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Fall Trips to take while at Carolina

Fall Trips

Ten Places to road trip this fall around Chapel Hill


I’m personally a huge advocate for going to the mountains during fall. The 828 is the place to be, I’m bias because that’s where I’m from BUT still. Best places on earth are in western North Carolina.

  1. Asheville is 3 hours give or take away from campus. It’s a nice drive over especially since you can see all of the colored leaves (also perfect time to start a mountain-esque playlist). You could go hiking, zip lining, check out the Biltmore, and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.

  1. If you’re looking for a place to get away but still want that college vibe Boone is it. Appalachian State is located right in downtown, there are great places to hike, if it’s not too cold it’d be a nice place to go cliff jumping, and there are always cool places to shop and buy antiques. It’s also about 3 hours away so not too shabby.

  1. Do I have to explain why you have to go to DC? Oh and it’s only 4 hours away so talk about hype.

  1. Charleston, SC is gorgeous year round. I scoped it out during spring break and it was great, but the best time of the year (bias again) is fall. So pair up a great place with a great time of year and you’ll have…. a GREAT time. Okay seriously though, Charleston is historic and gorgeous. There are markets, museums, and of course the beach.

5. Gatlinburg, TN is roughly 5 hours away. You can pass by a great view so the drive isn’t even that bad. There are trails, the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, and the small version of the space needle. It’s nice to be close to other states and venture around them.

  1. American history is so cool, yeah I’m a nerd. Anyways, learning about Native Americans and how much it has affected North Carolina. The area is really great and everyone should visit to get an understanding of the art and culture.

  1. First in flight? That’s right go to Kitty Hawk. It’s 3 and a half hours away and the beach should be pretty empty when it gets kind of chilly, but still so beautiful, and peaceful.

  1. This is for sure on my bucket list. Hanging rock in Greensboro is only an hour and a half away and you can just hangout and relax. Take a weekend trip here this fall. It will be worth it.

  1. Eno River Falls is right here in our backyard. Located in Durham only 20 minutes away this wonderful getaway is so close that you can take a large group of people jump in the swimming hole, rope swing, and ENO!

  1. Savannah, GA is like Charleston, in that it’s a historic town. There are horse carriage rides, parks, Paula Deen’s restaurant (lit), and many shops. The drive is about 5 hours and definitely feasible for a three day weekend.

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.


RA Spotlight: Annabelle Holman

Annabelle Holman

Year: Sophomore

Residence Hall: Winston

Major: Journalism – Public Relations Track

Other Extracurriculars:  The Daily Tar Heel , Crash Campaign, NC Fellows

Why did you decide to be an RA? So actually, I was kind of like a mini RA in high school. I went to NCSSM [North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics]. They had a position called an RLA, so I did that. I just went out on a limb and tried it. So I think that’s definitely what kind of pushed me to do it in college.

What’s your favorite thing about being an RA? My first program is tonight and I like programming but I’m waiting to see how it actually goes. I like the planning aspect of it. Generally, I like getting to know people and making sure I’m doing all that I can to serve them. Interacting with them individually is pretty neat.

Do you have any advice for people applying to be an RA? Typically, people would probably think of an RA as someone who’s outgoing, extroverted, and wanting to reach people all the time. But I am an introverted person and I can say that it’s not one specific personality type that can be an RA.

What has been the most unexpected thing about being an RA?  I guess I would say how easily it came to me. Because going into it, I was like, “I’m introverted! Oh my gosh, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” But after training and all of the get-to-know-you weeks, I feel like I’ve settled in really easily. That was really surprising. It’s actually like, “I can do this!”

How has being an RA shaped your experience at Carolina? It’s definitely motivated me to be more connected on campus. Last year, I spent a lot of time at [NC] State because I have a lot of friends at State. But being an RA has definitely motivated me to spend the majority of my time at Carolina. I’m actually getting to know my staff, learning how programs work in the community, and motivating other people to do the same.

How to Meet People in your Residence Hall

There are 29,084 students enrolled in the University of National Champions. You would think that it would be easy enough to find at least ONE friend, right? Wrong! For some of us, making friends is an art that we’re just not any good at. Whether it be social anxiety, shyness, or the case of the classic dorm room shut-in, there are many ways we can feel isolated. The bad thing about being in such a big university  is that makes you feel that much smaller. The easiest way to whittle down your candidates is looking in your residential community. Here’s how!


Think Small

Start with your roommate and suitemates! These two are the first and easiest friends you’re going to make in college. You see them every day and you live together! If we’re cooking up a recipe for friendship, these are like the salt and pepper of the recipe! You can’t go wrong! Do fun things with them! Go out to parties, have movie nights, spa nights, game nights, football nights, gym nights, truth or dare nights, etc. If you’re unsure how to break the ice, buy a pizza to share with everyone or make dinner for them!

Two roommates having a good time!

The main takeaway is that you need to engage in conversation! If you do your own thing (which I have), chances are it’ll just get harder and harder to start the interaction and the next thing you know, it’s the end of the year, you kinda hate each other, and have also never spoken (which I have also experienced). Not ideal. Make friends out of your roommates and you’ll thank me later.

Join Community Government

These are like-minded individuals from your community who want to get together to organize fun things for everyone else. Not only will you bond with your other COGO members, but you’ll meet nearly everyone else in your community who come to your events. After a while, you’ll get a few regulars. Once you remember names, that’s it! You’re already friends!This is a quick and clean way to put yourself in a sphere of influence! Have fun with it!

Community Events

Alternatively, do the things that COGO and the RAs have planned for you! If there’s food,  there’s broke college students! Fact of life! Bond over this! Your RA and COGO is going out of its way to facilitate conversation for you! Use this to your advantage!

Know Your Neighbors

Last night, some girls came over to my suite and told us they had a bunch of left-over food to share and invited us to come over. Immediately, I wanted to be their friend. It is so easy to meet the people around you. Just knock next door, say, “Hey, I’m so and so, it’s nice to meet you!” You should do this anyway at least to know who to yell at when they’re being too loud!

I recognize that some of these things are easier said than done, but they should be done none the less. Friends are an investment for your happiness and well-being. You have to put a little work into them. The profit, however? Priceless. 🙂

If you have any other ideas, let us know in the comments below!

5 Movies to Get You Pumped for College

Hey UNC fam! Welcome back to Chapel Hill! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seriously ready to start anew. If you’re like me and need motivation- look no further! I’ve supplied five movies that will get you ready to tackle the year ahead.

Legally Blonde

Running Time: 96 minutes | Rated PG-13

Legally Blonde is the most of the “pump up” of the movie list. The story centers around the young, blonde, and cheerful Elle Woods. After getting dumped by her longtime boyfriend, she’s determined to get him back- by getting into Harvard Law School.

Legally Blonde is a treasure trove of wisdom. It not only shows you the power of hard work, but touches on topics such as stereotypes and feminism.

Did I mention that it also has one of the most motivational montages in movie history?

Good Will Hunting

Running Time: 126 minutes | Rated R

This movie will make you want to hit up the library more often. Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a troubled teen who’s secretly a genius. When his talent is discovered by a professor, Will is pushed to reach his full potential.

The characters are written in such a way that I shed a tear or two. The relationship between Will and Sean inspires me to find that one super cool professor to be best friends with.

Mona Lisa Smile

Running Time: 117 minutes | Rated PG-13

I remember mindlessly browsing through Netflix when I came across this movie. I thought this movie would be about art thieves or something; turns out it’s about college girls and their art professor.(Kind of close?)

Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, a professor from California, who is hired to teach at Wellesley. She soon realizes that Wellesley is not nearly as progressive as she thought it would be- cue the drama!

The big theme of this movie is opening up to new perspectives even if they’re completely different from yours. It’s a pretty timeless theme that is good to keep in mind during any class discussion.

The Social Network

Running Time 120 minutes | Rated PG-13

You have probably heard of this movie. If you haven’t, you know what this movie is about: Facebook. This pretty inaccurate account of Facebook’s creation focuses on Mark Zuckerberg in his college years. It’s kind of crazy thinking that such a gigantic company was created by someone our age. I mean, I’m struggling to cook meals for myself as it is!

After watching this movie, I thought that maybe taking COMP 401 wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

Animal House

Running Time: 109 minutes | Rated R

This movie is basically the college classic.

I hope these movies at the very least keep you entertained. Happy syllabus week!

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Year

Hey first-years! With the current “___ things I wish I knew before ____” happening I thought I’d jump in on the trend! Here is my personal list of “5 things I wish I knew before my first year at Carolina”:

  1. Prioritize

You will never be bored in college. In between class, clubs, studying, and chilling with friends, you’ll probably only have time to nap. But it’s okay, because who doesn’t like naps?!

About a month into my freshman year, I was exhausted. I had juggled so much; I didn’t know what to put on the back burner so I didn’t do anything about it. I felt like I had to do everything. Turns out, it’s okay to say NO. Don’t feel obligated to go to that club meeting if you have a test the next day. The club will survive without your presence- just don’t ghost on them altogether.

2. Use your resources

UNC is full of opportunities and resources that I wish I took advantage of during freshman year. There are job fairs, cultural events, RHA events, for you to go to. Instead of lounging around, I wish I got my lazy self to some of these places and events. It would have been a better idea to go to The Writing Center for essay help, rather than sit at my desk waiting for “my next big idea!” to happen.

The Writing Center is in SASB btw

One resource that I HIGHLY encourage is office hours. Your professors are paid to leave time aside for assistance. Stop by and say hi! Going to office hours would’ve made classes WAY less stressful (i.e. Econ 101).

3. Comparison is the thief of joy

UNC is such a bustling hub of bright minded individuals that everyone kind of seems superhuman. Music majors have businesses on the side, that slacker in class actually interned at Google, etc. Don’t get lost in other people’s accomplishments. Remember that life has an infinite number of paths; seek out the one that makes you happy and you won’t need to look where others are headed.

4. Be comfortable with being alone

Suddenly you go from seeing your friends every day to having to schedule them in?! In high school, you had the security of knowing that your classmates were most likely your friends. In college, you will never see some of your classmates outside of class. Sometimes you’ll find yourself alone; don’t feel weird about it.

In fact, you should enjoy your alone time when you can. Living in a shared room makes time by yourself that much harder. Go to the movies alone! Go to the dining hall alone! Trust me, it’s not that big of a deal.

5. It’s okay to not feel “at home”

It’s still possible to be the most outgoing, studious, student and still feel out of place. College is a transitory part of your life. Don’t be afraid to talk to your new friends about being homesick, because chances are they probably feel it too.

At the same time, don’t wallow in nostalgia. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, and it’s going to be great! Being uncomfortable doesn’t mean that you’re not meant to be at UNC. It means you’re growing.

Here’s to new beginnings!

I hope that all of you find these five tidbits of advice at least entertaining. I’m so excited to see all of you guys in the fall!


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 official student blog about life in campus housing at UNC Chapel Hill