Best things to binge watch on HBOGo

If you live on-campus at UNC, you get a free subscription to HBOGo, which allows you to watch any of HBO’s programming on demand. Having HBOGo is great, but figuring out where to start your binge-watching can be daunting. That’s why I made this list of my favorite things to watch on HBOGo. If there’s anything I forgot (other than Game of Thrones, please, I’m so sick of hearing about it), comment below!

1. Veep 

Veep is one of my favorite shows of all time. It’s like if Parks and Recreation was set in the federal government and everyone was mean. The six-season comedy show follows the career of Vice President Selina Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won the Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series every year the show has been on the air. It’s a little crass, but it’s a very witty and entertaining political satire.

Gif from Veep

2. Big Little Lies 

Based on Lianne Moriarty’s best-selling novel of the same name, Big Little Lies was originally going to be a miniseries, but HBO decided to renew it for a second season. The series tells the story of three mothers of first-grade students at a school in Monterey, California who become involved in a murder investigation. It’s a highly acclaimed and awarded drama that’s well worth the watch. It also features an all-star cast including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgard, Shailene Woodley, Zoey Kravitz and THE Laura Dern. The show does have dark themes, however, so trigger warning for violence and sexual assault.

Big Little Lies

3. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Last Week Tonight is just like The Daily Show, except longer and TV-MA. The show comes on every Sunday and provides a comedic take on breaking news stories and often has one in-depth feature story on current issues, such as native advertising or the economic crisis in Venezuela. John Oliver is a phenomenal host with amazing comedic timing, and if you enjoy shows like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, this is perfect for you.

John Oliver

4. Westworld

Science fiction is one of my favorite genres of media, so of course Westworld is one of my favorite shows on HBO. Westworld is about a theme park that’s essentially a wild west roleplaying video game came to life. In Westworld, guests can complete whatever adventure they want with the assistance of androids that simply play their roles and are completely unsentient…or are they? Season two of the series is currently underway, and it looks to be just as good as the first. However, this show also deals with dark themes, so trigger warnings for violence and sexual assault.

Westworld

5. Six Feet Under

This last one is a little old, as it premiered in 2001, but I think it’s just as good as the others. Two notable members of the cast are Michael C. Hall who later went on to star as the titular character in the Showtime series Dexter and Frances Conroy, who you may recognize from American Horror Story. Six Feet Under is a dark comedy that tells the story of a family who owns and lives in a funeral home in California. The characters are interesting and it’s a very well-written and critically acclaimed show that I highly recommend.

Six Feet Under

Mind Over Matter: Stay Mentally Healthy at UNC

Carolina is an amazing place to be and learn BUT LETS BE REAL, at times it can feel stressful and challenging. As assignments pile up and exams approach, it is natural that your levels of anxiety and stress rise. Along with academics, being away from home can be difficult to adjust to and cope with, therefore we understand how hard it can feel. However, we want to make your years here as pleasurable and stress free as possible!

Ask For Help!

First thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay to seek help. UNC can be academically challenging at times and we recognize that. That’s why if you’re are struggling don’t be afraid to speak with your Teacher Assistant or even your professor to receive additional help. Luckily, Carolina provides free tutoring sessions in Dey Hall or in SASB North, so take advantage of these resources! Also, ease your mind by speaking with a friend, classmate, Residential Advisor, etc as their is someone always willing to listen. Also since everyone is pretty much on the same boat as you, it won’t be hard for someone to understand what you’re going through.  We understand that the struggle is real but don’t let that hinder your from feeling or doing your best at Carolina! There are also mental health professionals located at Campus Health that are dedicated to ensure you can be your best mentally while at Carolina, so schedule and appointment or walk in to get a chance to speak with them!

For The People, By The People.

There are many mental wellness organizations created by students for the students that are dedicated to promote positive wellness  among the student body. If this is something you’re passionate about or if you need a community that can take time to understand and help you overcome those difficulties then be sure to check out those organizations. HeelLife is a UNC portal that allows students to scope through the surplus of organizations at Carolina. You can filter your search with any keyword to find the one that best fits you. To get you started there are a few popular organizations that we have included here. One of them is known as We Wear the Mask which is a group focused on decreasing the stigma around mental health within the African American community to promote better ways to approach mental health. Another organization is known as Embody Carolina, which was started by a Miss UNC Campaign that now has been established as a organization. The organization strives to portray a positive outlook towards body image and body positivity. Healthy Heels is another group found within UNC that is orchestrated by students ambassadors, who are committed to advocate a healthy lifestyle for students through workshops, pitsits, and other events. So through the highs and lows you may experience during your college career, never forget that we’re all in this together!

Me, Myself and I

We hope you understand that though we are here to get our degrees and pursue our careers,  it’s okay to focus on ourselves, as our health is way more important. So make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself. You can do so by incorporating self care days and time to relax into your schedule! Take some “me” time by doing one of the following self-care ideas or anything else that would better suit you:

  • Watch a few episodes of your favorite show
  • Treat yourself with some ice-cream or favorite desert
  • Go to the gym and get a workout in
  • Chill with your friends

Having a balance between school and your personal time is very essential.  Don’t be shy to use the endless resources around you or your peers for a listening ear or an extra hand. The struggle is something we will all face and there’s no reason you should have to face it alone! Definitely strive to make these the best years of your life. So don’t forget to have fun and let loose but always keep your head in the game!

How I Fell in Love with Carolina

UNC is a constant sea of Carolina Blue, filled with die hard Tar Heels who have been born and bred into the family… or at least that’s how the saying goes. But for me, and many other students, this isn’t the case. In fact, my story of how I came to bleed Carolina blue is quite different than the alma mater I chant at the end of every game.

2012

My story starts six years ago when my big sister decided to go to UNC, and I decided (out of sibling spite) I would love Dook. I wasn’t devoted to our gothic rivals, but I took every opportunity I could find to remind my sister what I believed to be true, that Dook was the better blue (which as we all know is a down right lie).

On move-in day I put on a Tar Heel shirt (the least Carolina Blue one I could find) to show my support, but on every other day I would sport Devils gear when I could find it – which became a difficult task growing up in a Tar Heel family. I would take pictures in Dook hats thinking I was so cool; pictures that are now so embarrassing and often come back to haunt me.

My sister (Bryanna MacKay) and I on her freshman move-in day, circa 2012.

2016

Flash forward two years… it’s college decision time for me and I’m an absolute wreck without a dream school or clear path. Carolina seemed like a good fit and an obvious choice being an in-state student, so I applied here and five other schools. After I got back all my decisions I was torn between UNC and Syracuse University – two schools that checked off every box on my list. They both felt like they could be my future home, each with a great journalism program and big on school spirit. They also happened to be two schools playing each other in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

Everything in my heart was telling me to go to UNC, but I needed a little push to solidify my decision. So I told my Dad “If Carolina wins tonight, I’m enrolling tomorrow.” He laughed it off, but I was incredibly serious. On April 2nd, 2016, the Tar Heels beat the Orange 83 to 66. On April 3rd, 2016, I paid my enrollment deposit to UNC Chapel Hill.

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THANK YOU Heels, for winning this game and deciding my fate.

Today

Since that moment, I’ve never had a single doubt in my mind that I made a wrong decision. I remember walking through the pit one day in maybe my second week on campus thinking “I’m so lucky”. After all, we get to take classes and live in the most beautiful place in the South, what more could we really ask for??

It’s the way the sun hits the quad under a mesmerizing Carolina blue sky. It’s the smile on the little boy’s face as he walks into the Dean Smith Center with the sparkling number 23 on his chest. Or the feeling of never being completely alone, even if when you feel like you’re hitting rock bottom during finals.

Calling myself a ‘dook fan’ growing up is no comparison to my dedication to this university. There is nothing that gets me more excited than waking up early on a Saturday morning to wait three hours in the cold for a spot on the risers. I will always get goosebumps during the Tar Heel lights show and tear up during the intro video (seven… seven… SEVEN national championships). And I will always shout the alma mater from the top of my lungs, win or lose.

Me (front row, right) taking jump around too seriously, per usual.

I love Carolina for welcoming me in and never making me feel like I was an outsider. When I chant “I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead”, I really feel like that’s true and it unites me with all my classmates – no matter what our backgrounds may be.

My point is you don’t have to be born into the Carolina family to be a Tar Heel. All those who support UNC support each other, no matter who you have supported in the past. And to me, that’s why this university is such a priceless gem.

Food Necessities: Dorm Edition

Whether you’re getting an unlimited meal plan or not, you’re still going to need some sort of food in your room. While you may be awake at 2 a.m. finishing homework, the dining hall workers won’t be. They need a break too! On school nights, Chase is open until midnight, so you get a little breathing room, but after that, it’s every student for themselves. Plus, chances are, even if you do get hungry at a time that the dining halls are open, you’re bound to experience at least one wave of laziness where you don’t want to make the trek to the dining hall (it’s not always a sunny, 75 degrees outside). Trust me, being a Florida native, this past winter season was miserable. It may only have been 50 degrees out, but I’m telling you wind chill is a real thing and it definitely makes it feel 30, so walking to Chase or Lenoir was not at the top of my agenda. And for all you Northerners saying you’re used to the cold, welllllll it also rains here in North Carolina, and if you aren’t in the business of getting soaked, I strongly suggest keeping a few of these in your room:

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Ramen noodles and/or Easy Mac:

There is a reason everyone associates dorm food with them, ramen noodles and easy mac WILL be your lifesavers. There’s just no way around it. Any variation of instant pasta will do, but these two are the cheapest. All you need is the pasta, water, and 3 minutes of your time, and then voila, you have yourself a whole meal! If you want to get creative, add a few herbs and spices. It’ll take it from your traditional microwavable meal to one worthy of Gordon Ramsay (okay exaggerating a little).

Lunchables:

It might’ve been since fifth grade since you had a lunchable, but don’t underestimate them. These are the perfect snacks for when you’re hungrier than just chips, but not hungry enough for a full meal. My favorite is the classic ham and cheese (it brings oreos!!), but you can’t go wrong with the nachos either. For days you wish your classes were as easy as in elementary school, lunchables bring you one step closer to your inner 10 year old.

Chips/Goldfish:

For when you need something salty to munch on, these are the perfect snack items. They’re cheap, unmessy, and honestly very yummy. Chips and queso? Chips and salsa? Goldfish? Doritos? Get a variety pack and avoid boredom.

Bagels:

Those 8 a.m. classes are tough, honestly even the 9:05 and 10:10 classes can be hard to get to some days. When you don’t have time to get breakfast beforehand, make sure to keep your room stocked with bagels. They’re yummier than plain bread, but still filling, and they’re something you can eat as you run to class. For those of you with a fridge, feel free to keep some cream cheese or butter. It’ll be just like you stopped by Alpine.

Bananas/Cuties:

My first year, a group of my friends created this “banana challenge” as a joke. They challenged you to eat a whole banana under 10 seconds, and yes, it’s as hard as it sounds. One time, they “banana’d” me, forcing me to start the challenge. They were chanting my name to get me to do it, and soon enough, that whole area of the dining hall was shouting “Valentina! Valentina!” It was mortifying, to say the least. I didn’t end up eating the banana in the dining hall, not with all those people staring, but I did take it back to my dorm room. That’s when I realized I had just done something. Why use a swipe trying to get a banana, when I could just take one the night before and save it in my room? Try this every time you’re in Chase. Don’t leave without a banana. As for cuties, who doesn’t love them? The Target on Franklin sells them year round, so be sure to stock up.

Granola bars/trail mix:

Do I even need to explain this one? Perfect for on the go, perfect in the morning, perfect at night… There is really no bad time for granola bars or trail mix. Definitely buy one with m&m’s in it- no one eats the normal kind anyway.

Something sweet:

Everyone has a sweet tooth. When you’re on South campus and don’t want to walk a mile for Lenoir cookies, make sure to keep something sweet in your room. I found cookies or chocolates work best because they don’t expire quickly, but definitely, if you’re a baker and you enjoy cupcakes on the weekly, keep some cake mix in your dorm. It’ll come in handy if you ever forget about your roommate’s birthday.

Pro tip:

Many of these foods require a fridge or microwave, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring both. One of the great blessings of having a roommate is you guys can decide what each person is bringing. Divide and conquer. Now that room assignments are out, get in contact with your roommate and start talking about who is bringing what. There is no point (or space) to have two of each item.

Why Having a Roommate is the Best Thing Ever!

Before college, many people never experienced sharing a room with anyone. Even if they did, it was probably a sibling that they felt close enough to yell at or kick out when they needed their own space. So sharing a room with a peer can seem terrifying. But I promise, it doesn’t have to be! You’ve heard all the horror stories of roommates that didn’t get a long, so let’s talk about all the ways that living with a roommate rocks.

You’re never completely alone. 

As much as we all love and need our alone time, too much time spent by yourself can get very lonely, very fast. Odds are that you and your roommate’s schedules won’t perfectly match, and you’ll both have a fair amount of time with the room to yourself.

At the same time, having someone to keep you company when you need can go a long way. It eases the homesickness and all the other struggles of college when there is someone else in the room. Even if you aren’t talking the whole time, just knowing they’re there for you and you aren’t alone is incredibly soothing.

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They understand what you’re going through.

No matter how different your class schedules or backgrounds are, you are both going through the same stage of life – adjusting to college. And no one ever said this stage was easy. Just having someone to talk to and relate to makes you feel a lot less isolated when things get rough.

For every bad exam grade or long night studying, there’s another student who feels your pain, and when it happens to be your roomie, that makes everything that much better.

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They can help you with all your little struggles.

Key got stuck in the door? Scary bug eyeing you from the corner of the room? Locked yourself out? Can’t reach the top shelf? Wind making scary noises? Seriously, what would we do without roomies to come to our rescue???

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You always have someone to binge watch shows with.  

Because watching The Bachelor is so much better with someone to laugh at all the dorky contestants with. Sometimes you just need a break from studying and a good TV show with an eager roommate can be the perfect cure.

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And drag along on other crazy adventures.

What would college be without crazy adventures? From Insomnia Cookies at times where you definitely should be sleeping to exploring Carolina’s best kept secrets – memories much more fun when you have someone to make them with.

Plus, a roommate is much less likely to say no than a text to a random friend. I mean, how could they say no to your face when you have such convincing arguments that this adventure has to happen right now??

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It’s never just you two.

When you’ve had enough of your roommate, the beauty of residence halls is there are so many options of people to hang out with. Whether it’s suitemates or hallmates, you’re sure to find someone else in your building you click with when you need a little escape.

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As much as you may think you’ll hate sharing a room with someone, this is such an essential part of university life. A roommate is that person that doesn’t have to be your best friend but will always be there for you no matter what. And the first weekend they leave you alone, I promise you’ll be begging them to come home soon!

Best Ways To Get To Know Your Residence Hall!

When moving into a new residence hall, meeting people can be a daunting task because it seems like everyone is fixed on their own routine. However, the vast majority of students are eager to meet new friends and are simply uncertain about how to start the first conversation. Here are some tips that will ensure you get a chance to meet some of your potential best college friends!

1. Keep an Open Door Policy

Once you are done moving into your residence hall, it is wise to keep your door open to convey a friendly vibe. By having your door open, your hallmates will often visit your room to introduce themselves. Through these introductions, you might find that you have similar music, movie, or sports interests with your hallmates and find a quality friend!

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2. Go to the First Hall Meeting

Most RAs (Resident Assistants) will host a hall meeting for their residents after move-in day. This meeting can not only be an excellent way to find out information about future residence hall events, but also a great way to meet new friends. The vast majority of the people at the first hall meeting will not know each other so everyone is keen on making new friends! Also, the first hall meeting often includes some type of free snack which is reason enough to go! For example, my first hall meeting at Horton Residence Hall featured some delicious brownies.

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3. Take Advantage of Residence Hall Events

Residence halls often feature different entertaining events that numerous residents attend. For example, trivia nights, free food, and friendly sports competitions are all common events! Because so many residents attend these events, also going is a excellent way to meet new friends and familiarize yourself with your residence hall. While in Horton Residence Hall, there were many events that involved free pizza where I met new friends while also enjoying free food!

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4. Become Everyone’s Best Friend Through Baking!

Taking advantage of the community kitchens that come with every residence hall at UNC can also be a way to meet new friends! For example, I met one of my good friends in Horton Residence Hall through her messaging our group chat for our hall saying to come by her room if anyone wanted cookies. For obvious reasons, a good amount of people showed up to the room. However, people did not just grab a cookie and leave, they tended to hang around and have a conversation. For this reason, baking something for the hall can be a great way to meet new people!

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5. Work on Homework in the Study Lounge

The study lounges in the different residence halls at UNC are a worthwhile place to work because of the available space to focus. Despite the study lounges usually being a quiet space, they can also be a great place to meet people in your residence hall! Often people will introduce themselves to different people in study lounges which makes it a great place to find a potential study buddy!

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Your residence hall will often be the place you find some of your best college friends. By taking the initiative to be social, you will quickly become familiar with your residence hall!

Tips on Making Your 8 A.M Class!

For many college students, having an 8 a.m. class in their schedule can be a terrible way to start the day. However, that does not have to be the case! By making small adjustments in your routine, and picking the right class, having an 8 a.m can be an excellent way to get more use out of the day!

1. Take a Class You Are Interested In

As you wake up to a blaring alarm clock during the early hours of the morning, the thought will definitely cross your mind “should I even go to this class?” To make sure you do not lay your head back on the pillow, it helps if your 8 a.m is a class you’re interested in. Having an interesting 8 a.m will not only increase your chances of making the class, but will also make the class time more enjoyable. Instead of fighting to stay awake in class, because the course material will be personally engaging, you will be more attentive in class!

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2. Mandatory Attendance

If taking an interesting 8 a.m is not enough to coerce you to get out of bed, a required attendance policy might. Many professors have required attendance for their classes meaning you can only miss a limited amount of days before you start having points deducted. By having a direct consequence for missing class, most students will find a way to attend classes with required attendance. For this reason, seeking out an 8 a.m class with a required attendance policy can ensure that you do not miss class!

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3. Everything is Better With Friends!

When going to a class alone, it is easy to convince yourself that skipping is not that bad. However, when taking a class with a friend, you are becoming accountable to another person. That being said, if you skip your 8 a.m then you will certainly be receiving a disappointed text message from your friend who made it to class. Additionally, any class is better with a friend to talk to!

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4. Keep Your Alarm Clock Away From Your Bed

One trap that makes it easier to oversleep for class is having an alarm clock that is too close to your bed. Whether you use an actual alarm clock, or your phone, it helps if you place it away from your bed before you go to sleep. The reasoning is, by getting out of bed, and walking to your ringing alarm clock, you will be less likely to go back to sleep because you are no longer in your cozy cocoon of a dorm bed.

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5. Keeping a Healthy Sleep Schedule

Managing to consistently attend an 8 a.m class can be difficult, but can be made nearly impossible by a terrible sleep schedule. For this reason, striving to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep before having to wake up for your 8 a.m is ideal. This can be easier accomplished by staying productive during the day so that you are less likely to have to sacrifice sleep for late-night homework sessions!

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How to not live like a slob in your dorm room

Let’s be real, with all of the social and academic pressures of college, cleaning your room starts getting pretty low on the list of priorities, but having a clean room can improve both your mental and physical health. Not only that, but it will keep your mom from yelling at you when she comes to visit for family weekend (personal experience, not fun). So, without further ado, here are some tips for keeping your room clean.

Cleaning GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants - Find & Share on GIPHY

1. Make good use of the community office’s rental options

In every community on campus, there’s an office that can help you if you locked yourself out, need something fun to do or require cleaning supplies. You can rent out vacuums, brooms and Swiffer mops. It may not seem like it’d do much, but you’d be surprised at how much better and cleaner a quick sweep can make your room look and feel, and it really doesn’t take that long. Plus, renting it means that you don’t have to buy it yourself, which is wonderful because if there are two things college students hate, it’s spending money and cleaning.

Monica from Friends cleaning her vacuum

2. Make a cleaning schedule with your roommate

If I don’t put something on my calendar, it doesn’t happen. That’s just how it is. Scheduling a certain time to clean ensures that you don’t keep putting it off by saying “oh yeah I need to do that sometime,” and then immediately forgetting about it. If you want, you and your roommate can turn it into bonding time. Just put on a great room cleaning playlist full of middle school throwback jams, and what was once a chore becomes a party.

Will Smith dancing with a vacuum

3. CLEAN THE BATHROOM

This obviously doesn’t apply if you’re in a hall-style dorm or an eight-person suite, but if you live in a four-person suite or an apartment, the bathroom gets filthy, and it gets filthy fast. The good news is that cleaning the bathroom isn’t as difficult as you think. For instance, if you want to clean the shower, just get a spray bottle of shower cleaner (yes, that’s really what it’s called. It could not be easier), spray it in there, wait a few minutes and use the shower head to rinse it off. Also, invest in some disinfectant wipes, as they can be used to clean just about everything in the bathroom, from toilets to sinks to shower heads.

Puppy knocking over shampoo bottles

4. Wash the dishes as you use them

I’ll admit that I’m kind of bad at this one, which is weird because I’m good at everything except modesty. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something in my brain that says if I leave the dishes there long enough, they’ll eventually just go away. This is obviously not true, and the pile just grows to the point that I’m praying for an apocalypse because at least then, I won’t have to wash them. In suites, this is an even bigger problem because there’s only one sink, and if your roommate finds themself unable to brush their teeth because of the monument to slobbiness you’ve built in and around the sink, there can be some tension. If you wash the dishes as you use them, however, it’s only one plate or bowl at a time as opposed to a daunting mountain. It’ll take a few minutes instead of half an hour, and it’ll be so worth it.

Donald Duck washing dishes

5. Make your bed

Not only does making your bed make your room look a little less sloppy, it also makes you feel better and be more productive. If you make your bed right when you get up, you’re less likely to get back in it and go back to sleep. It also makes you less likely to lay down and take a nap later in the day. I love naps as much as the next person, and sometimes they’re necessary, but they can also be counterproductive if you really need to do work. Making your bed is a simple, quick thing you can do to make your room look better and help you feel better.

Making the bed

College can be stressful and busy, which can make cleaning your space feel pointless and time-consuming, but the benefits of having a clean place to live are very important and can greatly impact your physical and mental health.

 

Homesickness: the one ailment Campus Health can’t treat.

I’m sure everyone in your family has told you this already, but transitioning to college life is tough. Not only are there the logistical issues, like the fact that you’re constantly getting lost and you can’t figure out how to do laundry, but there’s also the issue of homesickness. For many, college is the first time that you’re living on your own. When I started college, I had never been away from home for longer than a couple of weeks, and, suddenly, my family was four hours away and I wasn’t going to see them until October. It’s kind of a tough time, but, hopefully, these tips will help lessen the severity of the homesickness.

1. Set up a weekly time to call your family

This is a good thing to do because it not only helps you feel better, but your family as well. Chances are that your family is missing you just as much as you’re missing them, and having a scheduled time to call them will ensure that neither of you starts missing the other too much. I get that college is busy and this may be difficult, but the call doesn’t have to be very long and just hearing the voice of your loved ones goes a long way to alleviating homesickness. I’m going into my senior year, and I have called my parents at 7 p.m. every Sunday since I have been in college. Trust me, it helps.

2. Bring one or two items that remind you of home

If you’re like me, there’s a lot of seemingly odd items that hold special value for you. For me, it’s a small, circular Captain America pillow that my mom got me a couple years ago. For you, it could be a stuffed animal, action figure or high school award. Whatever it is, make sure to bring it with you. I know it’s tempting when you’re packing up the car and there’s barely room to breathe to try to downsize, but having little things that remind you of home has a lot of value. They can give you something familiar to hang on to when there’s a lot of changes happening around you, and they can remind you of home when you start to miss it. Just don’t bring too much…

Monica from Friends in front of her mountain of stuff

3. Create an on-campus family

I’m not going to lie to you, making friends is hard, especially if you’re like me and you have the charisma of a spork. The good news is, however, if I can do it, you certainly can too. You’re going to have to put yourself out there and suffer through a lot of small talk and awkward “getting to know you” conversations, but it’s worth it to find people who will become your best friends. The best advice I have for you in terms of how to find these people is to just put yourself out there. If you’re having a conversation with someone in one of your classes and they seem cool, ask them to eat lunch with you. If you meet someone in your dorm, invite them to come hang out in your room. Remember, nearly everyone is going through the same thing that you are, and they likely want to make friends too. The thing I always tell myself is that there are 29,469 people who attend UNC, so if you totally embarrass yourself in front of one of them, there are still around 29,468 people you can be friends with.

4. Keep busy

The dorms here are great, but you should definitely not just sit in them all the time. There are 800 student organizations and more than 50 intramural sports you can join to make friends and keep yourself occupied. Schoolwork will keep you busy, but it’s important to have outlets to have fun and meet people who share your interests. It’ll distract you from homesickness, keep you from feeling lonely and allow you to explore your interests. And who knows? You might become the Brice and Marcus of your intramural intertube water basketball team.

Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige

5. Keep in contact with your friends from high school

Just because you’ve gone off to college doesn’t mean you have to break contact with everyone you used to know. Sure, you won’t talk to them as often, but they’re your best friends for a reason, and they can be great for emotional support when you’re feeling down. If you have high school acquaintances who go here, invite them to have lunch with you. You’d be surprised how often someone you rarely talked to in high school can become one of your best friends in college. I get that many people come to college hoping to leave high school far behind, which is understandable, but the people from your hometown understand your experiences in a way other people typically don’t, which can be very helpful in trying to avoid being homesick.

The last piece of advice that I’ll leave you with is to not worry too much. Yes, college is hard, transitioning is hard and homesickness sucks, but it will get easier after you’ve adjusted, and the payoff is so worth it. I’ve met some of my best friends and had some of my favorite experiences at UNC. Trust me, you’re going to love it here!

Top 10 Things You SHOULDN’T Bring to College

A First-Year Guide

So you’ve been accepted to Carolina, paid your enrollment deposit, and are desperately counting down the days until orientation. WOOHOO! Coming to college is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, but it can be an extremely stressful process.

One of the most stressful things about moving into your residence hall is PACKING. What do I bring? What CAN I bring? What will I even have room for? This can be quite the challenge, especially if you’re the oldest sibling and first to go to college!

Well, fear not! You are not in this alone–because Carolina Housing is here to help! This list will go through a few different things that UNC students may think they need, but they won’t.

1. Tons of school supplies 

Believe it or not, you will probably need less school supplies as you get into these harder, college classes. Most students take notes on a laptop, so you probably won’t need more than a notebook or two, some pens, and maybe a stapler. Pack light!

2. Your car 

Leave this bad boy in the garage! First-Years are not allowed to have cars on campus, but you don’t really need one anyway! The bus system will take you anywhere in the area, and airport shuttles go back and forth to the airport around breaks. Chapel Hill is extremely walkable as well!

3. Big appliances 

You won’t be cooking nearly as much as you think, so a microwave and small fridge should be plenty! If you are an amateur chef, residence hall kitchens come stocked with a stove, oven, fridge, and you can check out all sorts of pots and pans at the front desk.

4. Fancy clothing or jewelry 

You probably won’t feel like dressing too nice for your 9am lecture, anyway. I would recommend bringing a few business professional outfits, and maybe some formal attire, but the Carolina Student attire is pretty casual around campus!

5. Animals 

As much as we know you’d like to bring them, please leave your sweet golden retriever puppy at home. You are allowed a pet fish in your room, but that’s the limit. I think I would probably get sick of waking up to barking dogs, anyway.

6. Printer 

This is something you  will definitely not need! Every residence hall community has a printer that you can use with your allotted printing money, so you never have to worry about having a place to print out that paper you finish at 3am.

7. Glass dishes

Similar to the appliances, you won’t do too much cooking in your room. Don’t risk breaking nice glassware or silverware in your residence hall kitchen; just stick to cheap, plastic plates and you’ll be set!

8. Your entire closet 

Believe it or not, you won’t be wearing those wool sweaters the week you arrive at Carolina in August. Especially if you plan on going home often, pack your clothes based on the season to save space in your closet! You won’t need winter boots in August or your tank top collection come January.

9. Desk chair 

This is something advertised to many college students when dorm shopping, but you don’t need one at Carolina! Each room has a chair provided for your desk, so you don’t need to bring your own unless you really, really want to.

10. Anything your roommate’s bringing! 

This last one is key! Make sure you’re checking in with your roommate to ensure that you’re not bringing two of the same thing. You don’t want to show up on Day 1 with two different rugs to put down on the floor! Communication is key.

Stick to this guide, and you’ll be sure to avoid having any useless stuff lying around in your room. We can’t wait to see you at move-in this August, and happy packing!

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