Category Archives: Current Students

$aving For Success

Saving Money 101 for the folks who need it

As college students, money is constantly on our minds. We have the freedom and responsibilities of an adult, yet we don’t have the steady income adults haveThat’s why it’s important that every dollar that comes our way is spent wisely!

Here are some habits you can pick up now that will add up in savings:

Make The Little Things Count

Remember those loose quarters on your table that are just collecting dust? Well this tip will put them to good use! Create a jar with a specific goal written on the top. Put all of your loose change inside of the jar, and you’ll be surprised by how much it can add up to. Save for something meaningful, and you will be more encouraged to see your jar fill up.

Turn these into a trip to Europe!

 

Start a Side Hustle

Now, I know this option may not be for everyone. If you’re not sure that you can balance between a job and school, remember that doing better in school now will have an exponentially higher payout in the long run over a small job that ruins your grades.

But for those who have the time, having a side hustle can be a great asset. There are places on campus, like Student Stores, that are always hiring. On campus jobs are also a great way to meet friends! If having a stereotypical job doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are plenty of opportunities to make money anywhere- even from your bed. Skills like a second language are always in demand, and always need tutors. Sometimes a quick search on Google is all you need to finding your way into some extra cash.

Pro tip: Make sure the job is legitimate before you take it.

Budget 

Nowadays, budgeting is way easier than saving a bunch of old receipts. There are a ton of different apps available to help you, whether you want to see where your paycheck is going or if you have a specific budget goal. If apps aren’t really your thing, a reliable excel spreadsheet will do just fine. In my budgeting experience, the effort alone has made me realize just how valuable every dollar is.

Explore 

Sometimes the best deals aren’t found on the internet. Chapel Hill caters to college students, so be on the lookout for places that give student discounts. There are a lot of events held on campus that give out free food and swag, so be sure to check out those places too. If you need transportation, the transit system in Chapel Hill is arguably the best in North Carolina- and is way cheaper than taking an Uber.

Use your resources, because good deals are all around you!

Whether you’re returning to UNC or starting your first year, learning how to effectively save money will help you through any financial difficulties that may come your way. It pays to be financially smart!

To Meal Plan or Not to Meal Plan…THAT is the question!

Pros and Cons for the Biggest Decision of Your Life

College comes with so many responsibilities. Registering for classes, picking out textbooks, bus routes…it’s overwhelming! But let’s cut to the chase. We know what’s really on everyone’s mind. Say it with me: FOOD!!

Your source of food should be your number one priority (after housing of course). Deciding whether or not to get a meal plan may seem like an easy choice, but there are actually many factors to consider. Lucky for all of you, I am going to list out some pros and cons so you can ultimately make the best decision for you and your late night munchies.

Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Convenient as Heck

    If we’re being honest, getting a meal plan is the most convenient choice. You don’t have to worry about cooking or where to go: If you’re in a hurry you can just drop in and eat from the variety of choices CDS has cooked up for you in Lenoir or Chase Dining Hall. Not to mention Lenoir is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the academic buildings. Not feeling the dining hall? Some meal plans even offer FLEX which you can use for meals from the bottom of Lenoir that include Chik-Fil-A, Subway, and other goodies. BLESS.

  2. Friend Hack

    Forget the frat. Dining halls is where it’s at. This is the place to be with your friends.  I’m not even joking. Almost half the school eats in the dining halls, so you are bound to meet some pretty cool peeps and make those long lasting friendships. Sit down, grab a burrito, and bond over your love of food!

  3. Theme Nights

    Chase Dining Hall is notorious for throwing some mad bashes and theme nights with extra special food. Yes, chocolate fountain, I’m looking at you. These are exclusive to students with meal plans, so if you don’t have one, sorry not sorry, but that means more for me!

  4. All You Can Eat

    Meal plans are especially good for you kids who have insatiable hunger. One meal swipe can get you all the food you want: pizza, noodles, salads, dessert, etc. CDS even offers the unlimited block plan which means you can swipe in however many times your little heart desires!

Cons

  1. Empty pockets?

    Depending on your situation, meal plans can be a little expensive, especially if you have really specific dietary restrictions. (CDS does always offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options as well other things, but it is does mean you have less to choose from.)

  2. Surplus Meals

    Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we can severely overestimate what block plan we need. At the end of the semester, you can be sure you’ll find students going to Facebook offering to swipe people in with their left over swipes. If you get a meal plan, make sure to commit to it because we don’t get roll-over meals!

  3. Not available? Out of luck!

    Dining Halls are only open at scheduled times. Not only does this mean it is always crowded during regular dining hours (which means long lines!), but it also means that if you have a class during that time, you might not get to go eat until later. However, CDS does offer reusable take out containers if you have time for a quick stop-by!

  4. Freshman 15

    I will say, an all you can eat buffet everyday tends to add some pounds. Not a big deal if you don’t mind, but if you’re looking to avoid extra weight, it’s going to be a little hard to resist the Rams Head Cookies.

No Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Learn to Cook

    There are plenty of kitchens in every residence hall so impress your shawty with your “adulting” skills. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Make it Rain

    By only spending as much as you eat, you might have some leftover change to treat yo’self. Franklin Street has some great options! If nothing else, it will teach you valuable budgeting skills.

  3. Eat When You Want

    Without dining hall hours holding you back, you can eat when you want as long as you have the materials.

Cons

  1. Mac, Ramen, and Chips . . . OH MY!

    Without a meal plan, it’s easy to rely on microwaveables like ramen that are not particularly good for you. If you can’t commit to cooking healthy, you’re probably better off with a meal plan.

  2. Where is Harris Teeter?

    Shopping for groceries can be a pain if you don’t have a car. The only nearby stores are CVS and Walgreen’s and they’re not exactly known for their fresh veggies. You can always get to Harris Teeter by a few buses, but sometimes it’s just easier to go into a dining hall if you don’t have the time.

  3. Missing Out

    Like I mentioned before, dining halls have a lot of people. By choosing not to get a meal plan, you’re making it just *that* much harder to find your family in the big sea of people that is UNC.

Both options have their merit. Consider each situation. If you can put in the effort, not having a meal plan can be rewarding, especially when you wow your friends with your chef skills. However, if you’re not an ace in the kitchen and don’t have time for that ish, stick with a meal plan.

Pro Tip: CDS offers the option for a trial period. Gauge yourself out. If you decide that it’s for you, go for the meal plan. If not, you can always change your mind! Your tummy will thank you. 🙂

Check it out @ http://dining.unc.edu/

Home Sweet Home?

They say college is a new beginning. Where you’re finally free to live a life away from your parents and play it by your own rules.

But after about a month or two you start missing those home cooked meals, the soft hum of the downstairs TV playing Monday night football as you fall asleep and free laundry.

Trust me, I’m tearing up as I type.

But lucky you, here are 10 things to make your dorm feel more like home sweet home.

 

  1. Area Rug

The first thing you need to cop is an area rug. Trust me, this will transform the feng shui of your room just like that (snaps fingers). And plus, if you have a lofted bed and aren’t lucky enough to afford a futon, a rug is a great in-between.

So, grab a fluffy pillow and a blanket and make something shake. This is the one I have: https://www.target.com/p/shag-rug-room-essentials-153/-/A-14685371#preselect=16606665

  1. Standing Lamp

All dorms have the standard top light that is so yellow it hurts, and if you share a room it’s over for studying after 11. However, the soft incandescence of a standing lamp gives your room a comfy vibe and enough light to study amongst a sleeping roommate. And plus it’s excellent for catching that highlight in late night turnup selfies.

This one has storage space: https://www.target.com/p/shelf-floor-lamp-with-shade-threshold-153/-/A-51184919#preselect=15401197

  1. Homey Scent

They say that smell links us the closest to memories, more so than any other sense. And this is nothing but facts. So, grab a couple of Glade and Airwick plugins that give you that homey feel. So basically, anything pumpkin spice.

  1. Comfy Blankets

Personally I don’t like getting under my covers if I haven’t showered. I know I’m weird. But, have no fear, a huge and comfy blanket adds to the homey feel and also keeps you warm during those daily 3 hour naps. Yes I take 3 hour naps and so will you.

A plain Jane comforter separate from the one you use at night works just as well. I honestly like it better, it’s cheaper and softer.

The 3-hour-nap blanket: https://www.target.com/p/microplush-bed-blanket-threshold-153/-/A-50950586?lnk=rec|adaptpdph1|related_prods_vv|adaptpdph1|50950586|0

The comfy comforter: https://www.target.com/p/solid-brushed-polyester-duvet-cover-set-room-essentials-153/-/A-14292318#preselect=16907449

  1. Body Pillow (Accent Pillows)

This is an essential for a good night’s rest. Lay that sucker around you and you’ll check out in, tops, 5 minutes. Also, big accent pillows with your favorite colors and designs add to the homey vibes.

Home Goods and TJ Maxx has this department down pact and for the low low.

  1. Mood Board

This is a DIY project that adds so much to a room. Just gather pictures of your hopes, dreams and future Mercedes Benz.

Or you could do a “put you in the mood” board, by cutting out or drawing things that put you in a certain mood or take you back to a certain time (i.e a collage of 90’s Hip Hop and R&B vibes, because I grew up on Destiny’s Child and Sade).

Just stick them on a pinboard and hang it up. This will immediately add color to those bland walls and give your guest a taste of what makes you, you. Also, photos of friends and family always add a homey touch.

  1. Books

For some reason the look and smell of books automatically say home. So bring your favorite books and stack them haphazardly around your room for a more cultured look and to feel more at home.

  1. Fairy Lights

This is a great way to set the mood for late night talks with friends or random movie nights. String these dainty lights along your walls and around your bed posts for a starry night.

  1. Candle Warmer

This is a great alternative for candles. It gives you the same warmth without the hazard.

This one has a nice aesthetic: https://www.target.com/p/decorative-warmer-mason-jar-ador-174/-/A-17457590

  1. Record Player

Now if you ballin’ like a bigshot, a record player is a nice addition to a room and is a sure fire way to make you a housing hit. Just pick out albums that remind you of home and play those suckers on repeat for endless nostalgia.

I say Anita Baker is a good first pick. You’ll thank me later: https://www.target.com/p/crosley-cruiser-portable-turntable/-/A-14451376#preselect=13978424

Although these things still don’t make the laundry free, a comfy piece or two always helps with the homesickness. But don’t worry too much, UNC quickly becomes your home away from home.

 

-Joy

If you try these pieces out share them with us on our social media, we want to see! And if you want more ideas, check out our Pinterest.

Where to spend your summer at UNC

Davis and the UL can wait until the fall.

The idea of being at school during the summer can be a drag. Luckily, us Tar Heels have a campus that’s beautiful no matter the season! Here are some campus spots that are especially gorgeous during the summer.

Outside of SASB


SASB is the perfect nook for reading or writing. The outside of SASB feels like an outdoor lounge, as it features a small amphitheater area and an arrangement of tables and chairs. This high-traffic area makes SASB ideal for people watching. Whether you’re post-workout at Rams Head or on your way to a friend’s residence hall, be sure to stop for a few minutes and enjoy the outdoors!

Second floor balcony of the Student Stores

Something about the “YES WE’RE OPEN!!” sign tells me that the Student Stores are open during the summer. The view may not be as pretty now because of construction, but it’s a nice and convenient place to crack open some summer reading. Plus, the chairs here also have rockers so you are sure to be comfortable.

Outside of Carroll Hall

The area in between Chapman and Carroll Hall can be easily glossed over during the rush to class, making this hidden gem ideal for seclusion. I can imagine this spot as being a great place to practice yoga and meditate. Located only a few steps away from classes, this area is a great place to take a break.

Fourth Floor of the FedEx Global Education Center

Out of this whole list, I would say that this spot is my personal favorite. The rooftop feels like a city terrace escape with arguably the best view of a summer sunset. The FedEx Center is a total break from traditional UNC-Chapel Hill architecture with its modern and sleek look. Come spend an afternoon here, and I’m sure you’ll be hooked.

Outside of the Genome Sciences Building

The outdoor amphitheater of the Genome Sciences Building is empty year round. Grab a blanket and speakers and you can make a nice alternative to your dorm room. It does get pretty bright here though- make sure you don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and sunglasses!

With all of these beautiful spots on campus, make sure you don’t forget to take a breath of fresh air. Take some time to explore the campus and find out for yourself why UNC is the best place to be.

 

Why RAs Are Actually Superheroes

Guardian Angels. Life Savers. Free Therapists. Housing Heroes. Resident Advisors.

Contrary to popular belief, a Resident Advisor (see also, “RA”) is not someone who’s out to ruin your life. In fact, anyone who has ever actually lived in a UNC residence hall probably knows that’s the complete opposite of what any RA wants to do. Keeping residents safe and making sure people are following community living standards are definitely important, but that is only part of the job description.

RAs are there to be your friend; they are there to guide you, help you, work with you, laugh with you, look out for you, and occasionally even feed you.

Continue reading Why RAs Are Actually Superheroes

Crying the Carolina Way

An incomplete list of the times Carolina brings on the waterworks

UNC has made us all cry at some point. And if it hasn’t made you yet, it will. Be it tears of joy, pain, laughter, anxiety, awe, or anything in between, we have all let a tear or two (or hundred) fall for Carolina.

While it’s true I’m a sensitive soul who cries at least once a day for any number of silly reasons, I don’t think you have to have the same emotional muddle of a mind I do in order to experience the many overwhelming feelings that come with being a Tar Heel.

There are just some things that resonate deep within all our Carolina souls and hit us straight in the Tar Feels—and we can’t help but cry.

Continue reading Crying the Carolina Way

The Ultimate Carolina Housing Bucket List

50 Things You Have To Do While You Live on Campus

Bored at home after another unforgettable year at Carolina? Or maybe you just can’t wait to experience your first year on campus? Keep reading to fix some of the summer blues, and plan the exciting year ahead! Unfortunately, your time living on campus can’t last forever. Make the most of your on-campus years by completing everything on this list. I promise, you’ll have the time of your life doing it. And if you do, don’t forget to snap a few pictures and send them in so we can post them on our social media accounts!

  1. Stargaze in Kenan Stadium. You won’t always be walking distance from this legendary football stadium. Take your significant other (aka your roommate) and soak in a beautiful Chapel Hill night.
  2. Sled down Skipper Bowles on a snow day. Grab your best friends and anything with a smooth, slippery surface for what’s sure to be the best 10 seconds of your day. Extra points if you use a DPS traffic block (you didn’t hear it from us).
  3. Hang a hammock on Ehringhaus lawn. Study, nap, play the guitar – whatever you want, and relax – you’ve earned it.
  4. Have a picnic on the quad. Nothing screams college more than picnicking in front of Wilson Library on a sunny day.
  5. Go to a free CUAB movie at the Union. Be smart – embrace the life of broke college student.
  6. Join every club you like at Fallfest. And then unsubscribe from almost all the listservs. It is important to find what you’re actually interested in, but tha
    20110809_UpperQuad _6_
    Students in one of many UNC clubs

    t doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give Quidditch a chance.

  7. Create or join an intramural team. You don’t have to win to have fun… but those intramural champion t-shirts are pretty cool.
  8. Get an on-campus job. Sometimes having money is nice, and this way you get to stay on-campus and meet some awesome other students (shoutout campus rec).
  9. Go to a group fitness class at the SRC or Rams Head. Try something new like Zumba and get your workout in. Don’t forget to show off your moves somewhere next Saturday night too.
  10. Pull an all-nighter. Don’t be afraid to wear your pajamas in the UL at 4 am, as Zac Efron said, “we’re all in this together”.
  11. Get a 100% on an exam. Good luck with this one.
  12. Collect as much free stuff as possible at Fallfest. College motto: If it’s free, take it. Do I wear my XXL UNC Women’s Rugby Shirt? No. Do I regret getting it? Definitely not.
  13. Play racquetball at Fetzer Gym. Need a fun date idea? Impress that girl from your Bio 101 class with your new LFIT skills.
  14. Take a selfie with Carol Folt. Our chancellor is infamous for her selfies with students, and it’s sure to get you maximum likes on Instagram.
  15. Follow UNC Housing on social media. Shameless plug, but you won’t regret it – I’ve heard they’re hilarious.
  16. Rush Franklin when we beat Dook this year – or win the Natty. Don’t be that person that walks, run like your life depends on it.
  17. Host a Cinco de Mayo party in your dorm. If you’re done with exams, celebrate/mourn the end of the semester with your suitemates.
  18. Order in with your roommate. Have some roomie bonding time by ordering something from Takeout Central and watching a movie together. Even if you hate each other now, you’re gonna miss this person when you don’t see them everyday
  19. Sneak onto a roof. Any roof, anytime, 
  20. Go to TEDxUNC. Learn something new and have fun doing it.
  21. Jog around campus. One of the best ways to explore campus is jogging through it. Chances are you’ll run into that hot boy from your 8 am and show him how #fit you are.
  22. Go to the Sunset Serenade. This is my favorite Week of Welcome event. Watching all the acapella groups sing is a great way to start fall semester.
  23. Take lots of pictures. You’ll want to remember these years.
  24. And occasionally, don’t take any pictures. Sometimes you need to just put down your phone and live in the moment.nywhere, just do it.
  25. Attend a Varsity sporting event that’s not football or basketball. I don’t know about you but I’ve heard the rowing team’s home race is pretty lit. #ROWHEELS
  26. Paint your face and get in the front row for a football game. People say we’re not a football school, but did we go undefeated at home this year? Oh yeah, we did, didn’t we?!
  27. Drink from the Old Well on FDOC. I must be doing it wrong because for some reason I don’t have a 4.0 gpa.
  28. Go to YOPO. Go to Yopo a lot… like a lot. And try the Oreo.
  29. Take pictures in front of the Old Well with your squad on a snow day. Or a sunny day, or on a cloudy day… or just any day.
  30. Link arms with strangers at the end of a Basketball game in the Dean Dome to sing ‘Hark the Sound’. It’s always a magical moment, especially when we win, which is most of the time.

    DEAN DOME OVERVIEW 1
    A game at the Dean Dome
  31. Binge watch Game of Thrones. Take advantage of the free HBO GO while you can. I’m not telling you to procrastinate studying for your upcoming midterm, but…
  32. Watch a basketball game from the risers. Worth the wait. 
  33. Sit in the arboretum. A beautiful hidden campus gem; meditate, do yoga, picnic, or make out on a hidden bench, the possibilities are endless.
  34. Go to Late Night at Rams. Especially when they have turkey burgers, or when Say is making omelettes, or just go every night.
  35. Go to Late Night at Lenoir during exams. It’s like late night met an awkward middle school dance – and there’s candy… lots of
    candy.
  36. People watch in the Pit. Watch Gary the Pit Preacher while you run into approximately everyone you’ve ever met.
  37. Visit the Outdoor Recreation Center. A short walk from south campus, you won’t regret exploring everything this underutilized resource has to offer. From glowstick ziplining to high ropes courses there are plenty of ways to bond with all your new friends.
  38. Ride the full P2P route. One night that you don’t go out, grab your friends and ride the whole thing. If you go on a Saturday night you’re sure to be fully entertained… just avoid the guy that looks like he’s about to puke.
  39. Go to RHA’s silent disco. It’s your own private dance party with thousands of your closest friends. Get there early to get a free t-shirt because #freestuff.
  40. Run the stairs at Kenan Stadium. Get a peep into the life of
    DSC_0402
    The Davie Poplar Bench

    a student-athlete, and then go get a large Yopo after.

  41. Sit on the Davie Poplar Bench with your significant other. Who knows, I’ve heard lots of stories about married couples that met during undergrad at UNC.
  42. Climb the climbing wall at the Rec Center. Utilize this cool place while you live just a few minutes away, and get a cool insta at the same time.
  43. Walk across campus in the morning as the sun is rising. You only get a few years to live on the most beautiful campus in the country, make sure you take the time to appreciate it.
  44. Go to $1 hot dog day at the Bosh. A 2 min walk from Ehaus and Avery Baseball, hot dogs, and the Tar Heels. #MERICA

    Boshamer Stadium
    Boshamer Stadium
  45. Join a random group of people playing soccer on Ehringhaus fields. Chances are they’ll be happy to let you join, and if not, slowly walk away and avoid eye contact.
  46. Make a walk of shame… from Davis to the UL at 2 am. We’ve all been there, and at least you won’t be doing it in heels.
  47. Visit Gimghoul Castle. Go explore this haunted building at night, but don’t forget your flashlight.
  48. Nap on a couch at Graham Memorial on a rainy day. Don’t even try to study on one of these overstuffed couches, you will fall asleep within 3 minutes flat.
  49. Watch the streakers in the library during exams. Or be a streaker – that’s a personal preference.
  50. Be thankful every single day that you live in the best place on earth.  It’s always a GDTBATH.

    The Old Well
    The Old Well

Don’t forget to email me pictures of all your adventures next year – jessschm@live.unc.edu!

-Jess

Meet the Bloggers: Jess Schmitz

DSC_0234

Jess Schmitz

Hometown: Cary, NC

Year: Sophomore

Major: Pre-Business

Where I’ve Lived on Campus: Ehringhaus, Rams Village 5

Campus Involvement: Women’s Rowing, Carolina Marketing Club, Richard A. Baddour Leadership Academy

Email: jessschm@live.unc.edu

 

Where did you live your first year? What did you like about it? I lived in Ehringhaus my freshman year. It was a great choice because I got to live in South Campus and experience freshman year that way, but I was not too far from classes or the dining hall. The “E-haus Path” is so convenient for getting to mid and north campus, I never even took the bus! I also met so many awesome people and the suite style dorms are a great alternative to hall style. Plus having your bathroom cleaned every day is pretty sweet.

Tell us about your activities on campus. What else did you wish you had done? I am a member of the women’s rowing team which takes up the majority of my time; however, I am also involved in several other cool things on campus. I am involved in Carolina Marketing Club which has so many great opportunities. For example, I got together with some other members to compete in a Case Competition for Top of The Hill, and we actually won second place! I am also a member of the Richard A. Baddour Leadership academy and will be involved in the ‘Rising Stars’ program this year as well as being a CREED mentor. One thing I wish I had done is get involved with more volunteer organizations on campus. There are so many cool ones like Dance Marathon and Relay for Life.

What is on your UNC bucket list? There are so many things I want to do in the next three years… most of them involving new restaurants I want to try. One thing I really want to do before I graduate is be in the risers for a Dook game. Our rivalry with Dook is legendary and nothing beats stomping them at home, especially if you’re standing only 20 feet away. I also really want to spend a day picnicking and studying on the quad with friends. It’s such a beautiful place and I want to spend more time there while I can.

Thanks for reading, see y’all soon!

Jess Schmitz

Spring Room Changes

Photo of Ram Village apartment
December graduation creates new vacancies in Ram Village apartments for Spring semester.

Mid-year moving is easier than you think

There are different options if you are looking to make changes to your room assignment for Spring semester.

Option 1: You are studying abroad in the Spring or graduating in December 
  
Since you are graduating/going abroad, there is no cancellation fee for you! You just have to let Housing know by December 1 by emailing housing@unc.edu.  If you are going abroad, make sure to include a copy of your acceptance letter in the email!

Continue reading Spring Room Changes