At the end of this academic year, the class of 2022 will be the only remaining class on campus to have had a complete year on campus prior to the pandemic.
As the University plans to return to a “more typical” fall semester later this year, the Editorial Board wanted to impart some campus and Chapel Hill knowledge to our fellow students who haven’t been on campus or in the area before.
During the pandemic, we all had to adjust. Our relationship with campus changed drastically, too. But, like the resilient students we are, we continued to find ways to make our lives a bit easier.
Here is a compilation of our favorite campus “hacks” to get you ready for next year:
Abbas Hasan, Editorial Board member:
Finding a spot to nap on campus is of the utmost importance — I spent much of my first year trying to find the comfiest and quietest places around. So, I will save you all the time of searching, and just let you know some of the greatest nap spots on campus.
First, the basement of the Undergraduate Library has wonderful, plush benches to shut your eyes for a bit. The third floor of the Campus Y also has beds that are legitimately made for sleeping (plus nice views of the quad).
Finally, the meditation room in the Student Union is the ideal spot to catch a quick snooze. It’s quiet, beautiful and perfectly peaceful. With the pandemic, naps on campus might not be possible, but it’s always good to know where to turn when you need a power nap to get you through the day.
Caitlyn Yaede, Editorial Board member:
The only way I survived my first year on campus was by doing yoga. My best advice is to take advantage of the group fitness classes at the gyms on campus. When you have a busy schedule, it is so tempting to spend any free time watching Netflix or sleeping, but trust me.
I started doing yoga and meditation classes just once a week, and by the end of the semester, I felt better physically and mentally, and attended a class almost every day. Bring your friends, or meet the instructors and others taking the class.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are having trouble sticking to a schedule — whatever time you are able to spend taking advantage of these resources is productive. Whether it’s yoga, cycling or Zumba, don’t be afraid to try something new and get out of your comfort zone.
Aditi Kharod, Editorial Board member:
I have been at my most productive in the least popular study spots. Sorry to everyone who is obsessed with Davis Library, but I only go there if I have no other choice.
Find a spot that is most conducive to your working environment, not just one where all of your friends are. My personal favorites throughout my four years have been the Stone Center Library, the Class of 2000 Lounge in the Union, the SILS Library in Manning Hall and the Fearrington Reading Room in Wilson Library (I promise that the last one is not as intimidating as it first seems).
Bonus: the Class of 2000 Lounge also doubles as an excellent nap spot.
Ben Rappaport, Editorial Board member:
Bagels — the circular breaded sustenance often thought to be a breakfast staple. But did you know, they can actually be the perfect midnight snack as well? And, if you time it right, you can get them for free.
Alpine Bagel in the Student Union will often hand out free bagels and muffins close to closing time. If you hang out in the Union late enough, you may be one of the fortunate few.
Vance Stiles, Editorial Board member:
Have you ever been in class and panic because you need to use the bathroom, and don’t know where the closest one is? Well, my favorite campus hack happens when I’m finding my classes the day before FDOC.
During this time of rediscovering how confusing Phillips is and re-remembering how far away the FedEx building is from everything, I also like to find the closest bathroom to each classroom. This saves both time and embarrassment later in the semester, as I am more easily able to find a bathroom in a time of massive panic. I also like to find the best bathrooms on campus as a part of this search. Good luck hunting for them!
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