The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday December 8th

First-year residence hall living advice from students who have been through it

A UNC dorm room is pictured on June 15, 2022.
Buy Photos A UNC dorm room is pictured on June 15, 2022.

Moving from the comfort of one's own home to a residence hall can be a tough transition.

That's why The Daily Tar Heel spoke with students who have recently lived in campus residence halls about what advice they had for incoming first-year students about residence hall living, including what to bring and how they dealt with common issues.

Yadira Bravo, a rising sophomore, lived in Cobb Residence Hall during her first year at UNC. She said she liked the residence hall, but wasn’t a fan of the communal bathrooms.

“Don’t be surprised if you hear people yelling in the hall or outside past quiet hours,” Bravo said. 

Bravo recommended bringing an extension cord and some sort of light besides the overhead light, such as a lamp or LEDs. She added that general storage, especially storage for clothes, is a necessity, and so are cleaning supplies.

Olivia Goodson, a rising sophomore, lived in Grimes Residence Hall her first year, which is a corridor-style residence hall.

“I actually really liked it, but it could get dirty and people were frustrating and the sink would have food in it and stuff like that, so that was probably the hardest part,” Goodson said. 

She also said coordinating with roommates can be difficult as well, such as asking them to put in headphones, but that the roommate agreement she completed with her roommate and Resident Advisor helped.

“I think it helped set boundaries and ground rules without having to feel like you were walking on egg shells,” Goodson said. 

Goodson said there's no reason to be nervous about living in a residence hall.

“It’s not that bad at all," Goodson said. "I think you really have to do it to get a full college experience.”

Goodson said she recommended that first-years bring a giant pillow for their bed. She also agreed with Bravo that extension cords and lamps are a necessity.

She said she brought a lot of books from home to campus, but never ended up reading any of them.

“On your free time, you don’t want to sit down and read a book,” Goodson said.

Micah McLaughlin, a rising junior, has lived in three different residence halls during his time at UNC. 

He lived in Ehringhaus Residence Hall as a first-year student, but had to move out a few weeks later because of COVID-19. 

When he arrived back at campus in the spring, he lived in Connor Residence Hall. During his sophomore year, he lived in Morrison Residence Hall.

McLaughlin said he liked living in all three residence halls in different ways.

“The first one it was really exciting to be in Ehaus, be at college, and it totally sucked because we all got kicked out, but I still made some good memories,” McLaughlin said.

He said in Morrison he lived in a suite-style residence hall and would recommend that residence hall style to first-years.

"Because I came in and I only knew a couple of the guys in there, and then I left and I was really good friends with all of them,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said first-years should bring air-fresheners, shower shoes and a mattress topper. For him, he said the most difficult part of living in Morrison was how small the rooms were.

He said to create more space, he lofted his bed and brought plenty of storage items. He also brought lots of kitchen items, but because his suitemates also brought them, he didn’t end up using them often.

Snacks, on the other hand, were a common theme among all the residence hall veterans.

Bravo said she would recommend that first-years bring plenty of snacks, including cupped ramen and mac and cheese. McLaughlin said for residence hall snacks, his mom ordered him a 10-pound bag of gummy bears for him and his suitemates. He said he also always had goldfish, as well as chocolate milk. Goodson added that a good residence hall snack is microwavable popcorn.

“I thought it was going to suck, but I might miss it next year, not going to lie,” McLaughlin said.

@madikirk31

university@dailytarheel.com

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