What every incoming first year at UNC should know

Duke is the worst. Always

Welcome UNC Class of 2020! Here’s a few fun and useful things to know before you arrive in the fall.

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If at first you don’t succeed, don’t worry.

You got into UNC. That is an accomplishment in and of itself. School is school and it gets hard. You’ll be surrounded with smart people with great work ethic and extreme dedication. The first semester of college is a wake up call, but it’s also a great learning experience. Let this time help you decide what your study style will be. Don’t assume that you’re the only one freaking out. Trust me. We all are.


You’ll never get over how beautiful campus is. 

There’s a reason Chapel Hill is called the “Southern Part of Heaven.” Every season in Chapel Hill provides beautiful scenery and the best backdrops for photographs. Whether it’s the Old Well covered in snow in the winter or the bloom of azaleas that comes each spring, certain sights at UNC will take your breath away.

Some of your best memories will be made on the P2P. 

The P2P is the nightly transportation between South Campus and Franklin Street. It runs from 7pm to 4am EVERY NIGHT during both semesters. You can even download an app that tells you the route times for any UNC transportation. For the first years living on South Campus, this is so convenient for trips to Sup Dogs or YoPo.

On that note, YoPo is the best.

Franklin Street is home to a Ben & Jerry’s, Sweet Frog, and Cold Stone, but next to He’s Not Here and New York Pizza sits another UNC classic. The Yogurt Pump (YoPo) serves up the best frozen yogurt on the block. Sure it’s all up to personal preference, but there’s something undeniable about getting a cup of froyo at this classic spot.

Franklin Street is where it all happens.

Need a place to eat? Head to Franklin. Franklin Street is home to so many great places to dine. Halloween on Franklin Street is an unforgettable event too. It’s never to early to start thinking about what your costume is going to be. We take these things seriously. Also, Franklin Street becomes a party when we beat Duke.


Bored? Go to The Pit. 

There is always something going on at The Pit. If you join clubs or other organizations, “Pit-sitting” will be a common verb you’ll hear. This means you set up a table in The Pit and sit out for a few hours educating others about your organizations. One of my favorite Pit events are the puppy kissing booths that Helping Paws puts on. There’s never a dull moment in The Pit.


‘Hark the Sound’ and ‘Carolina In My Mind’ will always make you cry. 

After a football win, nothing beats the collective sound of ‘Hark the Sound.’ If you don’t already know the words, get on that. Also, the James Taylor classic will take on a whole new meaning and will no doubt make you cry whenever it comes on the radio.

Carolina Blue will forever be the prettiest color. 

You’ll never get sick of seeing everyone wearing the same color. Also, many people try to pass off other blues as Carolina Blue, but it’s not the same. At this point, if my whole home was covered in Carolina Blue, I wouldn’t mind one bit.


UNC is smaller than you think. 

With over 18,000 undergraduate students, UNC can seem daunting. Once you’re here, you’ll realize you can still see the person you don’t feel like seeing five times in one day. UNC is it’s own little world and just like any other school – no matter the size, you’ll still have that one person you see every day and never learn their name.

Duke is the worst. Always. 

The UNC-Duke rivalry is like no other. Once the Duke/Carolina game rolls around, the rivalry grows even stronger. Also, start spelling Duke like ‘Dook,’ it will become useful once school starts.

There are so many opportunities. 

Your college experience is what you make of it. There are endless clubs and organizations to get involved with. If you like something, there’s probably a club for it. Sign up for as many things as you can at Fall Fest. You won’t regret going a bit overboard as much as you will if you don’t do anything.


Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. 

I had little to no photography experience coming to UNC. I decided to take a chance and join the Yackety Yack Yearbook photography staff. I had the chance to be on the field at football games and courtside at a UNC basketball game because of my choice to take a risk and try something I knew I would love. College is your chance to delve into many subjects – not just in class, but in your life.