7 New & Artsy Things to Try at UNC

1. Learn a Musical Instrument – like the ukulele!

UNC offers plenty of music courses, for a fee. Students can take one hour courses on anything from the keyboard to singing lessons. For those who cannot afford to throw down hundreds of dollars on music lessons, learning ukulele is a great alternative. A good ukulele costs around 80-120 dollars, but if you are looking for a toy to fiddle with, some ukulele run as cheap as $30. Ukulele is a super easy instrument to learn and the Carolina Ukulele Ensemble is great for beginners. Each week, students can learn new songs and the people are super friendly!

2. Attend a Poetry Slam

I never had an appreciation for poetry—until I heard slam. Last year I took my boyfriend at the time—also not a poetry person-- to see a featured poet and we were totally blown away. Slam, in addition to its poetry, places a lot of emphasis on performance. Slams are often interactive as audience members are free to snap and cheer when they hear something they like and it is easy to get swept away by the energy of the crowd. UNC has three spoken word groups – UNC Wordsmiths, The Rejects, and EROT.

3. Learn a New Craft

Taking a film class? Need a way to pass time? Try knitting! UNC’s Craft and Tea Society – CATS for short – is a great way to learn a new skill and meet new people at Caribou Coffee. Through knitting my roommate has made scarves, gloves, even stuffed animals.

4. Take a Unique Class that Interests You

Everyone knows UNC is huge, but most probably don’t know that the College of Arts and Sciences offers anything from Horror Literature (ENGL 148) to Queer Latino/a Photography and Literature (ENGL 666), which examines questions on identity and culture. Even porn isn’t off limits at UNC, we have a class on pornography and culture (COMM 545). And as old courses are phased out, new and interesting classes are added. Just this year the Asian Studies added a class on homoeroticism in Arab cultures (ARAB 477). My freshman year I was overwhelmed with the choices of classes and was surprised with what I found in the undergraduate bulletin. Need to fulfill a gen ed? I’d recommend browsing the course catalogue, just to see what you can find!

5. See an Improv Show

Every weekend Dirty South Comedy in Carrboro hosts improv shows. UNC organizations False Profits and CHiPs also do improv, but if you are looking to enjoy seasonal themed shows Transactors Improv theatre does Halloween and Christmas themed shows around the holidays!

6. Take an Obscure Language

Everyone has to take a language. Those traumatized by their high school French and Spanish classes have the option of taking something unique. UNC offers everything from the African languages of Wolof and Swahili, to Persian and Hindi-Urdu. When I told my advisor at orientation I wanted to take Persian she said, “I didn’t know we had Persian here.” Do your research. If there is a language you want to take, chances are UNC has it!

7 . Learn About a New Political Ideology

One of my favorite articles that I worked on as a writer for the Daily Tar Heel was about the Anarchist Book Fair. Even though I am not an anarchist, it was interesting to learn about their ideas. Before, I had no idea anarchism was so broad. While they do advocate ending government, part of their goal is to end racism, sexism and other systems of oppression. Each year anarchists gather in Chapel Hill for the Anarchist Book Fair, where attendees can listen to speakers, participate in workshops on graffiti, and browse anarchist art and literature.

So my fellow UNC students, where are you going to start? If you’ve got other suggestions, comment below!