Campus Life: Matt

Hello again! In this post I want to talk about what life is like at UNC from work to play.

Work

So, most students at UNC will find their classes to be based on north campus (unless you happen to be in the business school). On north campus, there is a mix of both old and new buildings where there is a good chance you will have a class. Also, on north campus are three main libraries both relatively large and unique in their own ways. Davis is the giant, no thrills, brick building with 7 floors. The ground floor is open-spaced and quite social, but the further up you go, the quieter it gets. Many think it looks like a prison. Second is Wilson. The building is located right on the quad and is the most good looking out of the three. Finally, there is the UL which is open 24/7 and is the perfect place to pull an all-nighter if you are unfortunate in leaving an assignment until the last day.

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Wilson Library during the snow day
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Carrol Hall

Rest

Of course, UNC isn’t all about work and study. We do have plenty of free time to unwind! Normally when there is a little break in between class, I like to spend time hanging around the pit or in the quad. The pit is the central hub of the University and is the equivalent to Auckland’s quad. It is essentially a large paved square that is surrounded by the student store, student union and Lenoir dining hall. The union is a great place to chill out, especially when the weather is bad. You can find ping pong tables, pool tables, a giant chess board and even a meditation room.

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The Pit – The heart of Campus

The student store is another cool place to chill. There’s a café, convenience store, and a book store as well as all the UNC merch you can imagine.

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The Student Store

Next to the pit is the quad known as Polk Place. When the weather is nice, many UNC students love to chill on the lawn and brave their hay fever allergies. It is conveniently close to classes and if you are lucky, you may see the pit preacher giving a lecture.

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It’s always a good day to be a Tar Heel
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Look Mum I have friends!
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Sharing some yarns with Gary the Preacher

Play

If you are into sport and recreation, UNC has all the facilities you can imagine. There are two main recreation centres: Rams located on south campus, and Fetzer gym located on mid campus. You can go to the gym, climb a wall, or even play a game of basketball. There are plenty of playing fields, swimming pools and a large astro turf which is popular for soccer and ultimate frisbee. However, you do get plenty of exercise simply from walking around campus and many students also like to use bikes to get around. Go to the rec centre to find out about any events, such as bubble soccer!

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Bubble Soccer at Hooker Fields
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Boxing at the Eddie Smith Field House

Nightlife

In terms of nightlife UNC has plenty of options. Obviously, the US has a drinking age of 21 so it can sometimes be difficult to cope if you are underage. House parties happen all the time so if you are outgoing, open and involved, you should have no problems finding parties especially if you are international. There is the option of Greek life however joining a frat takes about 6 months of initiation and can be quite pricey as well as time consuming. Same goes with joining a sorority. With Greek life, the best option is to be friendly with people involved with Greek life if you are keen to get involved with social events and parties. Normally, frats are selective with who they invite to their parties but on some occasions, parties are pretty open, especially during rushing season, Halloween, and LDOC (last day of class). As you can imagine, American house parties are very much like the movies with the red solo cups, beer pong and party juice.

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Finger guns are underrated
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Tailgate DARTY before a football game
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10 Points if you can spot the Red Solo Cups

If you are over 21, you can add bars to the list of evening options. Franklin street has a range of bars to choose from each with their own kind of vibe. For me, I did a bit of everything. Most of the exchange students knew each other and we would often pregame together at a house and head either to the same party or bar on Franklin. In semester one, it was all about the bar “Country Fried Duck” or CFD however in semester two, nobody went there anymore. The bar “La Residence” essentially became the new CFD.

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Paying homage to the legend that is CFD

Another bar I love is He’s Not Here. Apparently the place received that name because Michael Jordan would frequently have a drink there and fans would always ring up the bar asking where he was, to which the bar replied with “he’s not here.” The bar is famous for its blue cups and has an awesome beer garden to which you can spend warm sunny afternoons listening to a live band and sipping beer.

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The famous blue cups from He’s Not Here

Another popular destination is Shooters. Shooters is club located in nearby Durham and is the place where all the Duke students party. On Wednesday nights, the club becomes and 18+ venue and many from UNC take party buses to Durham for the big night. This is a great option especially if you are underage. Other iconic bars are He’s Not Here, Might as Well, Goodfellow’s, Pantana Bob’s and Top of the Hill.

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The view of Franklin Street from Top of the Hill (TOPO).

So yeah that’s the general idea on what life is like at UNC. There is heaps I probably have missed out on but perhaps the best thing to do is to find out for yourself!

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