Category Archives: New Students

How to be a Jedi: Time Edition

A long time ago, in a high school far, far away…

It was easy to get away with looking over your notes for a minute, and then acing the test. It started to get a little harder when we got to AP classes, but college classes are in their own league. “Okay, so I’ll just spend a little more time studying – no biggie!” Ummm, wrong! On top of studying, now you need to handle taking care of yourself too. That means laundry, cooking, cleaning, exercising. Let’s not forget you have clubs, jobs, leadership positions, etc. Finally, last but not least, you need to maintain a social presence and sleep at least 8 hours a day. Now we’re in quite a pickle.

You might say you have a choice: zombie, bum, or nerd. Lucky for you, we’re going to teach you how to time manage like a jedi. Here are some tips from someone who (kinda) made it through their first year of college.

Scheduling Is Key

Remember that agenda they used to give you? Yeah, you might wanna pull it out for more than doodling now. Your agenda is like your light sabre! Teachers won’t always put their homework online, so it is critical to write everything down. Time blocking everything out is also useful. Once you know everything you’re supposed to get done, estimate the time you’ll need for each task. This way you can keep yourself on schedule. It might feel a little monotonous, but part of the problem is that sometimes we don’t know how to police ourselves and stay organized. This is meant to help with that.

Libraries are your Best Friends

As comfy comfy and relaxing as being in your room can be, it can leave you susceptible to non-productivity. You’re around your comfy bed and your food and your friends…which is nice, but it doesn’t push you to study. Libraries are quiet and solemn. They can give you clarity of mind and make you feel less alone in getting your work done.

Study with your Friends

Multi-tasking is a great idea in this sense. As long as you’re not chatting up your friends, you can maintain some kind of social life while still getting your work done. Same goes for eating, exercising, and going to clubs. If you do things with your friends, you won’t feel alone or as if you’re doing work at all.

Take Smart Breaks

You obviously can’t study 24/7. Know when you’re taking too much on for you, or when you’re working too hard. Just because your friend is in 50 different clubs, doesn’t mean you should do that too. Everyone has their own level of work they can handle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do what’s good for you! The last thing you need is to feel overwhelmed and too stressed out. If you have nothing big coming up, go ahead and take a walk, or go out with your friends. There’s no use in running yourself dry! Treat yourself!

Know When to Stop

If you’re partying every weekend, that’s too much. It’s healthy to go out, for sure, but if you’re doing it at the expense of your responsibilities, or even worse, your sleep, it’s not a good idea. A fun night does not have to involve a late night party, especially with final exams looming near. Sometimes getting your work done and then just enjoying a movie night with your roommate is all that you need. That way you’ve finished all your work during the weekend and your week won’t be so backed up. The more you put off homework at Carolina, the more it builds up. Built up work is the Darth Vader of college.

Don’t Procrastinate

Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard it. But it actually is important. When I took Econ 101, I was surprised by how many people bombed all of the exams. Alternatively, I didn’t think it was so bad and did fairly well. What was the difference between us? The difference was that I kept up with my studying every day. I never procrastinated for more than a day. That way, when it came time to study for an exam, I didn’t have to cover as much material as other people. They weren’t able to “relearn” it all in time (it was a lot!) and didn’t do well on the test. On the other hand, I didn’t keep up that well for my accounting class and it was not so fun studying for 24 hours straight when I could have studied for one hour every day for 24 days. Trust me, there are better ways of doing things. Use the force! The force of your will that is.

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Like all things, time management is a fine skill that takes practice. If you fail a couple of times, don’t worry about it. It’s only a blimp in the past. But if you learn how to hone these skills, the better life can be, and the more you can get out of it. Just remember to put your physical, mental, and spiritual health first! If you don’t have these, you have nothing!

Happy time-crunching friends!

Heels Away From Home

You may have been excited to start college (I was!), but then as you watched your parents drive away from you, or you drove away from them in the driveway, an intense feeling of dread might have kicked in. No one is quick to admit it, but homesickness is a thing, a very real thing! And contrary to what the moniker might entail, it doesn’t really have much to do with your home, or the physical place you lived.

Home is Where the Heart Is

In an article published by CNN, Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of Alabama explains that homesickness “stems from our instinctive need for love, protection and security — feelings and qualities usually associated with home” (Ho).

So even though your dorm might be bland, your mattress is lumpy, and your roommate is weird…those aren’t really the reasons why you’re so sad all of a sudden and want to go home. What you really miss is just your family and friends!

It doesn’t mean you’re a baby! It means you’re human. So if you’re feeling guilty about this, don’t! It’s perfectly natural.

Know you’re not alone…

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home! In the words of the great Phillip Phillips, settle down it will all be clear. Everyone is homesick at first (even if they don’t say it) and you have people to talk to! The most important thing is that you find each other and share these feelings. Talk with your roommate and bond over your favorite things from back home.

Friends are the Medicine

If homesickness is from our instinctive need for love, then the best solution is just to find your new family. Your friends are what make your Carolina experience great and what will make UNC your new home. Don’t shut yourself in your room and just watch Friends on Netflix while crying about the good ol’ times. Get out there! Meet people! Go eat on Franklin with your suite or introduce yourself to your next door neighbors! You will find that as soon as you find your school family, you won’t be so homesick anymore because you are home!

Not to mention, our residential communities always have fun things going on like parties, free food give-aways, game nights, and more! Take advantage of these opportunities to have a good time!

Decor Galore

You’d be surprised by how much decorating your room like your room at home or anything else cozy can make you feel a lot better!

Don’t Forget Your Roots

Just because you’re having a good time in college doesn’t mean you should give up on your old friends and family! Keep in touch with them because they miss you too! (Especially your parents, seriously!) Skype is a great way to catch up! Once a month, have a Skype date, and share your current adventures! This will help any residual homesickness!

If You Still Feel Alone…

Carolina has a lot of resources that can help you improve your mental health. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) are a great resource available to all students at UNC. They are committed to helping you!

Check it out: https://campushealth.unc.edu/services/counseling-and-psychological-services

Your RA is also a great option! They are basically like your mom. But cooler. 😉

If All Else Fails…

Visit home. It takes the strongest person to say they need a break. Take a weekend, have your mom hug you, and pack you some food to remind you of home. You’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to try again!

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Don’t stress too much about homesickness. Once you get into your studies, you won’t even have enough time to think about it. As someone who left the nest early to go to boarding school, I understand how scary it can be. It only took a week for me to find my family and start calling my school home. The real problems is when you go back home for the summer and then start telling your parents you want to go home.

“You are at home!”

“No! Carolina, home.”

If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me or the rest of the bloggers! You can never have enough friends!

CNN article:  http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/16/homesickness.not.about.home/index.html

Room(ie) For You

How to share your home away from home.

Ah, the start of back-to-school season.

The idea of having a roommate is probably starting to sink in.

If you’re nervous- don’t worry! I asked some fellow Heels for some advice about what they’ve learned from living from a roommate, and what knowledge they could pass on to you.

This is a picture of my roommate and I… It was Halloween okay don’t judge!!!

Getting to know your roommate

“In some way, get into a conversation where you start talking about T.V. shows or music. And that’s a really good icebreaker because it’s just like, everyone likes music or T.V.” -Joy L.

It seems like there’s a lot of pressure to make the perfect first impression for your roommate. Every person engages in the media in some way, so you’re bound to find a way to bond. You can learn a lot about your roommate from their tastes, and potentially find your new favorite band!

Setting Boundaries with your roommate

“Honestly, communication is so important.You can’t expect that every person is going to be just like you- everyone is different. Everyone has their own quirks, everyone has their own preferences. I’ve made this mistake before- I keep things to myself. But that’s the wrong way to do it ’cause your roommate isn’t a mindreader, you know?” -Fania K.

One of the hardest situations all roommates will face is the inevitable boundary talk. Whether through the RA-given roommate agreement or independently, it’s going to be slightly awkward. Some of the boundaries you set may seem like second nature, but as Fania pointed out, your roommate isn’t a mind reader. Talking out all of rules now will save for a way more awkward conversation later.

Living with someone you already know

“Just be flexible with what happens. Even if you have known [your roommate] for a while, you probably haven’t lived with them. So if you’re rooming with someone that, like, maybe you knew from high school or something- be wary about that. Because that’s when you kind of see, like, a new side to them.” -Jacob P.

Though Jacob’s advice may seem a bit ominous, there is some truth to it. A lot of people who decide to room with a high school friend don’t realize that people are different at home than they are at school. Don’t have a set idea of how your roommate will act in a living situation, and be understanding to the new side you’ll see of your roommate.

Living with someone you don’t agree with

“Don’t take things to heart. Like, don’t be very reactive. ‘Cause, a lot of times people grow up in different environments and so they probably have different ways of communicating.” -Joy L.

You may find that you and your roommate can’t help but be at odds with one another. Joy’s advice is useful with people whose views you don’t agree with in general. Basically, be empathetic and be respectful. Even if you and your roommate don’t mesh well, you won’t run into much trouble if you act like a decent human being.

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but knowing how to live with your roommate can make college less stressful than it has to be.

Picking each other up when we’re feeling down… that’s what froomies are for!!!

 

COGO or No Go?

Joining COGO will not only help you succeed in college, but in the real world too.

What is COGO? COGO, an affectionate name for community government, is the child of the parent organization, Residence Hall Association. Every residential community on campus has one and it’s tasked with building and bringing together the community, coordinating fun events for the students, and enhancing our existing amenities. After the Governor is elected at the beginning of the year, they choose the rest of the team, and they get started!

A few months back, we interviewed a member of community government turned college graduate on how his participation in COGO helped him in his job at Oracle in Austin, TX. You can find that interview here: http://reslife.web.unc.edu/2017/02/28/why-you-should-join-community-government/

This time, I’ll give you my personal account on how being the marketing manager for my COGO has impacted my life and what you should consider before diving in headfirst!

Why did you first join co-go?

In case you hadn’t noticed, UNC is ginormous. We have more than 29,000 undergraduate students and we’re somehow supposed to find friends? Being a part of a smaller community was important to me and I thought COGO would be a good way to meet people and actually make an impact on our huge campus. Also, let’s be honest, as First-Years, we don’t really get that many leadership opportunities thrown at us even though we need them. I felt COGO was a good way to get started.

How has COGO helped your college career so far?

Being the marketing manager for my COGO has really made an impact not only on my resume, but on my soft skills as well. This is almost a full time job (except we don’t get paid :/ ) and that leaves you with so much experience. As someone who is pursuing marketing, I really learned a lot more about branding, advertising, and social media. Beyond that, I learned what it meant to be part of a team. We had our failures and successes and we learned how to handle it all and handle it together. These are skills that I will definitely need in the future. All of my experience has helped me get internships and other leadership positions on campus. Employers like school involvement! Shocker!

What were some things you did?

As Marketing Manager, I really controlled the advertising part of our COGO. If there was an event, I decided how to market it. This involved designing flyers, designing logos, posting on social media, and managing all of our free stuff (you know, the important stuff!). If you got a T-Shirt from Craige last year, that was created by me in conjunction with some other team-members.

Favorite Cogo Memory?

I loved planning all our events with my team members but my favorite memory was our end of the year dinner. It took us a whole semester to get comfortable with each other so when we were finally able to sit down and talk about stuff other than COGO, it was amazing. We have so many different personalities but we all got along great. I loved my COGO family and if you join a COGO you’ll love yours.

What are some things you wish you knew before you started?

Something that’s important to know about COGO is that it can easily feel like a “thankless job.” It’s those days when they thank the RAs for what WE do (we are not associated with the RAs in any way shape or form), when people ask “what’s COGO?”, and when people just come down to grab the food and skip the actual event. It’s days like those where you wonder why you even do it. Yet, you’re still feeding someone, they’re still grateful for it, even if they don’t say it. You still plan awesome events, and people do enjoy them. Maybe we’ve saved them from one hour of boredom. That’s good enough for me, fam. Most days. 😛

Best part of Cogo?

Hands down, it’s the people you’ll meet. I loved my team members, I loved my CD, I loved the residents I met (especially those who thanked me), I loved the other members of different cogos, I loved our Exec Officers, and I loved the RAs who helped us. COGO members are some of the most selfless and generous people you’ll meet and I am so glad I met them.

Any negatives?

Depending on the position you have, you might have more work than other COGO members. We’re still kids, so sometimes we drop the ball. If you’re the only one keeping the ball up, don’t get angry. It happens!

Advice for people involved in or looking to get involved in cogo?

Meet the governor and apply for as many positions as possible. Even if you don’t feel you have enough experience, there’s a position for you in there somewhere!

#JoinCogo

If you have any questions feel free to shoot us a comment below!

 

 

Carolina InstaBucket List: Top 10 Carolina Photo Spots

Do it for the Insta’

Yep, we’re millennials, and we’re not ashamed. So what if we spend a few hours taking some pictures for a few likes? Don’t deny it, we’re all guilty! I know I am! (Shameless plug: Follow me @fania_the_funion :P)

To make it easier for you guys in your Instagram endeavors, I’ve compiled a list of the most photogenic spots on our campus that YOU NEED TO INCLUDE in your dossier before you graduate. We’ll be following our InstaMap, so let’s take a walk, shall we?

1. Dean Dome

Our first stop is the coveted Dean Dome, home to our illustrious basketball team and recent 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. (Duke who? Never heard of ’em.)

Yes, we are the University of National Champions, how may we help you?

Around basketball season, your Insta will  be full of pics of the stadium, people in their favorite jerseys, etc.

Make sure to grab your friends and one up us with some body paint!

Go to a basketball game, and cross this one off your bucket list. If you wanna be more artsy, go when no one is there and do some crazy poses. It’ll look good either way.

Pictures like these are useful as temporary profile pics during Basketball season! Go HEELS!

2. Kenan-Flagler School of Business

Our next spot is just a stair climb away. Though not as popular as some of our other spots, Kenan-Flagler really is a hidden gem.

Little slice of heaven hidden in the trees!

It’s got a beautiful and regal aesthetic. I mean, it is the business school, duh. There are so many different angles you can go with.

Benches are always a great photo spot!
Classy, never trashy 😉

Pro Tip: Check out the flag gallery under the awning. It’ll make you feel like you’re at the U.N. KF also makes a great setting for your LinkedIn photos. Get those connections, homey!

The Flag Gallery

3. SASB Plaza

After a 15 minute walk, we get to our next spot. SASB Plaza is so underrated and it breaks my heart! The brick aesthetic is the ideal! So geometric! So perfect! Plus, all the flowers and trees make this place irresistible . Not only is it nice to lounge in, but it’s also nice to take photos in  Not to mention, bonus, our housing office is like, RIGHT THERE, and that’s always amazing.

This is my favorite angle! You can try out a lot of different ones!

4. Kenan Stadium

A view down the field! Breathtaking!

One of my personal favorites is up next, Kenan Stadium. Everything is in Carolina Blue and oh man is to die for. Kenan Stadium is open until 11:00 p.m so you have plenty of opportunities to cross this off your list.

Gotta love our UNC insignia!

This one is essential for every Tar Heel! I have yet to get one, but I’m excited! Put on some spirit wear and grab some shots with your friends!

You can see the bell tower from this angle! Work it!

5. Bell Tower Amphitheater

This one is nearby and doesn’t really need to have a person in it. This one is a great landscape shot, especially

Gotta love UNC architecture! <3

with the beautiful reflective surface of the Genome Science building right behind it. Pro Tip: Pick a cloudy day for the most beautiful shot!

If you should decide that a person should be in the shot, this looks really pensive!

 

6. Bell Tower

This shot is an obvious one. Your InstaBucket list is incomplete without this one. This is a great choice for graduation pics if you want something iconic.

NC State’s Bell Tower ain’t got nothing on our’s!

Take one in the hedges or feature the pretty teal ceiling from underneath the bell tower.

Beautiful inside and out!

Composition Tip: Act like you’re leaning against it! This is such a creative shot. People will look at you funny, but it’s so worth it!

We got quite a few stares with this one…

7. Wilson Library

For those who want to seem more studious than they are, choose a shot of Wilson Library.

Wilson Library is definitely the most beautiful library on campus.

The columns can make any class clown seem serious.

Wilson is one of the more famous landmarks, so it can be hard to get a shot without other people in it, but it’s worth the wait. If anything, it makes good selfie material!

8. Old Well

If you thought I would forget to include this spot, you were poorly mistaken. This well is our symbol, our trademark, our pride. . . Modeled after the Temple of Love in the Garden of Versailles, this well will be giving you all the feels.

Whether it’s an FDOC “drinking from the water fountain picture” or just a beautiful landscape shot, you can’t go wrong with this one. Beautiful in all seasons, the Old Well is definitely a classic.

Left to Right, Clockwise: Autumn, Winter, Summer, Spring

9. Coker Arboretum

Coker Arboretum, which is on the East side of Cameron Avenue, is one of the most picturesque places on campus.

I like to call this the tunnel of love…just because all the couples take pics underneath!

Home to a variety of native plants, this little piece of Eden is a great place for graduation pics, couple pics, profile pics, or just any kind of photo shoot you can think of.

Benches, flowers, and trees make this a beautiful place to include on your Instagram.

Can’t you just picture yourself sitting there?

10. Forest Theatre

Last, but not least, is the Forest Theatre right in front of Cobb Residence Hall.

Forest Theatre: Summer

Get in touch with your theatric side, because the magnitude of this place is humbling. With rows upon rows of stone bleachers, you’ll feel as if you were transported back into Shakespearean times. After a few pictures here, you can take a walk around Battle Park, which is right next door, and complete your InstaJourney.

Forest Theatre: Fall

Even though I’ve only included ten spots in this journey, there are plenty more Insta worthy shots all over campus. It doesn’t matter where you are in UNC, everything is beautiful and yours for the taking!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and send us all your InstaBucket shots for the chance to be featured on our account! #UNCHousingInstaBucket @unchousing

 

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?

The Coolest Room Ever

It’s time to release your inner HGTV

The dog days of summer can often leave you longing for school to start. You may find yourself thinking about a time when there were things to do and people to do things with. Whenever I find myself in these moods, I like to anticipate the start of the next school year by looking at possible rooms themes for next semester. Weird, I know, but everyone has different ways of coping.

UNC Housing has a Pinterest with a variety of different boards you can look through if you are thinking about turning your room into your own cozy nook. Here are a few of my favorite themes from the Pinterest:

Movie Magic

I like to think of myself as a movie fanatic, so I actually may try this theme next semester. Exchange your tapestry for a screen, and you have yourself a home theater!  Plus, life is so much better when you feel like you’re the protagonist of your own film.

Music 

This theme is for those of you who have to live with background music at all times. Cover the wall with all of your favorite albums and records, and surely you’ll find other people with the same music taste.

Boho Chic

This theme doesn’t take much effort at all. In fact, effortlessness is a part of the look! This theme is pretty simple and thrives on fairy lights, earth tones, and tapestries. With this theme you can finally live out your dreams of being the young vagabond artist you’ve always wanted to be.

Adventure Is Out There!

The use of Washi Tape in this picture is pretty ingenious

I love traveling, so I decorated my room with this theme in mind last year. Whenever I felt stuck inside the “college bubble”, this theme reminded me that there was so much beyond Chapel Hill. I had a huge map posted against my wall, and every day I woke up feeling like I could conquer the world. If you’re thinking of investing in a map, my advice is to find one you can read from your bed. You’ll be surprised by how many countries you can memorize by the end of the year!

Remember not to stress over the “look” of your room come August. Your room is definitely a part of living on campus, but it’s more than the decorations that make the residence experience great.

Don’t Rain on Our Parade!

10 ways to make even the worst days seem dry and fly!

Welcome to Carolina, the place where the skies are always Carolina blue and the sunshine is always shining! For a few minutes.

Let’s be real for a second- the weather down south can be a *bit* temperamental, which means that the outdoor barbecue you were planning could be ruined by a torrential downpour if you aren’t lucky. Nevertheless, the great thing about living on campus is that even when it’s dark, dreary, and wet outside, residence halls are always LIT on the inside! 😉 Know what I’m saying? Here are 10 ideas for you to try out the next time a tropical storm comes hurtling up the coast.

1. Go Outside!

I know y’all think I’m some sort of crazy for suggesting this, but I have seen plenty of people who actually choose to stay outside in the rain. As long as the clouds aren’t wearing their thunderware and lightning belts, it can be fun to just play in the rain, and literally let nature wash your problems away.

2. Food n’ Friends

When it’s raining cats and dogs out and you don’t feel like taking a shower on your way to Rams, have a potluck dinner with your friends. Have everyone chip in whatever food you guys have in the fridge, get together on your floor’s kitchen, and just have a good time cooking and chatting over some homemade food! It could be one of your favorite memories one day.

3. Netflix and Pizza

When it’s thundering outside, cozy on up inside. Grab your suite mates, pitch in for a pizza, and binge watch you some House of Cards. Or the Office. Or Sense 8. All Housing Intern approved. Don’t have Netflix? Did you know that by living on campus you get free access to HBOGo? Well you do now! HOUSE OF THRONES GUYS, go, go, GO!

4. Take a Nap!

Don’t feel like doing anything? This one is easy. Just curl up in bed and catch up on your ZZZZZs. The soft pitter patter of rain on your windows will lull you to sleep.

5. Yoga Time

Rain is zen, and you should be too. Get in touch with nature AND yourself by doing some downward dog. Stressed about an upcoming midterm or final? Pro tip: The bridge pose (https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/bridge-pose) is great for releasing anxiety!

6. Game Night

Residence Halls are equipped with an arsenal of enhancements! I’m talking video games, board games, and rec room games. For example, Craige Residence Hall not only has a pool table, ping pong table, and air hockey table, it it also has an XBOX 360. Use these to your advantage! Go have some fun!

7. Spa Night

Listen, we’re all stressed. We go to one of the best universities in the country! Stress causes wrinkles. Treat yo’ skin by doing some facials. Put those cucumbers on your eyes and get rid of bags! It can be so relaxing. Turn your night in into a spa night!

8. Arts n’ Craft

Sometimes, you just have to paint something. It can be super fun to break out the scissors and glue stuff with your roommates. Plus, your room could always use some more decorating. Peep some ideas on our Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/unchousing/)!

9. Karaoke Night

Go on YouTube, load up your favorite songs, and have a good time belting it out with your friends. Heck, invite people you don’t know! There is no better bonding than badly rapping to Chance the Rapper. Pro Tip: Check if your residence hall has a karaoke machine in storage!

10. Working Out

Okay, this probably isn’t as much fun as a choice as eating pizza, BUT if you have free time, why not make some gains? Do squats, work on the booty, and thank me later. 😉 It’s still better than studying!

 

I could go on and on with fun things to do. Just because the sky is crying, doesn’t mean you have to also! It’s always a good day to be living in Carolina, rain or shine!

$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/