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Random Roomie Fears

If you’re active on the UNC 2022 social media pages, you’ve probably seen tons of your classmates meeting their new roomies and forming bonds and friendships. But you went random and you still haven’t talked to the person you’ll be sharing a room with for the next nine months – eek! Fear not, I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay, and share an awesome story of two girls who were in your exact shoes this time two years ago.

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My Opinion

Okay so here’s my (maybe unpopular) opinion: picking a roomie beforehand doesn’t really affect anything. Yeah, it may ease your mind in the moments leading up to move-in, but once you get to college you’re all on a level playing field.

When you pick a roommate, whether you do it through Facebook, the housing portal, someone you personally knew, etc., you were still in high school. No matter how much you fight it – college changes you. I’m not saying you’ll have a major personality crisis but you’ll definitely grow up a lot.

The best way I know how to put it is this: if my college self met my high school self, we wouldn’t be friends. I have different routines, hobbies and interests – it just wouldn’t work.

So choosing a roommate before you know how you’ll behave in college is nearly impossible. And for a lot of people, they don’t end up besties. But in most cases, they don’t hate each other either. All the stories you’ve heard about bad roommate cases are rare, extreme situations.

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Going Random

I personally didn’t go random, and if I did it all over again I don’t know if you could have convinced my high-school self to do it. Living with someone sounds like a big commitment and hating where you live sounds like a terrible experience, but like I said, that probably won’t happen.

If you really think about it, you share a lot of qualities with all of your classmates. You’re all coming to college for the same reason – to find your destiny, academically, athletically, or however it may be. You’re all hoping to push yourself to become the very best versions of yourselves in the next four years before you step out into the world all alone. You’re all nervous (whether or not you will admit it) to start this journey – it’s a big step and it’s totally normal to be nervous!

Who really cares whether you rush a sorority/fraternity, join a certain genre of club, practice a religion, are undecided or have picked your double major and minor, the list goes on… College is all about diversity, and I’ve found the most interesting conversations in the people the least like me, those are the kinds of people you can really learn something from.

Yes, sleeping schedules are important, maybe you can’t sleep with the light on and your roommate wants to study six hours later into the night than you do. But we’re all human. Start things off the right way, communication is key. Have an open conversation with your roommate and I’m sure they’d be happy to accommodate you as long as you’re willing to accommodate them. That means maybe they study in the study lounge at nights and you quietly get ready for class in the bathroom while they’re still snoozing in the mornings.

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Meet Kate and Sarah

These two gals are two of my best friends. They’re two of the only people I know that went random, and also two of the only people I know that had minimal roommate drama. They both had their own friend groups and didn’t have to do everything together, but also genuinely got along together so well!

While Sarah studied for her hard-core math classes, Kate fell in love with ancient paintings in art history. They didn’t take the same classes or even go to bed at the same time for that matter, but as roommates they worked.

“I went random because I didn’t know anyone at UNC, and it turned out to be my greatest first-year experience” Kate said. “We’re so different that we might never have met if we hadn’t been paired and I’m SO glad we did.”

It’s the differences that brought them together, leading them to tons of late night life convos (that I 100% crashed probably too often). They didn’t spend every waking minute together but they made tons of memories in suite 208.

It’s cool to note that out of our HoJo suite, they are the only room that went random and the only pair that stayed together the following year!

 

Go random, don’t – it’s honestly all the same. Your roommate situation is what you make of it. Go in with an open mind and communicate often, you’ll be okay and I promise your freshman roommate does not define your college experience unless you let it!

South Campus Commute

UNC First-years and South Campus make up an iconic duo matched by few. While living on South Campus may have it’s pros and cons, there’s one thing that’s for sure – if you’re going to live on South Campus, you better put on your walking shoes. As a Hojo vet, I’m here to give you all the inside deets on your future commute to class.

The Facts

Okay, so your room isn’t exactly located right next to your classes, but chances are your house wasn’t any closer to high school. Depending on where you’re going and how fast you walk, it will probably take somewhere between 12 – 20 minutes to get to class (you’ll learn your own art of slimming it down as much as possible so you can get those extra seconds of sleep before your 8am). You can get to any Franklin Street essential in under half an hour by foot – and that’s a pretty generous number, it shouldn’t take you that long.

Franklin Street is the most northern part of our campus, everywhere you need to go should be somewhere between the Dean Dome and Franklin Street. That’s less than a two-mile span. So while it may seem like we have a dauntingly huge campus, you’ll get used to it super quickly and it will seem like nothing in no time!

The Tactics

Personally, I loved getting my steps in and making the hike to class every morning – but it’s not for every one or every day. Just like you weren’t forced to walk to school in high school, you certainly aren’t forced to walk to class in college!

The Bus 

The Chapel Hill Transit is a resource that is FREE to all Chapel Hill residents and it will be your best friend, especially on a rainy day. There are a lot of buses and it seems scary at first but we’ve all been there, clutching our suitemates on our first bus ride, unsure if we would be getting off on Mid-Campus or Mid-Raleigh. Fear not, because most of the buses you don’t pay for don’t leave the Chapel Hill-Carborro area, so worst comes to worst you’ll be back at your original stop within an hour.

The only buses you need to know about immediately are the U and the RU and they both make a big circle around our campus in opposite directions. The P2P is like the night owl version of these, operating from 7pm to 4am to satisfy whatever late-night adventure you’ll be going on. Download Transit (includes the P2P) or NextBus (a little more user-friendly in my opinion) and you’ll be set! You can even follow your location on the app while on the bus so you know exactly when to get off. When it’s time to get off the U or RU, pull down the yellow cord to ‘request a stop’.

Fore even more about buses, read this!

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Bike

Whether you bring your own bike to campus or not, you can bike to class! Yep, you read that right. Thanks to the handy dandy Tar Heel Bikes, you can find a bike rack near you, bike to your class, and then drop it off at a rack near your destination.

Warning: UNC is notorious for its uneven bricks. Which, as you can imagine, doesn’t mix particularly well with two-wheeled vehicles. But that really doesn’t stop the large portion of the population that loves to bike around campus. In my opinion, this method requires a lot of skill and talent that I just don’t have – but hey, it’s an option!

Trying to decide whether you need to bring your own bike to campus? Read this!

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Make a Friend

If you make the same commute every day at the same time, chances are you’ll start recognizing the faces of the people around you. Make friends with them – it makes the walk go by way faster!

If you’re in a primarily freshman class, ask a classmate if it’s their first class of the day. If it is and if they’re also coming from South Campus, this can be a super helpful way to get a study session in without noticing it. Okay, I realize how nerdy that may sound, but seriously, sometimes you don’t have time to meet-up outside of class to discuss things you’re confused about and it can be incredibly helpful to have someone catch you up on classes you may have missed.

Another reason to make a friend for the commute? You’ll have someone to check on you during those inevitable ‘one or two’ mornings you oversleep. Maybe that “you coming?” text won’t pull you out of your deep slumber, but it’s better than nothing.

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Stay On-Campus

Don’t go home multiple times during the day if you don’t need to. Stay on-campus during breaks between classes, or the time between classes and evening extra curriculars. There are a billion locations calling your name to be your home for the next hours, let them! The union, one of the many libraries, the quad on a sunny day – you name it!

Not only does this save time and energy, it also allows you to crush procrastination. You’ll be more focused to get work done when you don’t have your cozy bed enticing you to climb in and watch Netflix. Or maybe you give up and take a nap in the UL, it happens to the best of us.

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The Pros 

  1. The Dean Dome – South Campus is home to my personal favorite on-campus location, the glorious Dean Smith Center. That means you can get there 20 minutes earlier than your upperclassmen friends to snag that front row spot on the risers!
  2. STEPS! – With the hike to class, you’ll hit 10,000 steps in no time. Who needs a gym when you’ve got your commute to burn your cals!
  3. Next year, you can’t get further from classes – Excluding the B-school, there’s literally no dorm further from your classes than those on South Campus. So if you stay on-campus, the commute will never get any longer. Even if you’re in Morrison which is just up the hill, you’ll save a solid five minutes not having to wait for that pesky intersection.
  4. Meeting people – as described above, this is a great way to meet up with people outside of classes. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your future bridesmaid on your walk to class!
  5. Free daily tour of the campus – UNC is a beautiful campus, so consider yourself #blessed to get to see the scenes on your walk to class!

 

South Campus is a super fun community filled with eager freshman, which totally makes the commute worth it! I have so many incredibly memories associated with South Campus and I know all of you will love it just as much as I did!

Week of Welcome: The Rundown

We know you’re super excited to be on campus. For #UNC22, welcome! For all our upperclassmen, welcome back! The first week of the semester is easily one of the best times of the year. Most classes involve just going over the syllabus, you’re reuniting with friends you haven’t seen since May, and most of all, all the Week of Welcome activities are happening! The Week of Welcome (aka WOW)  is an event put on by the New Students and Family Program. This week is meant for students to adjust to life at Carolina, as well as experiencing everything Carolina has to offer. Here are a few of my favorite WOW activities:

Arguably the best benefit from the week- all the free food. If there’s one thing I learned my freshman year, it’s that meal swipes are VERY valuable at the end of the semester so saving any swipes you can is the way to go. Throughout WOW, you can find food in almost every corner of campus. My first year, my roommate and I challenged ourselves to find a free dinner every night! UNC is blooming with diversity, and with that comes different religious groups. I’m not saying you need to convert or anything, but each religious group on campus traditionally hosts a dinner to welcome new students. You don’t need to have the same beliefs, just an open mind and a desire to meet new people! Another way to go is to follow the #phreephood accounts. The twitter and Facebook page updates regularly with where you can find your latest snack. My one suggestion is to get there early, trust me you’re not the only Tar Heel that will be thinking the same thing. Last year I went to Chipotle with the Chancellor. By the time I got to the front of the line they didn’t even have plates left :/

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But Carolina is all about balance, so to offset all that free food, make sure to join one of the Campus Rec sponsored activities. They’ll have sessions in everything from pilates to zumba, so grab a friend and go to the SRC! You don’t think the freshman 15 is real until you’re sick at Campus Health and they weigh you and you’ve somehow gained 25 pounds. Not saying I’m speaking from experience or anything.. Yikes. Anyway, make sure you pick up healthy habits from the start. Make your roommate your workout buddy so you can keep each other in check. The buddy system didn’t fail you in kindergarten, and it won’t fail you now.

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Who says academics have to be boring? The UNC Libraries sponsor fun events such as button making and mini golf. What better way to make fun memories inside the UL than with putt putt? At least when it’s midterm szn and you’re pulling an all-nighter, you’ll be able to look across the room and remember the simpler times when all you had to worry about was getting a hole in one. As far as the buttons go, every UNC student has a north face, so make sure you add buttons to your backpack to stop it from getting lost in the crowd! Also new this year are all the makerspace activities! If you haven’t already stopped by, check out the BEAMakerspaces. You can do anything from 3-D print to cutting out your own stickers, so it’s definitely worth making time for. Aside from that, many academic departments host informational events (again with free food) to help those who still aren’t clear on what they want to study at Carolina. You’d be surprised at all the cool majors this school offers.

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Those are just a few highlights of the week, but if you want to see a schedule for all the events, check out the guidebook from NSFP!

So You Want to Go to a Basketball Game…

Being a student at UNC has a lot of perks – endless career-advancing opportunities, a community of outstanding faculty, and of course, complimentary tickets to athletic events. Yep, the rumors are true, you can get into any home regular-season game of any Carolina sporting event with just your OneCard… except basketball. While basketball tickets are still free for students, they are a little harder to finesse than other sports, given that these tickets are highly coveted by many Tar Heel fans across the globe. But I’m here to break it down for you so you never miss a game in the Dean Dome again!

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The Lottery  

Pre-season games are typically fair game for students, no lottery or ticket required! Just show up with your OneCard and you’ll be good to go. Conference games are a little trickier. Early in the year, students will receive an email with a list (example pictured right) identifying lottery and non-lottery games, along with dates the lottery opens and closes. The lottery is entered through an online website, and then students are randomly selected to receive tickets. Odds of ‘winning’ the lottery and receiving tickets vary by game and number of students requesting tickets.

On the designated date, students will receive an email either containing their tickets or notifying them that they have not been selected. Winners receive two tickets to every game except the Dook game, so you can take a friend! Tickets are allocated in ‘phases’ which decide what time you can enter the arena. Phase One means you can get in the earliest (typically 90 minutes before tip), giving you the best seat selection.

Risers are first come first-serve, but from my experience you should have Phase One tickets and arrive one to two hours before your entry time to line up for to ensure you get a good spot in the risers (this is highly dependent on the game and time of the game, however).

The Turn-It-Back Line

If you don’t get tickets from the lottery, don’t let that discourage you from attending. The Carolina Athletic Association distributes all excess tickets in-person through the Turn-It-Back Line. This occurs a few days before the game, but specific details frequently change, so for more information, refer to your lottery rejection email!

The Stand-By Line

If all else fails, turn to the Stand-By Line. At tip-off, any unused student ticket will be redistributed to students in the stand-by line. While you won’t get a front row seat, you still get the game-day atmosphere within the Dean Dome, and it’s still tons of fun! I’ve found this line to be highly successful (especially for the Dook game where the redistribute all tickets, not just student tickets), so it’s definitely worth a shot.

Carolina Fever

Fever is a student organization for the highly dedicated fans. Essentially you get points for attending athletic events such as football, soccer, lacrosse, etc. and during basketball season the top 150 students with the most points are guaranteed two phase one tickets to every game, as well as one phase one ticket to the Dook game. In order to get full points, you must swipe-in and out of games with your OneCard (no, you can’t get away with swiping in and leaving five minutes later).

While this is a pretty high commitment, in my opinion it is completely worth it! It boosts comradery for the other sports and gives you incredible perks (no more stressing about the lottery!). You’ll meet some amazing people just as passionate as Carolina athletics as you are and you’ll have the opportunity to be on the risers in the Dean Dome for a Dook game (which is an incredibly big deal and honestly was one of the highlights of my college career thus far).

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Pro-Tips

So now you know how basketball tickets work, here’s my insight on how to use the system to your advantage:

  1. Follow @unccaa, @UNCStudentTix, and @CarolinaFever on Twitter. These accounts are all super helpful in reminding you to enter the lottery, keeping you updated on all things Carolina, and giving you all the resources to get you in the game.
  2. Write the lottery dates in your calendar, make a poster, or set up alerts on your phone. Forgetting to enter the lottery is the absolute worst, so be proactive and make sure it doesn’t happen!
  3. Work out a ‘you take me when you win and I’ll take you when I win’ deal with a friend giving you a better shot at getting tickets. (note that this one can become sticky and cause drama with other friends so be careful how you go about it!)
  4. Don’t buy or sell student tickets. It’s a violation of the Honor Code and could jeopardize your ability to receive tickets in the future!
  5. Don’t not go to games if you receive tickets. There is a way to turn back your tickets if something comes up leaving you unable to attend, use it. Otherwise you get penalized in future lotteries, slimming your chances of winning.
  6. Arrive at the Dean Dome with friends you want to sit with. You need to have the same phase, otherwise you won’t be able to sit together (unless the person with the better phase is willing to sacrifice and go in later). There is a strict no seat-saving policy and seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  7. Don’t give up when you don’t get tickets – exhaust all options. If you are persistent enough, I promise you can get into (almost) any game you want, including the Dook game!

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Basketball games are one of my favorite parts of being a student. This opportunity of not having to pay for tickets is something you have to take advantage of while you have it! Only 103 days until the first home game… Go 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!

Places to go when your parents come to visit

So your parents are coming to visit this weekend and you have no idea what you’re going to do with them. Don’t worry, while I’m technically a 21-year-old college student, at heart, I’m more like a 45-year-old father of three, so I’ll know exactly what your parents will enjoy when they come to visit.UNC offers a variety of parent-friendly activities that will fill your weekend itinerary and distract from the looming conversation about your GPA. Check out some of these great options, and get to planning!

Wilson Library

Wilson Library is one of my favorite places on campus, not only because it’s a beautiful, iconic building, but also because I’m a huge history nerd and they have great exhibits there. Some of my favorites were the “Sounds of ’68” exhibit, the exhibit on the Daily Tar Heel and the student-curated exhibit on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. All of the exhibits are very well-done and interesting, and it’s a great way to learn more about North Carolina history.

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Wilson Library; Photo Courtesy UNC Medical School

The Carolina Basketball Museum

I firmly believe the Carolina Basketball Museum is one of the coolest things on campus. It’s located on the first floor of the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center next to the Dean Dome and the Koury Natatorium and includes every ball from a UNC national championship (except for the one from 1924), championship rings, uniforms of some of UNC’s most famous stars, the original floor of Carmichael Arena (the one Michael Jordan played on) and more. For anyone who loves sports and/or Carolina Basketball as much as I do, it’s amazing and a must-see when you come to Chapel Hill.

Carolina Basketball Museum

Morehead Planetarium

I love space. I actually wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger, but then I realized that required both math and physical activity, neither of which I’m very fond of. That being said, I still love learning about space, and therefore I love Morehead Planetarium. Morehead Planetarium is a huge building on Franklin Street on the east side of campus that has planetarium shows where visitors can learn about the final frontier. Fun fact: 11 of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon explored space in one of Morehead’s shows, so if you go to one, you’re basically an astronaut. Jokes aside, I definitely recommend checking this place out.

Morehead Planetarium and the Sundial; Courtesy Orange County Visitor’s Bureau

Ackland Art Museum

Ackland is located on South Columbia Street near Franklin and boasts a personal collection of nearly 18,000 works of art. Works being featured range from European masterworks to the pieces from the premier Asian Art collection in North Carolina to contemporary pieces. There’s tons of beautiful art in these well-curated exhibits, and if you take your parents here, they’ll think you’re becoming cultured. It’s a win-win.

Ackland Art Museum; Courtesy Ackland Art Museum

Coker Arboretum

If you prefer to do something in the great outdoors, Coker Arboretum is located right next to Morehead Planetarium. It’s part of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, and the large clearing in the middle is, by far, the best place to have a picnic on campus. I highly recommend taking your parents for a quick walk through the arboretum to see some beautiful plants and stall the inevitable question: “Do you think you’ll make the Dean’s List this semester?”

Coker Arboretum; Photo Courtesy UNC Garden Club

How To Survive Your First Day

You asked, we answered! This blog goes out, specifically, to Komal. You wanted tips on how to make it through your first day at Carolina, and we’ve got answers for you. Follow these and you’ll have an FDOC better than the one in Ned’s Declassified.

  1. Know What FDOC Means

How do you spot a first-year? They don’t know the Carolina lingo. Don’t be that kid. Every year, the DTH sends out a first-year guide to all things UNC. In it? All the Carolina abbreviations. I’ll highlight some of the basics for you. First of all, the DTH is the Daily Tar Heel. It’s our on-campus newspaper that’s totally student-run (make sure to sign up for it if you believe in the future of journalism)! They publish new stories every day, from sports coverage to social activism. Make sure to check your mail over the summer for your special copy and read up on all the acronyms. Once you get to Carolina, you’ll be hearing a lot of FDOC. FDOC stands for the First Day of Class. Towards the end of the semester, you’ll hear this replaced with LDOC (Last Day of Class). All of your friends will ask you how your FDOC went, so don’t be caught off guard! It’s also a tradition to drink from the Old Well on FDOC. They say you get a 4.0 for the semester if you do. I’m not one to brag, but from experience, I know it does have a small success rate. Some people like to line up at the well right at midnight and sing the alma mater with other Tar Heels. You definitely don’t need to be that dedicated to the cause to get a 4.0, but definitely stop by at some point during the day. It’ll be hot and the line will be long, but you never know who you’ll meet while you’re waiting.

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2. Find Your Classes the Day Before

Nothing is worse than being late for your class because you went into the wrong building. Make sure to take time the day before FDOC to find all your classrooms. Go with one of your suitemates and do a run through of what your days will look like. Make sure to do a Mon/Wed/Fri mockup and then a Tues/Thurs. Also, big PSA, there’s a difference between Hanes Hall and Hanes Art Center. If you have one of these on your schedule, make sure to check you’re at the right one. They’re not across campus or anything, but it’ll still take you about five minutes to walk between each. Trust me, if you have an 8 am, you do NOT want to waste an extra five minutes. UNC is a big campus. I spent my first few weeks with a map of campus as my phone background. Don’t be ashamed if you have to do this. It’s way better than being lost.

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3. Sit in the Front

I’ve only had one 300 person lecture class during my time at UNC and I can honestly say I’m BLESSED. Those classes aren’t fun. Mine was ECON 101 (again, not fun). A lot of 101 courses, especially science ones, will be big lecture ones. Though recitations make them feel a little smaller, the class itself can be easy to get lost in. My best advice is to sit in the front. In my econ class, I sat in the very front row. That might be a little extra, but definitely try to find a seat up front. I’m not saying it’s true, but in my opinion, a lot of the students who get those higher grades will sit in the front. Maybe correlation, not causation? Also, a lot of these lectures require group work to answer poll questions, so you want to be surrounded by smart kids. There’s a good chance if you sit in the back you’ll be stuck next to a kid who only shows up to class the first day, exam days, and last day. And when you have 45 seconds left to answer a poll (yes, @Balaban), you’ll regret not sitting next to someone else.

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4. Make Time for Lunch

Nothing is worse than sitting in a quiet classroom and then your stomach starts growling. Trust me, this happened to me all the time if I skipped meals, and though it’s funny the first few times, I could tell the people sitting next to me would get annoyed after a while. Get into the routine of making time for lunch every day, starting with FDOC. This is an easy way to squeeze in social time during your busy day. I was scared of eating alone at first, so I always went with a friend. After a while you realize eating alone is totally normal, and sometimes needed on bad days, but those first few weeks it’s nice to use the time to get to know the people you’ll be seeing for the next four years! Also, make note that your Monday schedule isn’t that same as your Thursday one, so switch up your lunch routine! You don’t have to eat in the dining hall every day. If you’re extra busy during midterm season, use a plus swipe and take your food to go to a library.

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5. Prepare a Fun Fact

Ugh, professors who do this are the worst. My first day at Carolina I was SO unprepared for this question. UNC is great because there are so many cool people who attend. But that also means those cool people have REALLY cool fun facts. I’ve had all but one professor at Carolina ask me for a fun fact, so chances are your professors will too. Don’t be that lame kid that says you played baseball in high school. Newsflash: this sounds like you peaked in high school. Think back to the unique moments you’ve had in your life, and share one! But please don’t go into a full story either, it’s a fun fact, not a fun novel.

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6. Create Group Chats

Create group chats with the people you sit next to in class. This is an easy way to get to know your classmates, and it’ll come in handy when you need help with homework. Carolina students are really friendly, I promise you no one will think it’s weird if you take initiative. My MEJO 101 class I sat next to my roommate. On our first day, she made a group chat with the two boys who sat behind us. We didn’t know it then, but by the end of the semester, we all became besties! Also, divide and conquer is an actual thing. It’s easier to find the answers to a study guide between four people than by yourself. Do yourself a favor and create that group message.

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Well, there you have it, how to survive FDOC, Carolina edition. Stay tuned later in the semester for how to survive LDOC. That one is a lot more fun :).

The Ultimate Tar Heel Dictionary

Being a student at UNC comes with a lot of responsibility, history and traditions. We’re a tight community, all linked by this same passion for our university. With that, we have some special ways of expressing ourselves. Here’s a beginner’s guide to some essential Tar Heel lingo (that you may already know) to make yourself sound like a seasoned upperclassman when you step on campus!

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23 – The number that Michael Jordan, noted UNC alum and arguably the best basketball player of all time, sported while winning the 1982 National Championship. Also the number that many of us sport from the sidelines of almost any Carolina activity.

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89 – The year that the first (and totally unbiasedly greatest) public university in America was founded, 1789. Another number often seen on jerseys to commemorate a historic occasion.

Born and Bred – A phrase from UNC’s alma mater (Hark the Sound!!!), sung at the end of each sporting event. Summarizes our community in that we were all destined to be Tar Heels from day one (even if you weren’t raised this way, you’ll feel like you were!!).

Ceiling is the Roof – Honestly one of the most insightful and inspirational quotes from our very own, Michael Jordan, while announcing his partnership with UNC’s football team. It’s important to note that this was during the 2017 dook game (which we won) – the last home game before winning the natty… don’t question the logic.

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DTH – UNC’s student run newspaper organization, the Daily Tar Heel. Captures iconic campus events such as previously mentioned 2017 natty – you may have to get aggressive to get a copy of the Redemption issue though, they’re highly sought after.

Dook – Let’s all learn how to spell our opposites’ name correctly! Producing villains such as Grayson Allen, the only way to spell this university is our way. After all, we’re the better blue and that’s a fact!

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We know, being a Dookie is a sad life…

FDOC – The first day of class, in which Heels line up at the Old Well and swear that this semester the sip will lead them to a 4.0… Fact or fiction, it’s a Tar Heel tradition we will always participate in with high hopes for an academically stellar semester.

FTK – A motto you’ll probably hear a lot of on campus, as it comes from Carolina For The Kids, North Carolina’s largest student-run non-profit organization. Especially around Dance Marathon (their 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping event) recruitment season, you won’t be able to walk through campus without hearing “FTK, for the kids!”.

GDTBATH – You’ll very quickly realize that every day is a “good day to be a Tar Heel”, so good that we needed an acronym – because that’s a long phrase to be saying that often. Win or lose, this acronym drives our rivals crazy (haters gonna hate), which makes us love it even more!

GTHD – Speaking of the rivals, the ones we most love to hate are those gothic devils eight miles down the road… the dreaded dookies. The last unofficial line in our alma mater, and my personal favorite is the one that this acronym alludes to: go to heck dook!!

LDOC – The beautiful cousin to FDOC, the last day of classes. A happy day of celebrating the long semester behind us and forget about the stress of upcoming finals. LDOC is especially fun in the Spring when students can lay out on the quad under a nice spring day and get tons of free swag and food in the pit, courtesy of CUAB!

Midterm Season – While some schools have 1 week designated for midterms, this isn’t really a thing for Carolina. In fact, between syllabus week and finals, its basically always midterms season – a time where you can most definitely find students crying in every library possible, because some how it always works out perfectly that all your classes have midterms the same week ://///

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This is my constant mood during midterm season…

Natty Champs – Example: April 3rd, 2017, when UNC won the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, aka the best day of my life. However, Tar Heels are natty champs in several different sports, because we’re not a basketball school 😊

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Rams Dining Hall – Now Chase Dining Hall, the older Tar Heels will always refer to the South Campus cafeteria as we know it: Rams.

Rushing – After beating dook or winning a natty in basketball, students flood Franklin Street, burn couches in fires (and hop over said fires), and jump on each other’s shoulders. When the clock hits zero, students drop everything and sprint to Franklin and MLK from wherever they were watching the game. This is the ONLY way to celebrate the most important victories (I promise its super fun and will be a highlight of your year).

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Waterpocalypse – Another throwback that you may hear the older Heels talking about. In the Spring of 2017 UNC’s water was infected, cancelling classes that Friday afternoon and causing much of campus to evacuate. In a funny way, this brought students together as we struggled to relocate or survive waterless for the weekend.

 

If I missed your fav UNC term, leave it & it’s definition in the comments!! As always, it’s a GDTBATH and GTHD!!

Can I Start Packing Yet?

Freshman college move-in day… crazy, right? Seems like just yesterday you were working up the nerves for your first day of high school. Well, that’s definitely how I felt. But it’s happening. In fact, today marks just 50 days until first-year move-in weekend! Does preparing for this monumental day seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s my insight on how to pack for college like an upperclassman.

There’s Two Types of People…

This time two years ago, I probably already had my hallways at home lined with all the necessities… and then some. Queen of overpacking, it’s safe to say I didn’t nail the concept of simplicity. But you live and you learn, right?

While packing for college there’s the over packers and the under packers. There’s the ones, like me, that read every blog and Pinterest post on how to pack for college on the face of the internet and began packing from the moment they got their housing assignments. On the other hand, there’s those that figure they can get all the necessities in a suitcase the night before. Don’t be either of these people – find a happy medium.

Seriously, you’ll thank yourself if you manage to find that perfect balance between the bare minimum and way too much. It’s definitely not too soon to start thinking what you’re going to bring with you into the next stage of your life. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep piling things up all summer long. It just gives you more time to think about strategic ways to make your dorm the best home it can possibly be!

Step #1: Talk to Your Roomie

Microwave, mini fridge, rug, curtains, futons, extra shelving – these are all the things you don’t need two of. Communicating with your roommate in advance will not only make packing and moving in easier, it will also give you added space in your dorm!

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Step #2: Look into RHA Enhancements

This is a super cool perk of living on-campus! You can check out ‘enhancements’ from your community office, including cookware, cleaning supplies, board games, DVD’s, and more with your One Card! Most enhancements you can keep for up to 48 hours and can check out as many times as you want throughout the semester.

So if you were planning on bringing that cupcake pan, mixing bowl, and whisk just in case you wanted to surprise your roommate on their birthday – leave it at home. If you have a meal plan, you probably won’t be cooking that often anyway, so it’s better to take advantage of this great resource!

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No catch here, thanks RHA!!!

Step #3: Remember that UNC isn’t a Deserted Island

If you forget something, I promise everything will be okay. We have a Target essentially on-campus, as well as a Walmart and Harris Teeter just a short drive away. Amazon prime will be your best friend, and students get a discounted rate!

This is also a great way to make friends. Knock on your neighbor’s door, introduce yourself, and ask to borrow their (whatever you forgot). Maybe this is how you’ll meet your future bestie, you can thank me later.

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Like the opposite of UNC

End Goal – Keep It Light

Repeat after me: you don’t need to bring your whole closet on move-in day. I know, NC weather is bipolar and you never know what you’re going to get. But you will not need your whole winter wardrobe before Fall break.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll live in t-shirts and norts in college. And from the amount of free Carolina blue t-shirts you’ll get at sporting events, extracurricular activities, and just walking around on campus – you don’t need to stock up. Seriously, I had to send some of my free t-shirts home this year because they didn’t fit in my drawers…

When you’re packing your things, really ask yourself if you’ll need it all. If you’re packing something that you may need in only one very specific situation, you can probably leave it at home. Worst comes to worst, you can get your parents to mail it to you!

 

My Dad loves to roast me on Snapchat for how much I overpacked…

Trust me, packing light is the way to go. Whether you live on the 1st floor or the 10th floor, you don’t want to be lugging two car loads full of things you’ll probably never touch up and down the stairs in 100-degree heat. Your family will definitely thank you if you minimize the work for them… right Dad???

Leaving Your Heel Print

With almost 19,000 undergraduates, it would hypothetically be easy to blend in at Carolina. But one of my favorite things about our university is that “blending in” isn’t something Tar Heels love to do. There are so many ways to get involved in campus to make yourself stand out that make 19,000 not seem so big or scary at all!

Join a Student Organization

With over 800 student organizations to choose from, it’s almost impossible to not fall in love with at least one! With everything from politics to dance to service, there is sure to be an organization with your name written all over it.

Eight hundred options can seem overwhelming, that’s why Carolina Union hosts FallFest at the end of move in weekend each year. At this beloved UNC event, hundreds of representatives from student organizations set up tables to explain why YOU should join their organization. It’s a super fun event complete with free food, performances, and meeting new friends!

Fall Fest is a popular event for new and returning Heels alike!

Become a Leader in your Org

Once you get settled into the organizations you’re passionate about, stay dedicated to them. Being a leader in a college organization has shaped my Carolina experience. While you may have been president of your high school’s National Honor’s Society chapter, leading a university organization comes with much more responsibility and power. The officers are in charge of everything, from finances to registering with the university to dealing with internal conflicts. By holding a leadership position, not only are you impacting your organization, you also learn a lot about yourself and maybe even your future goals!

Get Involved in Greek Life

This is a popular one that I’m sure you’ve heard all about, and probably have your own ideas about already. While this wasn’t the route for me, I have tons of friends who have found their home at Carolina in a sorority or fraternity. Keep in mind that the meaning and importance of Greek Life extends way beyond all the stereotypes. I highly recommend looking into it with an open mind to explore if you’re interested in rushing!

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Members of UNC Fraternities and Sororities coming together.

Participate in an Intramural Sport

Continuing with the theme of endless options, UNC offers over 50 intramural sports for all skill levels. This is a fun way to channel your inner natty champ winning athlete, get your exercise in, and meet tons of cool people!

From sit-down volleyball to cornhole, there are tons of unique sports for you to try! And if you can’t find your passion, you are more than welcome to start your own team. All you have to do is pull together a few teammates and register with Campus Rec! For more details, check out this link.

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Win an event, score a coveted Intramural Champ T-Shirt!

…Or Just Attend Sporting Events

If you, like me, aren’t as athletically gifted, you can still get involved while staying on the sidelines! Even with little knowledge of sports (speaking from experience) supporting your talented peers can be tons of fun. At the University of National Champions, we’re really into school spirit so this one is a must. With free tickets to games, you might as well take advantage of this incredible perk while you’ve got it. Supporting the Heels is honestly therapeutic, you can let out all the stress from classes with one big “TARRRR…”

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#GetIntoIt!!!!!

Bond with a Professor or Mentor

The staff at UNC is amazing and they are all so incredibly passionate about their jobs – teaching you! Even in those huge lecture halls where it can be easy to sit in the back row, go that extra mile to make sure your professor knows you. Whether it’s sticking around for a couple of minutes after class, shooting them an email, or attending office hours, professors will appreciate students that express interest!

Even if you understand the course material perfectly, simply introducing yourself is a great way to start getting involved in the UNC community. Adults have been in our position and can offer everything from job references to life advice.

 

Bottom line is: no matter how you do it, step outside of your comfort zone and get involved! At Carolina there are so many ways to do so without ever leaving campus, and involvement will help you find yourself, your people and even what you want to do with your life. Don’t spend your four years in your dorm!