Because Who Doesn’t Want a Class Cheat Sheet?

Oh yeah, this is your campus building
Oh yeah, this is your campus building

It happens to everyone. You take a risk and sign up for a class and you have literally have no idea what to expect. What even is The Reel World?

That first day of walking into the unknown is full of anxiety, maybe even a small ball of dread right in the pit of your stomach. Should you drop the class now and save yourself the stress? Oh man, what if the teacher hands you a 10-page paper due that same day. Or even worse, speaks in a monotone voice (collective internal groan).

Like I said friends, we’ve all been there before.

In order to alleviate this pesky dread ball, I’m providing you with a brief cheat guide to the classes here at OBXFS. Spoiler Alert: they’re actually really good classes.

So this is Andy
So this is Andy

First up to bat: economics. For me, this meant a huge yuck when I heard I had to take an econ class. But, it’s taught by Andy Keeler, who is probably one of the most interesting individuals I’ve met thus far. The man worked for the president when the whole climate change fiasco hit the country, and he has some pretty funny/insane stories to tell. He’s also in a band that you should definitely make a point to hear while you’re at the field site. They can do a mean cover of Budapest! Back to the class. Honestly, the workload is totally manageable and huge perk, he does activities with candy rewards. Man oh man, I’ve never focused so hard for class in my life. This one time we went fishing with paperclips… Well, I’ll let that one be a surprise. More incentives to come to the OBXFS! There’s a ton of reading, par to pretty much any UNC class, but the textbook is interesting and doesn’t make you want to burn it (insert applause). I’ve also personally learned a lot from the class, which is saying something because me an economics have never been too friendly. More like arch nemeses actually… But learning about economics in relation to the environment is pretty neat.

Isn't she awesome?
Isn’t she awesome?

Next up is law and policy. Let me just tell you, Lee Leidy is one of the most sweetest, good-hearted people. She frequently comes to class laden with muffins, donuts, and apples just for the heck of it. Awesome right?! She works for a law firm in Elizabeth City so it’s kind of hard to picture her standing up in court tearing up the competition. But the woman knows her stuff and she absolutely loves what she does. I’ve learned a lot just from the simple fact that she’s passionate and really knows how to get the information across. She does however grade you on participation so if you’re not used to talking in class, it can be a bit of a struggle at first. Pro tip, if you read the assignments beforehand, it’s pretty easy to participate in the case discussions. Plus, she really cares about what you have to say. The subject matter covers an array of coastal issues and why you can go sit out on your beach chair and sunbathe in NC. Neat, huh?

Lindsay and Corey keepin' us on track
Lindsay and Corey keepin’ us on track

The last class is coastal ecology, which is my favorite because I’m a total science geek. Lindsay Dubbs teaches the course and covers a pretty big range of information about coastal environments. Plus, Fridays are lab days, which consist of exploring different coastal environments to go along with what we’ve been learning about in class. Hands-on learning is the best learning. Hands down… See what I did there? Anyways, it’s difficult to understand how dynamic and intricate the coast is until you’re immersed in learning about it, which is exactly what this class does. It’s fairly reading intensive and you’ll have a few quizzes and presentations, but overall not too bad. Lindsay geeks out about nature as much as I do, so I really appreciate how much she loves this stuff. She’s involved in like a million research projects so she’s pretty much superwoman and knows everything… And if she doesn’t know, she will find out. Hence, super great education!

Yup. This would have been us
Yup. This would have been us

While the capstone is technically research and not a class, I consider it a course just because of how much I’ve learned in the process. Lindsay and Linda D’Anna both lead the project and have taught us a crash course in natural and social science research. I’m not going to sugar coat it; doing collaborative research is hard work. It’s not just learning everything you can about what you’re studying through literature review, it’s also learning to work with a group of people to move forward with the project. And let me tell you, being Chapel Hill students, saying we’re a bit driven is an understatement. So it can turn into rough waters at times. But, seeing your hard work progress to actual data and results is so incredibly rewarding. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Yes it will make you want to gouge your eyeballs out sometimes, but just stay strong and keep the finish line in mind. A huge shoutout to Linda and Lindsay for putting up with our overachieving streak, our 5-hour discussions, and our exasperation. Seriously, they were the only things keeping us from derailing and exploding into a fiery wreck sometimes.

So, those are the courses you’ll be taking here at the OBXFS. Now there should be no first day sweats or surprises. You’ll learn a ton, see even more, and be up to your eyeballs in everything coastal.

By the way, this is the view from the classroom. What?!
By the way, this is the view from the classroom. What?!

Seriously though, I’ve learned more here than I probably have in an entire year at UNC. It’s awesome being taught by such passionate people. You’re also in a super small classroom so they know who you are, they’re there whenever you need them, and they actually care if you understand what they’re teaching. But if you oversleep, they will call your butt to get you to class. Just a friendly forewarning.

 

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part. You can study on the beach. Need I say more?

 

XOXO An OBXFS Student Keeping Away that Pesky Anxiety

Bees, Butterflies, BMPs, oh my!

This semester I’m interning with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and focusing on pollinator best management practices. So what exactly are all these things? The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is an extremely large government organization, and the National Wildlife Refuges are part of it. I’m based in the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center in Manteo. The mission of the National Wildlife Refuges is to: “administer a nation

al network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.” Essentially, this is done through management of the environment.

Best management practices (BMPs) are well-designed tools that allow USFWS to manage the environment in the best possible manner and may target specific species, such as pollinators. Basically, pollinators are any type of organisms that pollinate plants. The best examples are bees, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, moths, and beetles. And, if you’re up to date on your pollinator news, you know that our superstar bee populations are in rapid decline. They’ve created so much buzz that the White House even released a report and strategy in May 2015 to increase the bee and pollinator populations!

Leading this movement from Alligator River Wildlife Refuge is my mentor Becky Harrison. Becky is the Assistant Coordinator of the Red Wolf Recovery Program and the Southeast Regional Pollinator Coordinator. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Through a series of long car rides, we’ve been able to get to know each other on a professional and personal level, and that is something I wasn’t sure if I could expect or not back in September. We’ve had a lot of ground to cover, but I think we make a good team.

The “Southeast Region” goes from NC to Texas and includes the Caribbean, but our focus for this project is in Northeastern North Carolina. We’ve spent the semester visiting Wildlife Refuges in the area, including Alligator River, Mackay Island, Mattamaskeet, Pocosin Lakes, Roanoke River, and the Edenton Hatchery, and assessing their management practices in terms of pollinators. Incredibly, all of these refuges have pollinator gardens and are ready to take on the challenge of increasing pollinator populations and education.

I consider myself lucky to have seen such a vast array of northeastern North Carolina environments, and not all students have been able to do that. Currently, I’m in the process of compiling all the information we collected from meetings with the various refuges. My final product will be a report highlighting pollinator management practices already in place and BMP recommendations for the future. I will also create a factsheet on pollinator BMPs in the refuges as well. Bee on the lookout!

This internship has given me experience in the office and the field, the perfect combination for someone who can’t sit still very long. I’ve met many members of the community here and worked on other pollinator projects as well, which was a huge bonus in the world of internships. Not only have I leaned about pollinators, BMPs, but I’m also able to identify more native plants in this area than I would have without this internship. And if I’ve learned anything this semester, it’s that we need to encourage planting native plants! It’s a simple way help your pollinators out and beautify the world around you.

I Won Best Internship of The Year Award (Unofficially)

So by this time, you all may be wondering why I’ve been writing these blog posts all semester. Short answer, it’s part of my job for my internship.

Longish answer, the hope is that by writing these posts, all of you who are interested in OBXFS get a snapshot of just what it is we’re doing over here in the eastern most part of the country. Spoiler alert: it’s some pretty awesome shenanigans.

Anyways, back to my internship. Lindsay and Corey Adams, the internship coordinator at OBXFS, placed me in the perfect internship while I was here. Working under John McCord at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), I’ve been spending the semester writing these (hopefully) informational blog posts, press releases for John and for the field site, and recreating the incredibly dated website for CSI.

I’m going to be completely upfront with you. When I found out I was revamping an entire website, I thought these people had lost their minds.

Fun fact: technology hates me. Always has and probably always will.

Luckily, John has been incredibly patient with me and has been super helpful in getting me in contact with people who actually know what they’re doing. So far, it’s been going pretty well with minimal yelling at the computer screen!

 

An awesome part of recreating the website has been interviewing the staff members at CSI and hearing about their research areas so that I can translate their work to specific pages on the site. The people here are absolutely incredible. All of them are involved in an array of projects and they pretty much make me feel like I need to get my life together and cure world cancer or something.

For instance, Lindsay our assistant director, is working on a gulf stream study to see if there’s potential for harnessing the energy of the current and using it as a renewable energy source. How cool is that?!

My hope is to help John finish the website by the end of the year and then launch the final product by January (fingers crossed.) I’m not gonna lie, there’s probably going to do a victory dance when this is over.

Another fun part has been these posts. I’ve actually had a really great time writing, putting my words online, and then hearing that people are actually reading my work. So that you’re reading this right now, whoever you are, is freaking awesome!

John has also been great to work for. The guy is involved in about 20 different things at any given time and he geeks out about stuff as much as I do, which I really appreciate. Except, a lot of his excitement stems from technology so more power to him…

And that is what I’ve been doing here at CSI all semester. It’s a lot of work, it’s been super stressful, but I’ve absolutely loved every second of it. Honestly, working for John and spending the semester doing all of this has made me fall back in love with writing. Papers upon papers at college can get kind of tedious, but writing about what I’m interested in has been…fun. This has been one of the few times where I’ve loved busting my butt day in and day out and not minded the hours spent staring at a computer screen.

At the end of the day, OBXFS has been a dream come true for me. I’m so lucky to have been given the opportunity to do what I’m passionate about. (Insert stepping off my soapbox)

Oh and a huge shoutout to Lindsay, Corey, and John for an awesome semester!

XOXO A Grateful and Happily Exhausted OBXFS Student

Best Field Trip EVER

Now that is a day well spent
Now that is a day well spent

So, I recently just went on the coolest field trip of my nearly 16 years of schooling. Jeez that makes me feel old…

Christy showing proper paddle technique
Christy showing proper paddle technique

For our ecology class, Lindsay took us kayaking up Lake Drummond, one of two freshwater lakes in Virginia, to learn about coastal wetland habitats. For those of you who have never been to the Great Dismal Swamp (where Lake Drummond is located), 10 out of 10 would recommend. It’s absolutely ah-mazing.

Also, shoutout to Lindsay for being in her third trimester of pregnancy and kayaking for about 9 miles. Future life goals right there.

Fun history fact: back in the day, people used the word dismal to refer to swamps, so “dismal swamp” literally means swamp swamp. Things in life that make you go hmm…

Bland teaching on the go
Bland teaching on the go

Speaking of history, Bland Simpson, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, led our wetlands tour and made it even more of a great experience than it already was. The man is a natural born storyteller. He even has his own bonafide book about the Great Dismal Swamp and everything. Some of the stories he told from his time there are pretty interesting and hilarious as well. If you ever meet him, definitely ask about the bear and the tiny little car!

 

So, during this adventure, we paddled up the lake canals about 3 and a half miles, had lunch at a charming little picnic locale, and then paddled about another half a mile to the lake basin.

Fun ecology fact (man it was an interesting day): Lake Drummond is a pocosin, or swamp on a hill, which means that it’s at a higher elevation than the rest of the area; so this big circular lake can drain into the canals and then flow into the ocean because it happen to form “on a hill.” What?!

See what great pictures you make when you smile Brady?
See what great pictures you make when you smile Brady?

Back to us on the lake, it was gorgeous. Like, one of those moments in life that make you pause and really appreciate how incredible nature is. We paddled out into this huge open, circular expanse of water with the opposite shoreline a mere pinpoint on the other side.

It was like being in a big, tea-colored swimming pool. Except way cooler because well, nature.

 

IMG_4964Once we tired ourselves out from paddling around like maniacs, we all gathered together in a kayak tortilla and Bland read us a ballad written by Thomas Moore about a ghost story on the swamp. Because who doesn’t love a good ghost story?!

I mean…probably not late at night in the dark but it was totally fine while the sun was shining and I was in the middle of our kayak group. So I’m kind of a wimp?

Also, the ballad is called A Ballad: The Great Dismal Swamp. The title is lacking a bit of originality, but it’s a great ballad as far as ballads go. Or at least I thought so.

Nature's so cool!
“Nature’s so cool!”

Afterwards, he talked about how important the wetlands were, the history of the swamp, and how he spent a huge portion of his life studying them. It was incredibly interesting and awesome to be able to physically see what he was talking about. I now have quite an appreciation for how important and misunderstood these areas are.

Whew. I’m telling you, this field site gets me fired up about the environment.

 

Just taking a casual break from learning
Just taking a casual break from learning

But anyways, that’s how we spent our Friday- kayaking and learning about the environment around us. Then we all went home, ate anything we could get our hands on, and passed out by 10 o’clock. Learning’s hard work…

 

 

 

XOXO Someone Who Just Developed a New Found Love of Kayaking

The Who’s Who at OBXFS

So when I was considering what to write about for this week’s blog post, I realized that while I’ve been saying the names of the students in the field site with me, most people have no idea who they are. And that’s unfortunate…because they’re awesome. So here’s the low-down on the 9 other students who I see almost 24 hours a day. We’re so close, I know them by their footsteps down the hallway. Wow that sounds creepy…

 

They’re probably also going to kill me for this, but hey, I get a blogger’s pass! Right…?

 

AnnaFirst off, Anna Brodmerkel. Super embarrassing secret, it took me 2 weeks to figure out how to say her last name. Anna is the initiator/organizer of our group. In layman’s terms, she gets our butts in gear and makes sure we’re on track for our hectic schedules. Which is a chore because we’re kind of a lot to handle most of the time. We’d be lost without her. She has also helped us be super active in the community and do cool things like pumpkin picking. Plus she’s ridiculously sweet, sassy, and funny. And she’s always game for going to hang out on the beach with me so she’s awesome.

 

 

Caitlin2Caitlin Seyfried is the surprise of the group. It took a few weeks for all of us to realize just how funny and sassy this girl is. And let me tell you, I’ve had some pretty serious laughing fits at her under the radar comments; they’ll come out of nowhere though and when you least expect it, so you’ve always got to be ready. Fun fact, this girl can bake. I’m talking bread that will make you forget your mama’s name, but only for like .25 seconds so don’t be alarmed. She also gets incredibly hyper at night, which kind of freaks me out and impresses me all at the same time. Like, the girl goes on night runs sometimes because she has so much energy. What?

 

EmmaEmma Boyd is definitely the thoughtful one of the family. She got up the other morning at 6 a.m. and baked cookies for us all before we went on a field trip. Emma also biked across the United States so she’s pretty much kick-butt. I’m just saying. Speaking of cookies, she’s the other residential chef in the group. Pizza, soups, and oh my gah, her cinnamon rolls. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a strong advocate for cinnamon; they’ll literally change your life. She’s also super funny. And sassy. Notice the common sass trend?

 

 

ChristyChristy Korzen is Miss Optimist. She’s my suite-mate so I’m luckily a subject to her optimism every day. No matter what situation arises, she throws a positive spin on it. Thanks, love! This girl also sings all the time. In the car, in her room, walking up the stairwell… She joined a local chorus group at the OBX so it’s a pretty big passion of hers. Oh and one of her favorite movies is Les Miserables so we were pretty much destined to be friends.

 

 

Brady2Brady Blackburn is the sweetheart of our little family. He’s game to try or do anything with us, and doesn’t even complain when he’s got a car full of girls begging him to play Taylor Swift on the radio. Bless his soul. Fun fact, he lost two of his teeth to an unfortunate incident with a golf club wielded by his brother and he frequently loses “his teeth” around the house. It’s been 2 months and hearing that still cracks me up. He’s also going to kill me for sharing that haha… But anyways, he’s the best.

 

 

ClaireClaire Johnson is just multifaceted. She’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful. Plus she loves coffee as much as I do and is a speed demon, so we’re pretty much kindred spirits. She also helps keep us on track during classes and research. She’ll be real with us, which is what we need most of the time. (We tend to get a bit rowdy). And she can throw some sass. I’m telling you, this group is filled with sass-masters.

 

 

indexHolly Roberts is our feisty one. You never truly know what she’s going to do next. Which keeps things super fun. And she loooves cats. Her cat Salsa is her baby. Super fun fact, this girl can knit like nobody’s business. She made a Teridactyl that was freaking awesome! She’s also game to watch movies with me all the time and do awful workouts in the backyard, so I love her.

 

 

NicNic Reschly is the jokester of the group. Big time. I rarely see the guy not playing around, but he keeps conversations that can get pretty monotonous, lively. That and you never really know what’s going to come out of the boy’s mouth. He’s also an avid, avid hunter and fisher. Looking at his Instagram is like looking at a fishing magazine. Being the house beach native, he grew up around the ocean so it’s a huge passion for him; as is surfing.

 

 

CokerCoker Holmes is also the wildcard. You never know what he’s going to do or say. He’s one of the 3 seniors as well so he’s a frequent traveler to Chapel Hill during the weekends. He’s also puts all of us to shame by donning a suit for internship (he’s with a law office this semester). Secret fact: he cooks frequently but has set off the fire alarm once and has almost set it off a few times so we keep a careful eye on him. But that’s on the down low.

 

 

I could write pages on just how awesome and unique these people are, but I feel like that may be overkill. We’re a diverse group and we cut up pretty much all day every day, much to the exasperation of Lindsay. But, we have fun. These people have become close friends to me and they’ve helped make this semester ah-mazing. And the fun will continue when I’m living with some of them next year!

 

For all those thinking about the field site, you’ll probably make some kick-butt friends/partners in crime so reason number 8,605 to come here! Not real crime…just some devious activities. But nothing too bad… No worries.

 

 

CinnamonXOXO   The resident reporter

CAB Meetings? Are We Learning About a Taxi Service?

Thankfully, no. I don’t even know what that would look like…

 

When I began my OBXFS journey, I had no idea what a “CAB” was. Yeah, they said it’s a community advisory board but what does that even mean? After the first couple of meetings, I found that the people we meet with give us a real insider’s view on the local perspective, which was an enormous help with our Capstone project. Plus, it’s pretty cool just learning about the Outer Banks from a non-touristy point of view.

 

To really show what the meetings are all about, here’s a synopsis of the last powwow.

 

So we arrived and socialized for about half an hour, learning everyone’s names (aka re-learning because this is the fourth time meeting them and I suck at remembering people’s names yet they mercifully take pity on me and keep introducing themselves) and caught up on the local gossip. They also love hearing about what we’re doing and they all lead super interesting lives so it’s fun listening to what they’re involved in.

 

Then, all of us students presented what we’ve done with the capstone research since the last meeting, what we hope to get done, and answered any questions the CAB members may have. During this particular presentation, they helped us come up with a list of people we could contact and interview for the social science aspect of our project. The great thing about the meeting is seeing their perspective on things: what locals may be thinking, people we should talk to, and other avenues we may consider. Most of the people have lived a large portion of their life here so they know what’s up and have connections. Kinda like the mafia… the in-the-name-of-science mafia.

 

When all is said and done and we convinced them and ourselves we’re making some type of progress, we (insert trumpets and disco lights) ate a free dinner. So far, the food has been spec-tacular. Like, go back for seconds and sometimes thirds if you planned ahead and didn’t eat all day to save room kinda good. This week, it was BBQ, slaw, mac and cheese, and salad. And they always have vegetarian options, so everybody’s happy. Plus, don’t even get me started on dessert. If you’ve read my later post, you know it’s a soft spot for me and lets just say, I have not been disappointed.

 

After dinner, it’s up to the hosts to decide what’s next. This week’s meeting found us all gathered around Albert Gard hearing childhood stories of growing up on the Outer Banks, unsolved ghost ship tales, and how WWII affected the coast. Yes, he did insert dramatic pauses and yes, it was some grade-A story telling. I was sitting on the edge of my seat at some points. No shame in my game.

 

 

Afterwards, we got a week worth of leftovers and then busted our butts home to do homework. It’s the glorious life we live.

 

I’ll be the first to say I was skeptical as what to expect at these meetings, but I think those involved added some really great ideas to our project and they’ve helped us make connections that pretty much got our social science research work off the ground. Plus, they’re all just wonderfully nice, interesting people who really care about us and want to help in any way they can. They can also get you really involved in the community or connect you with any interests you may have. For instance, one of the members helped me find a gym to go to while I’m here (I’m a gymoholic so I was borderline singing her praises when she got me in).

 

So moral of the story: you’ll get free food (music to any college student’s ears), great conversation, and meet super cool people. CAB meetings are definitely highlights of the week. Trust me, you’ll enjoy them. Just make sure you talk to the people while you’re there and maybe work on the presentation a bit beforehand so you’re not completely winging it. Lindsay will know if you do…

 

XOXO Doing cool things and loving it OBXFS student

The Ultimate Guide to All Your Problems

So there you are, sitting on the precipice of deciding what do with your life next semester. Should you go abroad to somewhere exotic, stay in Chapel Hill because let’s face it, we’re all still trying to figure out if we’re even in the right major, or go to this “field site” in the same state you’re already going to school? Well, good news. Here’s the answer to all your questions. About the Outer Banks Field Site at least, which lets be honest is definitely the right way to go.

So I might be a little biased… But the information’s still pertinent!

What is this field site thing anyways?

Glad you asked! So the field site is literally a living classroom. You’ll take classes at the Coastal Studies Institute on Roanoke Island, conduct research around the Outer Banks, and actually be able to see the stuff you’re learning about. You’ll hear about this amazing environment in class and then be able to drive down the beach and say, “Hey, I know why I can hang out here on this really cool beach,” or, “I know how this whole island was made.” (Spoiler: It’s actually pretty freaking cool.) Being able to physically see and experience what you’re learning about is an experience 10 out of 10 would recommend. Plus, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for a fairly narrow strip of sand.

So, lets get down to what’s really important. How close will I be to the beach?

Good news. From the house, you’re about 10, maybe 15 minutes away (depending on traffic) from a public access to the beach. All you have to do is jump on the highway and you can get to any place you want to go. Speaking of beaches, for those who haven’t been to the Outer Banks, this isn’t like your normal super hot, super uncomfortable beach. The water’s warm and clear, the weather’s wonderful, and the sand’s…well sand but it just feels better. And for anyone interested in surfing, you have access to a pretty large surfing culture with fairly decent waves for North Carolina. As for fishing, you’re on a barrier island. Literally walk 10 feet and you can cast in the water. Plus there are awesome fishing guides you can access as an enormous population of devoted fishermen and women who know the area.

 

Am I going to be out in the middle of nowhere or is there some civilization?

Bad news, the closest Wal-Mart is about 45 minutes away, as well as the Target if that’s your poison. But never fear, everything else you could want is within a half an hour drive tops. Two grocery stores are five minutes away driving (15 if you bike) from the house as well as a Food Lion and Harris Teeter 20 minutes away, which is pretty much the same distance at Chapel Hill. If you’re in need of souvenirs, just throw a rock and you’re bound to ping pong it off of about six different stores selling Outer Banks gear. Downtown Manteo is also within walking/biking distance and is a great place to hang out and grab a bite to eat. As for food, there’s everything from Japanese to Mexican and of course, all the seafood you can eat. For you vegetarians and vegans, there are a few places that serve veggie burgers. Oh and don’t even get me started on the number of ice cream shops… Two words: Booty Treats. Just trust me.

 

Is there stuff to do out there, or are you trapped doing homework all day?

That really just depends on what you’re interested in. Right now, students are involved in a local softball team, a chorus group, and a community garden project. There are tons of volunteer opportunities including the SPCA, local charities hosting fundraising events, and interest groups. For all you gym-goers, there’s the YMCA, small local gyms, and my personal favorite-the Outer Banks Sports Club. If there’s another niche you need filled, you have access to a huge resource pool of people there that will figure out how to fulfill your heart’s desire.

As for nightlife, you’ll have your pick of restaurants and bars hosting live music and a few places that boast karaoke (which always leads to hilarious stories). A few beaches allow bonfires and beach volleyball at night can get pretty intense. The nightlife isn’t as crazy as Chapel Hill, but the chill, relaxed vibe is still fun.

 

How’s the workload?

I’m not going to lie; you’re going to be busy pretty much all the time. But on the upside, it’s fulfilling and interesting work. The teacher’s all love what they teach, you’ll be doing interesting research, and you’re going to be working in an internship getting hands-on experience in what you’re passionate about. It’s pretty much a school related dream come true. The people here really care about helping you get the big picture and you’ll make relationships that will absolutely last into the future. Aside from all the sappy stuff, it’s just plain fun! Plus after class, you can go do homework on the beach, aka my newly found favorite way to do work.

 

How’s the housing arrangement?

The house is absolutely amazing and is close to pretty much everything you’ll need: classes, food, and the beach. There are only two rooms to a bathroom, lots of space for all your stuff (great news for the overpackers), and it’s not at all sketchy. There’s a huge back yard for cookouts, playing games, or just hanging out, common rooms with cable TV (score!), and a kitchen the has pretty much anything you’ll need. Also major perk, parking is included.

 

Is it going to cost me an arm and a leg to do this?

Absolutely not. The tuition is the same as if you were still attending UNC with a little extra added in for housing. The books aren’t excessive so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is food cost. Insider tip: you’ll be super tempted to eat out every day, but it can get pretty costly. I suggest cooking enough to have leftovers or get ready for a close and personal relationship with sandwiches.