14 CTOPS 2008

There are things everyone should know starting of at UNC-Chapel Hill. Sure, you
get a brief overview of the well-oiled machine that is the University at orientation,
but were you really paying much attention to the guide anyway? There’s more
to making the most out of your years at this school than what they tell you. It
could take your entire four years here to fully learn the ropes of this 729-acre
campus, but as a freshman, you don’t have time to waste. Luckily you can rely on
the expertise of those who have already fgured out the tricks of the trade.
10 things
every UNC-CH student should know
by kelly thore • design by kelly giles & kelsey morrissy • photos by faye fang
Live by your Week By Week
Succeeding in college requires organization, and the
University designs a planner specifically for UNC-CH
students — The Carolina Week by Week. The organizer
contains important dates, like final-exam schedules and
University holidays. The planner can help you keep track
of your assignments throughout the year, too. Professors
will give you syllabi with all of the dates you need to
know on the first day of class. Write down every due date
in your Week by Week! Professors might forget to remind
you of assignments as the semester goes on, and you
really don’t want to find out about that 30-percent-of-
your-grade paper as the rest of your classmates turn it in.
Utilize the University Career Services
Be sure not to overlook that pamphlet you got at
orientation. UCS is very helpful. A trip to its office
could mean figuring out your major or learning about
opportunities to get involved at the University. “I went
to see (UCS) for help with my resume to apply to the
business school, and it really did help a lot,” said Wade
Perry, a rising junior and a business major. “They help to
let you know what should be included on a resume and
what shouldn’t, and they help you to make what you’ve
done sound more professional.”
Have your projected academic
schedule planned out
Don’t just log on to Student Central during your
assigned registration time slot and sign up for the first
classes you see. Use the Undergraduate Bulletin and
the online course search engine to find the class and
section numbers of the classes you want to take before
you register. Write them down on a sheet of paper in
order of priority, along with your registration Personal
Identification Number. Having all of this information
organized and laid out in one place makes registration
less hectic and stressful, and it can help you slip into the
last available seat in a class you need.
www. unc. edu/bw 15
Go to office hours
Professors often encourage students to come to office
hours, but few actually do. Going to your professor’s
office hours can help you master material and can help
the professor get to know you personally, especially if the
class is a large lecture with limited interaction. Mike Wei,
a 2008 UNC-CH graduate, said he benefited greatly from
going to one professor’s non-traditional office hours. “We
met at Top of the Hill (Restaurant), and we asked (the
professor) questions about our upcoming test,” Wei said.
“I liked that it was in a relaxing environment, and it was
very helpful.”
Hold study groups in classrooms
Most students don’t know that the University leaves
the doors of classrooms unlocked in the afternoon and
evening. The rooms in the Undergraduate Library and
in Davis fill up quickly, and the classrooms provide you
with an alternative place to study where you are free to
talk and use the boards as study aids. “They’re general-
purpose classrooms after 5 p.m., so if it’s unlocked then
anyone can use them,” said Sourygna Ku, events planning
assistant at the Student Union. “The only people that
can tell you to get out of a room is a janitor or an
organization that has reserved the room.”
Work hard, and get off
to a good start
One of the worst things you
can do is start off with a grade
that will taint your grade-point
average for the rest of your
years here. Begin your college
career the right way. “Study as
much as you can,” said Brittney
Roberts, a rising sophomore and a
biology major. “Any time you have reading, do it because
there are so few tests, and the grades count for so much.
Every year and every semester counts.”
Don’t be afraid of the
Davis Library elevators
The braver you are, the better off you’ll be, and the
higher the floor in Davis, the more likely you are to
find a work-friendly environment. “I’ve always found
that the first two floors are really loud, and it’s hard to
concentrate in that environment,” said Steven Kinsella, a
rising sophomore. So take that elevator on up, and even
though it might feel like the doors are not going to open,
don’t worry. They will — eventually.
Keep an open mind,
and take your time
picking a major
Though the General College
requirements can be frustrating
to fulfill, they expose you to different
types of courses that can diversify your
college experience. Some students find they enjoy
fulfilling the requirements more than they thought.
“Take classes you normally wouldn’t look at and that still
interest you,” said Angel Cockerham, a rising junior. “You
might be surprised with the outcome.”
Head down to the Kenan-Flagler
Business School
Make it your weekend study destination. For those
who rely on the libraries on campus to study, it’s bad
news that the Undergraduate Library closes at 6 p.m. on
Fridays and Saturdays and doesn’t re-open until 11 a.m.
on Sundays. But there is an excellent alternative that not
many know about. The Business School, which is open
24/7, has huge couches and comfortable chairs and
desks that are perfect for an easy weekend homework
session. Use them!
Make friends with that person who
always talks in class
As hard as it might be, don’t be annoyed by this person;
instead, befriend them. If you ever miss class and are
in need of notes, one of the more attentive students
will more than likely be able to help. And although
a student’s level of class participation might not
directly correlate with subject mastery,
befriending someone who is active
in class might provide you with a
good study group as tests near.
If nothing else, you might just
make a new friend.
16 CTOPS 2008
1. Don’t buy your textbooks at the Student
Stores. Try Ram Book & Supply, the Tarheel
Book Store or even Amazon.com to buy
your books used and save up to a couple
hundred dollars.
2. Don’t go to advising without an
appointment. Even if you go to walk-in
hours, your adviser might not have
time to meet with you. Always go
online to advising.unc.edu and make
an appointment with the appropriate
adviser.
3. Don’t expect to get your whole college
career planned out in one appointment. Sorry,
but that 30-minute slot won’t carry you through your
entire career at UNC-CH. Try to go back at least once a year to
make sure you are still on track.
4. Don’t base your classes solely around what Pick-A-Prof says.
While the professor-rating Web sites might give you some
insight on a professor, take the feedback with a grain of salt.
5. Don’t become discouraged if you get a low grade on the frst
test. It happens to everyone, but it doesn’t mean you should
drop the class. You’ll have opportunities to bring it up.
6. Don’t put of hard classes until your last semester. Take those
classes early so you can get them over with, especially if you
think you might have trouble passing them.
7. Don’t rely only on PowerPoints. Yes, professors post them to
Blackboard, but they have been known to ask questions from
material not included in slide shows just to see if you were
paying attention.
8. Don’t give up on a class just because
it’s full. E-mail the professor or just show
up on the frst day to see if he or she
can squeeze you in.
9. Don’t rely on the University’s
printers when you’re on deadline.
They tend to break or run out of
toner right before you have a big
assignment due.
10. Don’t forget to sign the Honor
Code on scantron sheets and blue
books. The honor code is heavily
enforced at UNC-CH, and scores have
gotten canceled simply because the test-
taker forgot to sign the code.
&
10 things NOT to do
Since 1966, the North Carolina Botanical Garden has been a place to l.æ·« about
native plants, ~«¡¬ woodland trails, and ~ol»·. through student internships, workshops,
lectures, and volunteer activities. . . .
Now we are building a .·~~« Visitor
Center, complete with expanded
gardens and designed to meet LEED
Platinum certification. Features
include photovoltaic panels,
geothermal wells, rainwater cisterns
and storm water gardens.
(We also manage Mason Farm Biological Reserve,
Coker Arboretum and Battle Park)
COME VISIT US THIS FALL!
Off Fordham Blvd. (15-501/54
Bypass) at Old Mason Farm Road
ncbg.unc.edu | 919-962-0522
Since 1966,
COME VISIT US THIS FALL!

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