All posts by Katie Jansen

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Move-In Madness

Tips and Tricks for Maneuvering Your Move-In

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

Katie Jansen is from Matthews, N.C. She is majoring in English and Journalism, with a Creative Writing minor.

So you’re ready to come to Carolina, to move away from home and to live on campus. Are you having trouble picturing what move-in day will actually be like? Read more to find out!

General Tips

  • Move-in day always occurs on the hottest day of August. I don’t know why; that’s just the way it is. Wear old clothes and be prepared to sweat!
  • Also wear comfortable shoes. Chances are you’re going to be making a lot of trips back and forth.
  • Check the website for directions on where to park. Everyone’s trying to move in at the same time, so you may have to wait in line. Once you get into a parking spot by your residence hall, you will have 40 minutes to unload all your stuff by the curb. Have someone stay with your belongings while you go to check in – then the move-in can begin!

First Things First

  • Go get your keys. This usually occurs either in the lobby of your building, or if you’re in a community with multiple buildings, the lobby of the community seat. There are always lots of colorful signs to tell you where to go, so never fear!
  • Listen to what the RA says. He/she is there to help you, and every RA I’ve had has been really helpful. Ask questions if you’re confused. He/she will be explaining a contract to you that you have to sign before you get your keys. It’s important that you actually read it; you will be charged a hefty fine if you’re ever to lose your keys! (Let’s hope you don’t.)
  • Start meeting people right away. Be friendly! You can start chatting with people as you wait in line for keys, if you like. If you feel nervous, just remember – a lot of these people are probably in the same situation as you are (especially if you’re living on South Campus.)

Continue reading Move-In Madness

10 months, 10 ways to get involved

A month-by-month montage of why residence life is rad

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

Ever wondered what a year living in a residence hall at Carolina is like? There’s something special about each and every one of the ten months you’re living at Carolina, and the fun you’ll have makes a year at Carolina pass by so quickly!


My lyric poster is one of my favorite decorations in my room.

Move-in day is always really exciting. You’re getting your keys, checking out your new digs, meeting (or reuniting with) your roommate, and moving in boxes upon boxes of important stuff while pouring gallons upon gallons of sweat. Then you’re deciding who gets which bed, whether you want to bunk or loft or leave the beds down, and how you want to arrange your room (the possibilities are nearly endless!) Eventually comes the decorating (my favorite part!) Make sure to bring lots of photos, posters, decor—anything to make your room feel like the home it’s going to be. Some cute ideas I’ve seen:

~stringing photos along a clothesline and taping it to the wall (make sure you don’t use tape that will peel the paint off!)
~making a collage of photos all over the wall (layering and crossing the photos as different angles looks best!)
~putting up cool posters, or making your own! (I made one using a collage of my favorite song lyrics.)
~using cool light fixtures (Just make sure they’re Housing approved! My roommate and I have paper lanterns strung along both sides of our room.)

After this flurry of activity, your room is home sweet home. Then there’s going down the hall or around the suite to meet your neighbors, and usually your RA tries to swing by to say hi, too. It’s a really fun day that’s a great way to kick off a year at Carolina! Continue reading 10 months, 10 ways to get involved

A day in the life

A typical day in a residence hall at UNC

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

When I was an incoming first year, I spent a lot of time researching, trying to find answers to my questions. While the Housing website was great and showed pictures and floor plans of the residence halls, I wanted to know what it would feel like to actually live on campus. What would life be like when I wasn’t living at home anymore? I decided to share my experiences in hopes that an incoming first-year could have some of his or her questions answered.


Me hitting the books during the afternoon.

It’s 6:30 a.m. in Joyner on a dreaded Tuesday and I’m groping for my insistent alarm clock in the dark. After freshman year, I promised myself I wouldn’t take any more 8 a.m.s, but it was a promise my schedule wouldn’t let me keep. I roll out of my bed (last year I had it lofted, but soon found out my coordination isn’t always up to par when I’m still groggy) and find my shower caddy. My roommate, Kathleen, is still asleep, so I tiptoe out into the blinding light of the hallway and shut the door quietly behind me.

The bathroom, which I remember worrying about before I came into college, is now the most normal thing in the world to me. I don’t even notice the shower shoes on my feet, and I actually find it feels strange to shower barefoot when I visit home. Sharing a bathroom isn’t a problem; there are two bathrooms on my hall, which adds up to four toilets and eight showers. I shower, brush my teeth, and head back to my room.

Continue reading A day in the life

Deck the halls

How Sub-Free LLC is getting into the holiday spirit

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

photo of Katie and Kathleen at their door
My roommate, Kathleen, and I introducing our snazzy snowman to the halls of Joyner.

The whispers began in the bathroom on a Sunday evening. The events for the upcoming week had been posted, as always, on all the mirrors, and at the end of this week’s list was something new. Something creative. Something exciting. Something that generated whispers among all the girls on our hall.

It was a two-week-long door decorating contest put on by the Substance-Free Living-Learning Community, and anything in the spirit of fall, winter, and the holidays was up for grabs. The plotting began; who isn’t up for a little healthy competitive holiday cheer? My roommate, Kathleen, and I laid awake late into the night, dreaming up a scheme that would win this year’s prize for best decorated door. Continue reading Deck the halls