The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 4th

The ultimate guide to not looking like a first-year on FDOC

The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here! Welcome to your very first FDOC (that means First Day of Class for all you rookies out there).

You’ve been dreaming about college for so long — the freedom, the friends, the parties...

But now that it’s actually arrived, you’re actually starting to get a little nervous about it. On day one, it’s all about blending in. I mean, the last thing you want to do is embarrass yourself and stick out like a first-year.

Well, fear not, because as a wise, old senior, I’m here to help show you young'uns’ the ropes. 

Tip #1: No maps

First off, are maps even a thing anymore? It’s 2018. Well, if for some reason you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned paper map, leave it in the dorm. Yes, campus is big, but that’s why Google Maps exists. Unlike Apple Maps, you can search campus buildings on Google Maps, and it will lead you to class. So, if you haven’t already mapped out your classes, make sure you download Google Maps.

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Tip #2: Double check the room number

OK, to be honest, this isn’t really a first-year thing because it still happens to me, but make sure you’re in the right classroom! Check your ConnectCarolina for the room number, then double check it. Check your Heelmail and Sakai to make sure your professor doesn’t pull a last-minute switcheroo on you and leave you sitting in on Biology 561 instead of 101. 

Tip #3: Don’t wear your UNC ‘22 shirt

I know your mom wants you to, maybe even you think it’s a good idea, but please, for the love of God, do not do this. Yes, UNC gear is always appropriate to wear to class, but your class shirt on the first day is just a little bit aggressive. Maybe save that one for day two.

Tip #4: Don’t dress to impress

On the other end of the spectrum, let’s remember that we’re just headed to class here, not going out. No need for high heels, button downs, or really anything else fancy. That’s another surefire way to be ID’d as a first-year. Plus, by the second week of classes you’ll be rocking the tennis shoes and comfy clothes like everyone else. But hey, you do you; dress however you feel comfortable. 

Tip #5: Don’t buy your textbooks yet

This one isn’t so much of an embarrassing first-year goof as it is just a little tip to help save you some cash. I know you’re not really used to showing up on the first day of school with just a pen and some paper, but unless your professor already said otherwise, that’s the best way to go. Sure, you got that email from Student Stores listing all of your required textbooks, but just give it a few days, go to class and hear from the professor how much you’ll actually need the book. Sometimes you don’t really need it at all, other times you can find a buddy and split a single copy for the two of you. And don’t feel pressured to buy brand new books from Student Stores: renting used books is fine and Amazon is even better (and cheaper). 

Tip #6: Drink from the Old Well

Whether it works or not, it’s a first-year must. Best case scenario, you end up with a 4.0; worst case, at least you got a cool FDOC picture to send to your parents. Don’t worry about sticking out, because there will be plenty of students from every class lining up with high hopes for their GPAs. A word of advice – beat the line by heading to the Old Well either early in the morning or late at night, because it will get crowded during the day. 

Tip #7: Don’t take pictures of/with the basketball players

Yes, we’re a basketball school and our team is awesome, but don’t be totally starstruck when you see Luke Maye walking through the Pit. They’re all students too, just like you, so let them live their lives without the first-year paparazzi swarming around them. 


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