Ever feel like since college started that life just decided to hit the fast play button on the minutes of time, and you can’t seem to find a place to hit stop? Well don’t worry because I’m pretty sure every Carolina student knows you mean. What is even scarier for me is when adults tell me that this is only the beginning, and life just gets so much more fast-paced after college. So here’s the dilemma, how do we find the balance between having a social life, being on top of our academics, staying involved on campus, and planning our future paths?
College is surely the place where our time management skills gets put to the test. I remember it being only the first few weeks of class this semester and I was already crammed. Being in leadership positions on campus organizations and taking more academically challenging courses really seemed to have just hit me, because the responsibility and course load was just so much greater. Aside from freaking out and eating all the food I can take in, I decided to at least try to stay on top of everything.
Now anyone of my friends will be able to tell you that I love, love, love sleeping, and am capable of sleeping for a ridiculous amount of time. I’ve always stayed up late to get things done but in the next morning, I just end up sleeping way longer than expected. This semester, I decided to change things up a bit and force myself to get up earlier and keep a sharp schedule on my tasks. It’s simply amazing when how much time I added to my day by doing this. All that time I used to spend lying in bed in the mornings can now be used to be productive before classes even start.
Another thing I noticed about myself is that while doing work, I simply cannot stop checking my phone and getting distracted! An interesting experiment I read a few years ago went along the lines of this: keep a timer on your desk for the amount of time you’re actually doing work, and hit stop when you stop to do something in between. Boy was I surprised when I tried this out because one fourth of the time that I’m claiming to be “crammed with work,” is actually spend either replying to messages on my phone or flipping through the Facebook newsfeed. With this I decided to try an “out of sight, out of mind” method, where whenever I’m try to be productive, instead of putting my phone right next to me, I hide it somewhere I can’t see. No longer is my phone screaming: “look at me!” every five minutes now.
So there you have it, although time seems against us now, there is always a method to push time to your side. Whether it be waking up early to squeeze an extra hour or two into your daily schedule, or finding ways to stay focused, like me, you’d be surprised at how much you’re actually able to do in a day.
Ting Zhang is a sophomore majoring in Global Studies and minoring in History. She is president of Simple International, break leader for APPLES AWB, logistics committee member for Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit, evaluator for UNC Auxiliary Services, and member of WELL LLC. She can be reached at email@example.com.
To celebrate Halloween, we shared 13 “Scary Mistakes” prospective students should avoid on their college application. In case you missed it, or if you would like to see them again, here’s all 13 on in all of their terrifying glory! Check them out below in addition to UNC resources to make it so that even though Halloween is scary, college applications don’t have to be. For more information, and to stay up-to-date on resources and deadlines, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or read our blog at http://admissions.unc.edu/admissions-blog/!
- Be sure to read the instructions when applying for colleges. Visit bit.ly/1wbQk3X to get started!
- Not visiting http://bit.ly/1ocOWPJ, the comprehensive checklist for first-year students looking to apply to UNC-Chapel Hill. Learn the Dos & Don’ts for submitting your application materials!
- Do you know if you submitted your transcripts? Did your recommendations go through? Don’t make the mistake of not checking Connect Carolina often to make sure UNC Admissions has all of your application materials!
- If you’re having questions or concerns about the application process or about a school, don’t listen to the rumor mill for accurate information. There are so many ways to connect with UNC Admissions in person, over the phone, or online! Visit us at http://admissions.unc.edu/contact-us/ to learn more! And we’re open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday!
- Don’t let “senioritis” hold you back. Plan in advance so you don’t have to wait until the last minute! Make sure to check out our website http://admissions.unc.edu/ where we connect all of our resources, tips, and application information under one site! And make sure to connect with us for questions, comments, or concerns!
- Don’t let an impressive title win you over when it comes to your letters of recommendation. Remember, you want someone you know and trust who can speak to your character and help you stand out! Check out our tips for getting a recommendation that makes you stand out: http://bit.ly/1DTC1Wn.
- Letting stress overwhelm you can have negative results. It’s okay to step away from your applications for a while and come back later! Make sure you’re not waiting until the last minute so that you can give yourself more time!
- Another common mistake: not re-reading your application materials (like your essay!) one last time. Always proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes before submitting materials. You can always have someone you trust look it over as well, having a second opinion always helps!
- Surprisingly, another mistake is being too humble about your accomplishments and extracurricular activities. Now is the time to brag – we won’t mind, promise!
- Not doing your research about UNC. Although we read your applications, it’s important that you want us as much as we want you! Find out of UNC is the right fit for you by Scheduling a Tour or checking out our Tar Heel Blog, where current students write about their daily lives at UNC!
- Not applying somewhere because you think you can’t afford it. Whether you’re coming from Out of State, or if you’re a North Carolina resident, we’re committed to do our best to help, regardless of income. Visit http://admissions.unc.edu/afford/ to learn more about Financial Aid, Cost of Attendance, and Scholarships!
- Not sharing important context for your application. If there’s anything we don’t ask that you would like us to know, or if you would like to clarify information on your application, then use the “Additional Information” section on the Common Application!
- The final mistake students can make: not applying at all! The final deadline for UNC is January 10, 2015. Visit http://admissions.unc.edu/apply/ to get started.
We can’t wait to meet you!
Fall is my favorite time of the year here at UNC. Nothing beats looking out your window to clear, blue skies and a shower of reds, oranges, and yellows. And stepping outside and hearing the crunch of leaves under your feet while a crisp breeze blows through your hair? That’s like the icing on top of the cake. Despite the pain of midterms, fall also brings several delightful additions to life at UNC. There is no better time to get out and explore North Carolina and all the fun (and delicious) things it has to offer.
Unbeknownst to few is of course the North Carolina State Fair. During the month of October, Raleigh’s State Fair Grounds are turned into a massive spectacle with rides, games, and prizes for two weeks. People travel from all over NC to reach this humongous celebration in Raleigh. But it isn’t so much for the fun that people come—it’s for the food! The NC State Fair is famed for its wide array of fried foods, turkey legs, sweet corn, and more. There isn’t another place on Earth where you could find this many fried and unique treats. Having grown up in NC, I have been to the fair several times, but I can tell you one thing: it never gets old.
Another fantastic adventure that comes with fall in NC is the corn maze. Several are situated in the Cary-Morrisville area for our enjoyment. This past Fall Break, I went to one Green Acres Corn Maze in Cary with a group of friends. While you may think that us college students have outgrown such childish activities, it was actually quite a rewarding experience! Winding in and out of tall corn paths for an hour, I found myself filled with fall spirit and relaxation. Paired with horse rides, hay rides, corn hole, and good company, the corn maze was just another fall experience that I have come to love.
Also right around this time of year, many of us start to get sick of scavenging for food or eating at Lenoir, and truly miss our mothers’ home-cooking. Luckily, there are several good eats situated nearby in Chapel Hill and Carborro. One of my personal favorites is Elmo’s Diner in Carborro. If you’re looking for some hearty home-cooking or a menu with a large variety of other food types as well, Elmo’s is the place for you. The friendly, casual atmosphere and top-notch food never disappoints!
Amy Yang is a junior majoring in Biology and minoring in Chinese, in hopes of one day becoming a dentist. In her free time, she enjoys participating in UNC’s Misconception Hip Hop Dance Company and playing volleyball.
Going off to college can be scary, but at UNC we do everything possible to make sure your transition is free of horrors. However, once you’re all settled in to your first year at Carolina and those daunting first midterms are over, the real spooky fun begins! That’s right, we’re talking Halloween in Chapel Hill.
Homegrown Halloween is a notoriously fun celebration that sprawls across Franklin Street. You might come across two roommates conjoined as the “Hump-day” camel or the entire squad of Power Rangers. People bring candy to share and you’ll take a million and one photos with other trick-or-treaters dressed to the nines in ridiculous get ups to post on your Facebook page.
Astronomy enthusiasts and students alike gander at the celestial world, where spirits and stars collide, at the Morehead Planetarium Scare-olina Skies: Madness and Mayhem in the Night Skies. Attendees learn the dark myths and legends behind the constellations while viewing a fulldome star show.
Gimghoul Castle, located adjacent to campus, is an astounding stone fortress constructed in the 1920’s. Some say the castle was the site of a duel over a young woman known as Miss Fanny, an event that proved ill-fated for Mr. Peter Dromgoole, whose blood remains stained on a landmark rock. It’s also rumored to be the home base for a secret society, known as the Order of the Gimghoul, founded in 1889.
The Horace Williams House is said to be haunted by Mr. Williams, the former philosophy department chairman at UNC. Built in 1840, the house sits on Rosemary Street and was bequeathed to the university following his death. Williams taught author Thomas Wolfe in his days at the university. A certain rocking chair at the estate apparently still rocks, as the ghost of the former professor goes around the house, moving items, flushing toilets and sitting in his favorite old rocker.
UNC has many legendary alumni, beyond athletes, news anchors and scientists. Brave souls go on the Voices from the Grave: Haunted Cemetery Tour, to explore the dark shadows of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, guided only by lantern lights. Alumni who lie six feet under include World War I veterans, musicians and golfers. The tour begins at the Horace Williams House and is led by theatrical guides, who illuminate the history of Carolina legends of beyond.
On your next trip to Chapel Hill, be sure to check out these haunted sites and fun traditions.
Again, thank you for your applications and for your continued interest in Carolina. If you didn’t apply by our Early Action deadline of October 15, 2014 but are still interested in Carolina, no worries, you have plenty of time to apply by our final deadline of January 10, 2015.
Below is a round-up of this past week’s FAQs.
If I’m taking dual-enrollment courses, do I have to submit an official transcript from my high school and also my college/university? If all courses are showing on your official high school transcript then no, you do not have to submit an official transcript from your college/university for the purpose of admission. If admitted and if you choose to enroll, we will ask you to submit your college/university transcript for the purpose of awarding college credit. If you are dual-enrolled during the academic year and your courses/grades will NOT be reflected on your high school transcript than yes, please submit your college transcript.
I submitted my application and received an email confirming my submission but I still haven’t received my GUEST ID information. We apologize for the delay. Please email us with your complete name, birthday, and mailing address so that we can verify your information and resend your Guest ID. Important note for Gmail users: We have learned that applicants with gmail accounts are finding that their Guest ID email may be filtered automatically to some other folder under ‘Categories’. If this has happened to you, you will not see this email if you are viewing your inbox only. You should click ‘All mail’ in order to see that email.
What is your TOEFL CODE? 5816
When should I submit my SAT, ACT, or TOEFL score if I applied for the first deadline? ? For students applying under the early action plan, we accept SAT, ACT, and TOEFL scores taken through the month of November. For students applying under our regular decision, we will accept test scores through the month of December.
I received an email from you telling me that you are missing something from my application. What should I do? Please log into your ConnectCarolina Student Center and check your To-Do list. If the item we are missing from your application is your ACT, SAT, or TOEFL test score and you are planning to take your test in November, no worries. We aren’t withdrawing applications with missing test scores until the end of November. However, for other items such as your transcript and teacher recommendation, unless there are extenuating circumstances, please arrange for us to receive it as soon as possible and no later than November 3, 2014. Please also note that if you have taken your required standardized test and we’ve received those test scores already, we will not consider your test score as an incomplete item, even if you wish to send us a second set of scores. If we receive them by the end of November, however, we promise to take them into consideration, but we regret that we cannot delay our review of your application for a second test since this is not required.
Should I request a “rush report” for my October or November test scores? It is not necessary to submit a “rush report”. Your exam will not be scored any sooner than it would be otherwise. Since we receive test score updates on a daily basis, there is very little likelihood that we will receive your scores earlier than we would normally receive them.
IMPORTANT: Please note that all communication with you regarding the status of your application, items missing from your application, as well as your admission decision, will be sent electronically. For that reason, it is critical that you regularly check the email address you provided in your application for important messages from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
For the latest news from our office, please keep visiting our blog or connect with on social media (@UNCAdmissions). In the meantime, please let us know if we may assist you in any way.
The few hours before I boarded the plane for my semester abroad were the most nerve wrecking of my life. I was questioning everything.
Did I really want to do this? Did I really need to do this? Why did I have to choose Singapore, a country that was literally half way across the world?
Fast forward three months later, and each day I can’t help but be so thankful that I stepped on that plane.
Choosing to study abroad is easily the best decision I’ve made at Carolina. When they found out I was spending a semester abroad, classmates and friends who had previously traveled would continuously tell me that I was about to have the best time of my life. Although I appreciated their enthusiasm, I did not fully understand what they meant until about a month into my semester in Singapore.
I was sitting on a ledge right outside my dorm munching on a custard bun, and I found the time to reflect on my past month. Only then did I have the epiphany: I felt right at home. I had just experienced a month of extreme change full of new friends, new food, and a new city, yet I felt so comfortable. “Home” for me has always been the place where I wanted to be at the end of the day. I never imagined that I could find it across the globe.
The beauty of going abroad is that it gives you the opportunity to rediscover yourself. You are provided with an entirely new perspective and you are given the chance to use this new perspective to your advantage. In order to make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity, you should keep a few things in mind.
Expect your heart to break during your time abroad. You will fall in love with various elements of your experience, whether they are the friendships that you make, the new foods that you try, or the countries that you visit. It’s going to be difficult to acknowledge the fact that in just a few months, you will have to say goodbye to it all.
Be sure to document everything. Jot down the memory of talking about life with your new friend from London for hours on the lawn outside your residence hall. Take an overwhelming number of pictures of your visits to ancient temples in Cambodia. Capture videos of you and your friends walking down the streets of cities you had never previously heard of.
Break out of your comfort zone. Go snorkeling in the waters off a Thai island even if one of your biggest fears is the ocean. Climb up a mountain in Malaysia even if you’ve always had a knack for avoiding exercise.
Immerse yourself in the culture that is constantly surrounding you. Don’t spend every meal eating McDonalds (although a few meals wouldn’t be the worst). Try new fruits and drinks and cuisines. Ask locals about their perspectives and try to learn from what they say. Take classes that allow you to learn more about the region in which you will be spending the next four months of your life.
Take advantage of your new perspective.
Sanjana Murthy is a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina. She studies economics and journalism and minors in entrepreneurship. In her spare time, you can find her taking mindless strolls around campus, enjoying an Alpine bagel in the Union, or providing prospective Carolina students with campus tours as an Admissions Ambassador.
October 15th was the magical date for many of you future Tar Heels who decided to apply for early admissions. Well, congratulations! You’re one step closer to officially gaining the opportunity to attend the best school in the nation. You no longer have to worry about recommendation letters, deadlines, or application essays. However, you might want to start thinking about coming to visit for a tour. Because I am sure you will fall in love with campus like I did, I have put together a list of guidelines to make sure you get as much of the Carolina experience as you can in the short amount of time you have.
- Because you have to book tours in advance, it’s almost impossible to know what kind of weather you’re going to get. I remember when I came on my tour it was 25 degrees and hailing. So, make sure to pack for all types of weather. We do live in North Carolina, after all.
- Start the morning out with a trip to one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Time Out. It has a new location on Franklin St. and is known worldwide for its famous chicken and cheese biscuit. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
- Don’t be scared to ask your tour guide questions. I understand it’s scary and that your parents might embarrass you like mine did with questions like “How much do people party?” or “How easy is it to flunk out?” However, don’t be scared to ask the questions YOU want the answer to.
- Be prepared to walk… A LOT. I remember thinking that I had never walked more in my life when I came to visit. Funny thing is, looking back I realized that our tour consisted of only half of campus. But don’t let that scare you off! You’ll get used to walking and know your way around campus within a week of being here.
- As stated above, you only get to see half of the campus on your tour. So, make sure to travel down to south campus and get a look at the first-year dorms, Kenan Stadium, the Dean Dome, UNC hospitals, etc.!
- Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s a pretty big campus and there are many people who go here. The first time I stood in the quad during a class change, it blew my mind. There were people everywhere! However, it’s not as scary as you think. You can always make a big school small, but you can’t always make a small school big.
- Make sure to spend some time on Franklin Street, which is very close to my heart. It contains an atmosphere that you can’t dislike. Walk up and down, check out stores, and maybe even buy a t-shirt to rep back at your high school.
- Before you leave, make sure that you stop by a restaurant. I attempted to make a list of my favorite places to recommend, but then I realized I was listing every restaurant I had ever been to. Pick anywhere on Franklin and I guarantee you’ll be satisfied!
Hopefully, if you follow my advice your trip to UNC will be successful enough to convince you that this is where you belong! To schedule a tour, visit http://admissions.unc.edu/visit/touring-carolina/.
Celeste Kendrick is a sophomore majoring in Chemistry and planning to minor in business. She is a pre-dental student who works as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Office of Computing and Information Systems (OCIS) at the UNC Dental School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You don’t need to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to volunteer with UNC’s Technology Without Borders (TWB).
“Anyone can get involved if you can work your computer on a basic level, and that’s any UNC student,” said co-director Alex Sherry about the mentorship program.
A part of the Campus Y, Technology Without Borders’ mission is to bridge the digital divide in all its forms, both at home and abroad. TWB mentors provide technology lessons to children and adults. TWB has also worked on projects hosted abroad including a partnership with the Bryan Social Innovation fellowship for a biomedical training program.
For the mentoring program, the childrens’ classes focus on fun lessons that introduce them to programming and internet safety. The adult classes help community members learn basic computer skills that can aid them in the job search, like how to do web searches or create a resume on a word processor. “I really like it because of the relationships you form. You become friends with the person because you see them all semester,” said Sherry who has been a mentor since his first year at Carolina. “It’s so fantastic to see them progress.”
Sherry said that the technology lessons help the adult mentees better integrate into the community since they leave with basic computer skills that open new employment opportunities. TWB also works with the Community Empowerment Fund to provide low-cost laptops to the adult graduates of the program. “I’ve seen people come in not knowing how to turn the computer on and walking out with a laptop knowing how to use it,” said Sherry. “I’m really proud that Technology Without Borders helps people better connect with the community.”
Earlier in the week we talked about where service can take you during fall break, but did you know the Center for Public Service offers lots of other ways to get involved? Celebrating it’s 15th anniversary, the Center for Public Service is the heart of service at Carolina, and it loves service just as much as you do! Check out these two programs on offer:
The Buckley Public Service Scholars is a program that combines service with training opportunities and a reflection component through a senior year portfolio. BPSS believes in a broader definition of service, which includes organizational service, policy and advocacy work, fundraising and philanthropy, as well as social innovation and entrepreneurship. You can sign up your first semester on campus. What are you waiting for?
The second featured program today is APPLES Service-Learning, which focuses on building partnerships between the campus and community. Entering first-year students and transfers can hit the ground running by signing up for the Service-Learning Initiative (SLI) orientation. In addition to the Alternative Break trips offered during fall, winter and spring breaks, APPLES Service-Learning opportunities include courses and internships.
Don’t think your intended major has an APPLES course? Not so fast! You’ll find APPLES courses in all the different departments across campus. Courses range from a Public Relations Writing course focusing on helping nonprofits with their communications outreach to Psychology courses that study child development. Take a peek at this semester’s list of courses for even more options.
Looking to intern with a local non-profit? APPLES offers paid internship placements for the school-year and summer. Interns also take a course in the UNC School of Social Work to learn more about working for social organizations and how to best make an impact in the community. You could be exercising your green thumb at North Carolina Botanical Garden or combining art with social change at Theater Delta, among many other placements.
There are so many ways to serve at Carolina. Which way will you choose?
“Why do you choose to study abroad again while studying abroad?”
I consistently got this question after coming to Cape Town. My answer was simply that “Why not?” The reason why people asked me this is that I am an international student from Beijing, China. Towards the end of my first year, I made a decision that surprised many of my friends: study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in my sophomore year.
One of my main goals in college is to explore different parts of the world and to immerse in the culture that is different from mine. Furthermore, I have always been interested in coming to Africa since I was young. So when I first heard of the Honors Semester in Cape Town, I knew this is it! An amazing opportunity that if I don’t take, I would regret for my whole life.
The Cape Town program provides a very nontraditional study abroad experience because of the huge internship component in it. Since I really care about learning outside the classroom, the internship component gives a bonus point to the Cape Town program.
I have been lived in Cape Town for two months now. LIFE IS AWESOME HERE.
Cape Town became my favorite city in the world since my first day coming here It is such a beautiful, diverse and vibrant city with rich history. No wonder it’s rated as No. 1 on the prestigious New York Times’s 52 Place to go in 2014 list. What’s cooler is that I am experiencing Cape Town in a deep and inspiring way. I do internship in two Non-profit organizations from Monday to Thursday. In the morning, I work in Tremendous Hearts, whose goal is to bring highly skilled volunteers from overseas to Cape Town to work with orphans. This is an office work, where I mainly do research for the Executive Director. In the afternoon, I work in Home from Home, whose mission is to provide foster homes and healthy growing environment for orphans and abused children. What I do specifically is tutor three kids Math and English in one foster home. We got our internship placement based on our interests and skills. Other people in our program do internship in all kinds of fields and organizations, such as Cape Town Refugee Center, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and Greenpop. And we take one class about South African literature on Friday taught by one UNC professor on University of Cape Town campus. The class varies each year depending on the UNC faculty. What’s more, I also love that every Monday night, people in our program come together and reflect on what we have experienced and learned throughout the week.
My Cape Town experience will be forever memorable for numerous reasons. As basically the only international student in our program, I am immersing intensely in both American culture and South African culture. It’s definitely challenging but I know I learned tons about how to adapt to different culture throughout this experience too. What’s more, I did most amounts of things that I had never done before in two months. For the first time, I did 40k overnight hiking, got chance to see penguins and whales, went to parliament tour and listen to its questioning session, worked with a former ambassador and so on and so forth. People in our program can always come up something to do after work or during weekend: go to shark diving, attend African dance class, visit district six museums, go to campus bay. Fun in Cape Town never ends.
What I get to do in this program is definitely incredible, but I what I have chance to or what I am forced to think here is even more valuable to me. In class, we discussed about post-apartheid South Africa, how racial issues are still a problem in many parts of the world, how people from different countries are indeed all connect with each other. I am able to relate the issues in South Africa, no matter it’s in the past, present or potentially future, with the ones back home in China and in the States.
I am extremely appreciative that I have the opportunity to stay one semester in Cape Town, especially through the Honors Program. Sadly I only have less than two month left here. But believe me, I will get the most of every day here.
Jialing Jiang is a sophomore double major in Economics and Philosophy. She is the founder of the first Chinese Culture Month in UNC, Pandamonium, a member of Honors Carolina and UNC International Ambassador. She can be reached at email@example.com.