Category Archives: New Students

A Letter To Rising Freshman

Dear UNC 22,

My name is Kalina MacKay, and I’m incredibly jealous of you, rising freshman. I’m going to be a junior this year, which means I’m halfway done of my time at this magical place. And for that reason, I would give anything to be in your shoes – bright eyed and ready to begin my journey as an official Tar Heel.

I remember my summer between high school and college, not knowing what the future had in store for me. Would I make friends? Would I change in college? Would I get homesick? Spoiler alert – yes, yes, and yes. Going to college is one of – if not THE – biggest transitions of your life to date. So having these questions, is beyond normal. You’re not alone, we’ve all been there too.

My first snap as an official Tar Heel!

Yeah, you can read hundreds of blogs just like this one on how to prepare for college, but none of them can mimic that feeling of stepping on campus on move-in day, knowing that that day is this first day of the rest of your life. What I wouldn’t give to go back to that feeling. An overwhelming feeling of pure independence…, freedom…, and wait, I kind of miss my Mom…. Not everything about college is easy. In fact, college is very, very hard. But it’s also incredibly worth it.

Yikes, clearly I learned a lot since freshman year… like how to work my blinds….

Freshman year is SO fun. You’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll probably make a lot of mistakes and fall on your face a couple of times. But it’s okay because it’s your first-year and you’re still getting the hang of the whole college thing. You’re not expected to have your life together or start planning your future yet, your main priority is yourself and learning how to function on your own.

Maybe you’ll fail a test… or two… I know, I know, we’re all Carolina kids, and we all care about our grades – failing a test sounds like the end of the world. But may I repeat: College. Is. Hard. The beautiful thing about UNC is, even if you fail a test, you get to step out of that classroom onto the most stunning campus in the world, maybe go to a football game or basketball game to let out some stress and forget about it.

I can’t speak for everyone but personally, high school did not prepare me for college. I had no clue how to read a textbook without a quiz at the end forcing me to know the material or study for an exam without a pre-made study guide outlining the exact material on the test. But I figured it out, and you will too. One or two bad test grades in a gen-ed class is not going to wreck your GPA forever.

My first football game with my suitemates Zoe, Sarah, and Kate (208 forever)

Your first-year at UNC will be filled with tons of magical moments in unexpected places: your first time watching a Carolina victory and getting goosebumps knowing those are your classmates; your first time seeing the campus flooded with alumni during homecoming and realizing how big the Carolina community really is; your first time singing the alma mater at the end of a game and nailing every single word, feeling each syllable come from the bottom of your heart; your first class where you feel like ‘this is it – this is what I want to do for forever’.

College is this amazing time in your life where you get to grow up and reach new heights but also are still allowed to be a kid from time to time. You get to plan for the rest of your life and figure out your passions and purposes, while still pulling some dumb stunt at 3am with your roomie.

As the four years progress, things get more serious. Your classes get harder, maybe you get a job or internship, or maybe you get more involved in an organization. Now don’t get me wrong, all this stuff is tons of fun and great experience, but it also occupies a lot of your time.

Not only do you start to get busier, your friends also start to get busier. You’ll find yourself trying to squeeze an hour out of your busy schedule for lunch with your freshman suitemates whom you haven’t seen in ages. It’s never the same as your first-year when you all had free time in the evenings to go to dinner at the dining hall whenever you felt like it.

That’s why I’d kill to be a freshman again. Yeah, I struggled and learned a lot, but I also definitely took advantage of the carefree lifestyle your first-year allows for.

My first time rushing Franklin!!!

From that first move-in moment onwards, I’m not kidding when I say time will fly. So, breathe in every second. Every late-night laugh with your suitemates, every midnight mental breakdown tear in Davis Library, every TARRR shouted from the top of your lungs in the Dean Dome.

Make the most of your time here because honestly, you’ll never get another opportunity quite like this. For probably the first time in your life, you’re in complete control of your life without someone telling you to finish your dinner or be home by 10:00. But at the same time, you’ve got an incredible support community of RA’s, professors, and peers when you need it.

Being over dramatic on my last night in my dorm…

Whatever fears and worries you have about college will disappear in no time and before you know it, you’ll be tearing up as you drive away from campus for the Summer. Carolina is contagiously welcoming and calling yourself a Tar Heel is an honor, tradition, and a privilege. Whoever said high school was the best four years of your life clearly didn’t go to UNC.

 

Lots of love from one of many who’s rooting for you,

Kalina

 

UNC Campus Celebs

Carolina is full of personality to say the least. With that, there are tons of notable figures on campus that our students both worship and love to hate. We love our super successful alumni, but this one is for all the current Heels… Here’s the ultimate breakdown of all the current UNC celebs!

Carol Folt

Of course, the first celebrity I had to mention is our beloved chancellor – Carol Folt. Always dressed to the nines (probably in some form of Carolina blue), Carol is the true QUEEN of UNC. She loves our school and it’s students, and can be found supporting them at various events throughout the year, so stay alert because you never know where you’ll see her! Also, if you see her – you HAVE to ask for a selfie, she loves taking them, and it’s #81 on UNC’s bucket list!

Image result for carol folt

Roy Williams

Easily my fav celeb on this list is THE Roy Williams. He’s only the coach of the greatest college basketball program of all time (Bias? Maybe a little, but that doesn’t make it not true…). Let’s just take a minute to acknowledge this man’s coaching accomplishments.

  1. Over 800 career wins
  2. 17-time regular season conference champion titles
  3. 7-time tournament conference champion titles
  4. 9 Final Fours
  5. 3 National Championships [1]

I have nothing else to say other than this Roy is an angel in human form and we LOVE him!

Image result for roy williams gif

Any Basketball Player

Along those same lines, any player on the UNC basketball team is regarded as a celebrity on campus. They walk around like skyscrapers in a crowd, which makes them pretty easy to spot. I’m sure when they walk around campus they constantly hear “omg, there’s Luke Maye/Kenny Williams/Cam Johnson/etc.”, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t alert whoever you’re walking with – it’s the friendly thing to do, right?

Image result for luke maye class
After Luke Maye saved the day keeping us alive in the 2017 Elite Eight game vs Kentucky, he showed up bright and early to his BUSI 101 8am lecture!

Gary the Pit Preacher

Gary is a man that sits in the pit or the corner of the Quad and screams very radical religious statements at innocent passerby’s. Regardless of your religious beliefs, its very amusing to sit and listen to his claims and watch people’s reactions. Gary has become such a part of UNC culture that students have dressed up as him for Halloween!

Rumor has it that Gary has retired/is retiring soon, and many new pit preachers are surfacing to fill his shoes. But no one will ever replace Gary the original.

Image result for gary the pit preacher

Quad Whistler

I’m not really sure if this counts as a notable figure since most wouldn’t recognize him in person, but one thing is for sure – we’ve all heard that whistle. He strolls through McCorkle Place so often that you may think there’s an automated whistling sound track running over some loud speakers in the quad.

Image result for unc quad whistler
The face behind the voice, courtesy of DTH!

Joann Traffic Guard

As you cross the streets of UNC, you’ll often be greeted by traffic guards making sure you make it safely to the other side. Joann is one of these people, but she’s incredibly special to the Carolina community. She will always respond to your “thank you”, and always has a smile on her face – through rain or shine. Students are such a big fan of this hero that a GoFundMe page was started to fund Joann’s travels to Arizona to visit her son. This fundraiser raised over $7700 – 11 times it’s original goal of $700!

Image result for joann traffic guard
Joann receiving her funds, photo courtesy of DTH.

Dan Reichart

It seems fitting to end with another beloved, but less-known UNC hero. Before November of 2017, Dan Reichart was just a Physics and Astronomy Professor. But when there was an attempted bombing of the Davie Poplar tree, Reichart literally jumped in the fire to save the day. Surviving with second degree burns, the fire exploded on the professor as he was trying to extinguish it. We’re so thankful for Reichart’s actions in saving the momentous Carolina tree!

Image result for reichart davie poplar
Reichart trying to put out the Davie Poplar fire

 

If I missed your favorite current UNC figure, let me know in the comments! And if you see any of these guys around campus this year, be sure to ask for a selfie 😊

[1] https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/coaches/roy-williams-1.html

How To Survive Your First Day

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

  1. Know What FDOC Means

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

Image result for gif what does that mean

2. Find Your Classes the Day Before

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

Image result for unc campus map

3. Sit in the Front

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

Image result for gif ready to learn

4. Make Time for Lunch

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

Image result for carolina dining services lenoir

5. Prepare a Fun Fact

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

Image result for gif not interesting

6. Create Group Chats

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

Image result for gif can i have your number

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

You Mean There Are How Many Libraries???

That’s right folks!

As you may have heard, UNC’s campus is home to 12 beautiful libraries, where students love to study with friends (but also procrastinate and enjoy an Alpine bagel). While they can’t all be as as big and beautiful as our friend Davis, each and every one of them is special in its own way!

My article today is going to be a completely biased ranking of the 12 libraries on campus, according to my experience. However, feel free to leave me a message in the comments, letting me know which is your fav!

12. (Sloane) Art Library 

This bad boy is only open during business hours, which means no late-night study sessions. I also don’t have much interest in studying art, but this definitely may be a good fit if you’re an Arts major, as it is conveniently located in Hanes Art Center.

11. Law Library 

I’ve included this one so far down on the list because I’ve only ever seen the Law School while riding past it on the RU, so I don’t know what this building is actually like. If it’s surprisingly a beautiful library, feel free to let me know!

10. Government (Knapp) Library 

Image result for knapp sanders building unc

This library is similar to #11 in that I’ve never actually seen the inside of it, but I’ve ranked it higher on the list because it’s called Knapp, which sounds like nap? Maybe it’s a secretly great napping space on campus!

9.  Media and Journalism Library

I’ve ranked the MeJo library pretty low simply because I’m not a big fan of Carroll Hall. I’ve only had classes in that one lecture hall with those really tiny desks, which was not fun. You guys know what I mean?

8. Music Library

I’m as big a fan of music as the next guy, and I do appreciate the resources available in this space. However, it’s located inside of Wilson, but is really more of a side-show to the real Wilson Library, which is ranked much higher on this list.

7. Information & Library Science Library 

This one is cool because it’s an actual library for librarians, which I think is neat. It’s also home to UNC’s largest selection of children’s literature, leading many to call it our campus’s Children’s Library!

Image result for unc information science library

6. Stone Center Library

While this space is nothing fancy, it ranks pretty high on the list for its convenient location! Located below South Road and next to the Genome Sciences Building, this one is a hidden gem in a very well-travelled part of our campus. Check it out!

5. (Kenan) Science Library 

Kenan is definitely one of our smallest libraries on campus, but has a lot of awesome resources, as well as close proximity to our BeAMaker Space! They also have very cool study rooms, which can be reserved online.

4. Health Sciences Library

An honorable mention, this library has the BEST location for any of our Public Health, Nursing, or other graduate health students located near the hospitals. It’s also home to the Friends’ Café, its very own coffee shop!

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

3. House Undergraduate Library (UL) 

I might ruffle some feathers by placing this as #3, but I think a few too many all-nighters here may have ruined it for me. However, the 24-hour all-access study space is definitely convenient, if nothing else. Easily a Top 3 UNC library.

2. Wilson (Special Collections Library)

Arguably the architectural grandfather of our beautiful campus, this building would easily rank #1 if not for its limited hours and strict noise policy. Can we start a a campus-wide movement to keep Wilson open past 5pm?

1. Davis Library <3

The big man on campus. Davis has a little bit of everything, perfect for each student’s study preferences. You want quiet, cozy study rooms? Check out the view from the 8th floor! Want to chat with your friends & eat dinner while studying? Grab a booth in the 1st floor study lounge. Davis is objectively the BEST library on campus, and is only getting better with renovations!

Image result for davis library unc

Thanks for bearing with me through this VERY long post about UNC’s many libraries! Let me know in the comments how you feel, and we can start a healthy discussion about which truly is BEST! Happy studying, Tar Heels!!

The Ultimate Tar Heel Dictionary

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

Image result for gdtbath gif

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

Image result for jordan 1982 gif

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

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

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

Image result for ceiling is the roof gif

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

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

Image result for dook gif
We know, being a Dookie is a sad life…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for midterm gif
This is my constant mood during midterm season…

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

Image result for unc natty gif

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

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

Image result for rush franklin

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

 

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

My Carolina Love Story

A shy 12-year-old girl + a boy with dreamy green eyes = a perfect love story. And it’s true. That little girl fell in love, but not with a person, with a place.

2011

Ugh I cringe just thinking about middle school. Awkward outfits, braces, everyone just trying to fit in… man middle school is rough. For the first time, boys don’t have cooties and everyone you meet you see as the next prince charming. In sixth grade, I thought I had met the love of my life. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong- but he did set my path to the greatest school on earth. You see, he was a big Tar Heel fan, but us being from Florida, Carolina wasn’t exactly a school you were “born” into loving. UNC could’ve stood for Univerity of Northern California for all I knew. Safe to say, my knowledge of the school was an absolute zero. That didn’t stop me however from I fantasizing about going to college with him and marrying my middle school sweetheart (totally normal right?).

2014

On the way to a Christmas trip to Washington DC, I asked my family if we could stop in Chapel Hill. Yea, it was pretty out of our way, but I told them I was considering it as a place for college, and compared to Orlando, we were closer now than usual. This was the winter break of my sophomore year, so college wasn’t realllyyy on my mind. It was just kinda this place I knew I would go to after high school, but it was anyone’s guess as to where that place would actually be. We ended up stopping by on December 30th. I remember campus was deserted. Obviously everyone had headed home for break. It was cold, the branches were bare, yet part of me couldn’t look away. We walked all around campus trying to find the Old Well. I nagged my siblings as they complained and I just kept telling them, “Guys trust me, this Well thing is like one of UNC’s biggest picture spots.” We ended up at the water tower by Morrison. I know they recently painted it Carolina blue, but four years ago it was as plain as could be. We were not in the right place. After about another hour of wandering around, we finally found it. There was nothing fancy about it. It really is just a well. At that point, I didn’t know what the Well stood for or what its importance was, but I did remember the water was tastier than I imagined. I left that trip with Carolina on my mind, and it hasn’t left my mind since.

2016

2016 marked the start of my senior year in high school. College really mattered at this point. As I tried to make my list of schools, I knew Carolina had to be on it. I spent the first few months of my year checking out what each school had to offer. I narrowed my list to five. I had a few safeties and a few reaches. Carolina was a reach. I was confident in my grades and application, but I can’t deny that those out-of-state statistics aren’t scary. Out of all the schools on my list, Carolina’s application deadline was the earliest one. It was October 1st and I didn’t have my essays written. Two weeks until the deadline. I told myself I just needed to sit and focus, but I was so busy with senior year, that moment never came. October of 2016 was when Florida got hit by Hurricane Matthew. By some miracle, UNC extended their application deadline for families that were hit. I heard the message loud and clear. This was my second chance to get my application in. There was no way I was going to pass it up. I locked myself in a room for a weekend and I typed. I typed my long essay and my short responses. I sent them to my teachers and my friends. I deleted and I rewrote almost every line. Finally at 11:57 PM, I hit submit.

A few weeks later, my mom and I took a trip to Carolina one more time. The last time I had been I was a sophomore, so a lot could have changed. I wanted to make sure it was still the school I remembered. Good news: we didn’t get lost this time. I took her straight to the Old Well and we took pictures again. We paused after as we took in the scenery. Carolina really is beautiful. It’s welcoming and it’s peaceful. I drank from the Well once more, hoping when I heard back from the school in January it would be a “Congratulations!” and not a “We regret to inform you.”

2017

When decisions came out in January, I was too scared to open it. I had my little brother look for me. The thing was, I forgot he didn’t really know how to read. After hearing him struggle with the words, I looked myself and saw it, “It gives us great pleasure…” I can’t tell you what it said after that, my eyes were filled with tears at this point. Everything I had ever wanted was written in the letter right in front of my eyes.

Said brother (and hopefully future Tar Heel) who can now read

In February, my mom and I once again flew to Chapel Hill to see the school one last time. I had my choices narrowed down to two schools, and this trip reminded me why. Walking around campus I saw smiling faces everywhere. I wanted to go to a school where I’d be happy- a school I’d enjoy going to. Chapel Hill was it for me.

2018

As for the boy from middle school, he did also get into Carolina, but he decided not to come here. It’s his loss. Carolina is where I’ve found my home, my friends, and my future. Of all the love stories I’ve heard, Carolina is my favorite so far.

Can I Start Packing Yet?

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

There’s Two Types of People…

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

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

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

Step #1: Talk to Your Roomie

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

Image result for talking on phone gif

Step #2: Look into RHA Enhancements

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

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

Image result for renting gif
No catch here, thanks RHA!!!

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

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

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

Image result for desert island gif
Like the opposite of UNC

End Goal – Keep It Light

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

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

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

 

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

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

Carolina, More Than Just a Basketball School

Okay it’s true, Tar Heels love their basketball. No, we worship our basketball. From late November to early April, the one thing getting us through our Winter blues is that Carolina plays in the upcoming future. We plan our schedules around the Heels, ensuring that we are free to watch each and every game. That is all incredibly true. But we will never be just a basketball school. The passion for the color on our backs bleeds into each and every sport. Need some facts to back it up? Look no further.

Women’s Soccer

A classic example of Carolina talent in it’s purest form, this team holds a whopping 22 National Championship titles[1]. For comparison, the next university with the most titles in this sport is Notre Dame with three titles. To say that Carolina is dominant in Women’s Soccer is an understatement. It should come as no surprise that several Tar Heel alums have won Olympic Gold Medals in this sport. We are so proud to call this program, led by Anson Dorrance, our own.

Image result for unc women's soccer gif

Field Hockey

Coming in third in the natty count behind Women’s Soccer and Men’s Basketball is Field Hockey with six championship titles! Most recently, the Heels made it all the way to the Final Four in 2017. This team was also home to six women who earned All-ACC Academic honors, proving that they are successful both on and off the field!

UNC has won 20 out of the 35 ACC Field Hockey tournaments that have been played. That is, while the team accounts for 12.5% of the league, it owns ~57% of the tournament titles. In the 2016 Olympic Games, five out of the 16 players on Team USA were former Tar Heels[2].

Image result for unc field hockey gif

Men’s Lacrosse

In 2016, UNC secured their fifth National Championship title in Men’s Lacrosse. The team also holds 13 ACC champions, the second most in the league behind Virginia. Next Thursday, June 28th you can catch four of these former Heels in action in the Major League Lacrosse All-Stars match[3]!

Image result for unc lacrosse gif

Baseball

While our baseball team has never won a College World Series, this is such a talented team worth noting. This year the team made it all the way to the CWS, and while they weren’t able to bring home the title, we are still so proud of their incredible season! This team has six ACC tournament titles and 11 regular season titles, most recently in 2018.

Another reason to love the Diamond Heels? Keenan Stadium and the Dean Dome are amazing places, but there is nothing better than spending a day in the Boshamer Stadium, watching the Heels play baseball, under a beautiful Carolina blue sky!

Image result for unc baseball gif

Football

So we’ve had our ups and downs with the football program here. While every season may not have been as picture perfect as we may have hoped, this program has created some remarkable successes worth noting. Greg Ellis, Julius Peppers and Mitch Trubisky are among the 215[4] Tar Heels that have played in the NFL.

Image result for unc football gif

 

Cross Country, Track and Field, Fencing, Golf, Tennis, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Rowing, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Volleyball, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, and Women’s Lacrosse – I didn’t forget about you guys. But if I raved about each and every Carolina team (which I promise, I totally could), this blog post would go on FOREVER.

So moral of the story, while our basketball team is home to seven National Championships, an incredible coach with over 800 career wins, and amazingly talented athletes; at UNC we love all our sports just the same – and we will not stand to be called a ‘basketball school’.

 

[1] https://goheels.com/news/2015/6/10/205473190.aspx

[2] https://goheels.com/news/2016/7/1/211047891.aspx

[3] https://goheels.com/news/2018/6/18/mens-lacrosse-four-tar-heels-set-to-play-in-2018-mll-all-star-game.aspx

[4] http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?abbr=N&collegeName=North+Carolina&abbrFlag=0&type=school

Leaving Your Heel Print

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

Join a Student Organization

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

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

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

Become a Leader in your Org

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

Get Involved in Greek Life

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

Image result for greek life unc
Members of UNC Fraternities and Sororities coming together.

Participate in an Intramural Sport

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

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

Image result for unc intramural
Win an event, score a coveted Intramural Champ T-Shirt!

…Or Just Attend Sporting Events

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

Image result for unc student section
#GetIntoIt!!!!!

Bond with a Professor or Mentor

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

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

 

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

Managing Money

If you’re an incoming first year, you may wonder if the broke college student life is real?  Even as a returning student you could be in that current state as we speak (well read). Either way, whomever you may be, I’m going to share some tips on how to save your shmoneyy and get your coins.

FOOD. FOOD. FOOD.

Image result for buying food gifSince we’re notorious for being broke college students, ever wonder what we spend the most money on? It is known that most college students spend a lot of money on food, and after just my first year I can definitely attest to that. Whether it’s grabbing a bite out with friends or ordering in, we tend to overspend on meals. So, in order to avoid all the unnecessary expenses on food, it is wise to add dinning flex to your UNC One Card. For those of you who may not know, you can add flex which is basically money specifically for food to your UNC One Card. This will allow you to pay for meals by swiping (like a regular card) at those dinning locations all around campus and even some places on Franklin Street. This way you have allotted money that is specifically for food so you wont have to worry about impulse buying. Also, if you have a meal plan on campus, make sure to utilize those green to-go boxes to store food for later, so you can not only save a swipe but you won’t have to worry about your next meal. In addition, purchasing snacks or groceries to keep in your room is smarter as you’re able to grab something from your fridge easily instead of having to order something. Needless to say, grabbing a meal with friends or ordering your favorite pizza once in awhile is okay but try to avoid overspending so you can save your coins for other things.

GETTING A JOB OR INTERNSHIP

Image result for cardi b shmoney gif

Although your main priority for coming to college is to get that degree, if you have the time or chance, picking up a part-time job or finding a paid internship can very beneficial. Not only will you be rewarded financially but you are also getting experiences that will allow you to develop your skills that you can eventually put on your resume. Working is also an opportunity that will help you learn how to save because you will soon come to realize the value and/or struggle of making a buck. Having a job also teaches you management and organization which you can apply to saving money and spending, or in this case not spending. Nonetheless, getting that paycheck every other week is a sweet feeling and is even sweeter when you don’t go out the next day and spend it all.  Of course, you deserve to treat your self for all that hard work but don’t go overboard so that all your hard earned money won’t be wasted on things you’ll never use or that are unnecessary.

 

BUDGETING

As lame and tedious as that may sound, it’s very beneficial to have a budget planned for the school year cause if not well…

Creating a plan or system where you allot specific amount of money to certain things like clothes, going out, school supplies and groceries will help you visually map out the needs from the wants. It gives you the chance to see where your bad spending habits are, and also helps you find ways to organize your expenses. Also, when budgeting you can create a certain plan to save money (like 50% of you paycheck goes to your saving account) that way you will have the funds in case of an emergency or unexpected circumstances. Most banks have budgeting softwares within their banking apps or you can simply write out a plan in your notes and take control! Additionally, UNC hosts many events targeted to students like us, who struggle with spending money so be sure to look out for flyers to get some tips from professionals about how to budget and save! There are many resources available and many are at your fingertips, so be sure to use them while you can to avoid breaking the bank.