Commuting to Campus 101


After living less than 10 minutes away from campus for over 3 years, I thought that moving to Durham and commuting to campus would be no big deal. I told myself “I’ll just make the 20-minute drive to campus and find a lot to park my car.” However, now having commuted back and forth between Chapel Hill and Durham, I realize I have grossly underestimated how big of a transition this was going to be. Continue reading

Top Six Tips for Safe Keeping

When I went to college, my dad gave me my Social Security card and my Health Insurance card to hold on to for the first time. I’m grateful that I was privileged to have both of these items, and that my parents handled these things for me up until I was 18. But I didn’t exactly even know what they were or what they meant when I was 18.

When my dad also gave me a small safe to lock important paperwork up in, I was even more

Luckily, he explained what this important paperwork means and why and how I should keep it safe. Financial wellness includes understanding relevant financial paperwork!

Here are a few tips to keep YOUR valuable paperwork safe:

  • Slim down your wallet. What you don’t carry in your wallet is just as important as what you do carry. For preemptive protection, only carry what you need on a daily basis. Don’t carry around important paperwork, like a passport or Social Security card, on your person. If you are an international student and don’t have a state-issued ID card, get one so that you can leave your passport at home. Regularly clean out your wallet and remove unnecessary receipts or anything with identifying information.
  • Don’t share information, such as medical or insurance information, by phone or email unless you initiated the contact and know who you’re dealing with.
  • Keep a record. Make copies of paperwork you DO carry on your person – IDs (license, passport, student ID), memberships, insurance, credit cards –and store them in a secure, locked drawer or safe. If your wallet and everything in it were suddenly missing, you’d need to know what you had lost. In a personal notebook you keep in a secure place at home, write down all of the information from the front and back of your credit, debit, driver’s license, medical insurance and other important cards. Be sure to update the list as needed.
  • Protect valuables. If possible, get a small, waterproof and fireproof safe to put original or copies of paperwork inside. Even though a small safe could be stolen, it is still useful to protect it from damage and from other people. If you need your Social Security card or other info to confirm your identity (i.e., when you are being hired for a new job), be sure to return it to its safe storage place as soon as you can.
  • Keep the key or code to the safe in a secure place where no one can find it and make it complicated so that someone cannot easily guess it.
  • Report any concerns. Contact the police if you think someone is using your identity. If you suspect someone is using your Social Security number, either on purpose or by accident, you need to contact the Social Security Administration. If your Social Security card is lost or stolen and you need a replacement, you will need to show certain required documents, complete the application for a Social Security card, and take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

For more information on crime prevention, check out the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety. Thanks to Crime Prevention Officer Megan Howard for some of these tips above!

For more information about identity theft, check out the US Department of Justice.

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Campus Recreation Specialty and Group Fitness Programs

Author: Emily Wheeler

Even if you’re new, by now you’ve probably realized that Campus Rec has a lot more to offer than buildings with some gym equipment inside. However, we want to make sure that all campus rec members, whether new or quite seasoned, know about the opportunities available through the group and specialty fitness programs this semester!
Group Fitness
Group fitness programs are free to any student, staff, or employee with a current campus recreation membership, which includes all full-time undergraduate students automatically. They are taught by certified fitness instructors and fill on a first-come, first-served basis at the scheduled time of the class, which can be found here, on our website. All you have to do is pick the class that you want to attend and show up at the class location, which will be at the Student Recreation Center (SRC), Ram’s Head Recreation Center (RHRC), or occasionally at Bowman Gray pool about 10-15 minutes before the start time of the class to get a good spot and set up any necessary equipment. All exercise equipment will be provided for you during the classes; you just need to come dressed appropriately. For example, you’d want to wear tennis shoes to a Zumba class, but it wouldn’t matter what type of shoes you wore to a yoga class because you won’t be wearing shoes during the actual workout.
The classes last either 45 minutes or an hour long, with the exception of Absolution, which is an intense 20 minute class specifically focused on working out your abs the entire time! Twenty minutes sounds short until you try it and start to feel the burn during the warm-up… but up-beat music and an enthusiastic instructor will get you through it! Add the class to a short independent cardio workout and you’ve got a great combo of strength training and your cardio for the day all in one! Other group fitness class offerings include:
  • 3-2-1, a combo of cardio, strength, and core interval training
  • Water aerobics—it’s for young people, too!
  • Cardio blast
  • Cycle classes (still free, but sign-up at the SRC required!)
  • Hip-hop dance
  • Kick’n sculpt
  • Step’n sculpt
  • Zumba
  • Z2 (Zumba taught by not just 1, but 2 fabulous instructors!)
  • Absolution
  • Ballet sculpt
  • Lower body conditioning
  • Upper body conditioning
  • Muscle cut/ barbells (where you’ll learn great form with the weights!)
  • Pilates
  • Yoga (in a range of intensities)
  • Mindful yoga (more relaxed and meditative yoga)
  • Yogalates (= yoga + pilates)
To learn more about any of these classes, check out the more detailed descriptions and try one out this week! We’re also excited to announce three Cycle Cinema Sundays this semester, where you can sign up in advance for free and come on select Sundays from 5:30- 7:30pm to cycle with friends at your own pace as you enjoy a movie! There will also be two new weekend programs called the “Weekend Warrior Series” and “BOSU Blast!” The Weekend Warrior series will be a Saturday class that includes a high-intensity cycle portion at the beginning of the class and a relaxing and stretching yoga portion for the second half! BOSU Blast will improve balance, stability, core, cardio, and toning with the BOSU ball, which is basically like half of an exercise ball adhered to a base on the floor (perfect for jumping on)! Both of these series require prior sign-up at the SRC and you can get more information about them here!
Specialty Fitness

Specialty fitness classes are different because they require prior registration and a fee to participate. These classes have significantly smaller size limits and are therefore more personalized to each individual who signs up and participates, which can be extremely beneficial for participant learning and can make some people feel more comfortable in a smaller environment. Although they do require a small fee, each class still costs less than $6 per session (a great deal when compared to other specialty fitness programs in the area; yoga studios average $12/class in Chapel Hill) and each class meets for 10 sessions, or five weeks. This semester, the following specialty fitness classes are being offered:

  • Tar Heel Tabata: You’ll certainly improve your cardiovascular endurance in this class that uses high intensity interval training in a pattern of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off on repeat for 4 minutes per set! You’ll be exhausted and feel like you’ve gotten a fantastic workout in only 30 minutes!
  • TRX Suspension Training: The extra challenge of the TRX bands will add a whole new element to your workout and the extra small class size will be sure that you get the attention you need to do each exercise with the correct form! Try this class format for free to see if you’re interested on Thursday, September 4th in Ram’s Head Rec. No registration is required and more specific information will be coming soon!
  • Boot Camp: Our fitness instructors take on the role of your coach in this hour- long athletic workout available in indoor and outdoor sessions. You’ll improve your cardiovascular fitness and increase your strength after just ten dedicated sessions to this program! Try it for free on Wednesday, September 3rd before you buy!
  • Women on Weights: This class will teach you how to maintain impeccable form as you learn and practice various weight-lifting exercises in a fully-equipped weight room reserved only for your class and your instructor! You’ll be able to hit the SRC or Ram’s weight room without fear after completion of this course!
For more information about registration dates and prices of any of our specialty fitness programs, please check out our website! There you can also find information about personal training available to students and faculty at great prices through Campus Recreation!
Specialty and group fitness is a great way to not only work out, but to meet new people and socialize on campus as well. After having the opportunity to take two full specialty fitness courses, I still see and talk to people on campus that I met through the courses; we even end up beside each other at group fitness classes without planning it every now and then. The instructors and employees at Campus Rec really put a lot of effort into maintaining these programs for the health and enjoyment of all members on campus, and the spaces fill up quickly because they do such a good job! I encourage you to get more involved on campus and step out of your comfort zone to try something new with us at Campus Rec by signing up for a group fitness or specialty fitness class this semester. You’ll have a great time, meet new people, do great things for your personal health, and actively fight the harmful effects of stress that are so easily triggered by the pressure of our time in school. Your health is so important and the choices that you make on a daily basis have a HUGE lifetime impact, so don’t wait to make a great choice and join us at Ram’s Head Rec or the SRC this week!

National Recovery Month and How it Affects You

recovery month

Who Do You Know?

We all know someone whose life has been touched by problems with alcohol or drugs. It is estimated that over 23 million people in the U.S. are now living in recovery from substance use disorders. In recent years, drug overdose has overtaken car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in this country.

Maybe you’ve lost someone close to you. Maybe you have a friend you think might need help. Maybe someone close to you has found recovery and you have had the opportunity to see what a difference it can make. You may know someone in recovery and not even realize it. That’s why it is so important to understand addiction and recovery and how they affect our community.

“The Anonymous People,” a recent documentary, chronicles the growth of a new recovery movement, which aims to advance the way addiction is in medical, public health, and political venues. It highlights the exciting efforts of groups advocating for more recognition of recovery as a transformative process not just for those struggling with addiction, but also the people and communities around them. The full documentary is now available to stream on Netflix and the official trailer is available here.

What is The Problem?

Even though decades of medical research have informed us that addiction is a chronic brain disease, it is often still viewed as a moral failing or weakness. People who live with addiction are more likely to be punished by the legal system than treated by the medical system. Even people who have found recovery have problems getting insurance coverage for their ongoing recovery needs, support in their communities, and fair treatment under the law and by employers.

How to Help

You can be a support in advocacy efforts to increase public and political awareness about the benefits of recovery whether you are in recovery yourself or you want to act as an ally.


Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) will be hosting their 3rd annual Recovery Rally at Moore’s Square in Raleigh on Saturday September 6th. The event will include a recovery walk, a raffle, several bands, a training on communicating about recovery, and two screenings of “The Anonymous People,” hosted by Greg Williams, the director/producer.


Picture from the 2013 Rally (

Recovery at UNC Chapel Hill

The Carolina Recovery Community (CRC) is an officially recognized student-run organization that supports recovery efforts at UNC. Currently housed in Student Wellness, this group provides support for UNC students recovering from substance use disorders, allowing them to maintain recovery and academic achievement in a challenging environment. This organization offers enrichment opportunities such as recovery related trainings and conference attendance, as well asocial and service events for students in recovery like cookouts, bowling, a Habitat for Humanity build, watching UNC sports events, etc. More information on this organization is available on the Student Wellness site.

Students can use this site to link with local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting schedules, find out more about local treatment options for themselves or a friend, or even reach out to other recovering UNC students. The site also has resources specific to collegiate recovery including research findings and articles on the subject. The CRC also hosts a weekly campus recovery meeting, which will start back up this semester. Students or faculty can also contact the CRC confidentially via email at

Remember… If you or someone you know is struggling with a drinking or drug problem, there are resources for help, there is a way out, and RECOVERY CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!

Top 4 Sources for Diabetes Support at UNC

Having diabetes (a condition in which blood sugar regulation is impaired) in college can be like having two full-time jobs – the first is being a student, and the second is managing blood sugars. It can be a tricky and overwhelming balancing act at times, but knowing where to turn for help can help lighten the load.


There are many resources available at UNC for students with diabetes and their supporters, and

#1 – UNC Campus Health Services is a great place to start (find directions to CHS here). With a diabetes team including a doctor, a nutritionist, a pharmacist/Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and the counseling and mental health professionals at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Campus Health offers a range of services to help keep UNC’s students and post-docs with diabetes healthy, happy, and thriving.

#2 – There’s also a full-service Campus Health Pharmacy right on campus in the basement of Campus Health, with a wide range of prescription diabetes supplies, as well as the Healthy Heels Shoppe, stocked with over-the-counter medicines, supplies, and healthy snacks. In addition, if you have the Student Blue, RA/TA, or Post-Doc Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plans, the copays on your prescriptions will be lower at Campus Health Pharmacy than anywhere else, and you even have the option to charge them to your student account. Don’t worry if you have private insurance though – the pharmacy accepts hundreds of plans from across the country.

CDN_logo_web_cWhether you’re an incoming student with diabetes concerned about managing blood sugars away from home, an established student looking to connect with others who know what it’s like to have diabetes, or even if you have a friend or loved one with diabetes in college who you want to support, another excellent resource is #3 – the UNC diabetes advocacy and support group, Heels and Hearts. The group is a chapter of the national College Diabetes Network and meets monthly to talk about tips for general self-care for students with diabetes, learn about new technology available for people with diabetes (PWD), socialize with others who know what “bolus” means, and come together for community service opportunities like the JDRF One Walk in Raleigh in October. Like Heels and Hearts on Facebook!

Looking for more ways to connect?

#4 – Take a look around the broader diabetes community – check out the local Triangle JDRF chapter and the Raleigh Tour de Cure sites for starters, and don’t forget the other campus resources that pertain to diabetes, like Carolina Dining Services, where you can find nutritional info (and carb counts!) for food served on campus and Campus Rec, where you can learn about opportunities to stay active and healthy.

Diabetes can sometimes feel like an isolating condition. However, there are some other excellent online resources, communities, and forums for PWD, including Students with Diabetestudiabetes (part of the diabetes hands foundation), typeonenation (part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF), DiabetesSisters (a community for women with diabetes),, glu (an active online community of people with type 1 diabetes) six until me (an honest blog about life with type 1 diabetes), Your Diabetes May Vary (a blog about life with type 2 diabetes), diaTribe (the latest in research and technology updates!) Diabetes Social Media, insulindependence (community for active PWD), and the American Diabetes Association.

So, connect, ask for support, and make this year at UNC a year to thrive!


Upcycling: DIY for your dorm!

Welcome to a new year at Carolina! For those of you who live on campus, this means new friends, maybe a new roommate, and a new room to make your own. You can make the most of the space you have while saving money and the environment by upcycling! Even if you don’t live in a dorm, upcycling is a great idea—especially if rent leaves you with a tight budget.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is a type of recycling that involves giving old, broken, or used products new and greater value by altering them in some way. Crafting, construction, and creativity can all be elements of upcycling. The term has been used as a contrast to downcycling, another type of recycling that involves breaking down materials and converting them into new items, often of lesser quality and involving some sort of environmental impact (or, what happens to the things you put in your recycling bin).

The benefits of upcycling

Save money. Upcycling is a great idea for students on a budget, since all you need is some old stuff, a little creativity, and maybe a few art or craft supplies along the way. Upcycling can eliminate the need to buy expensive storage, decorations, or other supplies for your dorm.

Make the most of the space you have. Out with the old, in with the new! Not only will you be getting rid of your old stuff that takes up space, you can upcycle items into storage containers or clever solutions for common dorm problems. These solutions might even help you get along with your new roommate!

Save the environment. All of the things you re-use or re-purpose are saved from being tossed into a landfill. These items won’t create waste that has a detrimental effect on both the environment and human health.

And finally, express your creativity! By creating some of the things that will be in your dorm room, you’ll add a personal touch to your living space, and you’ll have one-of-a-kind items that you can keep forever. These ideas are meant to get you started, but feel free to explore and invent new ways to re-use and rejuvenate your old stuff!

To get you started, here are a few upcycling ideas:


  • An old cookie tray, attached to your wall with some poster tack or tape, is a magnetic board! Use it to put up messages to your suitemates or hang pictures of your friends and family. You can spray paint it for a more personal touch. You can even attach magnets to your toothbrush, hairbrush, makeup or other often-used items to keep them on hand while freeing up space on your desk or dresser.
  • Old jewel CD cases can be used as picture frames, either mounted on the wall or sitting on your desk.
  • You can make a banner out of paint samples, cut into shapes and attached to some string.

Storage and Organization

  • Transform a large cardboard box into a useful and attractive storage bin by covering it in fabric.
  • Spray paint or decorate an egg carton to serve as a jewelry or small item organizer.
  • Stack and glue together cereal boxes and wrap them in wrapping paper for a storage shelf perfectly sized for notebook or printer paper.
  • Empty shampoo bottles can make for sturdier storage or hanging storage from a lofted bed! They can also be used as vases.
  • Paint or decorate plastic fruit containers (for example, strawberry containers) and use as storage for smaller items.
  • Use shoeboxes cut in half to organize your desk or dresser drawers! This could also be good for separating dresser or fridge space between you and your roommate if necessary.
  • Use soda pop tabs on your hangers to offset them and create more space in your closet.
  • Repurpose and/or decorate tin cans to hold pencils and pens on your desk.
  • Hang an old or unused belt from your lofted bed for handy storage for hangers, or hang it in a loop for rolled-up magazines, sweaters, scarves, etc.
  • Use a shoebox for storing pencils, pens, markers, or other supplies. To make them stand up in the box, you can use toilet paper rolls! You can also reinforce the shoebox so it can hold magazines or books by attaching wooden chopsticks or popsicle sticks around the edges.
  • Repurpose a 12-pack soda box to organize soup cans or other food.

And finally… Make it a party!

You can invite your new suitemates, hallmates, or friends to an upcycling party where you all share your supplies and your old stuff. This is a good way to make sure that everyone has what they need and nobody is throwing out extra items that could be useful, while meeting friends and the people around you in your dorm. When you’re done, if you have leftover items or supplies that you won’t use, you can take them to the Scrap Exchange in Durham, a store that focuses on re-distributing these kinds of materials.

For more information…

Durham Scrap Exchange

Alameda County Industries

Clever Storage Using Repurposed Items

Cute DIYs You Can Make With Things From Your Recycling Bin

How to get around campus and beyond…

UNC is a big place, but luckily there are a myriad of resources to help students get around campus and Chapel Hill. Here are just a few suggestions for typical transportation troubles:


  1. I live on South campus and I overslept. Must get to class in 15 minutes!

You are in luck! Chapel Hill transit runs 2 main bus lines around campus, the U and the RU. See a map here. Both routes pick up every 15 minutes at each stop, so chances are, you’ll be able to catch a bus and get to class on time (hopefully!).


  1. At the library ‘til 2:30am studying for that Chem final and now I need to get back to my residence hall, but I don’t want to walk…


The P2P is a shuttle that runs around campus 7 nights a week from 7pm until 3am. Check out schedule info here. Part of the P2P service is a Library Safe Ride Shuttle that runs from the Union to housing locations, including fraternities and sororities on campus.


  1. I have a disability and I need a ride from Memorial Hall back to my residence hall.


The P2P also runs a Disability Services shuttle, 24 hours a day Monday through Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Call P2P dispatch if you need a ride at (919) 962-P-TO-P (7867). You can also call them for a ride to Campus Health Services or the UNC Emergency Room in the event of an illness or injury.


Chapel Hill Transit also runs an EZ Rider program for qualified individuals. The service provides origin-to-destination transport within Chapel Hill to those unable to use the fixed route system because of a disability.


  1. I wanna go grocery shopping. How do I get to the nearest grocery store?


Chapel Hill Transit runs FREE buses around Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Check out all routes and schedules here. To get to Weaver Street Market, a co-op grocery store and prepared foods market, or Harris Teeter in Carrboro, take the F route, the J route or the CW. All of them stop in front of Weaver Street. You can catch the F outside the Varsity Theater on Franklin Street. You can catch the J or the CW on campus in front of the Nursing School or across from Fraternity Court in front of Abernathy Hall.


Chapel Hill Transit buses typically run from Monday-Friday from 6:30am until 7pm, with some routes, like the J route, running until 11pm. A few routes also run on the weekend. If you have a smart phone, you can download one of these apps that tell you what bus stops are in your area and when to expect the next bus to come.

CH transit

  1. I am flying home to New Jersey for Fall Break. How do I get to the airport?


UNC P2P has a free airport shuttle service the day before Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring breaks! You must sign up in advance, starting 2 weeks prior to the break. The shuttle picks up at the P2P lot on Manning Drive (behind Morrison) and the SRC lot on South Road, and drops off at RDU. There is also a return shuttle service that runs the last day of the break (usually Sunday) from RDU back to campus.