Tag Archives: housing

Random Roomie Fears

If you’re active on the UNC 2022 social media pages, you’ve probably seen tons of your classmates meeting their new roomies and forming bonds and friendships. But you went random and you still haven’t talked to the person you’ll be sharing a room with for the next nine months – eek! Fear not, I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay, and share an awesome story of two girls who were in your exact shoes this time two years ago.

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My Opinion

Okay so here’s my (maybe unpopular) opinion: picking a roomie beforehand doesn’t really affect anything. Yeah, it may ease your mind in the moments leading up to move-in, but once you get to college you’re all on a level playing field.

When you pick a roommate, whether you do it through Facebook, the housing portal, someone you personally knew, etc., you were still in high school. No matter how much you fight it – college changes you. I’m not saying you’ll have a major personality crisis but you’ll definitely grow up a lot.

The best way I know how to put it is this: if my college self met my high school self, we wouldn’t be friends. I have different routines, hobbies and interests – it just wouldn’t work.

So choosing a roommate before you know how you’ll behave in college is nearly impossible. And for a lot of people, they don’t end up besties. But in most cases, they don’t hate each other either. All the stories you’ve heard about bad roommate cases are rare, extreme situations.

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Going Random

I personally didn’t go random, and if I did it all over again I don’t know if you could have convinced my high-school self to do it. Living with someone sounds like a big commitment and hating where you live sounds like a terrible experience, but like I said, that probably won’t happen.

If you really think about it, you share a lot of qualities with all of your classmates. You’re all coming to college for the same reason – to find your destiny, academically, athletically, or however it may be. You’re all hoping to push yourself to become the very best versions of yourselves in the next four years before you step out into the world all alone. You’re all nervous (whether or not you will admit it) to start this journey – it’s a big step and it’s totally normal to be nervous!

Who really cares whether you rush a sorority/fraternity, join a certain genre of club, practice a religion, are undecided or have picked your double major and minor, the list goes on… College is all about diversity, and I’ve found the most interesting conversations in the people the least like me, those are the kinds of people you can really learn something from.

Yes, sleeping schedules are important, maybe you can’t sleep with the light on and your roommate wants to study six hours later into the night than you do. But we’re all human. Start things off the right way, communication is key. Have an open conversation with your roommate and I’m sure they’d be happy to accommodate you as long as you’re willing to accommodate them. That means maybe they study in the study lounge at nights and you quietly get ready for class in the bathroom while they’re still snoozing in the mornings.

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Meet Kate and Sarah

These two gals are two of my best friends. They’re two of the only people I know that went random, and also two of the only people I know that had minimal roommate drama. They both had their own friend groups and didn’t have to do everything together, but also genuinely got along together so well!

While Sarah studied for her hard-core math classes, Kate fell in love with ancient paintings in art history. They didn’t take the same classes or even go to bed at the same time for that matter, but as roommates they worked.

“I went random because I didn’t know anyone at UNC, and it turned out to be my greatest first-year experience” Kate said. “We’re so different that we might never have met if we hadn’t been paired and I’m SO glad we did.”

It’s the differences that brought them together, leading them to tons of late night life convos (that I 100% crashed probably too often). They didn’t spend every waking minute together but they made tons of memories in suite 208.

It’s cool to note that out of our HoJo suite, they are the only room that went random and the only pair that stayed together the following year!

 

Go random, don’t – it’s honestly all the same. Your roommate situation is what you make of it. Go in with an open mind and communicate often, you’ll be okay and I promise your freshman roommate does not define your college experience unless you let it!

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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Summer Troubles: Resources for Finding that Summer Internship

And why it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

There’s a certain culture around college students. Getting good grades is not enough anymore, clubs aren’t enough anymore, we need to work as well! Summers are a great opportunity to put what you learned to the ultimate test – with a summer job! Chemistry and Biology students want to work in a lab, business students want to work for a big company, etc. Unfortunately, unless you’re a junior, finding a summer internship can be pretty tough. Even if you are a junior, it can still be discouraging if you apply as much as you can but you still can’t seem to get a response.  Here are some tips on where to look for a job and also some tips on what to do if a job isn’t for you this summer!

1. Prepare a Resume

Applying for a job becomes significantly easier if you have a resume prepared. It can be helpful to tailor a resume for each job you apply to but having a general one prepared for a quick application is always handy. Plus, changes are easy to make once you have the skeleton all typed out.

Helpful tips: Use strong action verbs for you bullets and include quantifiable results whenever you can! Remember – you don’t need official work experience to have a strong resume. List any extracurricular activities where you have contributed a lot of your time!

Click on this link to see some good examples of resumes for multiple jobs and industries!

2. Update your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram of the professional world! LinkedIn is a very useful tool for applying to jobs as well as connecting to the vast UNC alumni network. You can often utilize this connection to get more information about a place you want to work. Everyone is willing to help out their fellow Tar Heel! Make sure you have a professional photo and a strong summary. After that, it’s pretty simple to format your LinkedIn like your resume.

3. Create a Profile on Handshake

If you haven’t heard, Handshake is a useful resource provided by the university to help you apply for jobs. Many recruiters will post their open positions on handshake and will accept their applications there. Unlike other job websites like Indeed.com or Glassdoor, Handshake has a higher concentration of jobs available specifically for students. You can find Handshake here.

4. Check Out other Job Sites

That being said, Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com are still incredibly useful tools as well. Check in periodically to find job postings that might look attractive to you!

5. Look for other Summer Options

It’s important to remember that finding is a job is not always feasible for everyone and is not the only option to pursue.

Summer classes are incredibly useful – you can get extra credits to help you graduate on time, early, or even get a second major.

Studying abroad is also a good choice since many employers actually want to see experience abroad. Plus, if you don’t get to travel in college, when will you be able to travel?

Volunteering is like a job, but unpaid. It feels wonderful to give back to the community and is as equally impressive on your resume.

Working on campus over the summer is a good way to get extra experience as well. For example, UNC Housing is hiring summer interns right now! Click here for more info!

 

As you can see, you have plenty of options and your summer isn’t something you should stress out about. The most important thing to remember is that you should never give up! Sometimes it takes apply to 1000 jobs to get that one job – but it’s totally worth it!

Good luck!

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!

How to be a Jedi: Time Edition

A long time ago, in a high school far, far away…

It was easy to get away with looking over your notes for a minute, and then acing the test. It started to get a little harder when we got to AP classes, but college classes are in their own league. “Okay, so I’ll just spend a little more time studying – no biggie!” Ummm, wrong! On top of studying, now you need to handle taking care of yourself too. That means laundry, cooking, cleaning, exercising. Let’s not forget you have clubs, jobs, leadership positions, etc. Finally, last but not least, you need to maintain a social presence and sleep at least 8 hours a day. Now we’re in quite a pickle.

You might say you have a choice: zombie, bum, or nerd. Lucky for you, we’re going to teach you how to time manage like a jedi. Here are some tips from someone who (kinda) made it through their first year of college.

Scheduling Is Key

Remember that agenda they used to give you? Yeah, you might wanna pull it out for more than doodling now. Your agenda is like your light sabre! Teachers won’t always put their homework online, so it is critical to write everything down. Time blocking everything out is also useful. Once you know everything you’re supposed to get done, estimate the time you’ll need for each task. This way you can keep yourself on schedule. It might feel a little monotonous, but part of the problem is that sometimes we don’t know how to police ourselves and stay organized. This is meant to help with that.

Libraries are your Best Friends

As comfy comfy and relaxing as being in your room can be, it can leave you susceptible to non-productivity. You’re around your comfy bed and your food and your friends…which is nice, but it doesn’t push you to study. Libraries are quiet and solemn. They can give you clarity of mind and make you feel less alone in getting your work done.

Study with your Friends

Multi-tasking is a great idea in this sense. As long as you’re not chatting up your friends, you can maintain some kind of social life while still getting your work done. Same goes for eating, exercising, and going to clubs. If you do things with your friends, you won’t feel alone or as if you’re doing work at all.

Take Smart Breaks

You obviously can’t study 24/7. Know when you’re taking too much on for you, or when you’re working too hard. Just because your friend is in 50 different clubs, doesn’t mean you should do that too. Everyone has their own level of work they can handle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do what’s good for you! The last thing you need is to feel overwhelmed and too stressed out. If you have nothing big coming up, go ahead and take a walk, or go out with your friends. There’s no use in running yourself dry! Treat yourself!

Know When to Stop

If you’re partying every weekend, that’s too much. It’s healthy to go out, for sure, but if you’re doing it at the expense of your responsibilities, or even worse, your sleep, it’s not a good idea. A fun night does not have to involve a late night party, especially with final exams looming near. Sometimes getting your work done and then just enjoying a movie night with your roommate is all that you need. That way you’ve finished all your work during the weekend and your week won’t be so backed up. The more you put off homework at Carolina, the more it builds up. Built up work is the Darth Vader of college.

Don’t Procrastinate

Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard it. But it actually is important. When I took Econ 101, I was surprised by how many people bombed all of the exams. Alternatively, I didn’t think it was so bad and did fairly well. What was the difference between us? The difference was that I kept up with my studying every day. I never procrastinated for more than a day. That way, when it came time to study for an exam, I didn’t have to cover as much material as other people. They weren’t able to “relearn” it all in time (it was a lot!) and didn’t do well on the test. On the other hand, I didn’t keep up that well for my accounting class and it was not so fun studying for 24 hours straight when I could have studied for one hour every day for 24 days. Trust me, there are better ways of doing things. Use the force! The force of your will that is.

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Like all things, time management is a fine skill that takes practice. If you fail a couple of times, don’t worry about it. It’s only a blimp in the past. But if you learn how to hone these skills, the better life can be, and the more you can get out of it. Just remember to put your physical, mental, and spiritual health first! If you don’t have these, you have nothing!

Happy time-crunching friends!

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

Meet the Bloggers: Udara Fernando

$waggy

 

 

My Hometown: Cary, NC

My Year: Junior

My Major: Journalism (Advertising Sequence) & Biology; Hispanic Studies Minor

My Previous Homes: Ehringhaus, Morrison & Ram Village

My Campus Involvement: Los Caballeros Mentoring Program, SUCCEED Inc., Crash Campaign

My Email: udaraf12@live.unc.edu

 

 

What’s the coolest thing about housing?

As cheesy as it may sound: the sense of community that comes with it. There’s nothing like splitting a suite with 7 of your fellow Heels and becoming a #SuiteSquad that drags each other out of the dorm for 8AMs on the weekdays and drags each other back to the dorm at 2AM on the weekends. That’s family right there.

Do you have an insider tip for living on-campus?

Go beyond whatever floor you live on and do it early. If you live on the second floor, don’t just stay on the second floor. Go say what’s up to another floor early on, when everybody’s still getting to know each other. Don’t deprive yourself of meeting cool people you live with just because they’re a couple sets of stairs away.

What about a tip for freshmen in general?

It’s pronounced “Dye” Hall (or maybe “Die,” depending on your experiences in there). You’ll get what I’m talking about soon. Hopefully.

What’s your overall favorite memory at Carolina so far?

Probably rushing Franklin St. after that solid victory at that school with the ugly blue. I promised myself I’d walk it (your boy did not stick to his gym regimen and as a result, my body was not prepared for it tbh), but I got caught up in all the excitement and ran like it was the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine…

Did you actually make it to Franklin St. at that pace?

Next question, please.

What’s one thing on your UNC bucket list?

I want to try my hand at stand-up comedy at the DSI Comedy Theater on Franklin St. before I go.

What’s the most important thing college has taught you up to this point?

To be flexible. To know that your interests might change. To know that your years here might not go according to that four-year plan you scribbled out in the back of APUSH in high school. And ultimately, to know that no matter what it is that you decide to pursue, there’s always someone here you can talk to about studying it and organizations you can join that focus on exploring it.

Fun Facts

  •  During a brief, heavily Lil Wayne-influenced period of my life, I went by the stage name “udeezy” because I thought I had a shot at the rap game…there’s a mixtape still in the works
  •  People always ask me what I want to do with my life, but I don’t even know what I’m doing for dinner tonight
  •  I turned down a full scholarship from Coach K because he refused to acknowledge Duke as Dook

You’ll be hearing from me ALL SUMMER SIXTEEN (bloggin’ clean, not dirty tho…sorry @Drake),

Udara