Thursday, June 29, 2017
two UNH students walking in the upper quad with overlaid text The First Year Guide: Know Your Campus

You won’t believe how much this campus has to offer until you take some time to see and experience it. Your tour guide only gives you a snapshot, so let’s talk about some of the important things you need to know about the Durham campus.


The one thing that you really don’t get a feel for until you arrive at college is your school’s dining options. Sure, you get to enjoy a meal when you come for a tour, depending on the time of year, but it is nothing like having meals there everyday. Plus, tours don’t show you the amazing themed dinners and everything else that dining has to offer! Luckily, at UNH, we have award-winning dining services and many options available to you on a daily basis. So, where can you chow down? Well…

UNH students eating at Holloway Commons

Holloway CommonsHoCo is the largest dining hall on campus and is known for sushi, stir fry and brick oven pizza — yum! Looking for something to grab and go in the morning? Dunkin’ Donuts is there to welcome you to HoCo and help you get your morning coffee fix.

Philbrook Dining HallPhilly, as it is called, is a popular meeting place for students across campus. Home to late-night hours and all-day breakfast, Philly can serve your every need. Looking to just grab something and go? Stop by the Philbrook Cafe, also known as the Pita Pit, for your convenience store needs.

UNH dining employees making sandwiches in Philbrook

Stillings Dining HallStillings is the smallest dining hall on campus, but this is not one to skip, especially when it is State Fair night! This hall is known for daily quesadillas, made-to-order deli sandwiches, and some of the best views of the Hills area of campus. If you’re looking for something quick or greasy after the dining halls are closed, Stillings is also home to Wildcatessen. Wildkitty, as it is lovingly called, is our late-night dining option all week. The grill and convenience store offer all the options your heart, or rather your stomach, desires.

So with three amazing dining halls, what else could Dining Services offer? Well, if you don’t feel like hitting up the all-day dining or are just looking for a quick snack or coffee, they still have you covered! Here are a few more options:

Albert’s – Are you spending most of your day in Kingsbury Hall? Stop by this little cafe for a pick-me-up. Located in the northwest lobby of this hub for engineering majors.

Union Court in the MUB at UNH

CornerStone 1926 – Are you a business major or just passing through the Paul College courtyard? Need a caffeine boost? Stop by this on-campus cafe for sandwiches, snacks, and some of your favorite Starbucks drinks!

Dairy Bar – This option may seem out of the way but it is well worth the trek. Plus, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite while waiting for the Amtrak Downeaster if you’re leaving campus for the day or weekend! Here you can enjoy local produce packed into amazing salads and sandwiches and some of the best ice cream in town!

Union Court – Chances are you’ll pass through the MUB at some point during the day. If you’re not willing to brave the lunch rush at HoCo or are just looking for something different, UC may have exactly what you’re looking for, with numerous grab-and-go options along with made-to-order meals from Creative Greens (salads), Freshens (smoothies), Serrano (Southwestern cuisine), Chick’n Kitchen (fried foods), and Artisan Fresh (sandwiches).

The Amtrak Downeaster stopped by the UNH Dairy Bar

Zeke’s Cafe – This will most likely become one of your late-night study session favorites. This cafe, located in Dimond Library, is open late to help fuel success in your classes. Offering Starbucks drinks, cookies, and other snack options, Zeke’s is the place to get that burst of energy to keep you going!

All of these establishments take Cat’s Cache, Dining Dollars, cash, and most major credit cards. Want to know what’s open and when? Download the UNH Mobile app and check the dining page! Not a fan of lines? Make sure to set up a Tapingo account through their app in order to cut the line!

For those of you looking for dining off campus, Durham has many options just feet from campus. 


UNH's Fairchild Hall

So, now that you know where to keep yourself fed, how about finding out where to live? UNH has 28 residence halls to fit the college experience you want to have. Housing on campus is divided into three areas: The Hills, The Valley, and The Timbers. Now, as a first-year, you won’t have the chance to live in some of these dorms, but all of the dorms offer a great introduction to campus. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the ups, downs, and lessons that living in a dorm will give you I lived in on-campus housing all four years! Let’s look at just a few of the dorms based on theme.

First-Year Students Only

Some of you may want to live only with other first-year students during your first year on campus. Alexander Hall, Christensen Hall, Lord Hall, Richardson House, and Williamson Hall offer just that! These communities help provide you with the support you may want or need to make it through your first year of college. Students living in these halls may also be in similar classes to you or have similar interests. 

UNH's Englehardt Hall

Alcohol- and Drug-Free Living

If you want to live in a place where the students around you have a commitment to live alcohol- and drug-free, Engelhardt Hall is the place for you. You can read all about it here!

Honors and Making the Grade

If you are a student who holds yourself to high academic standards and wants to be surrounded by Wildcats who do the same, Hubbard Hall should be your home! Read more about the honors dorm here.

International Living

If you want to live in a place with a lot of diversity, Fairchild Hall may be the place for you. Fairchild is a smaller dorm that many international students on campus call home. This gives all of the students who live in this residence hall a slightly different dorm experience in that they interact on a daily basis with students from other cultures. The residents of this hall also work together to bring campus the International Food Luncheon during International Education Weekin November.


If you consider yourself a leader or want to continue to hone your leadership skills, Hunter Hall should be at the top of your housing wish list. A mix of first-year students and upperclassmen, there are some great opportunities to grow and develop your leadership connections here.

UNH housing

Outdoor Experiential Living

Do you like being outside? Want to live with others who enjoy the great outdoors? Hall House is the place to be! There, adventure is the best way to learn! You can learn more about Hall House here.

The Clubhouse

Go Wildcats! If sports are something that you enjoy, take part in, or want to do, you should consider Gibbs Hall. This small community focuses on sports, wellness, and health throughout the year as a way for its residents to get to know one another.

Don’t see a theme that catches your eye? Check out the UNH Housing website to find out more about all of the housing options available to you.

UNH offers something for everyone, you just need to know where to start looking to find the best fit.