Written by Dhriti Suresh, UNC-Chapel Hill, College Contact Counselor
Choosing the right university is a crucial decision, and there's no better way to get to know a campus than through a visit. If you're considering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), you're in for a treat. This prestigious institution is known for its rich history, vibrant community, and top-notch academics. To ensure you make the most of your visit, here are some invaluable tips to help you maximize your time on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
Getting Around Campus
With the campus stretching 729 acres (3 km), it is rather important to think about how you might want to get around in an efficient manner. UNC is rather hilly - although manageable - so biking/scootering around would be great options as well as taking the buses or walking. The most common buses students take would be the U (aka “Union”) and RU (aka “Reverse Union”) which takes you either towards or away from the south campus respectively. There are of course other buses available that will take you to your desired destination which you can use Google or Apple Maps for. During my freshman year, I lived on the south campus, which was approximately a ~20-25 minute walk to get to my classes on the main campus, so the bus system was very useful! In general, when touring UNC I would most definitely recommend walking around and occasionally taking advantage of the public transportation to get a better feel of the campus as opposed to driving around. Parking can be quite a hassle and it may disrupt getting to feel out the place overall.
Getting a Feel of UNC
While you’re on campus, take the time to perhaps eat at a dining hall - either Chase or Lenoir. Chase Dining Hall, is located in the south campus near freshman-year dorms Ehringhaus and Hinton James among others, while Lenoir is located near Davis Library on the main (north) campus. You will be able to get a sense of the price, quality, and variety of food offered. If you’re not up for the dining hall food, the bottom of Lenoir (aka “BOLO”) also has a wide variety of restaurants such as Chick-fil-A, Bandidos, Cholanaad, etc. Along the way, don’t hesitate to stop a student and ask them about UNC - whether it may be about classes, food, or extracurriculars - everyone is really friendly!
Named for Benjamin Franklin, Chapel Hill’s tree-lined main street, “Franklin Street” is a must-visit during your time at Carolina. Known as the “Heartbeat of Chapel Hill”, it buzzes with energy year-round — especially on football Saturdays and after major men’s basketball victories. Franklin Street is filled with shops that sell Tar Heel gear and tasty restaurants, which can make for a perfect campus visit.
The Campus Life
Yes, you are probably thinking of attending UNC for its academics furthering your career aspirations. However, it’s important to consider what it’s like when living on campus. Here are some questions to ponder while considering campus life:
What type of weather do you prefer?
A green campus or one that’s more modern and filled with architectural buildings?
What is your type of social scene? Is a big party scene your thing? Or are you more into finding meaningful relationships through clubs and classes?
And here's the biggest question to ask yourself:
Do you feel a sense of home when on campus?
Ideally, you will be here for four years and you want to make sure you feel at home. You want to have a good time while you’re here rather than feel out of place and disconnected from your surroundings. That was what made me want to come here. I remember the first time I toured UNC - I knew I had to spend my undergraduate years here. Fast forward a year and a half in – I have no regrets. UNC is my home and I hope you find yours!