Making the Transition from High School to College

High school is over

College is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Yes, I know that sounds awfully like a greeting card or a sappy graduation speech, but it’s so true. I’m nowhere close to the same person I was when I got to UNC. I really have become a better version of myself.  How did this happen? I was able to hold onto the great things about high school, while realizing that high school was over and that I needed to really let some things go. It can be hard because, for some people, they have been going to school with the same friends since pre-school. Now, they are splitting up and going to different colleges. It’s definitely a balancing act, but you can do it.

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The many benefits of living on campus

Why live on campus?

I know living on campus is now required for nearly everyone for their first year at UNC, but that’s a really good thing. Whether you choose to stay on campus for one year or four years, on-campus housing really does have things that you will take with you for the rest of your life. Friends, memories, experiences, relationships.

Coming into UNC in the fall of 2007, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found myself in Teague Residence Hall, part of Parker Community. I didn’t request to live there. It wasn’t even one of my preferences, but I didn’t really know much about living on campus, so I packed up my stuff and headed down the mountain (I’m from Boone, NC) to the Piedmont.

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Decorating Your Room

photo of Craige Residence Hall
Room in Craige Residence Hall

Be your own designer

If you are anything like my suitemates from this past year, you will obsess over what your room next year is going to look like. Hannah and Rachel took measurements of all the furniture in the room and created a graph paper model that was to scale. They would spend hours upon hours rearranging the 2 inch rectangles to create the ideal room. I got tired watching them sometimes. But, they finally came up with a plan they liked and are really excited for their room next year.

I realize that their plan of attack is a bit much for some of you and that they had quite the advantage, having access to furniture measurements and the room itself. But if you are someone who really loves to plan ahead, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources online that can help you out. Each community page has floor plans so that you can find your room and look at measurements. There are pictures of rooms on the Housing Facebook page so you can get decorating ideas.

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Transportation Around Campus

Bike, hike or bus

Chapel Hill Transit

UNC’s campus might just be one of the most beautiful campuses that this country has to offer. Yes, I’m completely biased and anyone from Duke or Wake or Elon will tell you differently. Don’t listen to them. There really is just something about the way that trees bloom as you walk to class through Polk Place on an early April morning (Brendan James, anyone? – he went to UNC). Ah, it’s just lovely.

As with any campus, there are many ways to get around. Walking is, by far, the most common way to get from place to place. Carolina is a very pedestrian-friendly place. When crossing South Road to get to class in the morning from south campus, there are crossing guards at peak hours to make sure that traffic gets through as well as students.

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Sharing a Bathroom

Sharing is caring

No matter where you live on campus during your first year at Carolina, you will have to share your bathroom. It’s just gonna happen. And – to be completely honest – it’s not even that difficult.

So many incoming first-years that I have talked to or hear about fear sharing bathrooms. Well, ok, incoming first-year females mostly. Guys, I guess you don’t tend to spend as much time in the bathroom. I hope that this message will assuage your anxiety and worries.

Sharing a bathroom won’t be the end of the world. For the most part, you won’t even think too much about it. Yes, you will have to wait to take a shower at least once during the year. Yes, you might have to share a sink to brush your teeth. But that won’t happen all the time.

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Which residence hall is the best?

Some comparisons of campus communities

When people ask which residence hall is the best, it is really difficult to give an accurate answer to the question because of how different the experiences can be in each community. The word “best” can be interpreted so many different ways. Each residence hall is the best for some and not for others, but it is really up to you to make it the best experience for yourself.

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A comfortable home base

Why I joined a Living-Learning Community

Photo of Savannah
Savannah, RELIC Student Coordinator 2010-2011

Hi, my name is Savannah Helvey and I am a rising sophomore at UNC. I am an English major from Burlington, North Carolina and I’m excited you’ve chosen to become (or you are thinking of becoming) a first-year at UNC next year! If you enjoy being with people that are intelligent, enthusiastic, and caring, then the people at UNC are going to be your kind of people.

A year ago at this time I was in your shoes, and maybe even a little more discombobulated than you are. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, what organizations I wanted to join, or even how to navigate around campus (because I hadn’t moved in yet, of course). It was a time of major transition for me, as well as many of my classmates who were going to UNC with me. Unlike many of them, however, I decided to join a Living-Learning Community called RELIC (Religion as Explorative Learning Integrated into our Community) for my first year of college.

I was interested in the idea of learning about religion, certainly, but another major incentive was a room on the northern part of campus, near all of the classroom buildings. As my school year continued, however, I appreciated more and more the community that I had stumbled upon and was selected to be the RELIC Student Coordinator for the 2010-2011 school year. I never thought I would have this opportunity as a sophomore, but I’m excited and ready to take on the challenge.

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