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Word on the street: How community members define home

Thalia Hernandez and Katie Bradshaw, roommates at UNC, smile for a portrait in The Pit on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023

From residence halls to apartment complexes and houses, Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents have a variety of living situations. Here are a few things that make community members feel at home. 

Assistant Lifestyle Editor Emi Maerz asked students and community members the question, “What makes the place you live feel like home?”

Dani Colling, UNC first-year

"I really like my roommate, to be honest. She's one of my best friends from high school and it's really nice to have someone that I can just go to whenever to talk to. And I feel really comfortable with her, so it's nice."

Katie Bradshaw and Thalia Hernandez, UNC seniors

"We've been roommates since freshman year," Bradshaw said. 

"It's nice to see the progression from the dorm to living in a house off-campus and then seeing where graduate school takes us. So definitely the people who surround us make a house a home," Hernandez said. 

Nathan Bruzzese, UNC first-year

"I would probably say the people. I live in Horton Residence Hall and a lot of people in my dorm are really nice and they like talking to me. It really makes it feel like an at-home atmosphere."

Ruth Berhana, UNC senior 

"For me, it's decorating my room. It makes me feel like me and not make it feel like I'm living in Chapel Hill, but I'm decorating my room at home." 

Bohollomonde Yapo, UNC senior

"I lived in three different places in the past, so all of them kind of felt like home just because I always have my decorations and the snacks that I like, and I also live with Ruth, my best friend, so it was really nice to come home to someone that is familiar and makes you feel comfortable."

Michael Jordan, Chapel Hill resident

"Because you decorate it yourself, you decorate it yourself, you move your own furniture in and you start from scratch. So it's going to feel like home because it's the way that you wanted it to look. It's very rare that you can move into a place already furnished. Then again, it might not look the way you want it to look. So therefore, most likely, you're going to buy your own stuff to make it feel good when you go home every single day."

Grace Mark, Carrboro resident

"The place I live feels like home because of community and being able to connect with my neighbors, which I've found has been easier here than in other places."

"It's really centering around filling it with things that I love."


@dthlifestyle |

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Emi Maerz

Emi Maerz is a 2023-24 assistant lifestyle editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously covered UNC for the university desk. Emi is a sophomore pursuing a double major in journalism and media and dramatic art.