10 of the Best Gifts for Fellow Students

Although it may not be practical to purchase gifts for all your college friends, there’s most likely a few people on your list. Buy them something special without breaking the bank with these ideas.

1. Throw Throw Burrito

If your friends enjoy having regular game nights, you may like to give someone a new game for you all to play. A top choice this year is Throw Throw Burrito, which is a combination of card game and dodgeball.

2. Mini Blender

You can prepare so many things with a blender, including smoothies, soups, and salsas. A mini blender is convenient even for friends who have limited space. Plus, many models come with a lid for the cup, allowing your friend to take a smoothie on the go.

3. Potted Plant

No home is complete without at least a few plants. Choose one that’s easy to care for, such as a succulent that only needs watering every two weeks or so.

4. Slippers

Every college student needs a pair of warm slippers to keep their toes toasty. Plus, slippers are much more comfortable than wearing shoes indoors — and changing into indoor footwear keeps your home cleaner.

5. Coffee Maker

If you have a friend who spends money on coffee every day, there can be no better gift than a coffee maker. Whereas some machines are likely out of your budget, some simple options make great coffee, such as a classic moka pot.

6. Electric Massager

Whether your friend is a college athlete or spends too much time hunched over a desk, an electric massager could provide some well-needed relief. These devices vibrate to massage the muscles and relieve tension.

7. Reusable Notebook

A reusable notebook is cost effective and convenient. Your friend will never need to buy paper notebooks again and can save notes directly to the cloud.

8. Mini Projector

Anyone who likes shooting videos or taking photos will definitely appreciate a projector. This is a great solution for students who don’t have a TV in their apartment but would like to show off pictures or short films they’ve made. Plus, it also works for movie nights.

9. Bluetooth Speaker

A bluetooth speaker is the ideal gift for any music lover. You can find high-quality models that reach high enough volumes to play tunes for parties at budget prices.

10. Diffuser

Gift your friend the benefits of aromatherapy with an essential oil diffuser. Even friends who live in dorms or apartments that don’t allow candles will be able to use one of these to infuse their bedrooms with their favourite scent.

This time of year, you should also think about a gift for yourself. The best way to improve your college experience is to move into better housing. Students looking for housing near Fanshawe College can find a new home at Foundry First. All our suites are designed with your comfort in mind: they’re equipped with stainless steel appliances, feature modern furnishings, and have an open-concept space to seamlessly connect the common areas. Apply now to secure your spot while there are still rooms available.

How to Start a Study Group

Students often find that they retain more information and feel better prepared for exams when they study in groups. If no one in your classes has set up a study group yet, you may want to take the initiative. Here are a few things to think about when setting up a group to ensure it’s a worthwhile activity.

1. Invite the Right People

Organizing a study group will be a waste of time if you end up using it as an excuse to socialize. This could happen if you mainly invite friends. Better choices are students who you know are committed to working hard and want to achieve good grades. Furthermore, you’ll need the right number of people. If the group is too large, it may be difficult for everyone to participate or you could end up with two conversations happening at once. Avoid this by limiting your group to no more than five members.

2. Stay in Touch with Everyone

You’ll need to set up a group chat where you can discuss any necessary changes (such as if you need to meet at a different time or location than normal) and where members can confirm their attendance. You can also use your group chat to discuss anything related to the class between study sessions, such as if there’s a particular aspect of the material you’re struggling to understand.

3. Decide How Your Group Will Work

As the person setting up the study group, you’re responsible for clarifying how your group will work. For instance, you’ll need to decide how often you’ll meet and for how long. Most groups find meeting once a week for an hour is ideal.

You’ll also need to set rules for the sessions. For example, you may feel it would be more natural to dedicate a couple minutes at the start for small talk, as long as there’s a time limit. Alternatively, you may like to dedicate the entire session to studying. It’s a good idea to check that everyone is in agreement and allow other group members to voice their opinions before you come to any final decisions.

4. Come Up with Ideas for the Sessions

If you lack an objective for a session, you may end up wasting your time trying to decide what to do. It’s important to know in advance what material you’ll be covering and what activities you’ll use to study together. You may like to dedicate some of your first session to creating an agenda for future meetings.

5. Choose Somewhere to Study

Finally, you need to decide where your study group will meet. Finding the perfect place can be challenging, as you’ll need somewhere you won’t be distracted but also where you won’t be bothering anyone else. There may be study rooms you can use on campus (such as in the library), but there’s no guarantee you’ll find the same room available each week.

Your apartment could be the ideal place to hold a group study session — provided it’s large enough and close to campus. You can find London, Ontario, apartments for students at Foundry First. The suites are large with modern furnishings and located just steps from campus. Secure your spot today while there are still spaces.

6 Themes to Consider for Your Next College Party

Group of young people in park with digital tablet having fun

Everyone loves a themed party — and you’ll probably be invited to numerous during your time at college. At some point, you may also like to throw your own party. Make it one to remember by choosing from some of the top themes.

1. Decade Party

Go back in time with a decade party. As well as picking a decade, you can set a specific theme to make your party unique from any other you’ve attended. For instance, an 80s party could have a neon-clothing or Ghostbusters theme. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to play tunes from the era all night.

In the past, decades parties were mostly 60s, 70s, and 80s, but now the 90s and early 2000s happened long enough ago to also be possibilities. Alternatively, you could also go further back in time — roaring 20s parties are particularly popular at the moment.

2. Graffiti Party

In a graffiti party, everyone comes wearing a white T-shirt and marker. You write messages and draw doodles on each other’s T-shirts throughout the course of the night. It’s even better to use highlights and black lights, as you won’t be able to see what’s on your T-shirt unless you’re under a black light. It can be particularly fun to have a graffiti party right before graduation, as it will mean everyone ends up with a memento from their time at college.

3. Disco Party

If you want to make the focus of the night dancing, opt for a disco party. There’s no need to feel limited to just disco music, though — anything with a danceable rhythm is fine.

4. Toga Party

A classic at college is the toga party. If no one has thrown one already, it would be great to do it yourself. Unlike with many other types of costumes, it’s easy to throw together a toga — you only need a plain white sheet and sandals. To complete the evening, make sure to plan some party games that have a Greek or Roman twist.

5. Anything But Clothes

Another option for inexpensive costumes is an ABC party: anything but clothes. Get creative by putting together an outfit made from trash bags, cardboard boxes, towels, lampshades, or anything else you can think of.

6. Pajama Party

For a more intimate party with just your closest friends, consider a pajama party. You can watch movies, eat snacks, and gossip — all in your pajamas. At the end of the night, everyone crashes at your place, and then you make breakfast together in the morning when you wake up. It’s sure to bring back some high school memories.

To throw any kind of party, you’ll need to be living in an apartment that has enough space to host guests. Foundry First is offering student accommodation in London, Ontario. You’ll be living steps from Fanshawe College in a student community where you’ll have a spacious suite to entertain your college friends. Plus, you’ll have the chance to meet plenty of new people in places like the lounge and theatre. Schedule a tour to see what makes our housing facilities unique.

8 Practical Exam Prep Tips

Female student taking exam in classroom

Students often feel anxious about taking exams because they have no idea how to prepare for a test. It’s actually simpler than you may think — and the right prep can make a huge difference to your performance.

1. Start Early

The longer you give yourself to prepare for the exam, the more information you’ll retain. Decide when you’ll start and then create a schedule that specifies when you’ll study and what activities you’ll do. If you have several exams around the same time, it may make sense to devote more time to the most challenging rather than to split your time evenly.

2. Create a Study Space

Clean your desk to turn it into a space where you can study comfortably. Remove anything that’s likely to distract you or that’s taking up too much space, as you’ll need to be able to spread out papers and textbooks. In addition, check that you have enough light to read printed materials. You may need to move your desk to a different place in the room or purchase a lamp. Finally, figure out what kind of environment helps you concentrate — options include silence, white noise, or background music.

3. Use Past Exams

If possible, find exam papers from previous years that you can use to practise. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam and to see how the questions are worded. During at least one exam, time yourself to check that you’re able to finish within the amount of time you’ll have on the day.

4. Practise in a Group

It can be difficult to stay focused when studying on your own. Inviting others to study with you can mean you stay on track. Whereas you could just ask people you know to ask you questions from flashcards, it’s even better to form a study group with classmates and prepare for the exam together. Cover a different topic each session and use the opportunity to explain concepts to each other to ensure you’ve understood.

5. Make Visual Aids

Mix things up by drawing diagrams, flowcharts, and timelines. These could represent processes, events, or key facts.

6. Take Regular Breaks

After a certain amount of time, your brain becomes too tired to take in any more information. Figure out how long this is for you and schedule short breaks in between bouts of studying. Going for a walk is ideal, as your mind will benefit from the fresh air and sunlight.

7. Stay Healthy

Keeping your body healthy makes it easier to prepare for and do well on an exam. Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet with foods that boost your memory, such as fruits, nuts, seeds, and yogurt.

8. Be Prepared on Exam Day

Find out the time and location of the exam to determine how you’ll get there and what time you’ll need to leave home. Prepare everything the night before to avoid the stress of forgetting something.
It’s always difficult to prepare for exams when your study space is noisy and you’re constantly being interrupted. The solution is to move out of residence and into off-campus housing. You can find London, Ontario, apartments for students at Foundry First. You’ll receive a bedroom in a fully-furnished suite (with the option of a private washroom) and you’ll have access to a range of great onsite amenities. Apply now before all the units are taken.

Must-Have Supplies for College Classes

The last thing you want is to arrive on campus only to realize you’re missing some essentials. However, you also don’t want to be carrying around a number of unnecessary items all day — that can get uncomfortable fast. The trick is to know what are the must-haves and bring just these.

1. Basic Essentials

Of course, you’ll need to have some basic essentials with you at all times. This includes pens and pencils (you may like to have a range of different colours), notebooks (at least one for each class), your textbooks, and your laptop along with a charger.

2. Healthy Snacks

It’s easy to be so busy that you have no time to eat a proper meal. Keep your energy levels up by carrying snacks around with you. Healthy choices like protein bars and fruit are best, as they’ll ultimately make you feel better than sugary treats. When you have healthy snacks in your backpack, you’ll be less tempted to purchase something that looks tempting now but that you may regret later. Plus, you’ll save money, as you won’t need to rely on the overpriced food on campus targeted to less-organized students.

3. Hand Sanitizer

Before you can eat that snack you packed, you’ll need to clean your hands. A fast way to do this is using hand sanitizer.

4. Water Bottle or Travel Mug

Another way you may waste money on campus is if you buy beverages every time you’re thirsty. Water will allow you to stay hydrated without increasing your calorie intake, but sometimes you may need a hit of caffeine. Carry a water bottle and travel mug to satisfy both needs.

5. Lip Balm

Dry or cold weather can lead your lips to crack and feel painful. Find immediate relief with some lip balm.

6. Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Headaches can easily strike when you’re stressed or feeling rundown. Pick up a generic brand at your local drugstore and keep a few with you at all times.

7. A Planner

It often comes as a shock to new students just how organized you need to be to survive at college. A planner can help remind you of due dates, work shifts, meetings, clubs, appointments, and everything else on your schedule. You may think you can remember everything, but you’ll soon realize this is impossible — and it’s better to not figure this out the hard way.

8. A Decent Backpack

You may have chosen a backpack in high school based purely on appearances. In college, your backpack needs to be functional: it must be able to fit everything above and anything else you need for specific classes. Even if you’re driving to campus, you can’t expect to keep most of your belongings in your car because you may have back-to-back classes located in completely different areas of campus. Instead, invest in a large, comfortable backpack — you won’t regret it.

Another thing new college students often struggle with is figuring out how to find off-campus housing. If you’ll be attending Fanshawe College, look no further than Foundry First. Located just steps from campus, our student housing provides you with everything you need plus much more, including a fully-furnished suite, a commercially-equipped gym, parking, and laundry facilities. Apply now while there are still limited spots available.

7 Benefits of Having a College Degree

Attending college has a number of benefits compared to finishing your education with high school. Whatever your career goals, it’s likely that a number of these benefits will apply to you.

1. More Job Opportunities

Many jobs require a college degree — and you won’t even be considered for some positions without one. If you know what kind of job you want, check if it falls into this category. If you’re still unsure about what career to pursue, it’s worth having a degree to keep your options open and help you stand out as a candidate, even for jobs that don’t require a particular qualification.

2. Higher Salary

Higher levels of education lead to higher average salaries. Even differences per year are pronounced, which adds up to a significant increase in earnings over your lifetime.

3. Greater Stability

Jobs that require a college degree also tend to be more stable than those available to high school graduates. As well as being more likely to remain in the same job for longer, you should be able to find a new job quickly if you do end up becoming unemployed. This is both because you’ll be more desirable as a worker and because the kinds of jobs that require a degree are less likely to disappear due to automation or offshoring.

4. Better Job Satisfaction

You’re more likely to enjoy your job if it requires a degree. The work will often put you on the path to a particular career — rather than just paying the bills. Plus, you’ll receive more benefits that make your life more pleasant.

5. Valuable Contacts

During your time at college, you’ll meet a variety of people, including professors, other students, and mentors. All these contacts could be valuable later on, as they’ll connect you to a wider network. In fact, many jobs are never advertised and only available if you know the right people.

6. Personal Development

Just the experience of attending college could be a benefit in itself. Finding out that earning a degree is something you’re able to do can be rewarding. Plus, you’ll develop a number of useful skills, including critical thinking, writing, organization, and independence. Depending on your major and what opportunities you take, you may also learn how to give presentations and work in a team. All this can increase your self-confidence: leading you to sell yourself better in interviews, helping you to better overcome adversity, and reducing your levels of stress.

7. Chance to Gain an Advanced Degree

College is the first step if you think you may like to earn a master’s degree or PhD one day. This will pave the way to work as some kind of specialist or researcher, leading to even higher earnings and often very satisfying work. You may also simply want the experience of gaining an advanced degree: for the challenge, the sense of achievement, or the chance to learn about an area that interests you in great depth.

To graduate on time with a good GPA, you’ll need to study hard throughout college. As it can be especially difficult to focus when you’re sharing a room, it makes sense to search for off-campus housing. You can find London, Ontario, apartments for students at Foundry First. You’ll be able to study in your fully-furnished bedroom — or take a break and meet other students in places like the lounge or theatre. Apply now while leases are still available.

A Bucket List for Your Last Summer Before College

bucket list text

Going off to college will change your life forever — but luckily you still have one more summer to enjoy. Fill the time with seeing friends, creating memories, and preparing for the transition to the next chapter of your life. To make your summer as fulfilling as possible, make sure to add these ideas to your bucket list.

1. Go Hiking

Take advantage of the summer weather by going for a hike. Being outdoors and getting some exercise is great for clearing your mind and helping you cope with any anxiety you have about heading off to college. Invite friends and family to go with you for a memorable day out — and remember to take plenty of photos to display in your student apartment.

2. Organize a Road Trip

Ask friends to join you on a road trip to visit places you’ve always wanted to see but never had the chance. You could travel for just a couple days or even a week or two. Search for camping opportunities to avoid the trip becoming too expensive.

3. Cook a Meal with Friends

If many of your friends are too busy to travel, a great way to do something together is to share a home-cooked meal. If you each bring a dish to share, you’ll have an abundance of food and will be able to chat late into the evening about your hopes and dreams for the future.

4. Agree to Stay in Touch

As you all head off to different schools, make a pact with your closest friends to keep each other up to date with what’s going on in your lives. Set up a group chat or schedule regular calls.

5. Donate Possessions You No Longer Want

When packing for college, you may come across many belongings you no longer want, such as clothes you haven’t worn in several years. Instead of leaving these things behind to deal with later, donate them to a secondhand store in your area.

6. Finish a Book from Your Reading List

Since you’ll be doing plenty of reading in college, you may as well get into the habit now. Choose a book that’s been on your reading list for a long time, a new summer bestseller, or a memoir of someone who inspires you.

7. Start Journalling

Journalling can improve your mental health and is a great way to record everything that happens in your life. If you’d like to keep a journal to document your college experience, you may find it helpful to start now.

8. Eat at Your Favourite Restaurant

No matter how great the restaurants near your college are, you’ll definitely miss the food from home. Make sure you go to your favourite restaurant in your hometown at least once before you leave for college.

9. Start Learning to Be Independent

Make the adjustment to college life easier by developing skills that will help you live independently. Learn how to cook a wider variety of meals, work on your organizational skills, and make sure you know how to clean your apartment.

One final thing to do in the summer before you start college is find student housing. You can find a bachelor apartment near Fanshawe College at Foundry First. You’ll be just steps from campus, with everything you need on site as well as some extras to improve your student experience, including a lounge, state-of-the-art theatre, and ping pong table. Apply now for one of the limited spots available after the summer.

How to Make a Great First Impression at College

young man shaking hands

If you’re not naturally a social butterfly, you may be worrying about how to make a great first impression when you start college. This is definitely a skill that’s worth learning, as you’ll find it easier to make friends, have better relationships with your roommates, and increase your chances to participate in exciting opportunities. To ensure you make a great first impression on everyone you meet, there are a few things you need to do.

1. Pay Attention to Your Appearance

Before meeting people (such as during social events on campus), make sure you’re presentable. There’s no need to wear smart clothes, as most college students wear T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants, but your clothing should be free from holes and tears. When you meet someone, be sure to smile and maintain eye contact.

2. Work on Your Handshake

A limp handshake feels like you’re putting in no effort. Plus, it won’t help your professional image. Practise a firm handshake by consciously thinking about what you’re doing when you shake the hands of people you meet.

3. Remember People’s Names

People will appreciate it if you remember their names. Make sure you ask everyone you meet and then repeat back their names to both help store the information in your memory and ensure you’re pronouncing the name correctly. Show people that you do remember by using their names during conversations and introducing them to other people you know.

4. Listen During Conversations

Some people try too hard to make a good impression and end up dominating conversations, spending the whole time talking about themselves. This doesn’t impress anyone. What will impress people is if you listen and show interest, such as by asking questions. Other students are more likely to seek you out later if you’ve demonstrated that you’re a good conversationalist.

5. Become Active on Campus

Present yourself as someone who is actively involved in student life by attending events on campus. To go a step further, you could learn more about clubs, organizations, and resources to become a source of information for students or you could volunteer in booths, campaigns, and other activities.

6. Be Open-Minded

When you meet someone new, keep the interaction positive. Controversial topics may come up, especially if students are representing clubs or social campaigns. Instead of disagreeing and immediately engaging in an argument, listen to what others have to say. You’ll be exposed to a variety of viewpoints and meet students from diverse backgrounds at college — you may even end up changing some of your world views. Besides, you’ll gain more respect and will be more likely to sway the opinions of others if you have calm, open discussions.

Making a great first impression is just one challenge to overcome at college: you’ll also need to figure out how to find off-campus housing. For students at Fanshawe College, this is easy — you can live at Foundry First. In addition to a furnished suite with WiFi access, you’ll be able to use our onsite amenities, including laundry facilities, parking, and a commercially-equipped gym. Apply now while limited spots are still available.

4 Tips for Finding the Perfect Roommate for Next Semester

Anyone who has had a conflict with a roommate in the past will know that choosing who you want to share an apartment with is an art form. Even your closest friends are often not the right choice, especially if you have very different lifestyles. Instead of basing your decision on who you normally like to be around, come up with some criteria and search for roommates who fit the bill.

1. Specify Some Key Qualities

Just a couple factors tend to influence how well you’ll be able to live together: cleanliness and noise. Think about how much it matters to you that your home is clean. If you’re not the neatest person, you shouldn’t live with someone who wants the apartment to be extremely tidy — and vice versa. In addition, decide if you want to throw parties and play music at a reasonably high volume or if you’d prefer to keep your apartment quiet to be able to study.

2. Ask Friends and Acquaintances

Compare your own habits and lifestyle with those of other people searching for roommates. As well as friends, talk to acquaintances and friends of friends. Remember that there’s no need to become close with your roommates — being able to live together harmoniously is far more important than hanging out.

3. Search Online

If you’re unable to find anyone to live with after talking to friends and other people you know, turn to the internet. Look for social media groups for your college and local area. Since you’ll be talking to strangers, it’s extra important to be honest. For instance, mention if you’ll want silence in your apartment after a certain hour to focus on schoolwork or if you’ll often be coming home in the early hours of the morning after a party. Also make sure to discuss your thoughts about inviting guests over, sharing food, and dividing up chores.

4. Post Flyers

If your online search yields no good results, revert to old-fashioned print advertising. Create flyers to stick in places around campus asking for roommate applications. Include key information about what you’re looking for to filter out unsuitable candidates. If you feel uncomfortable including contact information like your social media handle or phone number, create an email address purely for the purpose of finding a roommate.

Choosing the right roommate can be stressful. Students who have had a bad experience with a roommate in the past often decide to rent on their own instead, but this tends to be much more expensive and could be out of your budget. An ideal alternative to a bachelor apartment near Fanshawe College is a suite at Foundry First. We’ll provide you with a private bedroom in a spacious apartment that you’ll share with three or four other people. To ensure you get along great with all your roommates, we’ll use roommate matching based on the personality profile from your application. Apply early to ensure we’re able to pair you with the perfect roommates in time for next semester.

How to Prepare for Graduation

Your life will change dramatically after you graduate and enter the real world. Although this can come as a shock, there are several things you can do to feel prepared.

1. Build a Professional Network

Many of the people you meet while you’re at university could be valuable connections once you graduate. This includes other students, professors, faculty members, your employer at your part-time job or internship, and your coworkers. Make sure you’ll stay in contact with all of them after you graduate, as they could help you find opportunities for work, further study, and even housing. Add them to LinkedIn, make a note of their emails, or join the alumni association to keep in touch.

2. Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

A mentor can give you advice about how to land your dream job, progress in your career, and overcome hurdles. A professor who has been particularly supportive in the past, a family friend you often turn to for guidance, or a previous employer can all be good choices for a mentor.

3. Attend Job Fairs

Depending on the field you want to enter, you may want to start applying for jobs as soon as you graduate or you could need to start interviewing several months before you finish university. Job fairs on campus are a great way to meet potential employers who are looking for students who are about to graduate to fill upcoming positions. Since you’ll encounter a vast number of opportunities at job fairs, you should limit yourself to talking to just companies you are genuinely interested in working for.

4. Receive Support from Your Careers Centre

The career centre at your university can provide you with a wide range of resources that will be helpful for preparing you for the world of work. The staff will be able to show you how to improve your resume, give you interview tips (such as through a mock interview based on questions you’re likely to be asked), and give you more information about possible career paths if you’re still unsure about what you want to do.

5. Clean Up Your Online Presence

Whenever you apply for jobs, employers will check what they can find out about you online. In addition to updating your LinkedIn profile with all your relevant experience, see what else employers are likely to find when they search for your name. If anything comes up that may make you look unprofessional or could give a bad impression, change the settings on your other social media profiles to set them to private or delete posts entirely.

6. Improve Your Credit Score

Potential employers and landlords may both check your credit score as part of a background check. There’s still time to improve your credit score by controlling how much you spend to keep your balance at less than 30 percent of your limit and paying your bill on time each month.

7. Figure Out How Much You Need to Earn

You should have been keeping to a budget throughout university. Whereas your budget will be quite different once you start working, the concept is still the same. Figure out how much you’ll need to pay in rent, to cover your basic needs, to pay off your student loans, and to have enough left over to begin saving for an emergency fund and your longer-term goals. This will help you decide what jobs to apply for.

To finish strong, you need to take your studies seriously during your last few semesters at university. This means having a home where you can focus on your schoolwork without distractions. Foundry First offers London, Ontario, apartments for students. You’ll receive a private bedroom in a fully-furnished, modern suite. Apply now while there are still limited spots available.