Out-of-state perspective

Tips and stories from an out-of-state student

Nora (left) is one of my closest friends at UNC.

While trying to decide what my next post would be about, I noticed that we had something missing. No one had ever talked about the experience of an out-of-state student. Since all of the bloggers are from North Carolina, I decided to talk to some of my friends who are out-of-state to learn about their experiences. One friend, Nora, a junior from Virginia, has had a great experience in her time at Carolina. She agreed to share her experiences with me, so other out-of-state students may be encouraged to come to school here as well:

M: Why did you choose UNC?

N:  I am fourth-generation. My dad, my grandfather and my great grand-father all went to school here. I grew up a Tar Heel, basically came out of the womb waving a “Go Heels” flag. My first four Halloween costumes were a Tar Heel cheerleader uniform. I was ready to go here from the very beginning. Also, it has a FANTASTIC reputation, a great POLI department, wonderful sports programs, so many extracurriculars, amazing people, a great Greek life, a beautiful college town, and basically anything else you could ever want [in] a University.

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Tunnel of Oppression

How have you been hurt?

These were of a few of the secrets that Tunnel participants posted.

This question was featured in the lobby of Cobb last week when students checked in to go through the Tunnel of Oppression. Students could post their secrets on notecards, and the chilling words were only the beginning of a very thought-provoking experience.  My journey through Tunnel lasted about an hour and a half, but its impact will be seen in my everyday life.

For those who have not experienced Tunnel, it is a series of scenes discussing different types of oppressions.  Topics ranged from learning disabilities, religion, sexual assault, human trafficking, homophobia and race. An important aspect of the program is that the stories of oppression were true stories that had happened to actual UNC students. The stories were voluntarily submitted, and in the program, the identities of the victims were kept anonymous. The impact on me was much stronger when I found out that things like sexual abuse, racism, and poverty had happened to my own peers.

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Day in the Life: Summer Edition

Experience a different Chapel Hill during the summer

Students lounge in front of the Old Well. Photo by Dan Sears

Summer in Chapel Hill. It’s different than during the school year, but in a good way. Summer school has a more relaxed feel to it than the rest of year.  Classes are smaller: for example, I took Poli 100 last summer. This class is usually around a 150-200 person class and there were 16 people in mine. This allowed for more discussion in class and one-on-one time with my professor. Also since you are only taking one or two, you are able to concentrate on each class more.

I stayed in Chapel Hill for Maymester and loved my summer school experience. For those who don’t know, Maymester is a 3-week term, where students take one class that meets for about 3 hours every day.

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Will you be my exit buddy?

Living with a high school friend your first year at Carolina

We’ve all heard the story before: High school senior applies to college. High school senior’s best friend applies to same college. Both get in, and they decide to room together. By December, their friendship and sanity are ruined.

But that story didn’t come true for me.

Every year, half of Carolina students have “random” roommates. Many students have a positive experience. I can attest to this—as a sophomore, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the sweet girl I was randomly placed with this year. However, the myth that high school friends can’t be successful roommates is just that: a myth. As a first-year, I lived in Hinton James with Elissa, a girl I have known since elementary school. It turned out to be an excellent decision.

Continue reading Will you be my exit buddy?

Holi Moli!

Hindu festival of colors is a Carolina tradition

Carolina, spring has sprung.  What better way to celebrate the change of season than by throwing paint at your fellow Tar Heels?

Every March, Hindus and Sikhs mark the arrival of spring with a huge celebration called Holi Moli.  Traditionally celebrated in North India, Holi draws large crowds of people who throw water and colored powder on each other.  This festival has been going on for centuries and cultivates a spirited good time across all castes, classes, ages, and genders. Holi Moli is about channeling the energy and life of the new season.

You can do it too!  Here at Carolina, you simply sign up, receive your packets of colored powder, and show up on the day of the festival decked out in white, ready for some fun.  Join your fellow schoolmates in running around the quad streaked in multiple dyes.  Holi Moli is sure to be a liberating experience that you must try at least once during your years at UNC.

Photos by Brittany Darst



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Going pro in the kitchen

Learn healthy recipes that you can make in your residence hall

Students watch as Chef Paul cooks.
Learning from a master chef.

Have you been to any community events sponsored by Carolina Dining Services? Earlier in the semester, Cobb community had one with Chef Paul Calice, Executive Chef of Carolina Dining Services. I went to this event and learned how to make cake in a cup!  While eating out is nice, there are many ways to make a hearty meal right in your residence hall.

About 20 excited students and RAs filed into the small meeting room in Lenoir next to Jamba Juice and soon the real fun began.  Chef Paul informed us that eating healthily does not have to be difficult nor expensive; on the contrary it could be fun, fast, and oh-so cheap.

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The allure behind Old East

Why do so many students want to live in the campus’ oldest building?

This sign commemorates the laying of the first brick.

The first brick of Old East was laid on October 12, 1793, and the construction of UNC had officially begun.  To this day, October 12 is still celebrated as University Day.

Centuries later, students still love to live in the historic building, because it is in the middle of everything.  Seeing the Old Well out the window every day also can’t be beat.

Many students will never even see the inside of the building that holds so much mystery and fascination.  Luckily, I have a friend, Ryann, who is fortunate enough to live there, and she gave me the inside scoop one day.

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10 months, 10 ways to get involved

A month-by-month montage of why residence life is rad

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

Ever wondered what a year living in a residence hall at Carolina is like? There’s something special about each and every one of the ten months you’re living at Carolina, and the fun you’ll have makes a year at Carolina pass by so quickly!


My lyric poster is one of my favorite decorations in my room.

Move-in day is always really exciting. You’re getting your keys, checking out your new digs, meeting (or reuniting with) your roommate, and moving in boxes upon boxes of important stuff while pouring gallons upon gallons of sweat. Then you’re deciding who gets which bed, whether you want to bunk or loft or leave the beds down, and how you want to arrange your room (the possibilities are nearly endless!) Eventually comes the decorating (my favorite part!) Make sure to bring lots of photos, posters, decor—anything to make your room feel like the home it’s going to be. Some cute ideas I’ve seen:

~stringing photos along a clothesline and taping it to the wall (make sure you don’t use tape that will peel the paint off!)
~making a collage of photos all over the wall (layering and crossing the photos as different angles looks best!)
~putting up cool posters, or making your own! (I made one using a collage of my favorite song lyrics.)
~using cool light fixtures (Just make sure they’re Housing approved! My roommate and I have paper lanterns strung along both sides of our room.)

After this flurry of activity, your room is home sweet home. Then there’s going down the hall or around the suite to meet your neighbors, and usually your RA tries to swing by to say hi, too. It’s a really fun day that’s a great way to kick off a year at Carolina! Continue reading 10 months, 10 ways to get involved

Pianos 101

UNC residence halls’ piano report card

"All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." - Bach

Musically inclined Carolina students enjoy a plethora of opportunities – bands, ensembles, orchestras, and fantastic minor & major programs. Some days, though, all you want is to roll downstairs in your pajamas and play “Chopsticks” for twenty minutes straight. Whether you’re a prodigy or beginner, check out the musical resources in your residential community – and the helpful list below.








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Camping out can be super

A record number of students–and tents–turned out for Suite Selection

Students camped out for 5 days to insure their spots in Super Suites

Over 900 students turned out for this year’s Suite Selection event.  Some students even began camping out on Wednesday night for 6 nights for the coveted Super Suites.  Of the four groups who began then, all made it until Tuesday morning, sometimes camping in the rain, but they got the suites they wanted.

Other students also camped out on Monday night to improve their spot in their respective class lines on Tuesday morning. Continue reading Camping out can be super

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