Category Archives: resources

Week of Welcome: The Rundown

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

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

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

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

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

First Year Tips: The Learning Center!

As we make our way back onto campus this fall, it’s important to remember some of the awesome resources available to us when classes start again! My first blog post in this series was about Academic Advising, and can be located here.

I also thought it was important to highlight the Learning Center here at UNC! According to their website,

“Students enter the Learning Center when they want to improve their academic skills and/or grades, get better at managing time, have questions about learning disabilities or ADHD, want to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and more.”

The rest of this post will highlight some of the services provided by the Learning Center, and I’ll probably mention my experience with these services as well!

Test Prep Resources

Looking to go to medical, dental, law, pharmacy, or one of the many other professional schools that are so popular for UNC students? Guess what that means? More standardized testing!

Thankfully, the Learning Center has a ton of resources to make sure you’re prepared. They offer free practice tests online and strategy sessions for each of the major exams. Additionally, they offer test prep classes through a partnership with the Princeton Review, so you can get some face-to-face help as well!

Peer Tutoring

Let’s be honest–the classes at UNC can get pretty hard sometimes. Whenever I’m struggling in a class (probably math), I like to go get help from the Peer Tutoring Center! They offer services in “150+ of the most popular classes at UNC,” so chances are they’ll be able to help you.

I sometimes prefer to go see a Peer Tutor rather than go to my professor’s office hours, simply because they’re super approachable and were just in your shoes a couple years ago. They truly understand what it’s like to be a UNC student, so they can advise you on the best ways to study, among other things.

Study Groups

If a one-on-one tutoring session is not your style, you could probably benefit from one of the Learning Center’s study groups! They offer these in many popular, larger undergrad classes, like General Chemistry & Biology, as well as Calculus.

I used to attend their Bio Cell study group for BIOL 101, and it was really nice to see some of my fellow classmates there & talk through the content with them.

Academic Coaching Sessions

You know those days where you just feel like you can’t retain any information, no matter how hard you try? Same.

This past semester, during finals season, I went to a study tools workshop through the Learning Center, where they taught me to analyze my study habits and work to maximize my time. They also offer one-on-one sessions like this with an academic coach, where you can talk about goal-setting, time management, sleep schedules, and really anything you’d like to. Check it out!

The Learning Center obviously provides a ton of FREE, awesome resources to students, so you should definitely check it out. They’re located in SASB North, right next to the Housing office (come say hi!). Additionally, they have drop-in tutoring in Dey Hall and certain appointments out of Greenlaw.

Let us know what other cool resources on campus you’d like to hear about, and we’ll get back to you. Good luck, Tar Heels!

So You Want to Go to a Basketball Game…

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

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The Lottery  

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

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

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

The Turn-It-Back Line

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

The Stand-By Line

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

Carolina Fever

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

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

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Pro-Tips

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

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

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

First Year Tips: Academic Advising!

We’re so excited to welcome the Class of 2022 onto our campus in just a couple of weeks! Your first year can definitely be an overwhelming one, with so many opportunities being thrown your way. (Just wait until you get to Fall Fest!)

With that being said, we want to provide our future classmates with as much help as we can before they arrive on campus! This blog post will begin a series of posts that highlight some awesome resources in and around campus. If there’s something you want to hear more about, leave us a comment or DM us on one of our social media accounts!

What is Academic Advising?

Academic Advising provides assistance and guidance to students from orientation to graduation as they make their way through the College of Arts & Sciences. Their mission is “to create a supportive environment in which we partner with undergraduates as they explore goals, develop educational plans, and thrive at Carolina.”

This information, along with more explicit details, can be found on their super helpful website! The following sections will point out a number of ways that advising has helped me–and how they can help you too!

Course Registration

At this point, the vast majority of our future Tar Heels have already made it through Orientation, so you’ve got a decent understanding of how registration works. If this process still baffles you, your advisor can show you exactly how it works!

In the future, advising can help you decide what classes you should register for, to ensure that you graduate on time, but also that you’re not overwhelming yourself with too rigorous of a schedule!

Deciding on a Major/Minor

Some of you may be undecided on  your major, and that is totally okay! Your first year is a great way to explore different majors and minors, while fulfilling some courses for your gen-ed requirements.

I was completely undecided on a major until recently, so my advisor provided me with a career interest survey, where I answered a TON of questions, then got some feedback about what careers & majors might suit me best!

Finding Cool Opportunities

Once you get to know your advisor, they always have your best interest in mind! I have met with my advisor several times throughout the year; he knows what my career goals are, so he’ll often point out different internships or other opportunities in the area that I could take advantage of. Advising is your friend!

…And Many, Many More!

You’re required to meet with an academic advisor in the fall of your first semester, but don’t think of it as an obligation. Get to know your advisor, schedule many appointments, and take advantage of this awesome resource! Their job is to make sure that you are totally satisfied with your time at UNC, so check out their office. Advising can be found in the Steele Building or the Hardin Hub on South Campus. Good luck, Tar Heels!

How To Survive Your First Day

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

  1. Know What FDOC Means

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

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2. Find Your Classes the Day Before

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

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3. Sit in the Front

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

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4. Make Time for Lunch

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

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5. Prepare a Fun Fact

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

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6. Create Group Chats

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

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

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 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!!

Can I Start Packing Yet?

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

There’s Two Types of People…

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

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

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

Step #1: Talk to Your Roomie

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

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Step #2: Look into RHA Enhancements

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

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

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No catch here, thanks RHA!!!

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

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

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

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Like the opposite of UNC

End Goal – Keep It Light

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

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

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

 

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

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

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/

Mind Over Matter: Stay Mentally Healthy at UNC

Carolina is an amazing place to be and learn BUT LETS BE REAL, at times it can feel stressful and challenging. As assignments pile up and exams approach, it is natural that your levels of anxiety and stress rise. Along with academics, being away from home can be difficult to adjust to and cope with, therefore we understand how hard it can feel. However, we want to make your years here as pleasurable and stress free as possible!

Ask For Help!

First thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay to seek help. UNC can be academically challenging at times and we recognize that. That’s why if you’re are struggling don’t be afraid to speak with your Teacher Assistant or even your professor to receive additional help. Luckily, Carolina provides free tutoring sessions in Dey Hall or in SASB North, so take advantage of these resources! Also, ease your mind by speaking with a friend, classmate, Residential Advisor, etc as their is someone always willing to listen. Also since everyone is pretty much on the same boat as you, it won’t be hard for someone to understand what you’re going through.  We understand that the struggle is real but don’t let that hinder your from feeling or doing your best at Carolina! There are also mental health professionals located at Campus Health that are dedicated to ensure you can be your best mentally while at Carolina, so schedule and appointment or walk in to get a chance to speak with them!

For The People, By The People.

There are many mental wellness organizations created by students for the students that are dedicated to promote positive wellness  among the student body. If this is something you’re passionate about or if you need a community that can take time to understand and help you overcome those difficulties then be sure to check out those organizations. HeelLife is a UNC portal that allows students to scope through the surplus of organizations at Carolina. You can filter your search with any keyword to find the one that best fits you. To get you started there are a few popular organizations that we have included here. One of them is known as We Wear the Mask which is a group focused on decreasing the stigma around mental health within the African American community to promote better ways to approach mental health. Another organization is known as Embody Carolina, which was started by a Miss UNC Campaign that now has been established as a organization. The organization strives to portray a positive outlook towards body image and body positivity. Healthy Heels is another group found within UNC that is orchestrated by students ambassadors, who are committed to advocate a healthy lifestyle for students through workshops, pitsits, and other events. So through the highs and lows you may experience during your college career, never forget that we’re all in this together!

Me, Myself and I

We hope you understand that though we are here to get our degrees and pursue our careers,  it’s okay to focus on ourselves, as our health is way more important. So make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself. You can do so by incorporating self care days and time to relax into your schedule! Take some “me” time by doing one of the following self-care ideas or anything else that would better suit you:

  • Watch a few episodes of your favorite show
  • Treat yourself with some ice-cream or favorite desert
  • Go to the gym and get a workout in
  • Chill with your friends

Having a balance between school and your personal time is very essential.  Don’t be shy to use the endless resources around you or your peers for a listening ear or an extra hand. The struggle is something we will all face and there’s no reason you should have to face it alone! Definitely strive to make these the best years of your life. So don’t forget to have fun and let loose but always keep your head in the game!

Food Necessities: Dorm Edition

Whether you’re getting an unlimited meal plan or not, you’re still going to need some sort of food in your room. While you may be awake at 2 a.m. finishing homework, the dining hall workers won’t be. They need a break too! On school nights, Chase is open until midnight, so you get a little breathing room, but after that, it’s every student for themselves. Plus, chances are, even if you do get hungry at a time that the dining halls are open, you’re bound to experience at least one wave of laziness where you don’t want to make the trek to the dining hall (it’s not always a sunny, 75 degrees outside). Trust me, being a Florida native, this past winter season was miserable. It may only have been 50 degrees out, but I’m telling you wind chill is a real thing and it definitely makes it feel 30, so walking to Chase or Lenoir was not at the top of my agenda. And for all you Northerners saying you’re used to the cold, welllllll it also rains here in North Carolina, and if you aren’t in the business of getting soaked, I strongly suggest keeping a few of these in your room:

Image result for college dorm food

Ramen noodles and/or Easy Mac:

There is a reason everyone associates dorm food with them, ramen noodles and easy mac WILL be your lifesavers. There’s just no way around it. Any variation of instant pasta will do, but these two are the cheapest. All you need is the pasta, water, and 3 minutes of your time, and then voila, you have yourself a whole meal! If you want to get creative, add a few herbs and spices. It’ll take it from your traditional microwavable meal to one worthy of Gordon Ramsay (okay exaggerating a little).

Lunchables:

It might’ve been since fifth grade since you had a lunchable, but don’t underestimate them. These are the perfect snacks for when you’re hungrier than just chips, but not hungry enough for a full meal. My favorite is the classic ham and cheese (it brings oreos!!), but you can’t go wrong with the nachos either. For days you wish your classes were as easy as in elementary school, lunchables bring you one step closer to your inner 10 year old.

Chips/Goldfish:

For when you need something salty to munch on, these are the perfect snack items. They’re cheap, unmessy, and honestly very yummy. Chips and queso? Chips and salsa? Goldfish? Doritos? Get a variety pack and avoid boredom.

Bagels:

Those 8 a.m. classes are tough, honestly even the 9:05 and 10:10 classes can be hard to get to some days. When you don’t have time to get breakfast beforehand, make sure to keep your room stocked with bagels. They’re yummier than plain bread, but still filling, and they’re something you can eat as you run to class. For those of you with a fridge, feel free to keep some cream cheese or butter. It’ll be just like you stopped by Alpine.

Bananas/Cuties:

My first year, a group of my friends created this “banana challenge” as a joke. They challenged you to eat a whole banana under 10 seconds, and yes, it’s as hard as it sounds. One time, they “banana’d” me, forcing me to start the challenge. They were chanting my name to get me to do it, and soon enough, that whole area of the dining hall was shouting “Valentina! Valentina!” It was mortifying, to say the least. I didn’t end up eating the banana in the dining hall, not with all those people staring, but I did take it back to my dorm room. That’s when I realized I had just done something. Why use a swipe trying to get a banana, when I could just take one the night before and save it in my room? Try this every time you’re in Chase. Don’t leave without a banana. As for cuties, who doesn’t love them? The Target on Franklin sells them year round, so be sure to stock up.

Granola bars/trail mix:

Do I even need to explain this one? Perfect for on the go, perfect in the morning, perfect at night… There is really no bad time for granola bars or trail mix. Definitely buy one with m&m’s in it- no one eats the normal kind anyway.

Something sweet:

Everyone has a sweet tooth. When you’re on South campus and don’t want to walk a mile for Lenoir cookies, make sure to keep something sweet in your room. I found cookies or chocolates work best because they don’t expire quickly, but definitely, if you’re a baker and you enjoy cupcakes on the weekly, keep some cake mix in your dorm. It’ll come in handy if you ever forget about your roommate’s birthday.

Pro tip:

Many of these foods require a fridge or microwave, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring both. One of the great blessings of having a roommate is you guys can decide what each person is bringing. Divide and conquer. Now that room assignments are out, get in contact with your roommate and start talking about who is bringing what. There is no point (or space) to have two of each item.