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Orientation Do’s and Don’ts

Wooohoooooo it’s that time of the year. Graduation, family vacations, and new to you: orientation!! Every new student coming to Carolina in the fall gets to attend an orientation session this summer, so I’ve broken down the two days into the best do’s and don’ts list I could think of. After reading this you’ll be totally prepared to make the most of your Carolina preview.

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Do’s:

  1. Do take advantage of all the free items! One of the best parts about orientation is all the free Carolina swag you can leave with. Throughout your two day experience, many of the organizations on campus will be present at different sessions to teach you more about life at UNC. The best part is, this usually means they have free stuff to give away too. There are stickers, popsockets, phone wallets, water bottles- seriously anything you want you can pretty much find. You’ll come out of orientation ready to show off your Carolina pride to all your friends. *Hint hint* come find me and the rest of the summer Housing team for some of this said free stuff.Image result for thanks dude gif
  2. Explore the Chapel Hill community! If you have time, check out all the yummy places to eat on Franklin Street. There is nothing that will make you more excited for college than knowing where all the tasty places Tar Heels eat are at. For those of you who don’t live nearby, it’s also a great opportunity to see how much Carolina pride the town has. Many of the restaurants on Franklin are decked out in Carolina art and other Tar Heel decorations, so be sure to take it all in. You’re going to be spending your next four years in this town, and dining hall food will only satisfy you for so long. Use orientation as a trial and error time to find your favorite Franklin Street staple. P.S. we’ll be giving away coupons to some of these restaurants, so make sure you stop by our table during your session! #EatBlueBleedBllueImage result for so much food gif
  3. If you’re coming to orientation with your #froomie, stop by the Chapel Hill mural behind He’s Not Here. There’s no guarantee that you will become besties with your roommate, but chances are you two will make memories that’ll go past your first-year, so it’s always nice to have a picture that marks the start of a friendship. Who knows? You might even end up rooming with them again your next year.  Don’t forget to check out our blog in the next few weeks for more picture perfect spots to take your roommate to! #DoItForTheGramImage result for besties gif

Don’t’s:

  1. Don’t forget sheets, blankets, and a pillow! All students are housed overnight inside Cobb. Being a hall-style residence hall, it has central A/C, and boyyyy can it get cold in there. To not spend your first night at Carolina shivering, (since there will be plenty of those during the winter) make sure to bring a blanket to keep you warm. PSA: You may not get a lot of sleep!  Trust me, Orientation Leaders pack A LOT into the two days you’re here. So once you finally do get a chance to head back to your room, make sure you have everything you need to spend the night dreaming of your Carolina future. You’ll need to be well rested for Day 2 when you practice registering for classes. Image result for bed gif
  2. Speaking of course registration, do NOT panic!! I was so overwhelmed and stressed during my registration info session, I wish someone would have told me it’s totally normal. On Day 2, all new students participate in a mock registration session with an academic adviser. Here, all your questions on how to register for classes will be answered. When they take you through the course lists, you might notice all the classes appear to be full, but don’t worry! Many of the courses for first-years have reserved seats. This means they might appear to be full when you’re looking, but come registration time certain seats will open up specifically for you! If you still don’t see any classes that have open seats, a lot of times students change their schedules over the summer, so if at first you don’t succeed, keep checking! Also, ConnectCarolina isn’t an easy website to figure out by yourself, so make sure you’re really paying attention during your info session. The last thing you want to happen is come your registration time a few weeks later and you realize you have no idea how to add a class to your shopping cart.Image result for im fine gif
  3. Don’t be shy!! Be open to making new friends! The very first people you meet at Carolina will be those in your orientation group, so make an effort to become friends with them! How cool would it be during graduation time four years from now to say you met your best friends your very first day at Carolina? A lot of times, the groups are created by similar interests, so find things you and your groupmates have in common! All in-staters and out-of-staters have one thing in common: they’re all new to UNC, so don’t worry about being nervous about introducing yourself. Everyone is in the same boat of trying to meet new people. You never know who you will end up seeing every day in the fall! Image result for did we just become best friends gif

Orientation is your first real taste of Carolina- take the time to soak it all in. After all, this is your home for the next four years!

How to Make the Most of Your Dorm Room Space

Making a dorm room your “second home” for a school year can be a daunting task. Given that you have limited dorm space, it is vital to organize your room to utilize as much space as possible. By following this guide, you will be able to bring more of your personal items from home because you will have more space available. Here are some tips that have helped me turn my modest dorm room into a spacious home!  

 

1. Loft Your Bed

Lofting your bed can give you additional space, below your bed, that can be used for clothes, food, or a desk. Personally, lofting my bed gave me space for a couch in my dorm that I would of otherwise not had room for! After lofting my bed, I saw my storage space nearly double which makes this tip a must!

2. Staying Clutter-Free

Room clutter always seems to find a way to rear its ugly head when living somewhere. However, this problem can be limited by having different tools to ensure your room is organized. For example, a hamper for dirty clothes can serve as a way to ensure clothes do not begin to find homes on your floor. Additionally, a shoe rack that can hang from a closet door not only organizes your shoes, but also uses door-space that would of otherwise went unused!

3. Multi-Functional Furniture

Having a piece of furniture that has a double function can help eliminate the need to bring numerous furniture pieces. Why bring a shelf, and a chair, when you can find a piece that does both? For example, the Domus Chair is a chair that also provides storage space in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Multi-functional furniture is an excellent way to get the most storage space out of your dorm room!

4. Decorate Vertically

Utilizing the walls of your dorm room can make the room feel more spacious, and add a personalized aesthetic. For example, hanging decorative lights across the room uses upper wall space that would of been barren and makes the room more inviting. Posters, tapestries, and personal photos also make for great additions to dorm walls to make your new room feel like a home!

5. Coordinate With Your Roommate

Certain items, such as desks, shelves, and other furniture can be reorganized in order to create more space for your room. For example, my roommate and I put our two desks side-by-side in order to free up more space throughout the dorm. By communicating with your roommate, you can work personalize your room in order to create a layout that works for you both!

6. View Model Rooms Through 360 Interior Shots

An excellent resource that UNC provides is 360 degree interior shots of the residence hall rooms found on campus. This can help you gauge the size of your room, and give you ideas on what you could fill your dorm with! Below is an example of a 360 degree interior shot for the Hinton James Residence Hall. You can find this resource by going to maps.unc.edu , under the Buildings > Housing section.

For a college student, their dorm room is one of the most important aspects of their college experience. It’s where they sleep, study, and spend the majority of their time. For this reason, following these tips, and making the most of your dorm room space is essential!

The Suite Life: My Experience in a Shared Living Space

Living on campus is a key part of the authentic college experience. A lot of incoming first-years might be excited for the new adventure, but less excited about sharing a living space (and a bathroom).

As a weathered old first-year, I can tell you that I was in the same exact boat. But after a year of living in an eight-person suite, I realized there wasn’t much to worry about. Here’s what I learned:

ROOMMATES

Maybe you’re used to sharing a room with a sibling. Maybe you grew up with a room all to yourself. Whatever your past experience, living with a roommate is probably going to take a little getting used to.

Having a roommate is a little different than sharing a room with a sibling. For one thing, both of you probably won’t be related. Also, the room that you’re sharing isn’t just a bedroom – it’s where you live. That means everything you own and everything your roommate owns will be in the same space. So that means you need to be able to communicate what spaces and items are shared, and what you want to stay separate.

Another good thing about having a roommate is that you probably don’t have to buy all of the appliances and furniture you want to be in your dorm! I found it pretty convenient that I didn’t have to buy a microwave since my roommate already had one.

Something I was concerned about before moving in was having a different sleeping schedule than my roommate. Both of you probably won’t be going to sleep at the same exact minute of the same exact hour – how do you deal with that? Lamps, earplugs, sleep masks, and communication. Just let each other know if you’re going to sleep super early or super late. It only takes a few seconds to ask about things like turning off the lights and turning down any music and other things like that. If you’re a particularly light sleeper, earplugs and sleep masks would be a good investment. Also, you could talk to your potential roommate before even moving in and ask about what time they usually go to sleep.

Something else to keep in mind: Just because you live with this person doesn’t mean you have to be with them 24/7. If you tend to be introverted or you just like to have some time to yourself, the thought of living with another person might make you want to rethink the whole dorm thing. But as an awkward introvert myself, I think I have the authority to tell you that a roommate does not equal a life partner (Unless you want that, I guess. Up to you).

 

SUITEMATES

Suitemates are a step removed from roommates. You don’t share a room with them, but you do live in pretty close proximity to them.

Experiences with suite mates are pretty varied, as they are with roommates. I know people whose closest friends are their suitemates, and I know people who don’t even know their suitemates’ names. Personally, my suitemate group is pretty close with each other. While you can choose whether or not to talk to the other people in your suite, I would recommend hanging out with them whenever you can. I mean, it’s a built-in friend group – you don’t have to try too hard to get to know them.

BATHROOMS

Ah yes, the dreaded shared bathroom. Turns out, there’s not much to dread.

If you live in an eight-person suite, someone comes in and cleans the bathroom for you a few times every week. If you live in a four-person suite like in Koury, you’ll have to clean it yourself. I lived in HoJo, so the bathrooms were cleaned for us. If you live in a four-person suite, I would recommend organizing some kind of cleaning schedule with your suitemates so that the work is divided up fairly.

Sharing a bathroom with seven other people might sound scary, but surprise: it’s not. At least in my experience, and from what I’ve heard from other people, the bathroom situation isn’t as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. Everyone has different schedules, and everyone gets up at different times, so the bathroom is usually accessible whenever you need to use it. In all my time here, I never had to fight over who got to use the bathroom first, because the bathroom was always open.

Another thing: the bathroom does lock. If you’re coming out of the shower or just want some privacy, you don’t need to worry about someone bursting into the bathroom.

To wrap it up:

My experience living in a shared space wasn’t the nightmare I thought it would be. Visions of feuding roommates and duels over who got to take the next shower were replaced with new friends and sweet, sweet independence. Living on campus turned out to be the best way to start off my time at UNC.

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Did I miss anything? Want to know more? Leave a comment or message @unchousing on any social media platform! You can also shoot us an email or give us a call!

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So You’re In…Now What? 5 Steps to Sign Up for Housing

Welcome to UNC! You should be proud! You’ve busted your butt for the past four years proving to us and to everyone else that you’re good enough to be a Tar Heel…now what? Where are you going to live? How are you going to decide where to live? This time is filled with a lot of questions. While we can’t answer all of them, we CAN help you navigate our housing process! Here are 5 steps to take in order to get your housing cleaned up and put away!

1. Pay the UNC Deposit and Officially Become a Tar Heel

You won’t be able to access the application portal until you’ve paid this deposit. After all, we can’t offer UNC Housing to someone who isn’t  a UNC student yet!

Once you’ve paid it, wait a few days for the transaction to go through. After that, the portal is free to access!

2. Find a Roommate

This is a step that is intimidating to some. Going in random is definitely an option and nothing to be afraid of! Some people have found their best friends with the random selector!

Another option is looking to Facebook! Lot’s of people post online in order to find a roommate. Carolina Housing has also recently started a group devoted specifically to people looking for roommates! Click the photo below to go the roommate group!

You’re next option is conveniently available in your application portal! Just fill out your profile! The portal will automatically suggest to you several people it thinks are compatible and will give you a rating from 0% compatible to 99% compatible.

3. Fill Out Your Application

Once you have or haven’t found you roommate, you’re good to fill out an application! Our first-years have a specific set of residence halls they are allowed to be a part of. As a first-year, you don’t choose where you’re living, but instead indicate what your preferences are! Housing will try to assign you to your top three choices! We don’t do it on a first come, first serve basis, so it doesn’t matter when you fill it out as long as you fill it out before our deadline, May 15th! Fill out your application here!

4. Decide If You Want to Be Part of an RLP

RLPs, or Residential Learning Programs, are a great way to be a part of community that is just like you! Whether you’re a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community or you’re passionate about service, there is a place for you! Each RLP has their own designated building. The best part of this deal is that if you get accepted into an RLP, you’re automatically assured a place in that community. For example, even though Morrison Residence Hall isn’t open to first-years, if you’re part of the Sustainability RLP, you’ll get to live there!

5. Time to Wait

Once you’ve completed your application, sit back, relax, and let us do our job! You’ll get your housing assignments early June!

This is just a brief overview of what you can expect as part of the Housing Process. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions on our social media or over email at Housing@unc.edu!

Go Heels!

The Super Suite Life of UNC Students

Zack and Cody have nothin’ on us.

Like Buns vs. Al’s Burger shack (Buns all the way) we have suite style vs. hall style. While both have their merits and can be debated for a LONG time, we’re not going to do that today. Instead, we’re going to talk about something that’s perhaps a little less known: SUPER SUITES!

What is a Super Suite…and why haven’t I heard of it?

Super suites are exactly what they sound like: SUPER suites. In other words, you take everything that a suite (like in HOJO, Craige, Ehringhaus, etc.) has to offer, then you knock out a wall and make the one room a living room.

So now instead of a traditional 8 person suite, you have a 6 person suite, a living area, and finally  a door to separate the toilet from the sinks!

This is obviously a pretty obvious choice for tight knit friend groups, but why don’t more people know about it? That’s because as far as rooms go, they’re pretty rare. So rare, they’re only found in one residence hall, Morrison. Even more rare, they’re only on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors. If you get a super suite, you are one lucky duck. You can get extra info on them on the Housing Website!

Will I like living there?

The SUPER question here is, what is it like living there? Will I like it, is it for me? We had a current super suite resident answer some questions for us to help you decide if the super suite life is for you!

Q: Why did you want to live in a super suite?

A: I thought it would be a good transition between living in a traditional dorm and living in an apartment.

Q: You have lived in a super suite for the past 2 months. What is the best thing/your favorite thing about living in a super suite?

A: You can have a private space and still have a more public space where you can chat with people you live with but you’re not obligated to because you still have your own space.

Q: Do you think this makes you a more social person?

A: Yes, I would say. I think this makes me more social than if I was living in a room with just one person.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about living in a super suite?

The bathroom situation. Since no one is cleaning it daily, you have to figure out the situation very early on such as toilet etiquette, shower etiquette, cleaning etiquette etc. Sometimes it can be hard to coordinate that if you’ve never had to worry about it before.

Q: Do you think after living here you would prefer the super suite above anything else?

Yes, I really like it here because it’s so spacious and nice. I lived in Granville last year and I definitely like the supersuite more even though Granville is pretty big also.

What is it going to cost me?

There it is folks! If you’re thinking about cost, super suites are $3,585/student/semester. That’s slightly more expensive than the $3,240/student/semester, (You do get your own little living room after all.)

If for some reason you don’t manage to get a super suite, a good alternative is a Ram Village apartment with double occupancy rooms. You get an extra bathroom per pair, a kitchen, and a living room for less than 200 dollars extra. (In case you were wondering, the rate for that kind of apartment is $3,709/student/semester).

You should always consider all your options before making a decision, but as far as decisions go, this one is a pretty easy one!

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Happy housing folks, and may the odds be every in your favor!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

To Meal Plan or Not to Meal Plan…THAT is the question!

Pros and Cons for the Biggest Decision of Your Life

College comes with so many responsibilities. Registering for classes, picking out textbooks, bus routes…it’s overwhelming! But let’s cut to the chase. We know what’s really on everyone’s mind. Say it with me: FOOD!!

Your source of food should be your number one priority (after housing of course). Deciding whether or not to get a meal plan may seem like an easy choice, but there are actually many factors to consider. Lucky for all of you, I am going to list out some pros and cons so you can ultimately make the best decision for you and your late night munchies.

Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Convenient as Heck

    If we’re being honest, getting a meal plan is the most convenient choice. You don’t have to worry about cooking or where to go: If you’re in a hurry you can just drop in and eat from the variety of choices CDS has cooked up for you in Lenoir or Chase Dining Hall. Not to mention Lenoir is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the academic buildings. Not feeling the dining hall? Some meal plans even offer FLEX which you can use for meals from the bottom of Lenoir that include Chik-Fil-A, Subway, and other goodies. BLESS.

  2. Friend Hack

    Forget the frat. Dining halls is where it’s at. This is the place to be with your friends.  I’m not even joking. Almost half the school eats in the dining halls, so you are bound to meet some pretty cool peeps and make those long lasting friendships. Sit down, grab a burrito, and bond over your love of food!

  3. Theme Nights

    Chase Dining Hall is notorious for throwing some mad bashes and theme nights with extra special food. Yes, chocolate fountain, I’m looking at you. These are exclusive to students with meal plans, so if you don’t have one, sorry not sorry, but that means more for me!

  4. All You Can Eat

    Meal plans are especially good for you kids who have insatiable hunger. One meal swipe can get you all the food you want: pizza, noodles, salads, dessert, etc. CDS even offers the unlimited block plan which means you can swipe in however many times your little heart desires!

Cons

  1. Empty pockets?

    Depending on your situation, meal plans can be a little expensive, especially if you have really specific dietary restrictions. (CDS does always offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options as well other things, but it is does mean you have less to choose from.)

  2. Surplus Meals

    Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we can severely overestimate what block plan we need. At the end of the semester, you can be sure you’ll find students going to Facebook offering to swipe people in with their left over swipes. If you get a meal plan, make sure to commit to it because we don’t get roll-over meals!

  3. Not available? Out of luck!

    Dining Halls are only open at scheduled times. Not only does this mean it is always crowded during regular dining hours (which means long lines!), but it also means that if you have a class during that time, you might not get to go eat until later. However, CDS does offer reusable take out containers if you have time for a quick stop-by!

  4. Freshman 15

    I will say, an all you can eat buffet everyday tends to add some pounds. Not a big deal if you don’t mind, but if you’re looking to avoid extra weight, it’s going to be a little hard to resist the Rams Head Cookies.

No Meal Plan

Pros

  1. Learn to Cook

    There are plenty of kitchens in every residence hall so impress your shawty with your “adulting” skills. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Make it Rain

    By only spending as much as you eat, you might have some leftover change to treat yo’self. Franklin Street has some great options! If nothing else, it will teach you valuable budgeting skills.

  3. Eat When You Want

    Without dining hall hours holding you back, you can eat when you want as long as you have the materials.

Cons

  1. Mac, Ramen, and Chips . . . OH MY!

    Without a meal plan, it’s easy to rely on microwaveables like ramen that are not particularly good for you. If you can’t commit to cooking healthy, you’re probably better off with a meal plan.

  2. Where is Harris Teeter?

    Shopping for groceries can be a pain if you don’t have a car. The only nearby stores are CVS and Walgreen’s and they’re not exactly known for their fresh veggies. You can always get to Harris Teeter by a few buses, but sometimes it’s just easier to go into a dining hall if you don’t have the time.

  3. Missing Out

    Like I mentioned before, dining halls have a lot of people. By choosing not to get a meal plan, you’re making it just *that* much harder to find your family in the big sea of people that is UNC.

Both options have their merit. Consider each situation. If you can put in the effort, not having a meal plan can be rewarding, especially when you wow your friends with your chef skills. However, if you’re not an ace in the kitchen and don’t have time for that ish, stick with a meal plan.

Pro Tip: CDS offers the option for a trial period. Gauge yourself out. If you decide that it’s for you, go for the meal plan. If not, you can always change your mind! Your tummy will thank you. 🙂

Check it out @ http://dining.unc.edu/

Notes from a Large-Scale Housing Veteran

A blaring siren cuts through the darkness of the room. I roll over and cover myself with my pillow, pretending this isn’t happening. Not now, not today… A sigh comes from beneath my lofted bed. My roommate grumbles as he slips into his Nike slides. I reluctantly sloth down from my mattress padded palace as he open our door. Light from the suite hallway floods our faces, causing me to squint. The obnoxious alarm, which I thought couldn’t get any worse, is now twice as loud and accompanied by strobing emergency lights. I pass by my half-awake suitemates and exit onto the hall balcony.

All ten stories of Morrison are up out of their beds.
Everyone is up. And everyone is angry.

Continue reading Notes from a Large-Scale Housing Veteran