Category Archives: FAQs

Housing responds to questions submitted through the “Ask Housing” form.

SOS I’m Undecided

At eighteen years old, you have tons of decisions to make that can feel like they will affect the rest of your life. You picked a college (congrats, you picked the best one in the world :)) and now you have to pick a major. While some of your classmates may be pursuing their career they’ve dreamed of since they were five, if you’re undecided it can feel like you’re lost without a purpose. But I promise, everything’s going to be okay, and it will all work out.

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You’re Not Alone.

In fact, between 20 and 50 percent of college students enter undecided. On top of that 75% of all students will change their major at least once throughout their college career.[1] So don’t feel like you’re the first student who doesn’t know what they’re doing going into college, because you’re not.

Look at it from the bright side, going in undecided leaves you limitless. You’re free to discover new passions and possibilities, rather than being stuck on one set path. Some people argue that college freshman shouldn’t be able to declare a major for this very reason.

You WILL Change in College.

Spoiler alert: no matter how much you think you know yourself, you will not be the same person in college that you were in high school. There’s something about being completely independent that will change your entire character. And if your character changes, odds are your interests and goals will change with you. So the fact that three out of four students will change their major is not shocking.

UNC offers majors you probably haven’t even heard of. Asian Studies, Classic Archeology, Public Policy, Sociology, you name it! While these may not grab your attention immediately, have you ever really given it a chance? There are so many interesting subjects at university that your high school probably didn’t offer. Here at UNC, you are encouraged to step out of your comfort zone in course planning, you just may find a passion in a field you didn’t know existed!

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Gen. Eds.

In order to produce well-rounded students, there is a set of General Education Requirements all students must fulfill before graduation. These will probably occupy most of your schedule freshman year, meaning you won’t be wasting your time taking random classes if you haven’t decided on a major. You will be taking classes everyone has to take to complete their degree!

Most students will not be taking more than one or two major courses their first semester. So you’re not going to be behind when you come to a decision. In fact, you’ll be ahead of all those people who started their major curriculum and decided it wasn’t the path for them. Being undecided is a completely normal thing and will not by any means set you back on that projected graduation date.

You’re Not Stuck.

While you are encouraged to declare a major before February of sophomore year, you can change your major up until second semester senior year (as long as you can complete the requirements before graduation). There is no ticking clock forcing you to make a decision. You have the freedom to decide whether or not a path is right for you on your own terms.

This also gives you the opportunity to explore your options and fall in love with your major. While you may not be completely set on what you want to do after college when you first declare your major, taking specialized upper level classes will iron this out for you. And if it doesn’t, you can always make a change!

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Advising is Here to Help.

While those “tell us about your pizza preferences and we’ll determine your major” quizzes are fun and all, you don’t have to rely on those to make such a huge life decision for you. In fact, UNC has an awesome team of advisors that are here to guide you in the right direction. They also offer tons of resources that you can look at without leaving your bed here!

 

Still unsure? It’s okay, you don’t have to take my word for it. You’ll see for yourself once you get on campus and find your niche. Don’t stress, you’ll for sure fall in love with UNC and all it has to offer in no time, and with that your major will come to you!

 

[1] https://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/06/disconnect-choosing-major/

How to Survive Finals Week!

Finals week can be an incredibly overwhelming end to the semester as your classes cram all the material you have learned into one test. In addition to studying, a lot, there are numerous ways for you to ensure your finals week goes by as smoothly as possible! Below are some tips that have gotten me through my finals during my two years at UNC!

1. Take Care of Chores Beforehand

During finals week, your brain is often working at maximum capacity, possibly storing analytical chemistry knowledge one day, and medieval Europe material the next. Because of the frantic schedule of finals week, it helps if you can eliminate chores beforehand. For example, buying final exam materials, such as blue books (used for writing exams), or scantrons beforehand can ensure that you do not forget them the day of the exam! Additionally, doing your laundry before finals week helps free up your schedule so you will not have to worry about clothes while studying. By doing chores beforehand, you maximize time for what truly matters during finals week : sleep, food, and studying!

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2. Take Advantage of Residence Hall Study Lounges!

Students tend to gravitate towards the libraries on campus such as Wilson, Davis, or the Undergraduate Library during finals week. Because most students are planning to study at the libraries, they can often become very crowded and hard to find seats in. For this reason, the study lounges that come with every residence hall can be an excellent resource for studying without the packed atmosphere! Personally, I enjoyed using the study lounges in Horton during finals week because it was so close to my room as opposed to the North Campus libraries (Wilson, Davis, and the Undergraduate Library)!

Pictured : Craige North Residence Hall Study Lounge

3. Exercise is Your Friend!

For many students during finals week, exercise is the first thing to be sacrificed in exchange for study time. However, exercising can be a worthwhile study break that relieves stress which is effective in improving your mentality and preventing the potential onset of stress-induced acne. Also, exercising with a friend can be used as a much needed break to be social and remind yourself that finals week can be more than confining yourself to the company of only books and study guides!

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4. Don’t Forget to Eat!

While putting in long hours of studying for exams it’s easy to simply “work through meals.”  However, by forgetting to eat three meals a day, you can be lowering your overall energy levels which can negatively affect studying and test performance. Additionally, it’s vital to eat a well-rounded meal to ensure you are fueling your body for success. For example, fresh fruit can be used as a much needed sugar boost while eggs can be an excellent source of protein!

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5. Make Time for Sleep!

One of the worst aspects of finals week is the dreaded all-night study sessions that result in eye bags and drained energy. Often times, all-night study sessions can be replaced with waking up early, and studying efficiently throughout the day. Also, by reaching around 7-8 hours of sleep a night, you will be able to approach your final exam with fresh eyes and a rested mind. Personally, after performing an all-night study session, I have found myself making small mistakes that simply result from a lack of sleep.

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Best Ways To Get To Know Your Residence Hall!

When moving into a new residence hall, meeting people can be a daunting task because it seems like everyone is fixed on their own routine. However, the vast majority of students are eager to meet new friends and are simply uncertain about how to start the first conversation. Here are some tips that will ensure you get a chance to meet some of your potential best college friends!

1. Keep an Open Door Policy

Once you are done moving into your residence hall, it is wise to keep your door open to convey a friendly vibe. By having your door open, your hallmates will often visit your room to introduce themselves. Through these introductions, you might find that you have similar music, movie, or sports interests with your hallmates and find a quality friend!

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2. Go to the First Hall Meeting

Most RAs (Resident Assistants) will host a hall meeting for their residents after move-in day. This meeting can not only be an excellent way to find out information about future residence hall events, but also a great way to meet new friends. The vast majority of the people at the first hall meeting will not know each other so everyone is keen on making new friends! Also, the first hall meeting often includes some type of free snack which is reason enough to go! For example, my first hall meeting at Horton Residence Hall featured some delicious brownies.

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3. Take Advantage of Residence Hall Events

Residence halls often feature different entertaining events that numerous residents attend. For example, trivia nights, free food, and friendly sports competitions are all common events! Because so many residents attend these events, also going is a excellent way to meet new friends and familiarize yourself with your residence hall. While in Horton Residence Hall, there were many events that involved free pizza where I met new friends while also enjoying free food!

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4. Become Everyone’s Best Friend Through Baking!

Taking advantage of the community kitchens that come with every residence hall at UNC can also be a way to meet new friends! For example, I met one of my good friends in Horton Residence Hall through her messaging our group chat for our hall saying to come by her room if anyone wanted cookies. For obvious reasons, a good amount of people showed up to the room. However, people did not just grab a cookie and leave, they tended to hang around and have a conversation. For this reason, baking something for the hall can be a great way to meet new people!

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5. Work on Homework in the Study Lounge

The study lounges in the different residence halls at UNC are a worthwhile place to work because of the available space to focus. Despite the study lounges usually being a quiet space, they can also be a great place to meet people in your residence hall! Often people will introduce themselves to different people in study lounges which makes it a great place to find a potential study buddy!

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Your residence hall will often be the place you find some of your best college friends. By taking the initiative to be social, you will quickly become familiar with your residence hall!

Tips on Making Your 8 A.M Class!

For many college students, having an 8 a.m. class in their schedule can be a terrible way to start the day. However, that does not have to be the case! By making small adjustments in your routine, and picking the right class, having an 8 a.m can be an excellent way to get more use out of the day!

1. Take a Class You Are Interested In

As you wake up to a blaring alarm clock during the early hours of the morning, the thought will definitely cross your mind “should I even go to this class?” To make sure you do not lay your head back on the pillow, it helps if your 8 a.m is a class you’re interested in. Having an interesting 8 a.m will not only increase your chances of making the class, but will also make the class time more enjoyable. Instead of fighting to stay awake in class, because the course material will be personally engaging, you will be more attentive in class!

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2. Mandatory Attendance

If taking an interesting 8 a.m is not enough to coerce you to get out of bed, a required attendance policy might. Many professors have required attendance for their classes meaning you can only miss a limited amount of days before you start having points deducted. By having a direct consequence for missing class, most students will find a way to attend classes with required attendance. For this reason, seeking out an 8 a.m class with a required attendance policy can ensure that you do not miss class!

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3. Everything is Better With Friends!

When going to a class alone, it is easy to convince yourself that skipping is not that bad. However, when taking a class with a friend, you are becoming accountable to another person. That being said, if you skip your 8 a.m then you will certainly be receiving a disappointed text message from your friend who made it to class. Additionally, any class is better with a friend to talk to!

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4. Keep Your Alarm Clock Away From Your Bed

One trap that makes it easier to oversleep for class is having an alarm clock that is too close to your bed. Whether you use an actual alarm clock, or your phone, it helps if you place it away from your bed before you go to sleep. The reasoning is, by getting out of bed, and walking to your ringing alarm clock, you will be less likely to go back to sleep because you are no longer in your cozy cocoon of a dorm bed.

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5. Keeping a Healthy Sleep Schedule

Managing to consistently attend an 8 a.m class can be difficult, but can be made nearly impossible by a terrible sleep schedule. For this reason, striving to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep before having to wake up for your 8 a.m is ideal. This can be easier accomplished by staying productive during the day so that you are less likely to have to sacrifice sleep for late-night homework sessions!

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Orientation Do’s and Don’ts

Wooohoooooo it’s that time of the year. Graduation, family vacations, and new to you: orientation!! Every new student coming to Carolina in the fall gets to attend an orientation session this summer, so I’ve broken down the two days into the best do’s and don’ts list I could think of. After reading this you’ll be totally prepared to make the most of your Carolina preview.

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Do’s:

  1. Do take advantage of all the free items! One of the best parts about orientation is all the free Carolina swag you can leave with. Throughout your two day experience, many of the organizations on campus will be present at different sessions to teach you more about life at UNC. The best part is, this usually means they have free stuff to give away too. There are stickers, popsockets, phone wallets, water bottles- seriously anything you want you can pretty much find. You’ll come out of orientation ready to show off your Carolina pride to all your friends. *Hint hint* come find me and the rest of the summer Housing team for some of this said free stuff.Image result for thanks dude gif
  2. Explore the Chapel Hill community! If you have time, check out all the yummy places to eat on Franklin Street. There is nothing that will make you more excited for college than knowing where all the tasty places Tar Heels eat are at. For those of you who don’t live nearby, it’s also a great opportunity to see how much Carolina pride the town has. Many of the restaurants on Franklin are decked out in Carolina art and other Tar Heel decorations, so be sure to take it all in. You’re going to be spending your next four years in this town, and dining hall food will only satisfy you for so long. Use orientation as a trial and error time to find your favorite Franklin Street staple. P.S. we’ll be giving away coupons to some of these restaurants, so make sure you stop by our table during your session! #EatBlueBleedBllueImage result for so much food gif
  3. If you’re coming to orientation with your #froomie, stop by the Chapel Hill mural behind He’s Not Here. There’s no guarantee that you will become besties with your roommate, but chances are you two will make memories that’ll go past your first-year, so it’s always nice to have a picture that marks the start of a friendship. Who knows? You might even end up rooming with them again your next year.  Don’t forget to check out our blog in the next few weeks for more picture perfect spots to take your roommate to! #DoItForTheGramImage result for besties gif

Don’t’s:

  1. Don’t forget sheets, blankets, and a pillow! All students are housed overnight inside Cobb. Being a hall-style residence hall, it has central A/C, and boyyyy can it get cold in there. To not spend your first night at Carolina shivering, (since there will be plenty of those during the winter) make sure to bring a blanket to keep you warm. PSA: You may not get a lot of sleep!  Trust me, Orientation Leaders pack A LOT into the two days you’re here. So once you finally do get a chance to head back to your room, make sure you have everything you need to spend the night dreaming of your Carolina future. You’ll need to be well rested for Day 2 when you practice registering for classes. Image result for bed gif
  2. Speaking of course registration, do NOT panic!! I was so overwhelmed and stressed during my registration info session, I wish someone would have told me it’s totally normal. On Day 2, all new students participate in a mock registration session with an academic adviser. Here, all your questions on how to register for classes will be answered. When they take you through the course lists, you might notice all the classes appear to be full, but don’t worry! Many of the courses for first-years have reserved seats. This means they might appear to be full when you’re looking, but come registration time certain seats will open up specifically for you! If you still don’t see any classes that have open seats, a lot of times students change their schedules over the summer, so if at first you don’t succeed, keep checking! Also, ConnectCarolina isn’t an easy website to figure out by yourself, so make sure you’re really paying attention during your info session. The last thing you want to happen is come your registration time a few weeks later and you realize you have no idea how to add a class to your shopping cart.Image result for im fine gif
  3. Don’t be shy!! Be open to making new friends! The very first people you meet at Carolina will be those in your orientation group, so make an effort to become friends with them! How cool would it be during graduation time four years from now to say you met your best friends your very first day at Carolina? A lot of times, the groups are created by similar interests, so find things you and your groupmates have in common! All in-staters and out-of-staters have one thing in common: they’re all new to UNC, so don’t worry about being nervous about introducing yourself. Everyone is in the same boat of trying to meet new people. You never know who you will end up seeing every day in the fall! Image result for did we just become best friends gif

Orientation is your first real taste of Carolina- take the time to soak it all in. After all, this is your home for the next four years!

Life as an OA

Have you ever wandered what it is OAs exactly do? Lucky for you, we asked sophomore Yash Nalla what being an OA actually means, and why you should be one too!

 OA SPOTLIGHT

(Unfortunately we don’t have a banner for OAs yet…)

What’s it like being an OA? It’s really chill. It’s a job where I feel i can utilize my people skills, and really exercise my love of talking to people and helping people. It’s also [a job] where I have the freedom to create my own schedule and not have to suffer under strict rule and regulations.

Why did you decide to apply to be an OA? I decided to apply to be an OA after being a part of Community Government in my first-year dorm. From there, I learned that one of the best ways to get further involved in Housing is to apply to be either an OA or RA.
What kind of duties do you do as an RA? It’s a lot of administrative, secretarial-type stuff. You have to mann the desk, answer phone calls, and sort mail. If there’s any type of enhancement that residents want to check out or utilize, you have to keep track of those.
Do you talk to other people who work in Housing? I’d actually say that a lot of the other OAs and even some RAs are some of the closest friends I’ve formed relationships with during my entire time at Carolina. It’s honestly one big family.
What did you least expect when you became an OA? I think it’s really how close I ended up growing with a lot of the OAs and some of the RAs.
What are the typical shifts like? I clock in at some point, I clock out at some point, and in-between there can be anywhere from 4 hours to one.A large part of the job is to have a friendly, smiling presence at the front desk. I’ve also worked shifts that were eight hours long. It’s just dependent on what the needs of the desk are at that particular day and time. The schedule is so flexible; most OAs work between six and ten hours in a week.
What should someone applying to be an OA know? When you go into your interview, emphasize how much of a people-person you are, how you can connect with people very easily, and how you can keep your calm under stressful situations.
What is the best part about being an OA? Just being able to meet a lot of people in my community. I know that residents sometimes have a hard time meeting other people. As an OA, that’s one of the positions where you have a pretty high surety of being able to meet new friends.

Makerspace at UNC

Discover Your Inner Maker in a makerspace!

This upcoming fall, Carmichael Residence Hall will be opening a makerspace! Some of you guys may still be kind of unsure about what exactly a makerspace is, so I decided to dedicate this blog post to makerspaces! Some really cool things are happening at UNC…

What is a makerspace?

Makerspaces are communities under BeAM@CAROLINA. These areas are where students can participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, and more. Makerspaces have cool emerging tools that can be used for making prototypes to art- the possibilities are endless!

Exactly what technology is in a makerspace?

The exact items vary from makerspace to makerspace. However, throughout the makerspaces on campus you may find woodworking stations, a 3D printer, a sewing machine, and more. A full list of tools and capabilities can be found here.

Who can use these makerspaces?

Students, faculty, and staff members can use here makers can participate in designing and creating physical objects. Anyone can participate- regardless of field of interest. You don’t have to be an engineer to make something amazing from a 3D Printer.

  • Murray Hall
  • Hanes Art Center
  • Kenan Science Library
  • Carmichael Hall (In progress, will be finished by Fall 2017)
OK, so I know what a makerspace is… but what can you actually do there? 
You can do pretty much anything! To be more specific, feel free to pursue any individual project you’ve designed and want to create. You can also participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, host classes and group activities in these spaces.
Sounds cool, but really intimidating. How do I get started?
Don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start! There are different workshops held every week found on the calendar. Going to orientation is a great way to get yourself acquainted with the different tools in makerspaces. Orientation is also required to use most aspects of makerspaces, so I would suggest going there first.

UNC is a vibrant community that prides itself in its ingenuity. Why not try the makerspace and see what you can create?

First Year Experience Halls At A Glance

Dear Baby Heels (a.k.a. Newly Admitted Students):

First of all, let me just extend a great, warm welcome to you by saying CONGRATS ON BECOMING AN OFFICIAL TAR HEEL! This place freaking rocks, honestly, and we can’t wait for y’all to join us here on campus. But before you can join us, you have to sign up for on-campus housing by May 15!

I know what you’re thinking at this point.

“But… But I don’t know where I want to live! What are my options? What’s the difference between all the halls? I am #stressed. Please help me, a wee lamb just trying to make it to Chapel Hill in one piece!”

I was there once, too. We all were. But fear not! We’re here for you.

Below is a list of all the halls available to First Years for the 2017-2018 school year, what they offer, and what current students in those halls love about where they live!

Hinton James
Hinton James, affectionately known as HoJo, is the biggest First Year hall (with 10 whole floors!), making it a very social place. HoJo is coed and has 8-person suites with window AC units. It’s on South Campus and is super close to the Dean Dome.

“My favorite thing about HoJo is the energy and positive vibes. Coming home from Davis and walking into loud upbeat music playing in the lobby puts me in a good mood!” –Elysia Ruiz

“[My favorite thing about living in HoJo is] the view and sitting on the balcony. I also love the lively and diverse community of people.” –Shodeah Kelly 

Continue reading First Year Experience Halls At A Glance

Change Your Room with ‘Room Swap’

Starting July 1, Room Swap opens for first-year students

In May, UNC Housing announced the release of a new feature in the Housing Selection Process – Room Swap! With Room Swap, students can easily search for open spaces in every residence hall and apartment community available to them and make changes to their housing assignment on their own. And now, this feature will also be available to first-year students from July 1 – August 1!

So what does this mean and how do I swap?

This means that if you weren’t 100% happy with your assigned location, or you find someone different who you want to room with, you can go in and make the changes yourself. Swapping rooms is limited by room availability, of course, but now you have the ability to view what is available on your own.

Room Swap is located in Step #9 of your housing application, located at myhousing.unc.edu. Once you’re in the correct step, the Room Swap link should be located on the far right of the page.

Now that you’re in Room Swap, you’ll see the list of buildings available to you. Try clicking into each building, as some will have open rooms and other will not. Once you find the building you want, with rooms available in it, it’s time to pick the right room for you!

Building Selection on Room Swap
Building Selection

Continue reading Change Your Room with ‘Room Swap’

Top 7 Housing Selection Mistakes

Tips for a better chance of getting a housing assignment you love

It’s time to think about where you want to live next year, and we want to help you get the best assignment you possibly can. Unfortunately, some students get caught off guard with their housing by not understanding how it all works. Avoid these classic missteps some students make in the Housing Selection Process: Continue reading Top 7 Housing Selection Mistakes