10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

Orientation can be a nerve-wracking experience at any school because you don’t know what to expect! If you’re about to begin your freshman year at The University of Chapel Hill, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation:

1) Just Chill Out

Orientation is your first time on campus as an official UNC student and that’s stressful. Breathe – it’s nerve-wracking for everyone and, honestly, none of these folks are going to remember you afterwards, so try to relax and have fun!

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

2) There’s No Test

Well, obviously. But I sure did act like I was going to be tested the way I scribbled down notes during orientation. Again, relax! This will not be the last time you hear this information (trust me) and honestly, you’ll learn the most by being here on campus.

3) 404 Registration Info Not Found

Important: You actually do need to know how to register for classes before you get on campus. This is one thing I wished I had learned at orientation. But alas, they gloss over this information in a confusing and rushed hour-long session. Play around with Connect Carolina (the registration website) for a day or two before your registration appointment. It’s a nightmare at first but stick with it and you’ll figure it out just fine!

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

4) Not All Advisors Are Created Equally

You’ll be interacting with advisers on a minimal level during orientation but I can promise you you’ll frequent their office during your time at UNC. There’s no way to put this nicely: some advisors don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s so important to have all the information you need about your major and you do not want some advisor giving you faulty information. Talk to your Orientation Leaders and ask them for the inside scoop on the good/bad advisors on campus, and always double check info given to you during an advising appointment.

5) It’s Ok To Feel Lost

Universities are overwhelming the first time you’re on campus. Chances are, you’re going to get here and think: how will I ever find my way around? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Give it a few weeks and you’ll be walking these bricks like a local.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

6) It’s Exhausting

Orientation is exhausting. Period. You’re moving at top speed from activity to activity for 48 hours straight. Rest up beforehand and make sure you get plenty of sleep – you’ll be glad later.

7) The Service Project Is Actually Awesome

You’re going to be doing a service project at orientation. I know, everyone’s thinking it: Ewe. I thought that too. When I actually got there though and the service project turned into a dance party – it was kinda awesome. If you’re like me and love to dance, the service project will be the highlight of your orientation.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

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8) It’s Going To Be A Bit Cringy – Enjoy!

When you’re with about 300 freshmen who are as uncomfortable as you are, there’s parts of orientation that will be unavoidably cringy. For example: the Orientation Leaders are going to get up on stage and dance, act, sing, and cheer until they make utter fools of themselves and you slightly die from second-hand embarrassment. Try to laugh with them. If you relax and go with it, it’ll actually be entertaining and you can smile through the pain.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before UNC Chapel Hill Orientation

9) It’s Model Time

As if UNC didn’t already pack enough into orientation, you’re going to have to take your One Card photo. Your One Card is going to be your UNC ID, meal ticket, credit card, etc. You will literally use this one card all the time – hence the name. Look nice for your photo. You’re going to be tired, but I promise you’re not going to want to go back and pay five bucks to get it redone. So model it up just for this one morning.

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10) The Past Comes Haunting

I don’t care what part of North Carolina you’re from, if you’re an in-state student, you’re going to run into people from way, way back. You name it: that elementary school popular girl, your best friend’s sixth grade crush, that kid who you sat next to you in Sunday school for a month – the list goes on. It’ll be weird but it’ll get less weird the longer you’re here.

Bottom line: UNC Chapel Hill Orientation is fun and it’ll be over before you know it. Don’t take it too seriously and enjoy your first time on campus as a UNC student!

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Hannah Estes

Hey guys! My name is Hannah Estes and I'm a business major at UNC-Chapel Hill. I grew up in Durham, North Carolina and am forever in love with my city. Some of my favorite things to do are paint, write, play with kids, spend time with family, and hang out with my sorority sisters at Phi Beta Chi. I'm an aspiring journalist and am pursuing a journalism minor here at UNC, so I hope you enjoy reading my Society 19 articles as much as I enjoy writing them!