oats Ever

How to spice up your boring dorm oatmeal

I have a confession: I don’t like ramen. I think it smells bad and tastes worse. I think it looks like a bad perm, which doesn’t do much for my appetite. I think the lack of nutritional value is matched by lack of taste. If I’m gonna eat something unhealthy, it better be delicious. What is really in those little flavor packets anyway? How could so much sodium deliver so little flavor? These are the questions that keep me awake at night. A solution to my lack of affinity for microwaved noodles is simple: oatmeal. It is so much healthier, so much more flavorful, and there is so much more you can do with it. Below I have compiled a list of all my favorite recipes with links to the original sites. This list is the result of lots of trial and error and lots of overflowed bowls. You’re welcome. And as my favorite English teacher once said – enjoy every bowl of oatmeal. Actually he said enjoy every sandwich, but I don’t really see how that’s relevant.

  1. Never Ending Oatmeal. Ah, my favorite type of oatmeal, oatmeal that never ends. This is a basic, healthy recipe that serves as the base for lots of different add-ins. You can use this to create your own recipes, or just make a simple, tasty bowl of oats.
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oatmeal. Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious recipe. Best part? It’s still healthy!
  3. Oatmeal with Fried Egg and Avocado. This is probably the most labor intensive recipe, but it’s totally worth it. Check out some cooking supplies from your community office and you’ll have this made in no time. Perfect for sunday morning brunch!
  4. Oatmeal with Mango and Coconut. Sweet but not too sweet, and totally instagrammable.
  5. Chocolate Strawberry Hugs Oatmeal. This is what it would feel like if chocolate dipped strawberries could give hugs.
  6. Oatmeal with Cheddar and Scallions. This savory recipe is awesome because it makes a great meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Or at 2 am as you cram for your Psychology final.


Don’t be afraid to come up with your own recipes too! I firmly believe there’s not an ingredient that can’t taste good with oatmeal. Let me know if you find any good ones at or in the comments below. Happy oatmeal eating!

Top Ten Things To Do For Your Roomie

How to be the best roommate ever.

Picture of me and my freshman and sophomore year roommate #twinning
Picture of me and my freshman and sophomore year roommate #twinning

Adjusting to college is hard, and it can be a lot harder if you don’t have a good relationship with your roommate. You two will be spending a lot of time together, so it can be good to surprise them and do them little favors. The smallest things can go a long way in making sure you stay friends throughout the whole year. Use some of these ideas to make your roomie’s day!

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