Hi Tar Heels!
This week, we’ll be focusing some on what our peers are/have been up to for fall break! Today, we’re looking at what we at Carolina call AFB or “alternative fall break” trips.
That’s right: You can do more than go home or on a family trip for fall break – you can learn and serve other communities with APPLES, a service-learning program led by UNC-Chapel Hill students.
APPLES, which stands for Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service, offers alternative fall break service trips in seven different focus areas: urban communities, Latinx communities, rural communities, environmental issues, arts in public service, hunger and homelessness, and refugee communities.
I spoke to a friend of mine, Mikeala Roberson, who went on an AFB trip with APPLES last year – here’s what she had to say.
Mikeala Roberson is a junior from Clinton, North Carolina, and is studying Global Studies at Carolina.
How did you find out about the Alternative Fall Break in the first place?
I found out just by posters around campus advertising the break, and I also saw pubs in a few GroupMe chats that I was a part of.
Why did you end up choosing it?
I chose to do it because I did not want to go home, sit around and do nothing for five days. Plus, I love to travel and go to new places, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me.
Which focus area did you choose?
I chose the arts in public service. We went to Asheville! I chose it because I have always loved every type of art, but I don’t get to indulge in art as much as I’d like to since I started college.
What’s one of your favorite memories from the trip?
One of my favorite memories was renovating a puppet studio and seeing the owner’s face when we were done with our project. She was so excited and very thankful, which was a heartwarming experience for everyone I think!
What do you feel you gained from the trip as a person?
I gained more of an appreciation for art, which I didn’t think was possible since I loved art so much already. Being a part of the behind-the-scenes work for different forms of art gave me a new perspective on how I look at and approach art now.
Overall, how did you feel it and what were your feelings on it looking back?
I loved the trip! It was amazing and felt so fulfilling. I had a great time and I wish I could do another alternative break!
On Wednesday, October 4, the UNC Admissions social media interns hosted a Facebook Live event to talk about our Carolina experiences and answer prospective students’ questions. We have compiled the questions and answers here!
How do you pair roommates?
First-years are required to live on campus. When you fill out your housing forms after enrolling at Carolina, you get the chance to select your preferred dorms and request a specific roommate. Many students use Facebook and the official class page on Facebook to search for a roommate who would be a good match. You can also choose to use the random roommate generator through the Carolina Housing portal.
What advice do you have for the activities part of the application?
Quality over quantity! Tell us a bit about the activities you are passionate about and what your role is within those activities. You know your extracurriculars and just how much you help out, but we don’t. Explain to us how you contribute!
Do teachers need to send their recommendations by Oct. 15 for a student to be considered for early action?
We can receive recommendations up to two weeks after the Oct. 15 deadline, but the student application must be submitted by Oct. 15 at the latest to be considered for early action.
How do out-of-state students feel on campus considering there are more in-state students at Carolina?
Completely at home! While there are more in-state students on campus, everyone is in the same boat when we first get on campus: excited, confused, a bit lost and ready to make new friends. There are clubs for out-of-state students to get to know one another and organize carpools home or to the airport to fly home, which is a great resource for those who are interested!
How easy is it to switch your major during your first year?
For the majority of majors, it is pretty easy! And lots of students come in undeclared or end up switching their major; it is totally normal. Be open to trying new classes and always take advantage of our wonderful Academic Advising team!
How many letters of recommendation do we need? Does UNC require we have a letter of recommendation from a teacher of a core subject?
Carolina requires one letter of recommendation and this has to be from a teacher of a core subject who taught you for at least one year. We only require one letter of recommendation. If you desire, you can submit more. Only submit another letter of recommendation if the second teacher will offer a noticeably different perspective on you than the first teacher.
UNC is a big school. How can it feel smaller?
Taking advantage of opportunities to meet people in different groups and organizations is a great way to make UNC feel smaller. In the beginning of the school year, Fall Fest, a huge activity fair with representation from almost all of Carolina’s 800+ clubs, is a great place to start discovering the ways in which you want to get involved. You can also find a great sense of community with the people in your first-year dorm. Also just being friendly to people in class and at the dining hall can help you meet some great people.
What are the class sizes like?
As you get deeper into your specific major, the classes generally get smaller. The introductory classes you may take your first year are generally larger lectures, but often these are accompanied with smaller recitation sections of about 15 to 20 students that meet outside of the normal lecture time. This provides an opportunity to ask some more questions and get a deeper understanding of the material.
Do we superscore the ACT and SAT?
Yes, we superscore both of these. Please note, however, we will not be able to combine your scores from the different versions of the SAT. We can superscore the ‘new’ SAT with another ‘new’ SAT as well as between the ‘old’ versions, but not both a ‘new’ and an ‘old’ version.
How much of a deciding factor is your GPA or unweighted GPA?
We have a very holistic review process. There is not a single factor that is more heavily considered; we look at each part of your application equally. We recommend that students take advantage of the advanced coursework that’s available in their school—for most students, that means taking AP, IB, or dual-enrollment courses.
What was your first day of school at UNC like?
Exciting! We recommend you use the day before classes begin to walk around and see where your classes are so you don’t get (as) lost on the first day! The first day of classes (FDOC) is a really fun day full of new experiences and meeting lots of new people. Tradition says a sip from the Old Well on the first day of classes could bring good luck in the coming year.
How’s the food on campus?
We love Carolina Dining Services! Each year they are adding more and more options for good, healthy food. They always have vegetarian and vegan options as well. The dining hall is also just a fun place to meet up with friends and catch up!
Have more questions? Call the Admissions office at 919-966-3621 and they can help!