Tag Archives: adjusting

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.

Dear Out of State Students,

Sup! Or as people here like to say.. Hey, how are y’all doing?

So you’ve decided to leave your home state and become a Tar Heel, huh? Whether you’ve crossed an ocean, the whole country, or simply a state border, congratulations! You’ve made it here now, and you’re part of the 18% that aren’t North Carolinian!

While that number may seem smaller than a dook heart (we’re talkin’ very small), it’s more than it seems and more than enough to make you feel at home. If you’re not from the South, one thing you’ll quickly learn about it is its spirit of welcome, manners, and warmth. As you grow a new sense of home here, those features of the South are definitely your friends.

Before the fall, I hadn’t given going out of state any thought, hadn’t even considered the change of Southern culture. After all, I was coming from only two states away! No big deal, right? Well, gonna be honest here, not expecting things to be different resulted in culture shock hitting me like a biology textbook in the face.

Continue reading Dear Out of State Students,

Residence Hall How-To’s: Doing Laundry

You’ve been living in your residence hall for a week or two, and you notice your laundry hamper filling up quickly. Your mom is not around to conveniently wash, dry, fold, and deliver your clothes right to your room, and you only have a few more days before you’ll have to resort to wearing long-sleeved shirts and sweatpants in the middle of August. The time has come—you have to do your first load of laundry. Whether you’ve never done your own laundry before or you’re just unfamiliar with the on-campus machines, save yourself a call home from the laundry room with this how-to guide.

laundry

Washing Your Clothes

1. Load your clothes into the washer, taking note of the machine number.

2. Open the black plastic lid on top of the machine, and pour detergent and fabric softener into the labeled compartments.

3. Walk over to the electronic box on the wall and swipe your OneCard (one wash cycle costs $1). Push the machine number, and keep pressing Enter until you see your remaining balance.

4. Return to the machine, and select a fabric setting. I usually choose Bright Colors for my regular load of laundry and Delicates and Knits for nicer, more fragile shirts. Once you press a button, your wash cycle will begin!

Drying Your Clothes

1. Load your clothes into the dryer, taking note of the machine number, and add a dryer sheet.

2. Swipe your OneCard at the electronic box on the wall (one dry cycle costs $0.50). Push the machine number, and choose how many extra dry cycles you want (one extra is recommended, for a total cost of $1). Keep pressing Enter until you see your remaining balance.

3. Return to the machine, and select a fabric setting. I pick Whites and Brights for my regular load of laundry, hanging my more delicate shirts to dry in my room. Once you press a button, your dry cycle will start!

Other Tips and Tricks

1. One wash cycle takes between 35 to 40 minutes to complete, while two dry cycles takes an hour. The laundry rooms can get busy, so take out your clothes on time—or somebody may take them out for you!

2. On the flip side, if you’ve been waiting by a completed washing machine for more than 10 minutes, it’s okay to take the clothes out. Some residents will just place them on top of the machine, but it’s nice to be polite and put them in a dryer.

3. Nothing’s worse than trekking down from the 10th floor of Hinton James only to find that all the laundry machines are full! The OneCard CaroLaundry website shows you which machines are available in each residence hall and allows you to set up email or text notifications when your laundry cycle is done.

Don’t let doing laundry for the first time intimidate you—once you know how the machines work, washing and drying your clothes is a piece of cake!

Weekends on Campus: What to Do?

The countdown to move-in has begun, and you’re busy shopping for supplies, texting your roommate, and signing up for classes. However, what happens after you’ve settled in? As a first-year student (or even a returning one), weekends are the prime time to explore, meet new people, and really make UNC feel like home. When Friday arrives, stick around and try one of these 5 activities right on campus!

Hundreds of residents attended the RHA Silent Disco.
Hundreds of residents attended the RHA Silent Disco.

1. See a movie at the Union: Going to the movie theater on a regular basis is expensive (even with that handy student discount) and nearly impossible without your own transportation. Luckily, you don’t need cash or a car to see a film with your friends! Almost every Friday and Saturday night, the Union shows movies in the auditorium, free with your OneCard. The best part? Most of the films are new releases that just left theaters—last semester, the selection included Mockingjay, Gone Girl, Big Hero 6, and Interstellar.

2. Attend a Residence Hall Association (RHA) program: RHA provides fun, unique events for on-campus residents, from laser tag to a Silent Disco. (Picture a dance where everybody is listening to music on headphones!) Your residence hall’s Community Government, as part of RHA, will also host occasional weekend programs like cookouts or carnivals. Don’t get stuck eating Easy Mac in your room on a Friday evening—follow RHA and your community on social media to stay informed on upcoming events. Most of them offer some kind of free food!

The student section at football games is usually packed!
The student section at football games is usually packed!

3. Cheer on the Tar Heels at a game: Whether you just wear a UNC T-shirt or paint yourself Carolina blue from head-to-toe, watching the Tar Heels play is always exciting. Most Saturdays in the fall semester are football game days, and in the spring semester, basketball. However, I’ve also seen volleyball, soccer, and field hockey—less popular sporting events are usually still packed with students and often give out free T-shirts! Sign up for the Carolina Fever email listserv to learn which teams are playing each week. Attending games earns you Fever points, which can win you prizes ranging from water bottles to coveted basketball tickets.

4. Check out Campus Rec: Work out, try a group fitness class like cycle or yoga, swim laps at the indoor pool, play pick-up basketball—Campus Rec has something for everyone. My first year, my roommate and I were bored one Sunday afternoon and decided to visit the racquetball courts. We ended up just hitting the ball around more than actually playing by the rules, but it was definitely a fun stress reliever.

Staying in with friends can sometimes be the most fun of all.
Staying in with friends can sometimes be the most fun of all.

5. Hang out in your residence hall: When you’ve had a long week or the weather is bad, your own residence hall offers plenty to do—you can check out cookware, board games, DVDs, and more from the community office. Sometimes, the best memories are made by rounding up a group of friends and spending the evening inside baking cupcakes, laughing over Cards Against Humanity, or having a ping-pong tournament. In fact, one of my favorite moments this year was playing Just Dance on the game room Xbox with my friends on a snowy night.

When Friday comes around, you may be tempted to head home, but staying on campus those first few weekends is vital to making friends and becoming a part of the Carolina community. So, stick around and try one of these fun activities. You’ll soon look forward to spending weekends at UNC—there’s always something to do!

Top 10 First-Year Flings

A bucket list for your first year at Carolina

Students at an icecream social in Upper Quad community.
Upper Quad residents enjoy ice cream at a community program.

Everyone has their own Carolina experience. Of course it will involve studying and going to class, along with going to the dining hall and sharing a shower with your suitemates. Some get really involved in the Campus Y, some join sororities/fraternities, some volunteer, some become community governors and some play every intramural sport out there – even inner tube water polo.

But there are some things that would be a shame to miss in your first year being a Tar Heel.

Continue reading Top 10 First-Year Flings

Friends, Food and Funnies

New to UNC? Get a glimpse of Carolina’s campus culture

UNC Class of 2017
The UNC Class of 2017 Facebook page is a great way to start talking with other first-year students. (Source: UNC Class of 2017)

UNC Class of 2017: This Facebook page is a perfect way for incoming first-years to meet other students and start talking about classes, orientation, roommates and more. I still use the one for my year, Class of 2014, to find stuff like cheap textbooks. It can definitely come in handy.

Carolina Advice tumblr: This is another great resource for incoming first-year students. Submit any question you have about life at UNC, and one of three current first-years will respond. What makes this page so great is that because all of the writers come from different backgrounds and have different interests, most of the answers come from their own personal experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever’s on your mind – it’s completely anonymous! The page also posts lots of other great information, like news and events happening in the Carolina community.

Continue reading Friends, Food and Funnies

Roommate Series Part III: Going Global

Peter, left, really enjoyed his time here at UNC. But me and roommates enjoyed living with him just as much.
Peter, left, our Danish visiting student roommate, really enjoyed his time here at UNC. But my roommates and I enjoyed living with him just as much.

Living with an international student

After two years of living with Daniel and then Walt, last summer I was presented with perhaps the wildest roommate assignment one can get: an international student.

While Walt was studying abroad in Italy for the semester, my other two roommates and I in Ram Village were assigned to live with a visiting Danish student, Peter.

We were unsure what to think about living with a Dane. We had heard very few great stories about living with international students, but we also hadn’t heard any bad ones. This was what made our assignment so strange – we really didn’t know what to expect.

Continue reading Roommate Series Part III: Going Global

Roommate Series Part II: The Friend Roommate

My sophomore year I roomed with one of my best friends from home, Walt. Here we are before high school prom; I'm on the right, he's on the left.
My sophomore year I roomed with one of my best friends from home, Walt. Here we are before high school prom; I’m on the right, he’s on the left.

Living with friends, and keeping them

Though my first year at UNC living with Daniel was great, my second year I took the opposite approach to finding a roommate. It seems simple: You want to live with someone you really like and get along with, and no one fits that bill better than your friends, right? So not only did I decide to live with a friend, I decided to live with my best friend from back home, Walt, who I’d known my whole life.

I have to admit, I was almost just as nervous about living with one of my best friends as I was living with a stranger. I expected that the best-case scenario was that we’d get into a couple arguments, and the worst-case scenario was that we’d never speak to each other again after the year was over. After all, one of the best parts about living with someone I didn’t know was that when I was having problems with friends, I could get a break at home. Now I would not only have to get along with my friends, but I would have to live with consequences of having friend problems as well. I was a little bit worried about losing one of my best friends. Continue reading Roommate Series Part II: The Friend Roommate

Roommate Series Part I: Random Roommate

Overcoming the fear of living with someone new

halloween
My roommate Daniel (left) and me on Halloween night before going out on Franklin Street.

With those warm, beautiful summer days quickly approaching, I know many of my fellow Tar Heels will be taking lots of time out of their schedule to focus on the upcoming fall semester…yea, right. But hopefully sometime between that summer job and hot days on the beach, you’ll at least think about one thing for next year: your roommate.

If you’re an incoming first-year student, you may be excited about the opportunity to live with your friend from high school or worried about the idea of moving in with someone you’ve never met before. If you’re an upperclass student like me, you’re probably just hoping your friends won’t completely destroy your place next year or that your new roommate assignment isn’t a nocturnal bongo player.

However, don’t fear! Over the next week, I’ll be sharing the three very different roommate experiences I’ve had in my last few years here at UNC – a best friend, a roommate I’d never met and an international exchange student. Continue reading Roommate Series Part I: Random Roommate

Admitted Student Receptions

Were you just admitted to UNC?

Do you have questions about Housing or UNC in general? Housing staff will be traveling to area cities for the Admitted Student Receptions:

  • Wilmington – April 10 at 7 p.m., Hilton Wilmington Riverside
  • Fayetteville – April 11 at 7 p.m., Hilton Doubletree
  • Charlotte – April 15 at 7 p.m., Hilton Charlotte University Place
  • Greenville – April 16 at 7 p.m., Hilton Greenville
  • Triangle – April 17 at 7 p.m., Sheraton Imperial Hotel in RTP
  • Triad – April 18 at 7 p.m., Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons

There will be a program at the reception where current students and professors will speak about their experiences at Carolina.  After the program, there will be a Q&A session with many campus organizations. You can also meet fellow students who live in your area who are also attending Carolina. Maybe you’ll find your roommate or future best friend.