Friends, college acceptance season is upon us, and I must say I couldn’t be happier to be on this side of the aisle. Judging by the amount of tour groups I have bobbed and weaved through on my way to class, however, UNH certainly will have no problem filling the Class of 2017. This weekend, both CEPS and COLA begin their admitted students days (also known as the mass Exodus of current UNH students). I decided to dedicate my blog this week to your parents and prospective students who will be making the “big decision” in the next coming weeks.
While the tours are very comprehensive and the panels insightful, there is no denying that this is a big campus. And I don’t know about you, but every college tour I went on started to blend together. Let’s be honest, every school has an interlibrary system, or a student resource center, maybe even a game room. However, there are many reasons why UNH is unique and a great place to spend four years. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the hidden gems of UNH to round out your visit. You won’t find these on the official tour, so consider me your unofficial tour guide…
UNH Dairy Bar
After all that walking, you are going to need some refreshments! On my first visit to UNH, my mom and I stopped at the UNH Dairy Bar for lunch. I was amazed at their delicious vegetarian options, and my mom was equally impressed with the newly renovated space. We sat at a counter area and watched the Amtrak Downeaster pull in and out of the station. Of course, we couldn’t leave without enjoying some ice cream! I’m pretty sure one of the reasons why I wanted to come to UNH was the Orange Pop Sherbet they carried at the time: orange sherbet with fudge chunks (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!). There are plenty of yummy flavor options, or try a baked apple with cinnamon and honey. There are also committed to using local, sustainable food, such as Stonyfield Yogurt or Cabot Cheese. Even the plates are compostable! The Dairy Bar represents the best of New Hampshire: charming, delicious, and environmentally conscious!
For those of you who might find UNH a little overwhelming in terms of size, I have the solution. Take a stroll to the Lower Quad, which is just a short walk from the MUB. There are three, smaller dorms, surrounding a courtyard-like area, complete with stone benches and outlets to hook up your laptop. On warmer days, you will see students playing foursquare or catching some rays between classes. As a Lower Quad resident for two years, I have loved the atmosphere and the convenience of living there. Some of the other dorms or areas can campus can feel intimidating, but the Lower Quad really brings UNH down to scale. It’s close to many of the academic buildings, Holloway Commons, and downtown. Which brings us to our next two stops…
The Durham Market Place (aka the DUMP)
While UNH Dining is simply the best college food ever (not that I’m biased), there will be times when you just want a bag of chips or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Luckily for you, the DUMP is right in Downtown Durham, and within walking distance from pretty much any dorm on campus. They cater to pretty much every need you would ever have. Plus, they have a great selection of organic foods, gluten free options, and local New England favorites.
Breaking New Grounds (or as the kids call it, BNG)
This coffee hot spot represents everything there is to love about the Durham community. On any given day, you will see students studying, parents stopping in with their little ones for an afterschool snack, and professors grading papers. It is the center of downtown life, and a microcosm of all the people that make Durham so special. Grab a mug, a table in the corner, and people watch.
The best way to really learn about UNH is to walk up to students on the street or in the grocery store. Ask them about their favorite things about UNH. Trust me, my mom did this all the time on campus visits, and the first couple times it might feel awkward, but it really is the best way to get the inside scoop. The most important thing is to have fun! This time of year is really stressful for parents and students alike, but it can also be a really exciting time. Don’t forget to enjoy yourselves, soak up UNH, and who knows; maybe I’ll see you around!
Written by Samantha Friedman, UNH Class of 2015