Mugs for Every Meal

4 Easy and Delicious Mug Meals for Students on a Budget (Time or Money!!)

You worked hard in high school, you did your applications, you’re in college, GREAT! So far, so good! Suddenly, your class is in 30 minutes, the dining hall isn’t even open, you don’t have enough money to go to Starbucks and you NEED YOUR BREAKFAST! What’s even worse is all your cooking experiments have ended up in flames and you don’t even have a kitchen to burn down! What do you do?

Well, you do have a mug…and a microwave… here are some good options for every meal whether you’re in a rush or you just need something cheap!

Breakfast

Easily your most important meal of the day: Skipping breakfast is a no no! What’s full of protein and goodness? EGGS! More specifically, omelets! This meal is not only quick, but it’s pretty healthy too!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add the butter to a pretty large (12 oz) microwaveable coffee mug. Make sure to spread it on the sides to prevent sticking.
  2. Microwave the eggs for a minute (more or less depending on microwave’s power).
  3. Sprinkle whatever toppings you want on there and then microwave again for about 30-60 seconds more (or until it looks done to you).
  4. Add salt ‘n’ peppa and maybe some hot sauce while you’re at it!

Voila! It is beautiful!

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always add some cooked bacon or sausage crumbles!

Lunch

At Carolina, lunch is what gets us students through the mid-day slump! If you’re in your room for lunch, and need a quick pick me up, you’re gonna love this option: Cheesy Mac! Forget that boxed Kraft stuff: their cheese ain’t even real! This is easy and so much healthier…and tastier!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add Macaroni, Water, and Salt in a big a** mug (since the water will boil up). Microwave for about 3 1/2 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked.
  2. Read carefully: POUR OUT the water! You don’t need it anymore!
  3. Stir in your milk, corn starch, and shredded cheese (you can use any cheese but we recommend cheddar) and then microwave for another 60 seconds. Stir well, and if you’re feeling adventurous, add some bacon!
  4. Finish off with some salt ‘n’ peppa!

Oh man, does that look good or what??

Dinner

Last meal of the day, maybe you’re feeling like you should treat yourself… how about some pizza! Yes, pizza! Bet you didn’t know you could make that in a mug!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mug.
  2. After your dry ingredients are mixed, add your wet ingredients: milk and oil. Mix the dry and the wet together. There might be some clumping, but don’t worry about that!
  3. Spoon and spread the marinara sauce on the surface of the pizza batter.
  4.  Sprinkle on your cheese, dried herbs (to taste), and pepperoni on top. DO NOT STIR!!!!
  5. Microwave for a minute and a half or until the toppings start bubbling! Let it cool a bit and enjoy! (No one wants pizza burns!)

I’m shook!

Dessert

Surprise! We think you should be spoiled, so we’re throwing in some dessert! How does chocolate cake sound to you?

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) in the mug and stir thoroughly! Like you mean it!
  2. Stir in your wet ingredients (milk, vegetable oil and vanilla). Blend until smooth like Joel Berry’s three pointer.
  3. Stir in your chocolate chips and/or walnuts if desired.
  4. Microwave for 90 seconds. Careful not to overcook, or it’ll be dry (like Duke!).
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!!

Just heavenly. . .

————————————————————————————

So you’re not a chef. . . well you don’t need to be one to do these! Hopefully, your college career will go much more smoothly with these easy and tasty meals.

Remember, cooking times can vary between microwaves and you can always add or leave out as many toppings as you want!

Some of these recipes were created by Gemma Stafford and others were just found on the internet! If you’re interested in more mug recipes including those of the vegan and healthy variety, check out the links below!

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1076271/meals-in-a-mug

Microwave Mug Meals: 5 Unbelievable Recipes

If these don’t work or you have any suggestions, leave us some comments below!

BON APETIT!

 

COGO or No Go?

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

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

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

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

Why did you first join co-go?

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

How has COGO helped your college career so far?

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

What were some things you did?

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

Favorite Cogo Memory?

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

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

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

Best part of Cogo?

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

Any negatives?

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

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

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

#JoinCogo

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

 

 

Carolina InstaBucket List: Top 10 Carolina Photo Spots

Do it for the Insta’

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

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

1. Dean Dome

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Kenan-Flagler School of Business

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

Little slice of heaven hidden in the trees!

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

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

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

The Flag Gallery

3. SASB Plaza

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

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

4. Kenan Stadium

A view down the field! Breathtaking!

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

Gotta love our UNC insignia!

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

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

5. Bell Tower Amphitheater

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

Gotta love UNC architecture! <3

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

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

 

6. Bell Tower

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

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

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

Beautiful inside and out!

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

We got quite a few stares with this one…

7. Wilson Library

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

Wilson Library is definitely the most beautiful library on campus.

The columns can make any class clown seem serious.

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

8. Old Well

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

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

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

9. Coker Arboretum

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

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

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

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

Can’t you just picture yourself sitting there?

10. Forest Theatre

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

Forest Theatre: Summer

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

Forest Theatre: Fall

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

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

 

Makerspace at UNC

Discover Your Inner Maker in a makerspace!

This upcoming fall, Carmichael Residence Hall will be opening a makerspace! Some of you guys may still be kind of unsure about what exactly a makerspace is, so I decided to dedicate this blog post to makerspaces! Some really cool things are happening at UNC…

What is a makerspace?

Makerspaces are communities under BeAM@CAROLINA. These areas are where students can participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, and more. Makerspaces have cool emerging tools that can be used for making prototypes to art- the possibilities are endless!

Exactly what technology is in a makerspace?

The exact items vary from makerspace to makerspace. However, throughout the makerspaces on campus you may find woodworking stations, a 3D printer, a sewing machine, and more. A full list of tools and capabilities can be found here.

Who can use these makerspaces?

Students, faculty, and staff members can use here makers can participate in designing and creating physical objects. Anyone can participate- regardless of field of interest. You don’t have to be an engineer to make something amazing from a 3D Printer.

  • Murray Hall
  • Hanes Art Center
  • Kenan Science Library
  • Carmichael Hall (In progress, will be finished by Fall 2017)
OK, so I know what a makerspace is… but what can you actually do there? 
You can do pretty much anything! To be more specific, feel free to pursue any individual project you’ve designed and want to create. You can also participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, host classes and group activities in these spaces.
Sounds cool, but really intimidating. How do I get started?
Don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start! There are different workshops held every week found on the calendar. Going to orientation is a great way to get yourself acquainted with the different tools in makerspaces. Orientation is also required to use most aspects of makerspaces, so I would suggest going there first.

UNC is a vibrant community that prides itself in its ingenuity. Why not try the makerspace and see what you can create?

The Coolest Room Ever

It’s time to release your inner HGTV

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

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

Movie Magic

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

Music 

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

Boho Chic

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

Adventure Is Out There!

The use of Washi Tape in this picture is pretty ingenious

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

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

Don’t Rain on Our Parade!

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

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

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

1. Go Outside!

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

2. Food n’ Friends

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

3. Netflix and Pizza

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

4. Take a Nap!

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

5. Yoga Time

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

6. Game Night

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

7. Spa Night

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

8. Arts n’ Craft

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

9. Karaoke Night

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

10. Working Out

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

 

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

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.”

APK

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.”

 

$aving For Success

Saving Money 101 for the folks who need it

As college students, money is constantly on our minds. We have the freedom and responsibilities of an adult, yet we don’t have the steady income adults haveThat’s why it’s important that every dollar that comes our way is spent wisely!

Here are some habits you can pick up now that will add up in savings:

Make The Little Things Count

Remember those loose quarters on your table that are just collecting dust? Well this tip will put them to good use! Create a jar with a specific goal written on the top. Put all of your loose change inside of the jar, and you’ll be surprised by how much it can add up to. Save for something meaningful, and you will be more encouraged to see your jar fill up.

Turn these into a trip to Europe!

 

Start a Side Hustle

Now, I know this option may not be for everyone. If you’re not sure that you can balance between a job and school, remember that doing better in school now will have an exponentially higher payout in the long run over a small job that ruins your grades.

But for those who have the time, having a side hustle can be a great asset. There are places on campus, like Student Stores, that are always hiring. On campus jobs are also a great way to meet friends! If having a stereotypical job doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are plenty of opportunities to make money anywhere- even from your bed. Skills like a second language are always in demand, and always need tutors. Sometimes a quick search on Google is all you need to finding your way into some extra cash.

Pro tip: Make sure the job is legitimate before you take it.

Budget 

Nowadays, budgeting is way easier than saving a bunch of old receipts. There are a ton of different apps available to help you, whether you want to see where your paycheck is going or if you have a specific budget goal. If apps aren’t really your thing, a reliable excel spreadsheet will do just fine. In my budgeting experience, the effort alone has made me realize just how valuable every dollar is.

Explore 

Sometimes the best deals aren’t found on the internet. Chapel Hill caters to college students, so be on the lookout for places that give student discounts. There are a lot of events held on campus that give out free food and swag, so be sure to check out those places too. If you need transportation, the transit system in Chapel Hill is arguably the best in North Carolina- and is way cheaper than taking an Uber.

Use your resources, because good deals are all around you!

Whether you’re returning to UNC or starting your first year, learning how to effectively save money will help you through any financial difficulties that may come your way. It pays to be financially smart!

To Meal Plan or Not to Meal Plan…THAT is the question!

Pros and Cons for the Biggest Decision of Your Life

College comes with so many responsibilities. Registering for classes, picking out textbooks, bus routes…it’s overwhelming! But let’s cut to the chase. We know what’s really on everyone’s mind. Say it with me: FOOD!!

Your source of food should be your number one priority (after housing of course). Deciding whether or not to get a meal plan may seem like an easy choice, but there are actually many factors to consider. Lucky for all of you, I am going to list out some pros and cons so you can ultimately make the best decision for you and your late night munchies.

Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Convenient as Heck

    If we’re being honest, getting a meal plan is the most convenient choice. You don’t have to worry about cooking or where to go: If you’re in a hurry you can just drop in and eat from the variety of choices CDS has cooked up for you in Lenoir or Chase Dining Hall. Not to mention Lenoir is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the academic buildings. Not feeling the dining hall? Some meal plans even offer FLEX which you can use for meals from the bottom of Lenoir that include Chik-Fil-A, Subway, and other goodies. BLESS.

  2. Friend Hack

    Forget the frat. Dining halls is where it’s at. This is the place to be with your friends.  I’m not even joking. Almost half the school eats in the dining halls, so you are bound to meet some pretty cool peeps and make those long lasting friendships. Sit down, grab a burrito, and bond over your love of food!

  3. Theme Nights

    Chase Dining Hall is notorious for throwing some mad bashes and theme nights with extra special food. Yes, chocolate fountain, I’m looking at you. These are exclusive to students with meal plans, so if you don’t have one, sorry not sorry, but that means more for me!

  4. All You Can Eat

    Meal plans are especially good for you kids who have insatiable hunger. One meal swipe can get you all the food you want: pizza, noodles, salads, dessert, etc. CDS even offers the unlimited block plan which means you can swipe in however many times your little heart desires!

Cons

  1. Empty pockets?

    Depending on your situation, meal plans can be a little expensive, especially if you have really specific dietary restrictions. (CDS does always offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options as well other things, but it is does mean you have less to choose from.)

  2. Surplus Meals

    Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we can severely overestimate what block plan we need. At the end of the semester, you can be sure you’ll find students going to Facebook offering to swipe people in with their left over swipes. If you get a meal plan, make sure to commit to it because we don’t get roll-over meals!

  3. Not available? Out of luck!

    Dining Halls are only open at scheduled times. Not only does this mean it is always crowded during regular dining hours (which means long lines!), but it also means that if you have a class during that time, you might not get to go eat until later. However, CDS does offer reusable take out containers if you have time for a quick stop-by!

  4. Freshman 15

    I will say, an all you can eat buffet everyday tends to add some pounds. Not a big deal if you don’t mind, but if you’re looking to avoid extra weight, it’s going to be a little hard to resist the Rams Head Cookies.

No Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Learn to Cook

    There are plenty of kitchens in every residence hall so impress your shawty with your “adulting” skills. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Make it Rain

    By only spending as much as you eat, you might have some leftover change to treat yo’self. Franklin Street has some great options! If nothing else, it will teach you valuable budgeting skills.

  3. Eat When You Want

    Without dining hall hours holding you back, you can eat when you want as long as you have the materials.

Cons

  1. Mac, Ramen, and Chips . . . OH MY!

    Without a meal plan, it’s easy to rely on microwaveables like ramen that are not particularly good for you. If you can’t commit to cooking healthy, you’re probably better off with a meal plan.

  2. Where is Harris Teeter?

    Shopping for groceries can be a pain if you don’t have a car. The only nearby stores are CVS and Walgreen’s and they’re not exactly known for their fresh veggies. You can always get to Harris Teeter by a few buses, but sometimes it’s just easier to go into a dining hall if you don’t have the time.

  3. Missing Out

    Like I mentioned before, dining halls have a lot of people. By choosing not to get a meal plan, you’re making it just *that* much harder to find your family in the big sea of people that is UNC.

Both options have their merit. Consider each situation. If you can put in the effort, not having a meal plan can be rewarding, especially when you wow your friends with your chef skills. However, if you’re not an ace in the kitchen and don’t have time for that ish, stick with a meal plan.

Pro Tip: CDS offers the option for a trial period. Gauge yourself out. If you decide that it’s for you, go for the meal plan. If not, you can always change your mind! Your tummy will thank you. 🙂

Check it out @ http://dining.unc.edu/

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