You may have been excited to start college (I was!), but then as you watched your parents drive away from you, or you drove away from them in the driveway, an intense feeling of dread might have kicked in. No one is quick to admit it, but homesickness is a thing, a very real thing! And contrary to what the moniker might entail, it doesn’t really have much to do with your home, or the physical place you lived.
Home is Where the Heart Is
In an article published by CNN, Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of Alabama explains that homesickness “stems from our instinctive need for love, protection and security — feelings and qualities usually associated with home” (Ho).
So even though your dorm might be bland, your mattress is lumpy, and your roommate is weird…those aren’t really the reasons why you’re so sad all of a sudden and want to go home. What you really miss is just your family and friends!
It doesn’t mean you’re a baby! It means you’re human. So if you’re feeling guilty about this, don’t! It’s perfectly natural.
Know you’re not alone…
‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home! In the words of the great Phillip Phillips, settle down it will all be clear. Everyone is homesick at first (even if they don’t say it) and you have people to talk to! The most important thing is that you find each other and share these feelings. Talk with your roommate and bond over your favorite things from back home.
Friends are the Medicine
If homesickness is from our instinctive need for love, then the best solution is just to find your new family. Your friends are what make your Carolina experience great and what will make UNC your new home. Don’t shut yourself in your room and just watch Friends on Netflix while crying about the good ol’ times. Get out there! Meet people! Go eat on Franklin with your suite or introduce yourself to your next door neighbors! You will find that as soon as you find your school family, you won’t be so homesick anymore because you are home!
Not to mention, our residential communities always have fun things going on like parties, free food give-aways, game nights, and more! Take advantage of these opportunities to have a good time!
You’d be surprised by how much decorating your room like your room at home or anything else cozy can make you feel a lot better!
Don’t Forget Your Roots
Just because you’re having a good time in college doesn’t mean you should give up on your old friends and family! Keep in touch with them because they miss you too! (Especially your parents, seriously!) Skype is a great way to catch up! Once a month, have a Skype date, and share your current adventures! This will help any residual homesickness!
If You Still Feel Alone…
Carolina has a lot of resources that can help you improve your mental health. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) are a great resource available to all students at UNC. They are committed to helping you!
Your RA is also a great option! They are basically like your mom. But cooler. 😉
If All Else Fails…
Visit home. It takes the strongest person to say they need a break. Take a weekend, have your mom hug you, and pack you some food to remind you of home. You’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to try again!
Don’t stress too much about homesickness. Once you get into your studies, you won’t even have enough time to think about it. As someone who left the nest early to go to boarding school, I understand how scary it can be. It only took a week for me to find my family and start calling my school home. The real problems is when you go back home for the summer and then start telling your parents you want to go home.
“You are at home!”
“No! Carolina, home.”
If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me or the rest of the bloggers! You can never have enough friends!
The idea of having a roommate is probably starting to sink in.
If you’re nervous- don’t worry! I asked some fellow Heels for some advice about what they’ve learned from living from a roommate, and what knowledge they could pass on to you.
Getting to know your roommate
“In some way, get into a conversation where you start talking about T.V. shows or music. And that’s a really good icebreaker because it’s just like, everyone likes music or T.V.” -Joy L.
It seems like there’s a lot of pressure to make the perfect first impression for your roommate. Every person engages in the media in some way, so you’re bound to find a way to bond. You can learn a lot about your roommate from their tastes, and potentially find your new favorite band!
Setting Boundaries with your roommate
“Honestly, communication is so important.You can’t expect that every person is going to be just like you- everyone is different. Everyone has their own quirks, everyone has their own preferences. I’ve made this mistake before- I keep things to myself. But that’s the wrong way to do it ’cause your roommate isn’t a mindreader, you know?” -Fania K.
One of the hardest situations all roommates will face is the inevitable boundary talk. Whether through the RA-given roommate agreement or independently, it’s going to be slightly awkward. Some of the boundaries you set may seem like second nature, but as Fania pointed out, your roommate isn’t a mind reader. Talking out all of rules now will save for a way more awkward conversation later.
Living with someone you already know
“Just be flexible with what happens. Even if you have known [your roommate] for a while, you probably haven’t lived with them. So if you’re rooming with someone that, like, maybe you knew from high school or something- be wary about that. Because that’s when you kind of see, like, a new side to them.” -Jacob P.
Though Jacob’s advice may seem a bit ominous, there is some truth to it. A lot of people who decide to room with a high school friend don’t realize that people are different at home than they are at school. Don’t have a set idea of how your roommate will act in a living situation, and be understanding to the new side you’ll see of your roommate.
Living with someone you don’t agree with
“Don’t take things to heart. Like, don’t be very reactive. ‘Cause, a lot of times people grow up in different environments and so they probably have different ways of communicating.” -Joy L.
You may find that you and your roommate can’t help but be at odds with one another. Joy’s advice is useful with people whose views you don’t agree with in general. Basically, be empathetic and be respectful. Even if you and your roommate don’t mesh well, you won’t run into much trouble if you act like a decent human being.
You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but knowing how to live with your roommate can make college less stressful than it has to be.
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!
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:
Add the butter to a pretty large (12 oz) microwaveable coffee mug. Make sure to spread it on the sides to prevent sticking.
Microwave the eggs for a minute (more or less depending on microwave’s power).
Sprinkle whatever toppings you want on there and then microwave again for about 30-60 seconds more (or until it looks done to you).
Add salt ‘n’ peppa and maybe some hot sauce while you’re at it!
Voila! It is beautiful!
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:
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.
Read carefully: POUR OUT the water! You don’t need it anymore!
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!
Finish off with some salt ‘n’ peppa!
Oh man, does that look good or what??
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:
Mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mug.
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!
Spoon and spread the marinara sauce on the surface of the pizza batter.
Sprinkle on your cheese, dried herbs (to taste), and pepperoni on top. DO NOT STIR!!!!
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!)
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:
Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) in the mug and stir thoroughly! Like you mean it!
Stir in your wet ingredients (milk, vegetable oil and vanilla). Blend until smooth like Joel Berry’s three pointer.
Stir in your chocolate chips and/or walnuts if desired.
Microwave for 90 seconds. Careful not to overcook, or it’ll be dry (like Duke!).
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!
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!
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.
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!
If you have any questions feel free to shoot us a comment below!
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.)
Around basketball season, your Insta will be full of pics of the stadium, people in their favorite jerseys, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
4. Kenan Stadium
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.
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!
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
with the beautiful reflective surface of the Genome Science building right behind it. Pro Tip: Pick a cloudy day for the most beautiful shot!
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.
Take one in the hedges or feature the pretty teal ceiling from underneath the bell tower.
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!
7. Wilson Library
For those who want to seem more studious than they are, choose a shot of Wilson Library.
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.
9. Coker Arboretum
Coker Arboretum, which is on the East side of Cameron Avenue, is one of the most picturesque places on campus.
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.
10. Forest Theatre
Last, but not least, is the Forest Theatre right in front of Cobb Residence Hall.
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.
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
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
The official student blog about life in campus housing at UNC Chapel Hill