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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
It’s now only one month till move-in (!!!!), which means the thought of dorm shopping has probably crossed your mind two or three times. Or fifty, if you’re as nervous and clueless as I was last year.
While superstores are jumping to protest how you needneed need the million decor options they offer, let’s set the record straight. The secret to packing for college is actually to avoid overpacking, which will leave your room cramped and your wallet cranky.
Here are 10 things I promise you’re better off leaving at home or on the shelf:
Be the hero of your residence by remembering these ten things!
Many students show up at South Campus in August thinking that with their packed mini van they couldn’t possibly have forgotten anything. But every year, people forget these ten important items. Keep reading below so you don’t become one of them!
The aisles of Target are stacked high with plastic storage bins and laundry baskets. Your mom drags you to Bed Bath & Beyond for the third time with a checklist longer than the walk from Hinton James to Franklin Street. Yep…college shopping season has arrived.
Getting everything you need before move-in day can be overwhelming. You have the basics (twin XL sheets, microfridge, alarm clock), but some things you don’t realize you need until you arrive on campus. When you’re loading up your parents’ minivan, make sure you have these 10 often overlooked items!
1. Umbrella: Chapel Hill, North Carolina—where the weather can switch from 10% chance of rain to 100% chance of thunderstorms in the time it takes you to walk to the bus stop right outside your residence hall (I speak from personal experience). Sitting in a cramped lecture hall soaking wet is no fun, so keep a small, portable umbrella in your backpack.
2. Lysol wipes: When one person on your floor gets sick, EVERYONE on your floor gets sick. Fight the inevitable campus-wide cold by wiping your doorknobs, desk, and other germ-ridden surfaces with Lysol wipes. You’ll also need them if you’re living in a residence hall where you have to clean your own bathroom (Koury, Horton, Craige North, and Hardin).
3. Professional clothes: Athletic shorts and T-shirts may as well be the UNC student uniform, but you’ll have to get dressed up more often than you’d think. Pack a business suit and a few business casual outfits for career fairs, on-campus job interviews, student organization meetings, etc.
4. Shower shoes: When you’re sharing a bathroom with 7 (or more) other people, you’re going to want something between your feet and the floor. Stop by Old Navy and pick up a few pairs of $2 flip-flops!
5. School supplies: College is still school, after all! Unlike in high school, though, your professors won’t care what you use to stay organized. I keep it simple with an accordion file for papers, a five-subject notebook (one section for each class), pens, and pencils.
6. Dinnerware: Bring a plate, bowl, mug, spoon, and fork for those days when you’re not feeling Rams Head for dinner or you want to heat up some leftovers. Also, most residence hall programs are “bring your own bowl/mug/etc.”, so don’t get stuck using a paper towel as a plate for your pancakes!
7. Desk fan: I can’t sleep without my desk fan—the white noise drowns out loud floormates and slamming doors, or conversely, keeps the room from being too quiet. Not to mention, you’ll want a way to cool off after walking back from class in the 90-degree late summer heat.
8. Reusable water bottle: Don’t forget to stay hydrated! I fill up my water bottle every morning at Top of Lenoir, and most residence halls (and the Union) have water fountains with bottle attachments.
9. Small duffel bag: Club sports, student organizations, church groups, and other things you may decide to join sometimes travel. Whether you’re going on an overnight trip or just heading home for the weekend, you’ll need something to pack your stuff in.
10. Power strip/surge protector: The number of wall outlets is limited, especially when you’re sharing the space with a roommate. I use a power strip (with a flat plug so it fits behind my desk) to plug in my phone, laptop, lamp, desk fan, and other electronic devices.
As you’re checking items off that mile-long college list, make sure to pick up these lesser-known essentials—you’ll be glad you have them once you move into your residence hall. Happy shopping!
Last but not least, we’re going to the most interesting first-year high-rise residence hall in Ehringhaus. While hidden from the road, this hall has a lot of character. It’s a 6 floor hall with style and one of the best views at Carolina. More than 600 residents call this place home, and I have stories of why it’s an exciting place to live. You want to keep reading.
Moving on in “The View from” series, we’re stopping at Manning West, the other low-rise community made up of two residence halls: Craige North and Hardin. Why is Manning West the best? Read on to find out!
200. Craige North and Hardin house approximately 200 students each.
13. Between Hardin and Craige North, there are around 13 RAs (6-7 per building).
3. Both Craige North and Hardin have 3 staircases, one on either end of the building and one in the middle. No worries, there is also an elevator!
60. Get ready to meet a ton of new people on move-in day! About 60 residents live on each floor of Hardin and Craige North.
Like the Manning East residence halls, Craige North and Hardin offer the ideal combination of suite-style and hall-style!
Each suite has two large bedrooms, and every bedroom on your floor opens onto a single indoor hallway. Meeting new people on your hall is simple—after your move in, your neighbors will be looking for friends to explore Franklin Street or head to a Week of Welcome event with. The two bedrooms are connected by a bathroom with two sinks, a shower, and a toilet. Only four residents share a bathroom (compared to 8 in the high-rises), but you’ll have to maintain it yourself. Pack lots of paper towels and work out a cleaning schedule with your suitemates!
Both Hardin and Craige North have laundry rooms, printers, and plenty of study lounges and meeting spaces. If you’re looking for something to do on a lazy weekend night, head over to the community office on the 1st floor of Craige North, where you can check out board games, movies, and video games.
Two of the newest residence halls on campus, Craige North and Hardin were built in 2002. Craige North honors Burton Craige, who graduated from UNC in 1897 and went on to serve as an attorney, bank director, and a member of the NC General Assembly. Hardin is named after Paul Hardin, the UNC chancellor from 1988 to 1995.
Amenities/Resources to Take Advantage Of
Unlike Craige North, residents only live on the top 3 floors of Hardin. Why? The entire 1st floor is home to the Hardin Hub, an academic advising center! If you’re struggling to decide on a major, need to drop a class, or want advice on which courses to take next semester, make an appointment or head to drop-in hours to talk with an advisor in the comfort of your own community.
Craige North and Hardin are adjacent to SASB Plaza (pronounced SAZ-bee), which stands for Student and Academic Services Buildings. Need to finish your BIO 101 lab report but not feeling the long walk to the library? SASB South offers a quiet study space with whiteboards and comfy chairs. Or, if you just feel like procrastinating on that lab report (the more likely scenario), the outdoor brick patio with umbrella-covered tables is the perfect spot to relax on a warm day. You also won’t want to miss Manning Block Party, a joint event between Manning East and West in the middle of the Plaza. Held in October or November, this annual program features a cappella performances, free catered food, bingo, prizes, and a chance to hang out with other first-years!
On South Campus, the first big snowfall of the year brings hundreds of residents out for a night of sledding and forgetting about schoolwork. My friend shared this story: “Last February, class was canceled by 7pm one Tuesday, and the forecast called for snow all night. This was the first giant snow of the year, and everyone was in disbelief. What was truly surprising was walking outside at 9pm and watching a crew of people exiting Craige North with a mattress. A mattress anywhere outside of a bedroom is always a strange sight, but especially in the snow. I was initially worried that they were going to be used as shields in a snowball fight, but I realized I had the wrong idea after I watched people launch themselves down Bowles Drive on top of their beds. A running start meant you could fit 4 to 5 people on the mattress sled, and the scene was full of people trying this—hundreds from each residence hall on South Campus, sledding down the hill (or getting in the way), all laughing, taking pictures, and just enjoying themselves. My friend in Craige North slept on a futon that night and said his mattress took two days to dry out—but it was completely worth it!”
Closest Bus Stop
Located right next to Hardin, the Public Safety bus stop is the most popular among Manning West residents.
Comparison with other first-year halls
-Hardin is the only all-female residence hall on South Campus.
-Craige North is home to the Spanish House, a Residential Learning Program (RLP). Members of the Spanish House practice their language skills, participate in service projects, and attend social events relating to the Hispanic culture.
-Of the first-year halls on South Campus, Hardin and Craige North residents have the shortest walk to classes on North Campus.
With the next edition of our residence hall series, it’s time to visit the most populous of the first-year residence halls: Hinton James. There’s something for everyone here, and with ten stories, it truly is a diverse place.
Next up in “The View from” series is Manning East, a community made up of two residence halls: Koury and Horton. Read on to learn what being a “Manning East Beast” is all about!
4. Only 4 residents share a bathroom, compared to 8 in the high-rises (Hinton James, Craige, Ehringhaus). The only downside? You’ll have to clean it and provide your own supplies—don’t forget to pack toilet paper!
260. Koury and Horton house approximately 260 students each.
15. Between Koury and Horton, there are about 15 RAs (7-8 per building).
5. While Koury has 4 floors, Horton actually has 5! Known as “H-Base”, the Horton basement has several extra suites.
The ongoing residence hall debate: which is better, suite-style or hall-style? Manning East offers the best of both worlds!
Each suite has two large bedrooms connected by a bathroom with a shower, toilet, and two sinks. However, each bedroom opens onto the same indoor hallway, so it’s easy to knock on friends’ doors when you want to watch a movie or grab dinner at Rams Head Dining Hall.
Both Koury and Horton have laundry rooms and printers, but the community office is on the 1st floor of Horton. If you’re in Koury, take the crosswalk to pick up your room key on move-in day or to check out enhancements (cooking supplies, sports equipment, etc.) during the year.
Built in 2002, Koury and Horton are two of the newest residence halls on campus. Koury is named for Maurice J. Koury, a 1949 UNC graduate who served on several university boards and led fundraising efforts for the Dean Dome. Horton honors George Moses Horton, an African-American slave and poet in Chatham County in the mid-1800s.
Amenities/Resources to Take Advantage Of
Since the bedrooms on each floor open onto one hallway, Manning East residents quickly form a bond with their whole hall—midnight birthday celebrations and Sunday study nights in the lounges are the norm!
Whether you’re cramming for a chemistry test, watching a UNC basketball game, or ordering pizza with friends, Koury and Horton have plenty of gathering spaces. Each floor has 3-4 study lounges with tables, comfy couches and sofas, and sometimes a flat-screen TV. The 1st floor of each building also has a seminar wing with large meeting rooms and a screen projector, perfect for group movie nights. If you prefer hanging out outside, Koury has picnic tables and a sand volleyball court in its backyard. On a warm spring or late summer day, you’ll often see residents laying out on a beach towel in the grassy area.
Attending community events is another fun way to meet new people—and grab some free food! Manning East is known for putting on two large programs each year, the Manning Block Party in the fall and Midnight Masquerade in the spring. Also, keep an eye out for smaller events like sports viewing parties and ice cream socials once every week or two.
I experienced many hilarious moments living in Koury my first year, but my favorite wasn’t so much funny as filled with Carolina pride! On the night of the home UNC-Duke basketball game, about 50 of us watched the game in the Horton seminar wing. The noise in the room was deafening—we all lost our voices from screaming for every play, good or bad. When UNC narrowly won in overtime, we sprinted outside to rush Franklin Street. We were the first group of students to get out the door, and when I turned around, I saw hundreds of Hinton James and Craige residents coming up behind us! Nothing beats the thrill of racing from South Campus to Franklin Street at midnight with over 1,000 fellow students to celebrate a Carolina victory.
Closest Bus Stop
Depending on which bus you’re taking, Manning East residents usually use the stop outside of Koury and Ehringhaus or the one in front of Horton.
Comparison with other first-year halls
-Koury is home to the Honors Carolina first-year residential community.
-Manning East halls have plenty of space for your stuff—each roommate gets one dresser and one wardrobe or closet with a door.
-Conveniently located between Ehringhaus and Hinton James, Manning East offers a small-community atmosphere right in the middle of all the action!
Welcome to the Reslife blog, summer 2015 edition. If you’re an incoming first-year, you’ve recently received your housing assignment for the 2015-16 school year. While there is ample information about the residence halls on the official housing website, it doesn’t provide context and personality to the place you’ll be calling home next year! This series of posts will give a closer look, from a former resident’s perspective – there’s much more than meets the eye in every residence hall.
The first residence hall is Craige – where I lived my first year.
As I answer questions for parents and incoming students at First-Year Orientation, I tend to see a lot of trends in what people are curious about. One thing that everyone wants to know is if and how the beds can be lofted. At Carolina we keep things simple: all beds in on-campus residence halls* can be lofted anytime throughout the year, you can do it yourself and you don’t need any tools! Here’s how it works.