Tag Archives: residence life

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???

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!

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!

Heels Away From Home

You may have been excited to start college (I was!), but then as you watched your parents drive away from you, or you drove away from them in the driveway, an intense feeling of dread might have kicked in. No one is quick to admit it, but homesickness is a thing, a very real thing! And contrary to what the moniker might entail, it doesn’t really have much to do with your home, or the physical place you lived.

Home is Where the Heart Is

In an article published by CNN, Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of Alabama explains that homesickness “stems from our instinctive need for love, protection and security — feelings and qualities usually associated with home” (Ho).

So even though your dorm might be bland, your mattress is lumpy, and your roommate is weird…those aren’t really the reasons why you’re so sad all of a sudden and want to go home. What you really miss is just your family and friends!

It doesn’t mean you’re a baby! It means you’re human. So if you’re feeling guilty about this, don’t! It’s perfectly natural.

Know you’re not alone…

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home! In the words of the great Phillip Phillips, settle down it will all be clear. Everyone is homesick at first (even if they don’t say it) and you have people to talk to! The most important thing is that you find each other and share these feelings. Talk with your roommate and bond over your favorite things from back home.

Friends are the Medicine

If homesickness is from our instinctive need for love, then the best solution is just to find your new family. Your friends are what make your Carolina experience great and what will make UNC your new home. Don’t shut yourself in your room and just watch Friends on Netflix while crying about the good ol’ times. Get out there! Meet people! Go eat on Franklin with your suite or introduce yourself to your next door neighbors! You will find that as soon as you find your school family, you won’t be so homesick anymore because you are home!

Not to mention, our residential communities always have fun things going on like parties, free food give-aways, game nights, and more! Take advantage of these opportunities to have a good time!

Decor Galore

You’d be surprised by how much decorating your room like your room at home or anything else cozy can make you feel a lot better!

Don’t Forget Your Roots

Just because you’re having a good time in college doesn’t mean you should give up on your old friends and family! Keep in touch with them because they miss you too! (Especially your parents, seriously!) Skype is a great way to catch up! Once a month, have a Skype date, and share your current adventures! This will help any residual homesickness!

If You Still Feel Alone…

Carolina has a lot of resources that can help you improve your mental health. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) are a great resource available to all students at UNC. They are committed to helping you!

Check it out: https://campushealth.unc.edu/services/counseling-and-psychological-services

Your RA is also a great option! They are basically like your mom. But cooler. 😉

If All Else Fails…

Visit home. It takes the strongest person to say they need a break. Take a weekend, have your mom hug you, and pack you some food to remind you of home. You’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to try again!

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Don’t stress too much about homesickness. Once you get into your studies, you won’t even have enough time to think about it. As someone who left the nest early to go to boarding school, I understand how scary it can be. It only took a week for me to find my family and start calling my school home. The real problems is when you go back home for the summer and then start telling your parents you want to go home.

“You are at home!”

“No! Carolina, home.”

If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me or the rest of the bloggers! You can never have enough friends!

CNN article:  http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/16/homesickness.not.about.home/index.html