Tag Archives: college

Can I Start Packing Yet?

Freshman college move-in day… crazy, right? Seems like just yesterday you were working up the nerves for your first day of high school. Well, that’s definitely how I felt. But it’s happening. In fact, today marks just 50 days until first-year move-in weekend! Does preparing for this monumental day seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s my insight on how to pack for college like an upperclassman.

There’s Two Types of People…

This time two years ago, I probably already had my hallways at home lined with all the necessities… and then some. Queen of overpacking, it’s safe to say I didn’t nail the concept of simplicity. But you live and you learn, right?

While packing for college there’s the over packers and the under packers. There’s the ones, like me, that read every blog and Pinterest post on how to pack for college on the face of the internet and began packing from the moment they got their housing assignments. On the other hand, there’s those that figure they can get all the necessities in a suitcase the night before. Don’t be either of these people – find a happy medium.

Seriously, you’ll thank yourself if you manage to find that perfect balance between the bare minimum and way too much. It’s definitely not too soon to start thinking what you’re going to bring with you into the next stage of your life. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep piling things up all summer long. It just gives you more time to think about strategic ways to make your dorm the best home it can possibly be!

Step #1: Talk to Your Roomie

Microwave, mini fridge, rug, curtains, futons, extra shelving – these are all the things you don’t need two of. Communicating with your roommate in advance will not only make packing and moving in easier, it will also give you added space in your dorm!

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Step #2: Look into RHA Enhancements

This is a super cool perk of living on-campus! You can check out ‘enhancements’ from your community office, including cookware, cleaning supplies, board games, DVD’s, and more with your One Card! Most enhancements you can keep for up to 48 hours and can check out as many times as you want throughout the semester.

So if you were planning on bringing that cupcake pan, mixing bowl, and whisk just in case you wanted to surprise your roommate on their birthday – leave it at home. If you have a meal plan, you probably won’t be cooking that often anyway, so it’s better to take advantage of this great resource!

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No catch here, thanks RHA!!!

Step #3: Remember that UNC isn’t a Deserted Island

If you forget something, I promise everything will be okay. We have a Target essentially on-campus, as well as a Walmart and Harris Teeter just a short drive away. Amazon prime will be your best friend, and students get a discounted rate!

This is also a great way to make friends. Knock on your neighbor’s door, introduce yourself, and ask to borrow their (whatever you forgot). Maybe this is how you’ll meet your future bestie, you can thank me later.

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Like the opposite of UNC

End Goal – Keep It Light

Repeat after me: you don’t need to bring your whole closet on move-in day. I know, NC weather is bipolar and you never know what you’re going to get. But you will not need your whole winter wardrobe before Fall break.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll live in t-shirts and norts in college. And from the amount of free Carolina blue t-shirts you’ll get at sporting events, extracurricular activities, and just walking around on campus – you don’t need to stock up. Seriously, I had to send some of my free t-shirts home this year because they didn’t fit in my drawers…

When you’re packing your things, really ask yourself if you’ll need it all. If you’re packing something that you may need in only one very specific situation, you can probably leave it at home. Worst comes to worst, you can get your parents to mail it to you!

 

My Dad loves to roast me on Snapchat for how much I overpacked…

Trust me, packing light is the way to go. Whether you live on the 1st floor or the 10th floor, you don’t want to be lugging two car loads full of things you’ll probably never touch up and down the stairs in 100-degree heat. Your family will definitely thank you if you minimize the work for them… right Dad???

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.

College Stereotypes: Fact or Fiction?

University life is portrayed in a specific way in pop culture, surrounded by tons of perceptions and expectations. But sometimes college doesn’t live up to it’s picture perfect stereotypes. And sometimes, it’s SO much better. Here’s my perspective on the reality behind college stereotypes.

Myth #1: You will hate your roommate.

Maybe you won’t get along with your first ever roommate. It happens! But on the other hand, your roommate could be your best friend. I know tons of people who loved their freshman roommate and lived with them all four years. Sure, I’ve heard the occasional horror story, but they’re not as common as you might think.

Being best friends with your freshman roommate and completely hating your roommate are two strong extremes, and from my experience, both are pretty rare. It’s no surprise that people change a lot when they come to college and picking a roommate as a high-schooler can be extremely difficult when you don’t know how you function as a college student. Odds are that you’ll get along just fine, overcome any minor conflict, and have a great year together!

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Myth #2: You get to skip class whenever you feel like it.

Actually attending classes is a must in college. Even in big lecture halls, a lot of professors have sign in sheets, use apps like ‘Poll Everywhere’, or assign random pop quizzes to record student’s attendance. So if you think you can pass every class by only showing up on exam days, you might have to think again.

While this may seem like a hassle, at the end of the day it rewards students that show up. Many professors calculate attendance as a portion of your final grade, so having perfect attendance really does have its perks. It can easily be the difference between a ‘B+’ and an ‘A-’!

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Myth #3: Your dorm is going to feel like living in a shoe box.

Okay so your dorm room may not be as big as your master bedroom at home that you have all to yourself. But your space in your dorm really is what you make of it. It’s definitely not at as small as what you’re probably imagining. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all survived! Struggling? Read this article for tips!

My biggest piece of advice: don’t. over. pack. I’m totally guilty of it, I hate leaving anything at home in the off chance that I’ll be stuck in that one situation where I desperately need that specific item. But be practical! The more stuff you bring into your dorm, the more space you have to use to store it.

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Myth #4: Sharing a bathroom sucks.

Whether you’re living suite style or hall style, you’ll have to share a bathroom with someone. It may take some adjusting not being able to shower whenever you feel like it, but typically you won’t even notice! Hall style offers multiple showers per floor, so the likelihood of someone being in every shower at any given time is slim. In suite style you’re sharing a bathroom with 3 to 7 other people, so communication is key!

If you’re worried about your suite- or hall-mates making a mess, remember that in the 4-room suites and hall style buildings, we have an amazing cleaning staff that does the hard work for you! 2-room suites must be cleaned by the residents, but repeat: communication. is. key.

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Myth #5: You will never get to sleep.

In college you’ll definitely experience some long nights studying, especially when finals season rolls around. But the idea that all college kids ‘never sleep’ is completely false. I’m a girl who doesn’t function well on no sleep, so getting rest is definitely a priority to me. Keeping an organized schedule and staying on top of your school work allows you to get the right amount of beauty sleep to keep you mentally sane.

I’m not saying it’s always easy to get that full 8 hours, but it’s for sure doable. Two keys to making time for a wholesome slumber – avoid procrastination and prioritize whats most important (even when that means sacrificing something you really want to do).

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Fact #1: You will have SO MUCH FUN!

The realest thing I’ve ever heard about college is that it is the best four years of your life. You will learn so much about yourself and change in more ways than you knew possible. You’ll overcome very real challenges that will make you a stronger person. And at the end of the day, you will meet life-long besties and make unforgettable memories while finding your passions.

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Everyone has a different college experience and it doesn’t always play out like you may expect it to. The image of the perfect college life you have in your head very quickly might come crashing down when things aren’t going the way you assumed they would. But you will get through it. And at the same time, you’ll find joy in places you never expected to. After all, the unpredictability of it is part of what makes college so fun!

Mugs for Every Meal

4 Easy and Delicious Mug Meals for Students on a Budget (Time or Money!!)

You worked hard in high school, you did your applications, you’re in college, GREAT! So far, so good! Suddenly, your class is in 30 minutes, the dining hall isn’t even open, you don’t have enough money to go to Starbucks and you NEED YOUR BREAKFAST! What’s even worse is all your cooking experiments have ended up in flames and you don’t even have a kitchen to burn down! What do you do?

Well, you do have a mug…and a microwave… here are some good options for every meal whether you’re in a rush or you just need something cheap!

Breakfast

Easily your most important meal of the day: Skipping breakfast is a no no! What’s full of protein and goodness? EGGS! More specifically, omelets! This meal is not only quick, but it’s pretty healthy too!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add the butter to a pretty large (12 oz) microwaveable coffee mug. Make sure to spread it on the sides to prevent sticking.
  2. Microwave the eggs for a minute (more or less depending on microwave’s power).
  3. Sprinkle whatever toppings you want on there and then microwave again for about 30-60 seconds more (or until it looks done to you).
  4. Add salt ‘n’ peppa and maybe some hot sauce while you’re at it!

Voila! It is beautiful!

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always add some cooked bacon or sausage crumbles!

Lunch

At Carolina, lunch is what gets us students through the mid-day slump! If you’re in your room for lunch, and need a quick pick me up, you’re gonna love this option: Cheesy Mac! Forget that boxed Kraft stuff: their cheese ain’t even real! This is easy and so much healthier…and tastier!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add Macaroni, Water, and Salt in a big a** mug (since the water will boil up). Microwave for about 3 1/2 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked.
  2. Read carefully: POUR OUT the water! You don’t need it anymore!
  3. Stir in your milk, corn starch, and shredded cheese (you can use any cheese but we recommend cheddar) and then microwave for another 60 seconds. Stir well, and if you’re feeling adventurous, add some bacon!
  4. Finish off with some salt ‘n’ peppa!

Oh man, does that look good or what??

Dinner

Last meal of the day, maybe you’re feeling like you should treat yourself… how about some pizza! Yes, pizza! Bet you didn’t know you could make that in a mug!

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mug.
  2. After your dry ingredients are mixed, add your wet ingredients: milk and oil. Mix the dry and the wet together. There might be some clumping, but don’t worry about that!
  3. Spoon and spread the marinara sauce on the surface of the pizza batter.
  4.  Sprinkle on your cheese, dried herbs (to taste), and pepperoni on top. DO NOT STIR!!!!
  5. Microwave for a minute and a half or until the toppings start bubbling! Let it cool a bit and enjoy! (No one wants pizza burns!)

I’m shook!

Dessert

Surprise! We think you should be spoiled, so we’re throwing in some dessert! How does chocolate cake sound to you?

Here’s what you need:

Directions:

  1. Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) in the mug and stir thoroughly! Like you mean it!
  2. Stir in your wet ingredients (milk, vegetable oil and vanilla). Blend until smooth like Joel Berry’s three pointer.
  3. Stir in your chocolate chips and/or walnuts if desired.
  4. Microwave for 90 seconds. Careful not to overcook, or it’ll be dry (like Duke!).
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!!

Just heavenly. . .

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So you’re not a chef. . . well you don’t need to be one to do these! Hopefully, your college career will go much more smoothly with these easy and tasty meals.

Remember, cooking times can vary between microwaves and you can always add or leave out as many toppings as you want!

Some of these recipes were created by Gemma Stafford and others were just found on the internet! If you’re interested in more mug recipes including those of the vegan and healthy variety, check out the links below!

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1076271/meals-in-a-mug

Microwave Mug Meals: 5 Unbelievable Recipes

If these don’t work or you have any suggestions, leave us some comments below!

BON APETIT!