All posts by smhaas

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.

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Great Expectations

What to expect on move-in day

As I rode in the car to Chapel Hill on move-in day, I was undoubtedly nervous. Actually, I was trying to play super cool on the outside, trying to convince my parents and those around me that I totally knew what I was doing and was ready to move out of my dad’s house and into Teague. I’m not sure of how well I convinced people though…

That day can be pretty overwhelming, but just make sure you know what to expect. Here are a couple of things you can be sure to prepare for:

Move-In-Day Morning

Taking in all the emotions of the day

Photo with family moving in
Move-In Day at UNC-Chapel Hill

It’s the morning of move-in day. You are in your room, grabbing the cell phone charger that you almost left behind, before you get in the car to drive to UNC. Maybe your ride is 20 minutes; maybe your ride is 8 hours. However long it is, make the most of that time.

On my ride to UNC in August 2007, I spent most of the time finishing up my summer reading book (The Death of Innocents) and talking with my mom and dad. We talked about what my first day would look like, what classes I was looking forward to, what I thought my roommate would really be like, and tons of other things. The thing that I remember vividly about that drive was when we turned onto Manning Drive, and I first saw Hinton James. I knew that I had arrived! Continue reading Move-In-Day Morning

Things to look forward to

Replace nervous excitement with just plain excitement

Are you nervous? Maybe excited? Maybe fearful? Maybe so ready to get out of your house and move in that you can’t even sleep at night? Well, it’s all pretty normal.

There is nothing wrong with being nervous or a little apprehensive. Making this transition can be kinda overwhelming if you have never lived away from home. When you are packing, you can help ease your nerves by putting together things to help you stay connected to home without having the feelings of needing to go home every weekend. Bring picture frames of your best friends and family members. Get a webcam and a Skype account, so you are able to see your family and friends when you talk to them.

Continue reading Things to look forward to

Adjust to Roommates

Snoozing seven times…not okay

One of the biggest adjustments that I had to make when I first got to UNC and moved into Teague was my relationship with my alarm clock. In high school, I could not get out of bed the first time that my alarm went off. Needless to say, the clock took a lot of abuse, being hit three, four, five times before I was able to drag myself into the land of the living.

However, Nathalie, my roommate who didn’t like to get up at the same time as me, didn’t appreciate my habit of hitting the snooze button so often. It was a struggle, but I finally learned how to only hit the snooze button once (she didn’t make me give up snoozing all together thank goodness!)

Continue reading Adjust to Roommates

Living under lock and key

Flexpasses and room keys

If you want to be spotted on campus as a first-year, all you have to do is wear your Orientation lanyard around your neck with your key and flexpass on it. I’m not even close to kidding. We will spot you faster than a dog spots a bone. True, you probably won’t have a problem losing your keys if they are always around your neck, but I think you’ll make it without the first-year lanyard look.

That being said, keys are super important here at UNC. You can’t get into a residence hall without your flex pass, and in some buildings, you can’t even go between floors without a flex pass. If you unsure of what a flex pass is, people often refer to it as a FOB – it’s a little, dark blue rectangular pass that is a little bigger than a quarter that beeps whenever it is read by the flex readers on the buildings.

Continue reading Living under lock and key

Meeting New People on Your Hall

Worth that awkward moment

This past year, there was a guy named Max who lived a suite down from my suite, and he seemed to know everyone! There wasn’t a person who would walk by from our hall that he didn’t say hello to or at least know that they lived on our hall. It was amazing. Getting to know people makes your residence hall life so much better.


Students chat and relax in a dorm room
These are the moments you will remember longest.

It is easy to say that you should try to meet people on your hall or in your suite, but it is really worth that little (potentially) awkward moment when you are trying to meet people. Knowing the guys and girls that you live with allows for those moments where you are just sitting in the lounge and laugh for hours on end about nothing. Seems like an insignificant thing, but those nights are some of the best ones you will have on campus.

Continue reading Meeting New People on Your Hall

ResNET to the rescue

ResNET offers resident free, on-site tech support

Got computer issues? ResNET is on the way!

According to its own description, “ResNET (Residential Networking, Education & Technology) is part of User Support & Engagement, a division of ITS. ResNET is an ITS service that’s funded by Housing for all on-campus residents. ResNET works closely with the Department of Housing & Residential Education as well as ITS, to ensure that the needs of all on-campus residents are met. ResNET employs three full-time staff members who are part of the management team and 50 student employees (RCCs) who make up some of the best and brightest students within UNC. Part of the uniqueness of the UNC ResNET program is how they do business – the students live and work solely in the UNC residence halls.”

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Finding a Roommate

Looks can be deceiving


File 1463
My roommate and me (right)

Roommates. Ah, this can be one of the best things in college…or the experience that some of you are dreading. For those of you who have never shared a room or lived with someone who isn’t your family member, don’t worry. This is part of the college experience, for better or for worse. With that said, I bet that you can make just about anything work if you just put some effort into it.

Like I said in a different blog post, I was assigned to Teague my first year with a random roommate. I could have roomed with someone from high school, but I decided that I would give potluck a whirl.

Continue reading Finding a Roommate