All posts by kmryan

The Pros & Cons of Living on Campus

Attention Tar Heels! This is the post you’ve been waiting for. So many UNC students, young and old, have the debate every year:

“Should I stay on campus?  Should I move off campus? What are the benefits of living on campus still?”

We’ve got the answers! We want to help you make this super difficult decision by provided a well-rounded view of on-campus living. Check out the details below:

The Pros:

  • You live so close to all of your classes!

I am notoriously late for almost everything, but my close proximity to classes means that I almost never have to be that guy, sneaking into class after it’s started, trying to keep my professor from noticing.

  • Dining hall food means there’s no need to worry about cooking

I’m honestly too scared to move off campus because then I would have to fend for myself! My nutrition would probably fall apart, so I’m going to delay the inevitable as long as possible & enjoy my dining hall food!

  • All of your friends are just a short walk away

I don’t know about y’all, but I couldn’t survive without my best friends at Carolina. My favorite part about living on campus is being super close to them at all times!

The Cons:

  • You’ll have too much fun, not enough time to study!

This is what I look like in Davis Library after avoiding all of my responsibilities, while enjoying the entertaining programs on campus provided by student orgs like RHA and CUAB.

  • Passing the gyms everyday will make you feel like you have to exercise

I know that walking past Rams Recreation Center everyday makes me feel guilty about not going inside.. I feel obligated to exercise! I guess it’s good for health… but at what cost..

  • Running into your friends in the Pit.. never fun!

Gosh.. isn’t it just awful to be bothered by your friends as you’re just trying to make your way to class? Living on campus can be such a hassle.

There you have it, Tar Heels! It was definitely hard to think of a few cons, but I tried my best. You all should definitely keep this in mind as you’re making your housing decisions.

Week of Welcome Highlights

One of the best parts about coming back to Carolina in the fall, whether you’re a first-year or a graduate student, is the Week of Welcome (WoW) programming put on by different organizations across campus! Whether it’s the Tar Heel Beginnings Board, CUAB, or UNC Housing events within your residential community, there’s ALWAYS something to do for the first week or so. Let’s check out some of my favorite events from this year’s Week of Welcome!

Fall Fest

Fall Fest is a great way to kick off each year’s Week of Welcome! It features information from most of the 800+ student organizations we have at UNC, so it’s a great way to find your home on campus. Additionally, the free food is a huge perk, and the free t-shirts leave you with a lasting memory of your first weekend of college! I look forward to Fall Fest every year to find new organizations to get involved with on campus.

Mini Golf in the UL

This event has also become a classic for UNC’s WoW, because students seem to enjoy it so much every year! It’s a great way to meet some fellow first-years, and play a round of mini golf in a space that typically isn’t the most fun–the library.

Sunset Serenade

Although it had to be held inside this year, it was still one of my favorite events from the past week! A cappella is a huge part of the arts scene at UNC, so it’s exciting to see all of the groups perform in one place. At Sunset Serenade, you can see which group is your favorite so that you’re ready for more performances later in the year, or maybe even tryout to join them!

Campus Y Open House & Ice Cream Social

The Campus Y is one of my favorite organizations on campus, so this was naturally something on my list of WoW events to attend! The Y is home to over 30+ committees, each of them focusing on a different social justice issue. If you weren’t able to attend this event, and love giving back to the community, definitely check out what the Campus Y has to offer!

Clearly, these were just a few of the MANY events happening on campus this past week, and it’s impossible to attend all of them! Whether you’re a first-year, or you’ve been around UNC your whole life, we hope you had a chance to enjoy Week of Welcome and explore what Carolina has to offer. As always, thanks for reading Tar Heels!!

First Year Tips: The Learning Center!

As we make our way back onto campus this fall, it’s important to remember some of the awesome resources available to us when classes start again! My first blog post in this series was about Academic Advising, and can be located here.

I also thought it was important to highlight the Learning Center here at UNC! According to their website,

“Students enter the Learning Center when they want to improve their academic skills and/or grades, get better at managing time, have questions about learning disabilities or ADHD, want to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and more.”

The rest of this post will highlight some of the services provided by the Learning Center, and I’ll probably mention my experience with these services as well!

Test Prep Resources

Looking to go to medical, dental, law, pharmacy, or one of the many other professional schools that are so popular for UNC students? Guess what that means? More standardized testing!

Thankfully, the Learning Center has a ton of resources to make sure you’re prepared. They offer free practice tests online and strategy sessions for each of the major exams. Additionally, they offer test prep classes through a partnership with the Princeton Review, so you can get some face-to-face help as well!

Peer Tutoring

Let’s be honest–the classes at UNC can get pretty hard sometimes. Whenever I’m struggling in a class (probably math), I like to go get help from the Peer Tutoring Center! They offer services in “150+ of the most popular classes at UNC,” so chances are they’ll be able to help you.

I sometimes prefer to go see a Peer Tutor rather than go to my professor’s office hours, simply because they’re super approachable and were just in your shoes a couple years ago. They truly understand what it’s like to be a UNC student, so they can advise you on the best ways to study, among other things.

Study Groups

If a one-on-one tutoring session is not your style, you could probably benefit from one of the Learning Center’s study groups! They offer these in many popular, larger undergrad classes, like General Chemistry & Biology, as well as Calculus.

I used to attend their Bio Cell study group for BIOL 101, and it was really nice to see some of my fellow classmates there & talk through the content with them.

Academic Coaching Sessions

You know those days where you just feel like you can’t retain any information, no matter how hard you try? Same.

This past semester, during finals season, I went to a study tools workshop through the Learning Center, where they taught me to analyze my study habits and work to maximize my time. They also offer one-on-one sessions like this with an academic coach, where you can talk about goal-setting, time management, sleep schedules, and really anything you’d like to. Check it out!

The Learning Center obviously provides a ton of FREE, awesome resources to students, so you should definitely check it out. They’re located in SASB North, right next to the Housing office (come say hi!). Additionally, they have drop-in tutoring in Dey Hall and certain appointments out of Greenlaw.

Let us know what other cool resources on campus you’d like to hear about, and we’ll get back to you. Good luck, Tar Heels!

First Year Tips: Academic Advising!

We’re so excited to welcome the Class of 2022 onto our campus in just a couple of weeks! Your first year can definitely be an overwhelming one, with so many opportunities being thrown your way. (Just wait until you get to Fall Fest!)

With that being said, we want to provide our future classmates with as much help as we can before they arrive on campus! This blog post will begin a series of posts that highlight some awesome resources in and around campus. If there’s something you want to hear more about, leave us a comment or DM us on one of our social media accounts!

What is Academic Advising?

Academic Advising provides assistance and guidance to students from orientation to graduation as they make their way through the College of Arts & Sciences. Their mission is “to create a supportive environment in which we partner with undergraduates as they explore goals, develop educational plans, and thrive at Carolina.”

This information, along with more explicit details, can be found on their super helpful website! The following sections will point out a number of ways that advising has helped me–and how they can help you too!

Course Registration

At this point, the vast majority of our future Tar Heels have already made it through Orientation, so you’ve got a decent understanding of how registration works. If this process still baffles you, your advisor can show you exactly how it works!

In the future, advising can help you decide what classes you should register for, to ensure that you graduate on time, but also that you’re not overwhelming yourself with too rigorous of a schedule!

Deciding on a Major/Minor

Some of you may be undecided on  your major, and that is totally okay! Your first year is a great way to explore different majors and minors, while fulfilling some courses for your gen-ed requirements.

I was completely undecided on a major until recently, so my advisor provided me with a career interest survey, where I answered a TON of questions, then got some feedback about what careers & majors might suit me best!

Finding Cool Opportunities

Once you get to know your advisor, they always have your best interest in mind! I have met with my advisor several times throughout the year; he knows what my career goals are, so he’ll often point out different internships or other opportunities in the area that I could take advantage of. Advising is your friend!

…And Many, Many More!

You’re required to meet with an academic advisor in the fall of your first semester, but don’t think of it as an obligation. Get to know your advisor, schedule many appointments, and take advantage of this awesome resource! Their job is to make sure that you are totally satisfied with your time at UNC, so check out their office. Advising can be found in the Steele Building or the Hardin Hub on South Campus. Good luck, Tar Heels!

Residence Halls as Characters from “The Office”

Like many of our recent blog posts, this is a topic that is frequently requested by our fellow students, so we wanted to follow through! If there’s anything college students love, it’s Netflix binging, and The Office is one of the best shows out there! Side note: if you’re looking for a different show to binge, check out this article.

We’re about to lay down some solid comparisons in terms of which characters from this beloved show have some similarities with our favorite dorms on campus. If you can think of one that we missed, or have some other ideas, let us know in the comments!

Jim Halpert – Hinton James

Tall. Popular. Goofy at times, but knows when to get serious. Someone you can always rely on.

Am I talking about HoJo or our show’s protagonist, Jim Halpert? Who knows! These are obviously the stars of their respective settings, with each of them playing a huge role in your experience, even if its not your favorite. You may not have lived in HoJo, but you knew all about it and heard the stories anyway! Same way with Jim–this one is simple.

Pam Beasley – Horton

Pam and Horton Residence Hall are similar in many ways. They definitely aren’t the loudest, and can remain calm in very hectic situations. Horton is also located conveniently pretty close to Hinton James, just as Pam is to Jim!

It also doesn’t hurt that Horton is home to our First-Year honors students, while Pam is known as one of the smartest is the office. The similarities are endless!

Dwight Schrute – Carmichael

Another big man on campus, Carmichael is home to many of UNC’s athletes, our big and buff Tar Heels. If Dwight were a UNC student, his physical vigor–or at least his own description on his application–would definitely land him a spot conveniently close to all the gyms.

Physical vigor is only one of many talents

Dwight is also one of the most resourceful characters on The Office, always making the best use out of his space. Carmichael is full of awesome resources, including the BeAM space!

Michael Scott – Connor Community

Being the boss, Michael has to be close to the action–much like Connor is to Lenoir, Davis, and the Union, among other popular spots on campus.

Michael is also given a whole community, rather than just one building, because he’s such a social butterfly, always surrounding himself with other people. It’s only fitting that he would be close to his friends–Alexander, Winston, and Joyner!

Kelly Kapoor – Morrison

She likes to be in the middle of things, and Morrison is no stranger to chaos, being one of the largest communities on campus! Kelly LIVES for drama and gossip, and there’s got to be a ton of that going on when you have 900+ students in one building. Super-suites and close proximity to Starbucks? Kelly would DEF find herself here pretty often!

Phyllis Vance – Ram Village

Phyllis is definitely a little picky about her personal space; she and Stanley constantly bicker about whose things are on whose desks. Considering this, she would definitely want her own space, and maybe even a kitchen to do some cooking!

Phyllis, showing her friends through Ram Village

I think Phyllis would also appreciate the relatively quiet culture of Rams, where there aren’t First-Years running through the halls at all hours.

Ryan Howard – Craige North

Definitely one of the coolest places that First-Years can live, considering its 4-person suites and proximity to Chase Hall–and Ryan is all about his image! Naturally, Ryan would be located as close to Kelly (Morrison) as possible, so Craige North is a good fit.

Additionally, he would obviously have to be very close to the b-school; this one is a no-brainer.

B-school leadership tactics galore
…and last, but not least…

Stanley Hudson – Old East

Widely respected. Been around the block a few times. Definitely don’t want to mess with this one.

Just as Old East is the oldest building on campus, Stanley is one of the oldest employees at Dunder-Mifflin, in both company-experience and age. They both have a quiet, reserved nature, but still enjoy a good party every now and then.

While there are plenty of Office characters, and plenty more residence halls on UNC’s campus, I’m sure you’ve already had enough of this article. If you have any additional comparisons, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and as always, GO TAR HEELS!!!! 

You Mean There Are How Many Libraries???

That’s right folks!

As you may have heard, UNC’s campus is home to 12 beautiful libraries, where students love to study with friends (but also procrastinate and enjoy an Alpine bagel). While they can’t all be as as big and beautiful as our friend Davis, each and every one of them is special in its own way!

My article today is going to be a completely biased ranking of the 12 libraries on campus, according to my experience. However, feel free to leave me a message in the comments, letting me know which is your fav!

12. (Sloane) Art Library 

This bad boy is only open during business hours, which means no late-night study sessions. I also don’t have much interest in studying art, but this definitely may be a good fit if you’re an Arts major, as it is conveniently located in Hanes Art Center.

11. Law Library 

I’ve included this one so far down on the list because I’ve only ever seen the Law School while riding past it on the RU, so I don’t know what this building is actually like. If it’s surprisingly a beautiful library, feel free to let me know!

10. Government (Knapp) Library 

Image result for knapp sanders building unc

This library is similar to #11 in that I’ve never actually seen the inside of it, but I’ve ranked it higher on the list because it’s called Knapp, which sounds like nap? Maybe it’s a secretly great napping space on campus!

9.  Media and Journalism Library

I’ve ranked the MeJo library pretty low simply because I’m not a big fan of Carroll Hall. I’ve only had classes in that one lecture hall with those really tiny desks, which was not fun. You guys know what I mean?

8. Music Library

I’m as big a fan of music as the next guy, and I do appreciate the resources available in this space. However, it’s located inside of Wilson, but is really more of a side-show to the real Wilson Library, which is ranked much higher on this list.

7. Information & Library Science Library 

This one is cool because it’s an actual library for librarians, which I think is neat. It’s also home to UNC’s largest selection of children’s literature, leading many to call it our campus’s Children’s Library!

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6. Stone Center Library

While this space is nothing fancy, it ranks pretty high on the list for its convenient location! Located below South Road and next to the Genome Sciences Building, this one is a hidden gem in a very well-travelled part of our campus. Check it out!

5. (Kenan) Science Library 

Kenan is definitely one of our smallest libraries on campus, but has a lot of awesome resources, as well as close proximity to our BeAMaker Space! They also have very cool study rooms, which can be reserved online.

4. Health Sciences Library

An honorable mention, this library has the BEST location for any of our Public Health, Nursing, or other graduate health students located near the hospitals. It’s also home to the Friends’ Café, its very own coffee shop!

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3. House Undergraduate Library (UL) 

I might ruffle some feathers by placing this as #3, but I think a few too many all-nighters here may have ruined it for me. However, the 24-hour all-access study space is definitely convenient, if nothing else. Easily a Top 3 UNC library.

2. Wilson (Special Collections Library)

Arguably the architectural grandfather of our beautiful campus, this building would easily rank #1 if not for its limited hours and strict noise policy. Can we start a a campus-wide movement to keep Wilson open past 5pm?

1. Davis Library <3

The big man on campus. Davis has a little bit of everything, perfect for each student’s study preferences. You want quiet, cozy study rooms? Check out the view from the 8th floor! Want to chat with your friends & eat dinner while studying? Grab a booth in the 1st floor study lounge. Davis is objectively the BEST library on campus, and is only getting better with renovations!

Image result for davis library unc

Thanks for bearing with me through this VERY long post about UNC’s many libraries! Let me know in the comments how you feel, and we can start a healthy discussion about which truly is BEST! Happy studying, Tar Heels!!

4 Reasons Why I Miss Taking Classes

Believe it or not, the summer can get pretty boring when you don’t have your classes to worry about. Although I’m still living in Chapel Hill for the summer, it’s not the same when you don’t see 30,000 of your fellow Tar Heels running around campus everyday. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait for August to come back around when classes will start for the Fall 2018 semester.

I know many of you reading this are rising First-Years, so you haven’t yet had the chance to gain the Carolina experience. With that being said, you may think I’m crazy for missing school of all things, but you will soon see! Let me lay down 4 reasons why the academic school year (roughly August-April) is the best part of UNC’s year.

1. Seeing all of my friends 

Remember in high school, when you got to see your friends in class everyday–that was pretty cool, right? Now, imagine you can still take classes with your friends, but you also live right down the street from them, or maybe even in the same building! College is a great place to make friends, or hang out with the ones that you already have.

It’s so nice to be able to grab lunch with someone once a week, rather than just keep up with their summer adventures on social media and chat every now and then. If any of my friends are reading this, I MISS YOU!!

2. I genuinely enjoy my classes!

College is great because I get to explore whatever academic interests I like! For that reason, my classes usually end up being pretty fun. I have great professors, and a TON of awesome resources on campus in case I ever have any trouble with my homework.

I’m really excited for a class I’m taking this fall, POLI 236 – Politics of East-Central Europe. This is a new topic to me, so I’m really excited to learn more about the world with this course for one of my majors!

3. Athletics (go TAR HEELS!!!)

While there are some intramural sports during the summer, they just don’t have the same effect on me as our varsity D1 games. Whether it’s a Saturday football game against Florida State or a trip to the Dean Dome to see the MBB team beat Wake Forest, athletics are one of my favorite parts about the school year!

It’s great to take a break from the library and head down to support our favorite Tar Heel teams.

4. Campus events

Starting during the Week of Welcome in August and continuing through finals in early May, there’s always something fun going on around campus. From our annual Fall Fest to the Jubilee concert each spring, us Tar Heels are always having a great time somewhere on campus. Check out this link to see some more of what I’m looking forward to!

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to see you all campus this fall as we embark on another year of classes 🙂

New Student Frequently-Asked Questions

So you’re new on campus…

…And you’ve got a lot of questions! We totally understand. Whether you’re a part of the class of #UNC2022, or you’re a transfer student, we’re here to guide you through this process, which can be more daunting for some than for others.

We’ve had a chance to chat with some of you at New Student Orientation recently, and we can’t wait to meet with the rest of you throughout this summer! Orientation is a great way to see what Carolina is all about, and we can guarantee you’ll be excited once you leave. Mom will have to drag you back to the car because you won’t want to be away from Chapel Hill for two more months!

With that being said, here are some questions that we’ve got from future Tar Heels recently:

“What’s the best dorm on campus? What’s your favorite?”

This is a tricky question because the answer is different for many Carolina students. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who won’t rave about their First-Year dorm, whether they loved the amenities or just have a sentimental bond. For me, I loved living in Horton this past year, because it was a smaller building and had a great community feel!

“I didn’t get my top choice for residence hall. Is there anything I can do about this?” 

This is a common question, and a great one! Unfortunately, some of our buildings are more popular than others, so not everyone can get their first choice of hall. Luckily for us, in July, the housing reassignment portal will open, and you’ll be free to move into any open rooms on campus, or swap with a friend in the building you want. By the time move-in comes around, we’ll all be doing a happy dance.

“Will there be other First-Years living near me? I don’t want to live will all juniors and seniors.” 

Carolina Housing does a great job of putting groups of First-Years together on campus, so that someone nearby always knows what you’re going through. Most of the residence halls on South Campus are reserved for the Class of 2022, so you’ll definitely feel at home there. On North Campus, we have reserved a whole quad of buildings for First-Years, so they can be a little closer to classes if they choose. Either way, you’ll find a family nearby!

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to drop it in the comments, or reach out to us on any of our social media platforms. We’d love to hear from you! We can’t wait to meet the rest of you at orientation!


Top 10 Things You SHOULDN’T Bring to College

A First-Year Guide

So you’ve been accepted to Carolina, paid your enrollment deposit, and are desperately counting down the days until orientation. WOOHOO! Coming to college is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, but it can be an extremely stressful process.

One of the most stressful things about moving into your residence hall is PACKING. What do I bring? What CAN I bring? What will I even have room for? This can be quite the challenge, especially if you’re the oldest sibling and first to go to college!

Well, fear not! You are not in this alone–because Carolina Housing is here to help! This list will go through a few different things that UNC students may think they need, but they won’t.

1. Tons of school supplies 

Believe it or not, you will probably need less school supplies as you get into these harder, college classes. Most students take notes on a laptop, so you probably won’t need more than a notebook or two, some pens, and maybe a stapler. Pack light!

2. Your car 

Leave this bad boy in the garage! First-Years are not allowed to have cars on campus, but you don’t really need one anyway! The bus system will take you anywhere in the area, and airport shuttles go back and forth to the airport around breaks. Chapel Hill is extremely walkable as well!

3. Big appliances 

You won’t be cooking nearly as much as you think, so a microwave and small fridge should be plenty! If you are an amateur chef, residence hall kitchens come stocked with a stove, oven, fridge, and you can check out all sorts of pots and pans at the front desk.

4. Fancy clothing or jewelry 

You probably won’t feel like dressing too nice for your 9am lecture, anyway. I would recommend bringing a few business professional outfits, and maybe some formal attire, but the Carolina Student attire is pretty casual around campus!

5. Animals 

As much as we know you’d like to bring them, please leave your sweet golden retriever puppy at home. You are allowed a pet fish in your room, but that’s the limit. I think I would probably get sick of waking up to barking dogs, anyway.

6. Printer 

This is something you  will definitely not need! Every residence hall community has a printer that you can use with your allotted printing money, so you never have to worry about having a place to print out that paper you finish at 3am.

7. Glass dishes

Similar to the appliances, you won’t do too much cooking in your room. Don’t risk breaking nice glassware or silverware in your residence hall kitchen; just stick to cheap, plastic plates and you’ll be set!

8. Your entire closet 

Believe it or not, you won’t be wearing those wool sweaters the week you arrive at Carolina in August. Especially if you plan on going home often, pack your clothes based on the season to save space in your closet! You won’t need winter boots in August or your tank top collection come January.

9. Desk chair 

This is something advertised to many college students when dorm shopping, but you don’t need one at Carolina! Each room has a chair provided for your desk, so you don’t need to bring your own unless you really, really want to.

10. Anything your roommate’s bringing! 

This last one is key! Make sure you’re checking in with your roommate to ensure that you’re not bringing two of the same thing. You don’t want to show up on Day 1 with two different rugs to put down on the floor! Communication is key.

Stick to this guide, and you’ll be sure to avoid having any useless stuff lying around in your room. We can’t wait to see you at move-in this August, and happy packing!

Navigating the Bus System: A First-Year Guide

You’ve decided to join the UNC Class of 2022; you’ve filled out the Housing application; what else is there to do? Here in our college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, all students (and any community members) have access to the Chapel Hill Transit service at no additional cost! Our transit system has 30+ different bus routes, each allowing students to access different parts of the town without having to worry about driving. This guide will show you ropes and get you prepared to take full advantage of the resource when August rolls around!


Image result for chapel hill transit

Getting Around Campus: The U and RU Routes

Don’t feel like walking to class today? I don’t blame you–I am the same way! Thankfully, we have two on-campus routes that essentially drive in circles around our campus all day. The U shuttle goes in a clockwise direction around campus, and the RU, or Reverse U, goes in a counter-clockwise direction, in case you’re going the other way.

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Looking to do some shopping? Try the J, CW, or G Routes

Whether you want a new outfit or need to stock up on snacks, you don’t want to have to walk home with your bags! Both the J and CW routes depart from the bus stop near Abernathy Hall on campus, and will take you to Carrboro, where there are both boutiques and grocery stores. If you are looking for a wider range of options, the G route departs from South Road, and will take you to University Mall, home to shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.

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Want To Get Out of Town? Use GoTriangle Transit! 

The transit service for the greater Triangle area, GoTriangle, offers buses routes from Chapel Hill to many desired locations in the area (at a small cost). These buses can take you to nearby Raleigh or Durham, larger cities filled with job opportunities and fun destinations. GoTriangle also has routes to the airport if you’re planning a trip home!


The local bus systems are a great resource that all UNC students should take advantage of because we have such a great surrounding community. It also doesn’t hurt that the bus drivers are super friendly! If you’re ever unsure of where to go, feel free to ask a driver, and they can point you in the right direction. The Chapel Hill Transit bus routes and schedules can be found here, so let’s get moving Tar Heels!