Preparing your First-Year Niner for Campus Life

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: General

Sending your young adult off to college is challenging enough. The last thing you should have to worry about is whether they are eating or able to get around campus.

With the tips below, you’ll rest assured that your new Niner has access to everything they need to be successful the minute they set foot on campus this fall!

Tip #1: Get Carded!

Student holds up 49er Card

If your future Niner isn’t able to pick their 49er Card up on campus during orientation, they will be able to use their phone instead.

Students will be able to download the eAccounts app on their Android or iPhone, upload their photo for approval, and use their phone to access services around campus. Students should watch their email accounts for instructions on when and how to put their 49er Card on their phone.

When they have an opportunity, they can stop by the 49er Card and Meal Plans Office in the Popp Martin Student Union and have their physical ID printed. Having a physical ID card is helpful if their phone battery dies and they need a backup credential.

Tip #2: Ask for directions, or … don’t

Niner Transit bus stopped at light

UNC Charlotte is a huge campus! But don’t worry. Niner Transit buses run seven days a week from early morning (6 a.m.) to earlier morning (2 a.m.). Fare-free Niner Transit buses can be tracked with PassioGO! app.

Niner Transit also connects to Lynx Light Rail and Charlotte Area Transit (CATS) buses also pick up on campus. All are free to ride, but don’t forget to download the CATS-Pass App to board CATS buses and light rail.

The best resource to find everything you need on campus from dining locations to vending machines is

Tip #3: Eat, eat and eat more!

Students being served at dining hall

Access to all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, takeout options and retail locations like Wendy’s, Bojangles and Shake Smart, are one of the perks of college life. Where else can you find so much variety within walking distance?

The convenience of on-campus dining is complemented by meal plans that fit all kinds of dietary needs and preferences.

Meal swipe plans are great for students who prefer gluten-avoiding, vegan or vegetarian options, while all Declining Balance plans may fit better for a busy student on the go. Just be sure to read your housing contract before trying to change your plan. First-year students on campus are required to have The Daily Plan to maximize the variety of dining options available to them.

Tip #4: Pack lighter

REPROS storefront

It’s tempting to try to pack everything in sight, but all of the essentials can be found on or around campus. For example, with around 50 multi-function devices and printers located on campus, you can save some space and money on toner by leaving your printer at home.

REPROS even offers a full document printing center with affordable prices. The friendly staff will even print your student’s graphics on posters to help them decorate their apartment!

If you left something behind and don’t have a car, you don’t have to worry about getting the store. Parking and Transportation Services offers a weekend shopping shuttle from campus to Harris Teeter, Target and Patel Bros.

For more information on what to bring, check out Housing and Residence Life’s packing list.

Tip #5: Stave off homesickness

Photo of care package from bookstore

Parents love to send their new Niners care packages, especially during their first semester when they might be missing their family and friends.

Just remember, when having packages shipped to campus, use the University’s mailing address. For example, address your mail and packages to:

Student name
Residence hall and room number
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223

If you can only use three address lines, address the mail or package to:

Student name
Room number and residence hall
UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223

Tip #6: Encourage your new Niner to have fun!

There are so many opportunities at Charlotte to have a great time! From student organizations, intramural sports to regular athletics events, there is something for every new Niner to get involved in.

Students ride scooters on greenway

When the weather is nice, encourage your student to take a Gotcha bike out for a ride on the campus greenway!

Or, they can check out our great selection of gear at Barnes & Noble Charlotte before heading to a football game.

Student shows of Niner gear

A trip to the botanical garden on campus is a must do! Grab an Ozzi container to get takeout from the dining hall and enjoy a nice outdoor picnic.