Note: "Surviving UNH" is intended to be like a Wikipedia page of life at UNH; feel free to submit any corrections or additional info you think I may have left out. I know this is far from perfect or complete and I want this to continue to grow over the years through the help of fellow students. Email me at email@example.com or leave a comment to submit questions, corrections or further ideas. Thank you.
- College Life in General
- Ten Commandments of UNH
- Dorm Life
- The Durham Bar Scene
- Avoiding Arrests
- Party Scene
- Greek Life
- Off Campus
I am the New Hampshirite and this is the University of Nonsensical Happenings, a blog dedicated to college life at UNH. On this site you will find highly opinionated articles that are usually entertainment based, which cover anything and everything UNH related from campus politics, sports, random events, college life, happenings and drunken adventures around campus. Stay tuned because you’re bound to learn a thing or two about college life at UNH that you won’t hear at any “real” orientation and maybe you’ll even laugh once or twice.
This is your UNH Blog Orientation guide to having a fun and (hopefully) consequence-free four years at UNH.
To any new readers questioning my credentials: I am now a senior (shit) and this will be my third year writing columns for the school paper. I have a 3.5 GPA and enjoy getting sloppy drunk pretty much every weekend... and the occasional Tuesday afternoon or snow day morning. Despite a few close calls (Okay it was only one close call and it really wasn't that close) I have never been arrested, so I feel qualified to give advice on those aspects of UNH life.
Get ready for the best four years of your life. UNH is a great place to gain knowledge both in the classroom and perhaps more importantly, socially.
College Life in General: “There’s a time and place for that… it’s called college.”
College is the best four (or more) years of our lives. No matter what major you choose or how much you work, you are about to have more free time than you know what to do with. Because of that, college is actually pretty easy if you are halfway decent at time management. That is the same reason why so many people have trouble in college because they don’t have the self-discipline to manage their time. Procrastination is your worst enemy, get shit done without rushing and you will most likely get good grades and also have plenty of leisure time (except for every three to five weeks when all of your classes have an exam or essay due). For many of you leisure time may also be known as drinking time. Or, if that isn’t your style, you can play videogames, hit the gym, play sports, read a book, watch movies, go for a run, join a club, volunteer, get a job or become a chronic masturbator. Just don’t start a blog, it doesn’t make you any cooler and it won’t get you laid. Trust me.
College is a time to have fun, try new things and basically get all that recklessness out before that real world comes knocking. And it will come way faster than you expect. One saying that I’ve heard several times is that “it isn’t alcoholism until you graduate.” I guess where I am going with this is to enjoy yourself, basically because you can still have fun, no matter how you define “fun” and do really well grade wise. Sure, you don’t need alcohol to have fun, but it can certainly help. It's okay to occasionally show up to an 8 AM lecture hungover (or still drunk). It's not okay to do that at work. Schedule all your classes for the afternoon so you can sleep in, or early in the morning to have more free time during the day; pick classes specifically to get Fridays off. Why? Because you can get away with it now, that can’t be said in a few years when you're waking up early, commuting to work and spending 8 hours in a tiny cubical without a window staring at Microsoft Excel all day. They say that college is the best four years of your life, but that is only true if you allow them to be.
The Ten Commandments of UNH:
This is an updated and revised version of an old newspaper column I wrote called ‘The Unwritten Rules of UNH.”
- If thy neighbor cannot attend lecture, thou shall operate his or her clicker device.
- Thou shall loveth UNH athletics as one loveths thyself.
- Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's examination answers, unless thy neighbor hath giveth thou permission.
- Thou shall not be stingy with thy alcohol and always giveth some to thy neighbor in need.
- Remember Thirsty Thursday and keep it honored.
- Thou must be a supportive wingman and never covet thy same wench as thy neighbor. Similarly, thou must not covet a neighbor’s former wench, unless thy neighbor hast giveth thou permission to pursue. In addition, be weary of the "friend-zone." While sometimes it can be nice, it can also be a terrible, dark and fiery personal inferno.
- Thou must not be obnoxious whilst walking home from a party or thou will be arrested.
- If thou host a party, thou must limit each musical selection to one play.
- Thou must refrain from vomiting in common areas. If thou dost spew, thou must clean it to avoid thy floor mates from being held monetarily responsible and having to suffer from the smell of the remnants.
- Thou must avoid being thy classes’ jester. Thou must remain classy, not UMassy.
As a freshman I lived in Williamson and it was a great experience. I would highly recommend living in Williamson or Christensen (Area 3) for any freshman because of the bonds formed by a bunch of freshman thrown together in the same situation. Some of the kids from my floor from Williamson remain my closest friends at UNH and two of my roommates as a senior were kids from my freshman year floor. We had some great friendly prank wars that involved completely switching two rooms on our floor and moving another kid’s room into the bathroom. (It was all of his stuff, including his bed. We used the shower stalls for a closet.) It can get a bit loud at night and on weekends because sometimes kids try to one up each other with their stereos, but it was by far the most fun I had living in a regular dorm. Williamson and Christensen do have a poor location in regards to some buildings, downtown, and the Whit, although they are right near Philbrook. The best part of the freshman dorms are that they are great for meeting people because everyone is pretty much in the same situation. Here are some of my thoughts on a few other dorms.
Upper Quad (Hitchcock, Devine, Randall) (Area 2)
I lived in the UQ, Devine to be specific, my sophomore year at UNH. I loved the location of the UQ, and I honestly don’t think it can be beat. It is close to downtown, HoCo/MUB, academic buildings and not far from the infamous Strafford/Garrison/Madbury party zones. Another good thing about the UQ was that it had a mix of freshman and upperclassman, however I felt a lot of kids already had their social groups and weren’t as open minded as those from the freshman dorms. A fair amount of people live in the UQ for 2 or 3 years and they are kind of their own breed. In short UQ: great for location, but poor socialization and are older buildings compared to some other dorms. A lot of this is the same for the Lower Quad (Area 2), which is made up of Gibbs, Hunter and Engelhardt. Engelhardt is the “chem free” dorm so that is a disadvantage to any drinkers or smokers, including tobacco.
Hetzel, Fairchild, Alexander (Area 2): These are the closest dorms to downtown and are also close to the MUB/HoCo. Fairchild was recently renovated, but it is the new international dorm now that Smith is an administration building. Hetzel is older, but it is the closest dorm to downtown.
Mills (Area 2): Another beautiful dorm, seriously it is like a hotel and is close to the MUB and downtown. Many of the rooms are suites and great for a group of friends, but can be very hard to get into.
Congreve (Area 1): Right off Main Street, close to the Whit, many athletes live here. Probably the nicest dorm on campus when combining location and building condition, but hard to get into.
Stoke (Area 1): Stoke is the largest dorm on campus, but it also has a lot of single rooms. It is known as the “party dorm” because of how close it is to the nightlife areas and frat row. Stoke is infamous for late night and early morning fire alarms.
Other Area 1 Dorms: (Jessie Doe, Lord, McLaughlin, Sawyer, Scott) These are all older buildings, close to the Whit and “party zones.” They are kind of far from main part of campus, but close to Stillings, which many consider the best dining hall. These have a very similar atmosphere to the quads.
SERCs: (Area 3) These dorms are beautiful. I never lived in them and have only been in them a few times but they are very nice and spacious. However, they are extremely far from downtown and the nightlife aspects of UNH. Most of the rooms are doubles that share a bathroom with the room next door to form more of a quad. You can usually choose these rooms as a foursome.
Hubbard (Area 3): Hubbard is the “Honors” themed dorm so there are a lot of very smart people there, not that is a bad thing. It is right next to Philbrook and close to C-Lot and the freshman dorms.
Mini Dorms (Area 3): Located behind the freshman dorms and the SERCs, they are very far from just about everything on campus. Many art and outdoor education students reside in these three small buildings. Hippy central.
Gables: Located out behind A-Lot, the Gables are probably the nicest apartments in all of Durham and they are university owned. While they are close to the Whit and Rec Center they are far from all the dining halls and main part of campus. You must be a sophomore or at least 19 before you move in. The apartment sizes range from 4 to 7 people. I lived in the Gables junior year (and will senior year too) and it was fantastic. Great for hosting "smaller" parties and a nice combo of being isolated and in the middle of a great nightlife scene.
The Woodsides: Located far behind the Whit, the Woodsides are more upperclassman apartments. You must be a junior or 20 years old before you move in. They are close to Strafford Ave and all the apartments house 4 people. All of the apartments consist of two double rooms. They are similar to the Gables, but older and smaller. They are currently being renovated during breaks and their conditions have been improved from what they used to be.
RAs: Your best friend or your worst enemy.
If you are living in a dorm you will have to deal with RAs. I have been very lucky with my RAs and I have even drank underage with a couple, but some of them are more prying than the police. They can either be your best friend or your worst enemy and it is important to find out which one they are early on. They will all try to appear to be your best friend, so be cautious. While most RAs are in it for the free housing or for their resume, there are a select few who like the power. It is important to get to know your RA because you will learn what you can get away with, plus it will be harder for them to bust you if they like you. The easiest way to get busted by an RA is for a noise violation, which will attract them to your room. So be sure to keep the volume down when the RAs are on rounds, especially after quiet hours. If you are playing drinking games try to avoid saying things like “drink” or alcohol names because the walls are paper-thin. If an RA hears “drink up!” they’re going to know what’s up. If you play Beirut in your room, use water cups. It is a lot easier to hide one drink per person than 20 cups. There is nothing wrong or illegal with playing water Beirut, just have a place to stash your actual drink if there is a knock at the door. (Hint: the corkboards on the walls in most dorm rooms make perfect Beirut tables. All you need is a screwdriver and something like a storage bin to stack it on.) CAs in the Gables and Woodsides are usually a lot more relaxed (at least from my experiences). If you're roommate is "wet" meaning you and your roommate(s) are all 21 then you have even less to worry about.
Food: Does that come with extra laxatives?
Cheesy Fries from Kurt’s Lunchbox and late night DHop are about to have a bigger impact on your life than you ever thought food could. They will probably help you achieve that freshman 15 much faster than you expected. Although, I think that the “freshman 15” really is a myth. I am more active in college than ever before and have remained roughly the same weight throughout my time at UNH, despite that fact that PBR is so high in calories. The dining halls are above average compared to other schools, but the food can get old and repetitive after a while. While some students claim dining hall food is spiked with laxatives, it really is decent quality. Their holiday specials and Local Harvest and Local Seafood days are really good.
There are three dining halls on campus. There is Stillings in area 1, Holloway Commons (HoCo) in area 2 and apart of the MUB, and Philbrook in area 3. There is also the MUB food court (dining hall swipes are not excepted, but you can use cats cache or dining dollars), Wildcatessen under Stillings, the Dairy Bar at the train station, Philbrook Café, and the Gables Café. Kingsbury Hall and Dimond Library also have small cafes. Many students claim that Stillings has the best food, but it runs on limited hours. HoCo, the main dining hall has the biggest selection, but is also usually the most crowded. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 2 it can be hard to find a seat, due to the lunch hour rush and these are the days with most commuter students on campus. Philbrook has late night (open until 11 p.m. during the week and they have TV’s in most of the rooms, which is great for eating and watching a game with friends. Philbrook usually doesn’t have as great entrees as the other dining halls, but it has a terrific grill selection.
While HoCo is UNH Dining's prized possession and has the most selections, many students agree that Philbrook and Stillings are much better when considering all the variables.
When the dining halls get old take advantage of the daily specials around Durham, DHop has a special everyday of the week. DHop, which is located right downtown, is also famous for their $1.50 slices after 11 p.m. It is very cheap for late night and delicious so if you have the dollar bill blues it doesn’t put a big dent into your pocket. DHop has a great atmosphere and on a warm night it is the best place on campus for some food and free entertainment. My recommendation: whatever slices have the most toppings piled on. Trust me it will be delicious and filling. Although, I once ordered a pizza from Dominos with banana-pepper and pineapple as toppings. It was fucking delicious and Dominos is usually gross. (…Maybe I should have included that in section 11... cough cough…) Village Pizza, which is diagonally across the street from DHop, has some of the best food on campus.
Another great place to cure the late-night hunger monkey is Kurt’s Lunchbox. Kurt’s is conveniently located in C-Lot for anyone living in Area Two and it is a much shorter walk than DHop for anyone living out in the boonies of Area Three. My Kurt’s recommendation: The classic cheesy fries, or snotty fries, as any true Kurt fan would know. His cheesy fries are famous for a reason and I’m not one to fix something that isn’t broken. However, I usually order a regular fry and a hotdog. For only $3 and the amount you get it is a better deal than the cheesy fries, which sometimes can be a bit heavy on the stomach with all that melted cheese. He also makes a killer grilled cheese. On a warm night Kurt’s will provide a lot of entertainment and funny conversations will be had and overheard.
As tasty as Kurt’s and D-Hop are, plus the hilarious situations that occur there almost any night, they both close at 2 a.m. on the weekends. So, if you are out past 2 a.m. and in need of some grub Wildcatessen is the place to go. It is conveniently located under Stillings in Area 1, which is very close to many apartments and the infamous frat row. Wildcatessen is also open until 3 a.m. on weekend mornings and they specialize in subs. If you have the ability to, you can order ahead online, which is great if you’re just in your dorm for the night. I usually go with the steak and cheese but they have a lot of good subs and really tasty waffle fries. Just be cautious, cops have a knack for hanging around at all these locations after dark. Similar to Wildcatessen is the Gables Cafe, located in North Tower. It is a small convenience store and also has subs, although not as good as Wildcatessen.
If you think you are up for the challenge go for JP’s Slapshot, which is 15 sliders, a large fry, and a large shake. Eat it all in under 30 minutes and it is free and you get your name on the wall of fame. For breakfast, be sure to hit up the Bagelry at Mill Plaza.
Alcohol: I have never brushed my teeth with a bottled of Jack… that’s a waste of good whiskey.
Let’s get this out of the way: Most students at UNH drink alcohol. Health Services will try to deter you with their surveys and random stats that usually don’t do any good. Real example: “27% of UNH students report NOT drinking on a weekly basis!” … So that means roughly ¾ of students do drink on a weekly basis. Whether students are taking a few shots in the privacy of their dorm room, running the Beirut table at a Gables party, doing keg stands at the Greens or pounding Keystone Light and grinding in the dirty basement of one of the various frats on campus most students get drunk on the weekends. Here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with students who like to drink, as long as you are mature enough to handle yourself and prevent it from affecting your grades, all the power to you and join the party!
The most common alcohol at UNH is cheap beer, usually Keystone Light or Natty Light. I prefer PBR for cheap beer (higher alcohol and personally I think it tastes better) and Newcastle (delicious) when I have a few extra bucks. Most college students don’t have a lot of money so paying $15-18 for a 30 is better than $18-22 or so for Bud/Coors/Miller Light (especially if you’re underage and tip your buyer). In reality cheap beers really don’t have that much of a difference in tastes.
As for hard alcohol a lot of students prefer roughly $20 vodka handles because they are low in calories and you get the most alcohol for the lowest amount of money. A handle of vodka will last much longer than a 30 rack. A few decent ~$20/handle vodkas are Svedka, Skyy, Smirnoff, and Tenure. I usually go with Tenure (because I’m part Polish), Evan Williams Whiskey, or Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, which is worth the extra few bucks. If you are under 21 and close with your buyer, ask them to keep an eye out for sales and always tip them a few bucks. Other good and cheap alcohol is wine, which you don’t see on campus to often. Carlo Rossi Sangria can be found in 4-liter jugs for about $12 and it is delicious and usually available at the Dump. (DUMP = Durham Market Place).
The Bar Scene: When You're 21, you become apart of the elite club on campus...
And by elite club, I mean that you can get into all the bars downtown, of which none are really elite at all. There are four bars downtown, Ballard's, The Knot, Libby's, and Scorpions.
(I'm trying to recall all the different specials and event nights and will update this as the come back to me. Feel free to leave a comment or message if I'm missing some or remembered incorrectly. Pretty much every bar has different specials each night of the week so be sure to ask when you arrive.)
Ballard's is a strange combination of a hippy and a sports bar. It is the only bar on campus with outdoor seating and their Thursday Beat the Clock specials is one of my favorite things of the UNH bar scene. The Knot is UNH's excuse for an Irish Pub and is located below street level and if you're lucky you can grab the dart board by the only TV in the bar. The Knot is probably the most dive bar on campus, but they have really cool specials throughout the week, including 2-for-1 Tuesday nights and $2 drinks Wednesday night and they also have a jukebox and live music some nights. Personally Ballard's and The Knot are my favorite bars for just grabbing drinks and a table with a few friends. Then there Libby's, which is kind of a sports bar upstairs with big TV's, a pool table, and a jukebox. The downstairs at Libby's is open Thursday and Saturday nights and has a separate bar with a big dance floor and a DJ. It definitely has a club feel and is a great alternative to frat parties if you're in the mood to dance. Some friends and I have developed a routine of hitting up Ballard's Beat the Clock, then back to our apartment for a few hours before heading back downtown to Libby's for some dancing. Who knows, you might get lucky. The fourth bar is Scorpions, or Scorps as it's known and I know the least about it of all the bars... probably because it is the only one I haven't been to many times. It also has a dance floor downstairs and is known as being the bar for the Greek scene on campus.
There is also Mei Wei, the Chinese food restaurant in the Mill Plaza near the Dump (Durham Market Place). Mei Wei has a bar and is known for their Scorpion Bowls. Getting a Scorpion Bowl for 2 by yourself is a great way to get drunk quickly. They have many other great Chinese drinks such as Mei Ties and other special drinks.
UNH/Durham Police: They don’t really hide in the woods…
One of your friends will be arrested for underage drinking. It’s going to happen. Listen closely and hopefully it won’t be you. My freshman year roommate was arrested as well as several other friends and many other acquaintances. Here is how to not get arrested: DON’T BE A JACKASS. It sounds simple, but after the influence of 10 Keystone lights and/or a few shots of plastic-bottled vodka making fun of that cop in front of DHop may seem like the appropriate thing to do. (DHop is the Durham House of Pizza and a common gathering point for drunken students after parties end and the bars let out.) Always know your surroundings. When you are walking around at night there is probably a cop in the area. In recent years UNH has tried to crackdown on the “party school” image by adding more police on campus during the weekends. The thing is that UNH is a decent sized state school and more cops on campus aren’t going to keep students from drinking. I haven’t noticed any difference during my time here.
Cops at UNH take a bad wrap. I used to shit on them every chance I had, but as I spent more time out around campus at night I realized that most of the students arrested on campus probably deserved it. Most of the time cops are just on crowd control and making sure students are safe, if you’re tripping, puking or unable to speak they have to take you in because if you get hurt or die, the police/town will get sued and they lose their job. I have been at several parties that were busted by police and they cleared out the house without making any arrests because no one acted up. I have also seen them call in the paddy wagon and arrest anyone who gives them any shit. If you can make it out the door without tripping you will be fine. Don’t make yourself standout and you will be fine. There will always be a shitload of cops out on weekend nights, they flood downtown, the frat areas and around Stoke where there is a lot of student foot traffic. They probably won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. The cops know that they can’t arrest everyone at a party, or everyone who is drunk at DHop; so they are in more of a “crowd control” state. That means if no one is doing anything stupid, no one will be arrested. To put it simple, don’t draw attention to yourself.
Avoiding Arrests: Don’t make a scene.
A lot of this probably seems a little repetitive and common sense, but every weekend students get arrested for doing stupid things because they can’t make the smart decision after a few drinks. When it comes down to it, it really is an issue of maturity. The most common arrests are usually for underage drinking. If you can handle your alcohol you probably won’t be arrested. I say probably because there is always that “wrong place at the wrong time” scenario that fucks over the last person you would expect to see get in trouble. This is a list of stupid things you should avoid when you are intoxicated in public at UNH that students are regularly arrested for, thou shall not: yell, stumble, run (especially from the cops), urinate (especially on a cop car), cry, lie down in the street, drive, fight, make a scene, crawl, go streaking, climb anything, or get stuck in the swamp. Calling attention to oneself is the easiest way to get arrested, so at all lengths possible try to avoid those “I remember my first beer” moments. A lot of that probably seems like common sense, but alcohol tends to mess with common sense so try and protect yourself and your friends. College is a place to cut loose and have fun, but it also takes a certain level of maturity to handle those situations. Don’t give the rest of us a bad name. I am all for getting blasted, just don’t be a jackass. It is called having proper drunken etiquette. Do not be that roommate who has to be babysat every Saturday night because you will soon find yourself living in a single in Stoke with Jager-bombs, Heinekens and Jersey Shore season (what the fuck season are they on now?) as you only friends. The police, RAs and CAs have strict policies to stick by so if you can’t control yourself don’t be surprised when you are being forced into the back of a paddy wagon.
Marijuana: It’s not habit forming!
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, as a history major I have a few quotes that I would like to share.
“Make the most of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” – George Washington
“Hemp is of the first necessity to wealth and protection of the country.” – Thomas Jefferson
“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.” – John Adams
“When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Barack Obama.
Excuse me; I just felt those quotes were pretty relevant… and awesome. There is a fair amount of marijuana use at UNH. It probably isn’t higher or lower than any other state college (except for Vermont and Colorado of course). If you like to smoke weed you will find others just like you. If you want nothing to do with it than you will have even more people like you. It is generally easy to get it and even easier to avoid. Please, if there is one thing you take from this blog or entry, DO NOT smoke in your dorm room. What are you, an idiot? Unless you have a big suite or apartment it can be very risky. If you are in a regular dorm room and you like to smoke you may want to look into getting a vaporizer. They are very efficient and basically smoke and scent free. Trust me. Burn cruises are usually a good alternative, providing you have a trustworthy driver. Smoking in the woods is not a good idea. Most of the cops have been on campus for a long time and they know all about the smoking spots because they’ve arrested people at them before. If you have a friend who knows about a sweet spot that no one else knows about, that friend is wrong. Think about it, he knows about, so do other people. I got questioned one time and I hadn’t even smoked, I was just taking a shortcut from one path to another.
Party Scene: ‘cause it’s party at UNH… right?
Everyone has different opinions on parties. Some people like huge ragers at a frat, while others prefer small gatherings of friends at an apartment. At UNH there are always plenty of options to go out Thursday through Saturday, especially if you manage to make a few friends.
Frat parties are very interesting and you can never be sure what to expect. There are always a lot of people and a lot to do from dancing to playing Beirut, flip cup and other games. Fraternities definitely have way more space than any other parties so it is easy to spread out and find something that you like, but they can also get extremely crowded and the smell of cologne, perfume, sweat and alcohol at 90 degrees can make you feel more nauseous than consecutive shots of Zhenka. One bad thing about frat parties is that they can be tough to get into. Unless you are a half-naked girl, or you are a guy and show up with four half-naked girls you better know a few brothers at the door or you are not getting in. Even then it can be tough. The key to frat parties is being close with a brother or two and getting your name on the list. Another disadvantage to a frat party is that brothers stick together so if you make one angry, by accident or not, your best decision might be to leave. It is also important to include that each frat is different with their parties. Some fraternities like to keep their parties pretty low key and limit attendees to friends and others just want to have the biggest, best and rowdiest bash ever.
Then there are parties at campus owned apartments; at UNH we have the Gables and the Woodsides. Parties at the Gables or the Woodsides usually tend to be quieter with most attendees being friends of the residents. That being said, parties at the Gables can also get pretty big, but it really depends on the people who are hosting. Partying at the Gables can be a lot of fun, but quiet hours kick in at one a.m. so things usually have to wrap up a bit earlier than most other options.
Another type of party are those located at an off-campus (or non-UNH owned on campus) house or apartment. Simply because they are off campus or not university property you can usually expect a rowdier atmosphere. A party off campus is nice because they are usually in between the size of a frat party and something at the Gables. If you are hosting an off campus party make sure you are aware of the town’s noise policies because the last thing you want is cops to shut it down early. That happened at a Halloween party I was at an it resulted in everyone walking a few miles back to campus because we all had to leave at once and couldn’t wait for safe rides or the designated drivers to make rounds. House parties are great, especially when the warm weather comes and there is a yard for lawn games and a campfire.
Athletics: Go ‘Cats Go!
Over the past few years UNH Athletics have been on the rise. While the men’s and women’s hockey teams have been National contenders for decades, neither team has ever won a National Championship. Infact, the only national titles UNH has ever won belongs to the 1985 Women’s Lacrosse team, the 1998 Women's Hockey Team (not a NCAA spot yet) and the 2010 Men's VolleyBall (Division 1AA). This has lead to many rivals referring to UNH as the “University of No Hardware.” The major sports at UNH are men’s hockey and football, but recently the men’s basketball team has seen larger crowds.
In recent years the football team has been closer to a national title then any other varsity team, making it deep into the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly D1AA) playoffs several years in a row. Five out the past six years UNH has defeated a BCS (formerly D1A) team. Those teams include Northwestern, Rutgers, Marshall, Army and Ball State. Last season UNH faces Pittsburgh, who may be their biggest opponent to date, but lost after keeping it close for a half. The team also played rival UMass at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium and won in a blowout. They will once again play UMass at Gillette this year. There has also been a push to rebuild Cowell Stadium, which many people consider one of the worst football facilities in all of Division 1, but with budget cuts it could be many years away.
The men’s basketball team has also been on the rise over the past three seasons under head coach Bill Herrion. Despite not finishing with great records the team has played a few of their better seasons in recent history. In two of the last three seasons the team has won a first round game in the America East tournament and have nice group of young players. This has raised the question of which of the following will happen first: A national title for the football team, a national title for the hockey team or a NCAA tournament appearance for the men’s basketball team. Five to ten years ago almost everyone would have picked the hockey team, but after seeing the improvements to the football and basketball teams and the continued postseason struggles of the hockey team under Coach Umile there could be a different banner coming to Durham than most would have expected.
As much as the football and basketball teams have improved UNH is still, and will probably always be a hockey school. All regular season home games are free to any fulltime student with an ID card. Men’s hockey remains the only sport that students must get tickets ahead of time. The hockey team plays its home games at the Whittemore Center, a 6,500-seat arena that regularly sells out. Students at the hockey games must sit in the student section, the area at the end of the ice closest to the lobby where UNH shoots at during the first and third period. UNH hockey games are by far the biggest athletic event on campus. Every year the team is one of the top competitors in Hockey East, which is arguably the best conference in all of college hockey. Some of the chants get a little vulgar, but this is a college atmosphere. See the tab at the top of the blog for the hockey chants.
Greek Life: For only a few hundred dollars a semester you can have friends!
Just kidding, two of my past roommates were in fraternities and they were both great and normal kids like any other student. Most of the time frats get a bad wrap, but some of it is deserved. Although you may have been taught differently, stereotypes exist for a reason. Every frat has douche bag brothers, but they also have really chill and friendly members, they all throw parties and host community-building events and fundraisers. I have made great friends in just about every frat on campus and have even lived with a few. Since I have never rushed I can’t say what that is like but I do know that they make it seem worse than what actually happens. If you are going to rush a Greek organization I highly recommend avoiding the unrecognized ones. You can say what you want, and several of them are still recognized nationally, but it is a lot better if your organization is in full compliance with UNH.
Greek life is a great part of the college experience, whether you rush or not, but it isn’t for everyone. Attending a few rush events early on may be a great way to make friends and you will be able to determine how you want to spend your next four years.
Intramurals: Relive your high school glory days.
Intramurals are a lot of fun and they don’t take up a whole lot of time. Usually just 30 minutes to an hour a week. They are a great way to help keep off that freshman 15 and to break up your day between schoolwork and drinking time. Broomball is the bomb. It is basically like hockey, but you wear shoes and use a weird broom shaped stick. There are intramurals for just about every sport including soccer, football, basketball, floor hockey, tennis, softball and many others.
Off Campus: There's more to UNH than Durham.
UNH students who live on campus are required to pay a transportation fee and it can be nice to take advantage of its perks. Wildcat Transit, the UNH bus system, has free bus rides to Dover, Newmarket, the Newington malls and Portsmouth. There are great bars, restaurants and places to hear live music in all those towns. Dover has the Brickhouse as well as many bars, Newmarket has the Stone Church which features live music several times a week. Portsmouth has many great stores (Bull Moose Music and River Run Bookstore to name a few favorites) and restaurants like Flatbread Pizza, The Friendly Toast, The Portsmouth Brewery, Redhook Brewery and dozens of others. Portsmouth also has a ton of bars around Market Square and the Music Hall which is usually good for a few decent concerts a year.