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Studying abroad with On-Campus Housing

Way easier than subleasing. Trust me.

Hey fellow Tar Heels! The on-campus housing application opens soon (Oct. 23!!!), and I know there are a lot of things to consider. One of the reasons why I’m living on-campus next year is because of UNC Housing’s flexible study abroad policies! If you’re thinking of taking a semester abroad, here are some FAQs that can clarify any questions you may have:

How do I apply for UNC housing if I want to study abroad?

You would go through the same application process as a student that wants to live on campus. For students planning to go abroad in the fall, we suggest that they apply for on campus housing in the even that their study abroad plans fall through. For those going abroad in the spring, students will sign up for housing and we will cancel the spring portion of their contract without penalty.

What are important dates I should know?

·         November 1st – Spring housing application date

·         October 23rd – Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 application opens

·         November 26th – Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 application closes

How much will UNC housing cost if I study abroad for a semester?

There is no charge for on campus housing while you’re abroad.

How much is the cancellation fee for housing if I study abroad?

There is no cancellation penalty for students choosing to study abroad.

What happens if my roommate studies abroad for a semester?

·         If your roommate is going abroad for the fall, you can either try an fill that space with someone that will be leaving in the spring or we will try and fill the space with a 1 semester exchange student. We cannot guarantee or hold the space for their return in the spring. We can also work to reassign you to another room with your friend when we make room assignments for the spring.

·         If your roommate is abroad in the spring, you will have an opportunity to fill their space with another student. If you’re unable to find someone, we will open the space to another student to fill though our the assignment process. In limited cases we can offer the room as a single room buyout.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful! Wherever you decide to go abroad, I hope you consider living on campus when you get back.


The Beginner’s Guide to Carrboro

Great question. As a student at Chapel Hill, you not only live on a beautiful campus, you also live right next to the coolest small town on earth.

I’m biased since I grew up there, but take it from me – Carrboro is full of great stuff. Too many of my friends never made it up there during their first few years at Carolina, and now they can’t get enough.

Trying to figure out where Chapel Hill ends and where Carrboro starts can get a bit confusing. It’s kind of a local meme. I always tell people anything past Wings Over is officially in the next town, but the two towns are so close-knit that they might as well be the same place.

Except Carrboro is way cooler. I’m talking fresh donuts, fresh greens, fresh dance moves, live music, live people, live bars, dive bars and anything you could want to do while in college. Chapel Hill is great and I love it. Campus is wonderful and incredibly conducive to learning and bettering yourself and all that jazz. Carrboro is conducive to some straight up ignance.

Try it out the second weekend after you move in.  Get your friends together and stroll on over to Jade Palace. Or 2nd Wind if you’re 21. Just really soak in the small town goodness, and make sure you complete the taco truck rodeo at least once before you graduate. 

Only thing about Carrboro is, you might not actually want to live there just yet. It was a great place tog row up, but man does it suck to have to walk to the bus stop at 6 in the morning. Great place to visit, less great place to live as a student. Being able to walk to class in 10 minutes is a get out of jail free card you don’t even realize you have until it’s gone.

The best time to visit ton is going to be during one of the music events, which happen pretty much all of the time. Weaver Street Market is a really great spot to go and relax and eat something healthy, and they’ve always got a band or two playing there. If you’re more of a night owl, Cat’s Cradle puts on some seriously kick-ass concerts year round. They’ve got Towkio and Amine coming up in October.

So get into your class routine, buy all of your textbooks, then take a night off and go appreciate some dank tacos and tunes in the sleepiest town that never sleeps.

The Comprehensive Guide to Hating Dook

You did it. You’re a Tar Heel, now and forever. You go to the University of National Champions (or I guess technically it stands for North Carolina but whatever).With great power comes great responsibility, and no responsibility is greater than upholding the proud tradition of hating Dook.

If you’re new, you’ve probably heard of the tobacco road rivalry, and you probably also spell the other school’s name “Duke”. You’re in college now so it would be pretty embarrassing to make such basic spelling errors in public. Stay ahead of the curve of incoming first-years and make sure to refer to them as Dook as much as possible 100% of the time.

Now, you guys only have a little bit of time before basketball season starts, so now more than ever it’s important to teach yourself the basics. Basketball is kind of a religion here, and being able to point out exactly which foul Grayson Allen just committed will be sure to make you a few friends.

As for watching the games, the golden rule is one person per square inch of space on the TV screen. Basically watch the games with as many people as possible. It’s a bonding experience, and one that can help you make friends with literally anyone on campus.

On a more serious note, there are very specific etiquette rules surrounding interactions with students from opposing schools. First let’s talk about NC State fans.

Now these guys will stop at absolutely nothing to get you to acknowledge a rivalry between UNC and State. One of the great truths you must learn during your time here is that there totally isn’t. State’s a good school, so are we. On the off-chance that they make the NCAA tournament, you should absolutely cheer for them.

Dook is another story. They are evil. Their mascot is a devil. They know they’re evil. Now you know they’re evil. For you humanities kids, Dook by any other name would smell as gross. For you comp sci kids, Dook.equals(“the worst”). For the rest of you, just check out this guys face, it says it all.Image result for ugly grayson allen

When interacting with Dook students however, it’s important to treat them with as much respect as physically possible. They’re good people who work hard and a lot of the time are actually studying the exact same thing as you. Just remember that you’re school is infinitely better because their shade of blue sucks and this one internet review you read told you they are arbitrarily evil.

Whenever Dook plays someone in the tournament, it is absolutely imperative that you cheer against them. Obtain opposition gear and memorabilia whenever possible. If another school defeats Dook or knocks them out of the tournament, that school is now cool and must be treated as such.

Finally, the most important tip, and what may become one of your best memories at Carolina…………….the Franklin Rush. If you’re from in state you might have heard of Franklin Street. It’s a pretty cool place that;s usually bustling and full of exciting things and people. After we beat Dook you won’t be able to walk. If you’re a current student, I’m sure you remember the championship rush. If you’re new, just picture one of the horde scenes from The Walking Dead. That about sums up how much elbow room you’ll have during the celebration.

Image result for unc championship rushThe town absolutely explodes after a win and there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. If you cheer a little bit and then go back to your lab report, that is incorrect and your roommate will become morally responsible for delivering a swift smack to the back of your head. If you scream and run out of your dorm straight for Franklin Street as fast as possible that is correct and you will have an incredible night. Running is very important. If you were on the cross country team, you have an obligation to run the entire way. If you were on the debate team, keep a steady pace that is doable for you and think of clever slogans to paint on the signs (my favorite is “Duck Fook but hey).

You can’t really appreciate the full magnitude of Dook’s suckitude until you get here, so I’ll leave it at that. Come watch Grayson Allen trip someone in the Dean Dome and you’ll understand.

Image result for unc >duke

Watch with your friends, buy running shoes before the big game, Go Heels, Duck Fook.

Living Local Means Local Food

You’ll find yourself looking for food on Franklin inside of a week. When you do, do it right.

Chapel Hill is home to a number of local restaurants run by families and long term employees who’ve been with the town long enough to see countless students graduate.

Mediterranean Deli

Roderick Flannery is a manager at Mediterranean Deli, one of the better known local restaurants on Franklin Street. He’s been with the restaurant for several years and said it was opened by a local couple back in 1992.

“The owner used to work at the Sheraton Hotel, and he and his wife decided they really wanted to start their own gig,” he said.

Flannery said the tradition started with simple Greek dishes, but has grown to include all kinds of Mediterranean food.

“They started off just serving falafel and Greek salad, whereas now we’ve expanded the menu to at least 80 different dishes,” he said.

Even though Med Deli has dishes all the way around the room, Flannery said people still haven’t forgotten the basics.

“Just as far as what people order, definitely falafel is still a standard,” he said. “For the meats, chicken kebab. For our vegetarian stuff we have a salty cauliflower dish that’s really good.”

Flannery said he and his team are aware that most of their business comes from students, and that they are always trying to keep up with the latest on campus.

“We’re really trying to expand our menu with current health trends, so for example we’ve got a lot of new dishes with quinoa,” he said.

Flannery said Med. Deli stands out as one of Chapel Hill’s iconic local restaurants for one reason – it’s really local.

“A lot of our greens are sourced locally,” he said. “Not local in the sense of Carrboro farmers market, but at least regional which is a lot better than most other providers can say. Our humus for example doesn’t keep for more than a day because there are no preservatives in it.”

Med Deli is located on West Franklin Street just past the Mellow Mushroom – and yes, they cater.

“I would just emphasize that when you order something here, you’re really getting like knife and cutting board fresh,” Flannery said.

Italian Pizzeria

Angelo Marrone owns has owned and operated IPIII on Franklin Street for the past seventeen years. Before that, it was run by his parents.

“My family used to like in Brooklyn New York, but we came down South in the 70s to find a new home,” he said.

Marrone has been the owner for almost two decades, but if you walk through his doors odds are you’ll still see him tossing dough behind the counter.

The inside of the pizzeria is covered wall-to-wall in everything UNC, from signed jerseys to pictures of the greats.

“IP3 right I think is one of the most important places in Chapel Hill,” he said. “We’re one of the only locations that’s got the same location, same food and same everything. A lot of people come back here and they see the same restaurant still where it was and they freak out.”

Unlike restaurants like Med Deli which offer students a lot of different food options, Marrone and his staff like to keep it simple.

“Most popular dish is pizza man, come on,” he said. “People like cheese and they like pepperoni.”

For Marrone, what makes his pizza stand out is its authenticity and taste.

“Quality is the first thing,” he said. “Personality is the second. Then it’s food. We’re from Naples, we know how to make pizza.”

While Marrone and his family have been in business on Franklin Street for 35 years, new pizza places have been popping up everywhere. You’ll find pizza places up and down East and West Franklin, and Lotsa stone fired pizza just took over for Jasmine Mediterranean on the corner of the historic intersection.

“We’ve been here for many many years and that’s what makes me proud,” he said. “We do a lot for the community and the community does a lot for us.”

“For me, this town, they don’t need any more pizza,” Marrone said. “We got a half-dozen pizza places just in this part of town.”


In case you thought the number of pizza places downtown was exaggerated, Angel Alvarez from Artisan Pizza Kitchen has got you covered.

“I’ve been working here for around nine years,” he said. “About since we opened.”

IP3 is over on West Franklin, and APK holds it down over on East. Both of the restaurants have their own type of pie, and both claim high quality.

“We’ve got the artichoke basil pizza, it’s the signature dish,” Alvarez said. “The place used to be called artichoke and basil.”

Since it’s so close to campus, APK puts out a lot of deals to try and cut prices for its market of mostly students, Alvarez said.

“We do have a lot of promotions,” he said. “We do a lot of discounts on U-connection, and we got the punch card for free slices.”

One of the most frequented pizza joints in town, Alvarez said APK’s success comes down to one thing – the taste.

“I’m not totally sure but I think it’s just good pizza,” he said. “We make everything fresh here every day. We get here early in the morning to make the bread fresh.”

While each of these three restaurants has its own backstory and recipe for success, all of them focus on quality and community.

Marrone said it best – “We’ve been here for many many years and that’s what makes me proud,” he said. “We do a lot for the community and the community does a lot for us.”


How to Survive Spring Exams

Campus is at it’s most beautiful… the darties beckon… and the weather is way too nice to sit in Davis. So how can you possibly study for exams?

Exams suck no matter what, but exams in the spring suck even more. Campus is gorgeous and so is the weather. There is always a ton going on to distract you. So how does one find the motivation to study? Here is my guide to passing your spring exams with as little pain as possible.

Don’t confine yourself to the library. There are a million other places you can study this time of year. If the quad is too busy and distracting, find a spot to set up in the Arboretum! Hang your eno up by the Forest Theater or explore Battle Park for the perfect study spot. If studying outside isn’t your thing, then take the bus or make the walk to Franklin Street/ Carborro to find a new cafe or coffee shop. The key to making studying less painful is mixing it up.

Take advantage of campus events. Around exam time there are a ton of events centered around studying. Upcoming LNAPs (Long Night Against Procrastination) have a ton of resources and food to help you crank out your final essays. Keep an eye on Carolina Housing social media for upcoming events. If you try hard enough, you can get a free study snack every night of exam season.

Find a study partner or group. It’s good to have a partner keep you accountable. If you’re meeting someone you’re much less likely to stay in bed an extra hour watching Netflix. As long as you can stay focused together, a study buddy can help you pass your exams. Finding a study group in class or on your hall is also really useful for some classes. I personally like studying with people for classes that are quantitative or analytical. Chances are, someone in your group can help you learn that equation you’ve been struggling with, and you can help them memorize a tough formula that you already mastered.

TREAT. YO. SELF. No matter what, exams are hard. It is important to take breaks, get enough sleep, and treat yo’ self as often as possible. Get a fancy latte instead of your usual black coffee. Buy some new super-comfy sweatpants to keep you comfortable while you plan. You deserve it!



And always remember, even during exams: it’s always a GDTBATH.



RLP: A Small Acronym With A Big Impact

Really Lit Party…Rotten Lenoir Pizza…what is an RLP?

RLPs are UNC-Chapel Hill’s Residential Learning Programs. Just as an Oreo cookie perfectly combines vanilla creme and chocolate, an RLP is a balanced mixture of both classroom learning and residence life. Students live with other students who share similar passions as them. It’s a way to make the big pond seem a little smaller.

That sounds awesome! But can I join one? 

Any student can join an RLP! Heads up though, that applications are a first come, first serve basis.

Where do I live?

Each RLP is designated to a specific residence hall on campus. This means that first years coming in could possibly live in a dorm that is restricted from regular incoming students.

But, what is the time commitment like? College is busy, man. 

With most RLPs, you can expect a total commitment of approximately 2-5 hours a week, which includes a 2-hour weekly meeting and a group activity.

Heads up, some RLPs are more involved than others. Some have a required classroom component.

Do I have to pay money to join?

Heck no, RLPs are F R E E!

I think I’ll check it out! But…wait, WAIT. What are the RLPs? Is there one for taco lovers?  

Good question! I’m sorry to tell you that there is not a taco RLP, but I can tell you the 10 RLPs on UNC’s campus, so you can decide which one is the best fit for you!

I shall illustrate this by introducing you to members of the ~coolest~ friend group here at UNC:

The Curious Friend: Carolina Research Scholars  Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 9.32.16 PM

Students build community based on research experience and are eligible to earn Carolina Research Scholar Program recognition.

DSC_0282Students must complete a couple of research-intensive and research-exposure courses. At the end of the program, you will professionally present your research.

Remember! Research opportunities are NOT just limited to the sciences. There are opportunities in all departments, such as arts & humanities.

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The Friend Who Pulls Off Safety Goggles Really Well: Chancellor’s
Science Scholars 

CSS is about promoting diversity in STEM fields.

Students take a course focused on this and are also are placed into common course sections to make studying together easier.

CSS is a great networking opportunity because it provides tutors as well as assistance finding lab positions. Students also meet once a month with a program coordinator for individualized discussions on topics such as research, classes, or personal concerns.

Take a look at this: Chancellor’s Science Scholars program includes a $10,000 merit scholarship.

Important to note! This RLP is more competitive than some of the other ones. Of the 400-500 students that usually apply, approximately 40 are chosen.

Source: Samantha DeVilbiss, Ed.D., CSS Program Coordinator

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The Friend Who Carries Around a Sketchpad: BlueSky Innovation

What if you had the resources to design anything you wanted?  Have you ever wanted to use a 3D printer? Is creativity your strong suit?

If you answered yes to any of those, then you should be interested in the BlueSky Innovation RLP! This community allows you a massive design space with creation tools; programs, such as BeAM Maker workshops; and an open collaborative workspace to be inspired and make connections with other students.

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The Friend Who’s The New Kid In Town: Transfer United 

TU provides a great space for transfer students to navigate the difficulties of transitioning to UNC. It will help you get plugged in at Carolina, find academic success and meet people going through the same thing!

Note: only Junior transfer students should apply to this.

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The Friend Who Celebrated Pride Weekend: Pride Place

This RLP provides a safe environment for students of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

Through meetings and community engagement, students will learn about the LGBTQIA community by addressing topics such as intersectionality and biases.

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The Bilingual Friend: Global Scholars House

Bonjour! Hola! Nĭhăo!

Global Scholars House explores languages and cultures from around the world. Global studies and language majors tend to live in this RLP.

Global Scholars now includes the former Spanish House and Chinese House RLPs. Other languages to be explored include Arabic, German and Italian…Kühl!

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The Friend Who Always Volunteers: Service & Leadership 

This is ideal for students who have passion for community outreach.

Students will make friends and refine their leadership skills by  completing at least 15 hours of service per semester,  participating in an 8-week workshop series on leadership, and enrolling in an APPLES service-learning course each Spring.

This is a great way to easily make a broader impact during your four years at Carolina and do some cool service projects!

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The Friend Who Understands The Importance of Self-Care: Balance and Recovery House 

The Balance RLP focuses on wellness and its 8 components. Students join for a variety of reasons: interest in health and wellness, a bad experience with a roommate that uses substances, friends join the program, or the need to be in a space that is substance free. DSC_0279

It is also a great leadership opportunity, as it is completely student-led.

Recovery House is a subset of Balance. It is available for students that identify as in recovery and are seeking a place to live that is supportive and refrains from using substances. Students do not have to disclose that they are in this.

“It warms my heart to see students find not only their home, but a community that helps them to be better, while they are with us on campus and long after they leave Carolina. ” -Megan Van Heiden, Connor Community Director

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The Friend Who Always Recycles: Sustainability 

Students examine sustainability in regards to areas such as the environment, activism, creativity, economy and more!

Sustainability includes weekly discussion-based seminars (ever wanted to talk about Blackfish, Food Inc., …well you’d be in good company). Students participate in and plan community service, social events and fun educational experiences.

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The Friend Who Was Rosie The Riveter Last Halloween: WELL

Women Experiencing Learning & Leadership

This RLP provides a space that ties in appreciation of  gender-expression with community involvement.

Students get to go on two WELL retreats per year!

Commitments include taking one Women’s Studies course a year and attending  a training session every semester.

Living in the WELL community has introduced me to exploring my identity as a woman in relation to the world around me. I have been challenged to become more reflective on how what I do and what I say impacts my peers.” –Annabelle Riley Holman, current UNC student

Phew…you made it! I know it’s a lot to take in, but this group of “friends” is seriously worth checking out.

Finding meaningful friendships, exploring your passion, and staying on top of school work is a lot to take on in college. How awesome is it that UNC has taken a step to help you tackle this by creating supportive environments around campus?

If you ask me, that’s just as sweet sounding as any Oreo cookie. Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 12.21.41 PM