Tips for Adjusting to College Life

The change of lifestyle that comes with going away to college often comes as a shock to students. Living in a different city and being away from friends and family is difficult for everyone. However, these tactics can help you adjust and feel at home much sooner.


1. Go to All Your Classes


Many students use their newfound freedom to skip classes when they start college. However, this can quickly backfire, as you’ll find you lack an understanding of the course material. Besides, classes are a great way to start meeting people, develop a routine for your time at college, and make the most of your education.


2. Learn the Proper Way to Study


You may have coasted through high school without putting in much effort. It’s unlikely to be that way in college, though, no matter how intelligent you are. You’ll need to learn how to study, which includes thinking deeply about the material you’re learning, expressing concepts in your own words, and tying ideas together.


3. Join Study Groups


Collaborating with other students who are taking the same classes is a great way to study. For instance, you can work through the most difficult parts of course material together to ensure you have a good understanding before tests and assignments.


4. Embrace New Opportunities


College is not just about academics: it’s also a chance to meet new people from all kinds of different backgrounds and to learn more about yourself. A great way to do this is to take advantage of all the activities on offer. Explore new passions by joining clubs and expand your group of friends by attending a variety of events.


5. Check In with Old Friends


Avoid homesickness by staying in touch with friends from your hometown. In addition to sending quick messages throughout the day, it can be comforting to set up a regular time to have a video call.


6. Chat with Your Roommate


Another way to stop feeling lonely is to talk to the people around you. Since you’re already living together, it makes sense to get to know your roommate. Even if you don’t end up becoming close friends, you’ll at least always have someone to chat with. Plus, developing a good relationship early on will mean you’re much less likely to have problems later.


7. Stick to a Budget


It’s easy to overspend in college, especially if the friends you make always want to go out. You’re already paying a large amount in tuition — the last thing you want is to rack up debt due to poor financial decisions. Use a spreadsheet to organize your finances and make sure you stay within your budget.


8. Set Goals for Your Time at College


Stay motivated by working toward goals. These can be related to any aspect of your life. Just make sure you write them down and create an action plan to ensure you’re able to meet your targets.


One last thing you need to learn is how to find affordable housing. This is often a particularly challenging aspect of being a college student, but we can make it easy for you. Foundry First is not just affordable; it’s also comfortable, convenient, and modern — everything you want in student housing. Best of all, it’s just steps away from Fanshawe College. Schedule a tour to check out the suites and onsite amenities.

What to Do When You Forget an Assignment

Staying on track with your studies can be hard at times, especially when you have other commitments, like extracurriculars or a part-time job. To make matters worse, professors often set assignments with due dates far in the future, making it easy to forget about an assignment entirely. It is extremely stressful to realize you don’t have enough time to complete an assignment, especially if you’re worried this could impact your final grade. Instead of panicking, there are a few things you can do to resolve the situation.


1. Let Your Professor Know


As soon as you realize that you’ll be unable to submit the assignment on time, contact your professor. Don’t wait until the day before the due date, as this shows you didn’t think ahead. If possible, meet with your professor in person, such as during office hours.


If meeting in person is not a possibility, an email will have to suffice. Address your professor formally, be polite, and remember to apologize. Keep the email to no more than a few lines to avoid including unnecessary information or repeating yourself and ask if it would be possible to extend the deadline. Finally, make sure you include your contact information and student number.


2. Explain Your Situation


Be honest with your reasons for missing the deadline. Your professor wants you to succeed and may be able to help you overcome any problems you are facing with submitting assignments on time — but this is only possible if you’re truthful about why you messed up. Besides, there’s a good chance your professor will catch on if you’re not being entirely honest about the situation.


In addition, make it clear you understand that it’s your responsibility to meet due dates — your professor won’t appreciate it if you try to lay the blame on someone else. For instance, if your workload is too heavy, don’t complain about not having enough time to complete all your coursework. Instead, admit that you’ve taken on more than you can handle and that you may need to adjust your schedule.


3. Submit Something


Your professor may ask you to submit whatever you have by the due date just to help you receive something higher than a zero. Alternatively, you may receive an extension — although it’s unlikely that this will be for much more than a few days. Whatever the case, put in the effort to submit the best work you can in this short timeframe.


4. Commit to Doing Better Next Time


Don’t expect more than one second chance at university. This is not high school and the consequences for missing due dates are much more severe. Professors expect you to act like an adult and meet your deadlines, just like you would have to do at work. Keep track of your due dates and create a schedule for completing assignments around them. If you have a few assignments due around the same time, work on them well in advance. This is good practice anyway, since you never know if you’ll face a major problem, such as a medical emergency, power outage, or broken laptop.


It’s easier to stay organized when you have a great place to study. Students looking for housing can find the privacy, comfort, and convenience they need to develop great study habits at Foundry First. We offer spacious furnished suites and great onsite amenities just steps away from Fanshawe College. Schedule a tour to see all the facilities for yourself.

Questions to Ask When Touring Universities

Visiting universities is a great way to narrow down your list of potential schools to a shortlist of favourites. It will allow you to consider more than just whether the college offers the major and extracurriculars you want. For instance, you can chat with other students to see how they feel about the university. Plus, you can ask the following questions to assess your own feelings about the school.


1. Would I Be Happy at This School?


The most important question is one you should ask yourself: Would you be happy at the university? Imagine yourself on campus and decide if you’re excited by the prospect. You may visit a school you originally thought was your top choice only to find that something doesn’t feel quite right when you arrive. There’s no need to put the reason into words — the crucial thing is to go with your gut.


2. What Are Things You Like and Dislike About the School?


If you’ll be visiting many colleges, it’s easy to forget the small details. Right after your tour, make a note about a few features that stood out. Try to identify three things you liked the most, perhaps including the facilities or buildings. In addition, write down three things you either disliked or liked less than at other schools you visited. You’ll find this information useful when you come to compare your options later.


3. Questions to Ask Your Guide


The exact questions you should ask your guide will depend on what matters to you most. Use these questions for inspiration:
What’s your major? (If it’s the same as yours, follow this up by asking about what classes the student has enjoyed the most. If it’s completely different to yours, you could ask about the best electives.)

  • Is it easy to find an internship?
  • How do the professors make their classes engaging? Do they use interactive learning activities? Are there more opportunities to interact with your professors?
  • Have you had the chance to take field trips or attend talks by guest lecturers?
  • What are the food options like?
  • How do you spend your weekends? What kinds of social activities are on offer?
  • Why did you choose this college? What types of students does this school attract?


4. How Do the Students Seem?


Finally, consider the attitudes of the other students you meet. When you talk to them (or even just observe them), do they seem excited — or do they seem stressed? Do they praise the school and speak about their classes with enthusiasm — or do they talk about feeling overwhelmed? What do they think about the extracurriculars, student organizations, and other opportunities available?


Another way to gain the most out of your university tours is to spend some time looking for student accommodation. If you’re considering Fanshawe College, pay a visit to Foundry First. Our off-campus housing is just steps away from campus and gives you the chance to socialize with other students in places like our onsite gym, lounge, and theatre. Schedule a tour for the same day as your university visit or just drop by.

How to Start the New Semester Off Right with Your Roommate

A challenging aspect of starting a semester in new housing is learning to live with new roommates. If you live on campus, the likelihood is you’ll share a room with at least one other person, meaning you’ll have no private space. This can be quite the adjustment. However, with the right strategy, you can prevent serious disagreements and other problems.


1. Reach Out to Your Roommate in Advance


Some colleges tell students who they’ll be sharing with ahead of time. If you only have a name, you’ll need to search on social media. If you’re lucky, though, your school will provide you with your roommates’ email addresses. Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know them. This will make things much more comfortable when move-in day comes around.


Don’t feel intimidated about reaching out to your roommates. In fact, if they don’t reach out first, it’s most likely because they feel just as anxious as you. Start with some small talk, such as asking about where your roommates live at the moment or what they think of the university. Try to keep the conversation going by finding out if you have any interests in common.


It’s best of all if you move away from text messages and have a brief video chat instead.  Alternatively, if you live near each other, see if you can arrange to meet up.


2. Set Some Ground Rules


Your roommates will immediately dislike you if you start reeling off a list of rules you expect them to follow. Nonetheless, it’s essential that you communicate any basic expectations you have. For instance, you may need to set standards for cleanliness, decide how you’ll divide the space, and agree to when each of you can have guests over.


It may happen that one roommate bothers the others without realizing it — for example, by keeping the light on too late at night, listening to music without headphones, or even hitting the snooze button repeatedly in the morning. Instead of silently stewing and growing resentful, it’s important to address such issues politely when they crop up.


3. Spend Time Together


Doing activities together as roommates will help you develop a bond. This is important because you can’t just expect to bond naturally — it’s possible to live with someone an entire semester or more and still feel like strangers. In those first few days, you may like to decorate your room, tour the campus and its surroundings, or attend events together to start meeting new people.


4. Don’t Expect to Be Best Friends


It’s rare for randomly-assigned roommates to become best friends. In fact, it’s great if you can become more than just mere acquaintances. Make sure you still put in the effort to meet plenty of other people, such as at clubs and organizations where you can find friends who share your passions.


One way to avoid roommate problems is by renting an apartment for college students instead of living on campus. Although you will still share some living spaces, you’ll at least have your own private bedroom. At Foundry First, you’ll receive a suite that you’ll share with just three or four other people. Plus, we’ll match you with roommates who have similar interests and lifestyles to reduce any risk of conflict. Schedule a tour to check out our student housing for yourself.

The Pros & Cons of Night Classes

Taking classes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. may suit most students, but this traditional schedule is inconvenient for many others. For instance, you may need to work at the same time as studying to be able to afford your education. However, it’s more difficult to find a job if you’re taking classes during the day. A solution may be to take night classes — but you should consider both the pros and cons before you decide this is the right route for you.


Pro: More Flexibility
With night classes, it’s possible to work full time and still fit in your studies. Plus, unlike with a traditional schedule, classes tend to last around 2.5 hours and take place twice a week. This means you’ll have three weekdays free to pick up evening shifts.


Alternatively, you could use the opportunity to find a part-time job and also work an internship or fit your other responsibilities and activities in your schedule — perhaps activities that will improve your chances of employment once you graduate.


Con: Longer Days
Fitting night classes around a job or internship means your days will be much longer. This can be stressful, or it may mean you’re unable to find as much time for fun.


Pro: Many Students Focus Better at Night
Whereas some people can wake up at dawn feeling alert and focused, others naturally have higher energy levels later in the day. If you know that you fall into the second category, you may do better in college if you take night classes. Depending on your other commitments, you may even be able to wake up at a time that’s comfortable for you and go to bed later.


Con: Difficulty Focusing
Of course, if you’re not the kind of person who’s alert later in the day, you’ll likely find night classes more difficult than sticking to a traditional schedule. If you’re already tired from a long day of work, you may struggle to concentrate or lack motivation, making you more prone to distractions.


Pro: Arrive to Class Prepared
As a college student, it’s up to you to do most of your studies on your own time. Many students prefer preparing for classes a few hours before, as everything is fresh in their minds. Plus, taking night classes may allow you to spend the day on independent study, meaning you’ll have fewer nights spent frantically trying to study when you’re tired and unable to concentrate.


Con: Less Time to Sleep
If you’re unable to wake up late (if your job starts early, for instance), you may end up with less time to sleep. In addition, if your job takes up a great deal of your time, you may need to use the time after your night classes to study, which will cut down on your sleep even more.


Pro: Meet a Different Group of People
The kinds of people who take night classes tend to differ from traditional college students. Many will be using classes to advance in their careers or change profession. It can be interesting to meet such a diverse range of students — not to mention it gives you the chance to grow your network.


Con: It’s More Difficult to Socialize
The people you meet at night classes are also less likely to have free time to socialize. This means it can be more difficult to make friends. Plus, you may be unable to attend college activities that take place in the evenings because they clash with your classes.


Students looking for housing in London, Ontario — regardless of whether they’re taking daytime or night classes — can find off-campus apartments that meet their needs and match their lifestyle at Foundry First. Here, you’ll have the chance to meet a wide range of students from all kinds of backgrounds and plenty of opportunities to socialize. Schedule a tour to check out our suites and onsite amenities.

How to Use Your Planner to Make College Life More Organized

You have many more responsibilities when you start college, and this can be overwhelming for students who are unused to organizing their time and meeting deadlines. It’s essential you have a system in place to ensure you stay on track and don’t forget anything. A top way to do this is with a planner. As well as keeping track of your assignment dates, a planner allows you to create a study schedule and make note of all your other commitments, such as shifts at work, dates when your clubs are meeting, and upcoming events.


However, simply purchasing a planner and hoping for the best is never effective. A planner can be a great tool — but only if you know how to use it. Here are a few practical tips to consider.


1. Write Your Name in the Front
Once you’ve purchased your planner, you likely want to dive in and start adding all the important dates. However, there’s one crucial piece of information to add first: your name, perhaps along with your contact information. If you leave your planner somewhere after you’ve filled it in, you’ll feel lost without it. Including some basic contact details will increase the chances it’s returned to you.


2. Make a List of Goals
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Not only does this solidify them, it also means you can refer to them at any time for motivation. Include some goals for the short term, such as for the current semester, and others for the longer term, such as for the whole year.


3. Add Major Deadlines to Your Calendar
Use your syllabus to find assignment deadlines and write them in the calendar part of your planner. This will make it easy to see when you need to start preparing assignments and which weeks you need to work extra hard because you have several deadlines close together. Go beyond academics and also add important dates like sports games and other activities.


4. Sketch Out a Typical Week
Create a schedule representing a typical week when you have all your regular classes and other activities. You can use this as a template for other weeks; plus, it will help you see when you have free time available for studying and socializing.


5. Fill Out Each Week a Day or So Before
Dedicate time on the same day each week (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday might work best) to prepare for the upcoming week. If you prefer, you could do this several weeks in advance, but it tends to be more difficult to know what commitments you’ll have more than two weeks ahead of time. Fill all the sections of the weekly planner as are relevant to you.


6. Develop Your Own Style
As you spend more time with your planner, you’ll find you figure out tricks that work for you. This could include using colour coding, adding stickers, or jotting notes to inspire you. Experiment with different ideas until you find a system that helps you feel more organized and in control of your schedule.


One thing you shouldn’t need to worry about is finding the perfect housing. In fact, there’s affordable housing apartments for rent waiting for you at Foundry First. Check out our floor plans to see what suites and apartments we have available at the moment.

7 Ways to Stay Social While Living Off Campus

Living in a campus dorm allows you to interact and become friends with a lot of people. There’s always someone you can hang out or grab lunch with. Unfortunately, living on campus is not the best option for everyone.  

Some people who want to live independently while taking classes at Fanshawe College have looked for student flats to rent in London. Even if you chose to live in a student apartment, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and gain new friends by doing the following: 

Attending Campus Events

School-sponsored events are a great place to meet other students. Watch the football games if you’re sporty, go to a concert if you’re into music, and attend workshops if you want to learn something new. You can find out about these campus events by going to your school’s official website or social media page. 

It may be intimidating to go to these school events alone at first, but you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to chat up other people at these events once you get over the initial hurdle. Finding a common ground or shared hobbies will definitely make the conversation more interesting and the connection more lasting.

Attending Off-Campus Events

Don’t limit yourself to campus activities. Diversify your network by attending events in the community. You can head over to the local pub, visit the museum, or lounge in a coffee shop to meet people outside of your academic and social circles.        

Joining a Club

Choosing a group of people that have the same interests as you is a great way to start meaningful and lasting friendships. Joining a club allows you to meet like-minded people and gives you opportunities to explore your hobbies further.

Joining a Study Group

Forming a study group allows you to form connections with other students that take the same classes as you. Plus, your grades may thank you. You’ll get to know one another and study the course material in depth at the same time.

Volunteering for a Worth Cause

Spend time in an animal shelter, cleaning up the environment, or caring for the marginalized sector of the community. Just choose a cause you’re passionate about so you can meet charity-minded people who are as socially conscious as you. 

Getting a Part-Time Job

Aside from earning money, a part-time job allows you to meet people from all walks of life. Hit the university bookstore or college newspaper for openings if you want to mingle with people on campus. You can get a glimpse of what corporate life is like through your colleagues, and explore mentorship opportunities with supervisors.

Talking to Professors

You should be actively looking for mentors who can guide you not just through college but in the early years of your professional career. One way to do this is to take advantage of your professors’ office hours to ask questions and get to know them. 

At the end of the day, the best way to meet people is where you are right now. Be approachable, establish eye contact, and make small talk whenever the opportunity rises. It’s also important that you not just look for a friend, but be a friend to the people you meet.