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A Guidebook to UNH, Written By a Senior


With each day that passes, the senior class of 2024 inches closer to graduation in May. I’m part of that class. I’m also part of a specific segment of that class: transfer students. According to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) admissions, 20% of the undergraduate student population is made up of transfer students. I transferred to UNH in my sophomore year and have loved my experience ever since. But, like many transfer students, it took me some time to find my home in Durham. As I prepare to leave that home, I hope to extend my knowledge of what I’ve found makes UNH such a great place for fellow wildcats to live, in the form of a guidebook for undergraduate students. 


Finding a Home in Durham 

When I decided to transfer schools, one of my first concerns was housing. I didn’t know many people at UNH, which meant I didn’t know who I could live with. I also didn’t have much luck finding roommates online and resorted to being placed in a random housing assignment. I was lucky enough to be placed in a 3-bedroom, 4-person apartment in the Gables apartment complex. I shared a room with a girl who was also a transfer student, and we shared the newness of UNH together. I think finding a roommate who you can relate to can make for a better experience overall. And of course, if a conflict arises with a roommate, try to resolve it as soon as possible! This can cause unwanted stress and can be avoided through planning, talking, or reaching out to UNH housing if a change is needed! 

Additionally, I made my dorm room as cozy as possible, spending perhaps a little too much on decor, cute bedding and pillows and a decorative rug to make my space feel unique for me. But this was a necessary investment, in my opinion, and made my dorm a home! This gave me a sense of home in what could’ve felt more like a hospital room with bland walls and boring furniture. Investing in your space can make all the difference! 

I was also enrolled in a transfer seminar course that met weekly which gave me a run-down of all things going on at UNH and exposed me to the plethora of resources on campus such as Health and Wellness, Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS), the wide variety of clubs and gave me helpful tips for navigating a new campus. This took away some pressure I felt being so new and introduced me to the sense of community that’s so prevalent at UNH. Being aware of what resources UNH offers and taking advantage of them can make your time at UNH even better! 

Lastly, I found my best friends on campus by just being myself. Some friends you make on campus might come and go. But, by joining clubs that interest you, engaging in activities that speak to you and by being authentically yourself, the people you will connect with the most will find you. UNH is a large community with many students with diverse backgrounds, interests and personalities. There’s always somewhere to find a friend on campus!  


Make the Most of Class 

It can be easy to get into the habit of skipping classes, especially if the professor doesn’t take attendance. However, I would strongly urge against falling into that trap. Missing classes only hurts you and your grades for the semester. Starting strong with good grades can set you up for success with a high GPA, allowing you more wiggle room when you take harder classes down the road. Engaging and paying attention in these courses helps prepare you for not only future classes but also your career path!  

Also, don’t be afraid to speak in class. Engage in class discussions and talk to the people around you! This can make the class more entertaining and can help you pay more attention. I always tried to make at least one friend in each class so that I could always have someone to talk to and ask for help if I needed it in that class. This makes class a better experience overall, but also helps you stay up to date if you do need to skip a class occasionally. I’ve made many friends just by talking in class and even met my boyfriend who sat next to me in a wine tasting class! This just goes to show the power of speaking up in class! Don’t be shy, speak in class! 


Enjoy the Nature of Campus 

The UNH campus is quite walkable in terms of getting to class, getting a bite to eat, or taking a trip to the grocery store. I’d recommend walking as much as possible. Not only is it sustainable and offers health benefits, but walking everywhere exposes you to the scenic nature across campus. In the fall, the campus is a beautiful scene of fall foliage among the trees, and the weather is a nice temperature to walk to class. In the spring, trees are blooming and the warm sun contrasts nicely with the cool winds! Walk to class and stay connected with the nature of campus! 

When you have the time, take a hike in College Woods! These trails are safe, easy for all levels of hikers and close to campus. The scenic trails offer an escape from busy college life and a way to relieve stress. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation.” So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and hike! 


Get Involved 

One of the best decisions I’ve made at UNH was joining a student organization. I’ve found a home at The New Hampshire, and have been given so many opportunities because of it. Being a part of this group introduced me to people who were just as passionate about journalism as I am and exposed me to hands-on job experience.  

Some of my favorite memories at UNH are through student events, such as football and hockey games, Memorial Union Building (MUB) events and the SCOPE concerts. As a senior, it’s sad to think that I’ll never go to another tailgate as a student or sit in the student section at the Whittemore Center again. The SCOPE concerts are affordable and safe! I’ve gotten to see Dominic Fike, Rae Sremmurd and soon will see Lil Tecca for a low price with friends I’ve made on campus. Each of these experiences has been unique and memorable and are events I’d recommend to any UNH student in the future! 


Get out of Durham! (Sometimes) 

Even though I previously proclaimed my love for Durham, I’ve also loved leaving it just as much! There’s so much to do in the surrounding areas such as Portsmouth, Dover, or even Kittery, Maine! These areas can be perfect for a night out to grab dinner, coffee, or drinks (if 21+). One of my favorite places to visit in Portsmouth is Hearth to study and to grab delicious lattes. They also have a variety of food and a relaxing environment. I also love Barrio in Portsmouth to grab made-to-order tacos and margaritas with friends and enjoy the fun artistic environment. Kittery has a great outlet shopping plaza where I love to find deals on brands such as American Eagle, Lululemon, Levi, Nike and even Kate Spade! These outlets are only about a 30-minute drive from campus and have over 30 stores to choose from.  

Looking to get further away? Study abroad! In my three years at UNH, I studied abroad twice, in Greece and the United Kingdom. UNH also offers a wide variety of study abroad options, which has allowed me to study abroad for a comparable price to UNH tuition! I feel fortunate to have gotten these opportunities and was able to walk away with a new sense of confidence in myself.  Through my two study abroad sessions, I’ve made new friends, experienced new cultures and faced challenges that pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone! However, I always felt secure having my UNH professors and classmates by my side through these journeys. I think that studying abroad allows for safe, affordable and fun travel while being a young, vulnerable traveler. It may seem scary to leave, but Durham was always waiting for me while I was away, and the memories I made are irreplaceable! 


Getting Ready to Leave 

Each year Durham comes with a move-out date that can cause stress for many reasons. Besides some of the stress that could come along with leaving your friends on campus, the move-out day also comes with the process of packing up a year’s worth of clothes, room decorations and other items that you might’ve picked up along the way. In my college experience, I recommend slowly taking things home throughout the year anytime that you happen to visit home for holidays, breaks or even just the weekend. For instance, I would usually bring some of my winter coats and warmer clothing home during spring break, since it usually gets a little warmer once April hits. This year, however, due to the extended winter we experienced, I had to wait until March to bring these items home. Plan accordingly, but don’t wait until May to start bringing things home! It makes the move-out process much easier if you take things home as you need them less. Alternatively, you could just not overpack. I, however, always seemed to overpack and had to resort to the other method I mentioned.  



My last word 

UNH is a vibrant environment with a sense of community among students and staff. By taking advantage of opportunities and experiences, students have a chance to grow, learn more about themselves and truly prepare themselves for the future. Get out there wildcats! Don’t be shy and find a home in Durham. Be yourself and your people will find you. Make the most of every day and the opportunities ahead of you because graduation comes sooner than you might realize!

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Aimee Rothman
Aimee Rothman, Staff Writer

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