7 Strategies for Acing Your Midterms

Few times at college are more stressful than the period right before midterm exams. Even if you’ve been studying hard all semester, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed as these important tests approach. Yet, there’s no need to panic. With the following strategies, you can perform your best on your midterms.

  1. Find a Place to Study

First and foremost, you need a spot where you’ll be able to focus on your studies without being distracted. Sitting on your bed is no good, nor is heading to a coffee shop where you’ll be surrounded by other people. The best place is usually the desk in your room — unless if you have a noisy roommate, in which case a better option may be the library.

  1. Remove Distractions

You also need to be proactive in minimizing any distractions. Turn off the notifications on your phone and don’t allow yourself to become sidetracked. If you remember that you need to do something unrelated to your studies, make a note of it for when you’re finished.

  1. Create a Study Schedule

As soon as you’ve finished reading this post, write up a study schedule. Your first session should be today — or, at the latest, tomorrow. Divide your schedule into blocks of time, dedicating each block to a different subject. Once you’ve done this, go into more detail: specify the particular topic you want to cover, along with your learning goals.

  1. Take Breaks

Be sure to include regular breaks in your study schedule. Every few hours, take 10 or 15 minutes to rest. Stand up and do some stretches, or go outside for a short walk and a change of scenery. This will help refresh your mind so you can stay engaged in the content.

  1. Ask for Support

Take advantage of the resources offered by your college, such as office hours with professors and support from teaching assistants. Use the opportunity to clear up any doubts you have about a particular topic and to make sure you’re studying the right material for your midterms.

  1. Improve Your Diet

Good nutrition is highly beneficial for keeping your focus — both when studying and when taking exams. For starters, eat proper meals with ample protein and fiber for energy. If you find yourself needing a snack, stick to healthy foods rather than fatty treats. Finally, no matter how busy you are, make sure to eat regularly. When you’re hungry, your brain is unable to function properly, meaning you’ll absorb less of what you’re studying.

  1. Sleep

It may be tempting to stay up late into the night to cram as much as possible before an exam. Yet, you’re less likely to do well when you’re trying to function on just a few hours’ sleep. If you stick to your schedule, there should be no need to study the night before. Aim to get a full six to eight hours of sleep.

It’s difficult to do well on your midterms if you lack a comfortable, quiet place to study. Sharing a room on campus can make studying particularly challenging. This is just one reason why many students decide to leave on-campus housing to find apartments for rent near Fanshawe College.

A great option is Foundry First. You’ll continue living the student experience but have your own room in a suite. Better yet, suites are furnished, and you’ll already have a desk in your bedroom when you move in. For more information, please contact us!

How to Keep Your Student Apartment Neat

When you’re living in a small dorm room, suite or apartment, the space can get messy fast. If you don’t put things back where they belong quickly, clutter starts building up. Soon, your room starts to feel cramped and uncomfortable.

At times, it may seem impossible to keep your space tidy, but all it really takes are a few good habits. Discover some simple yet practical ways to keep your space neat below.

  1. Make Your Bed in the Morning

Because the bed is often the largest piece of furniture in the room, it’s also the most noticeable. An unmade bed therefore makes the room feel untidy even if everything else is in order. Since it takes a minimal amount of time to make your bed, begin each day with this quick task and you’ll be off to a great start.

  1. Sort Out Your Desk

One area where you likely spend most of your time is your desk. Instead of making stacks of papers and scattering items across your desk, create a system to keep everything organized. Purchase caddies, file racks, drawer dividers — whatever it takes. Plus, look through your papers often and throw out any you no longer need.

  1. Take Out the Trash

As soon as the trash is full, empty it. Never wait until you’re piling items around the trashcan. Taking out the trash on a regular basis is also useful for maintaining good hygiene and preventing bad odours.

  1. Use an Air Freshener

Even if you are vigilant about taking out the trash, odours may be hard to avoid entirely. Air fresheners can go a long way toward keeping your room smelling pleasant. Best of all, they’re inexpensive and nonhazardous, unlike scented candles.

  1. Store Dirty Laundry

Ideally, you should have somewhere to keep dirty laundry that’s not a heap on the floor. Invest in a laundry bag or hamper.

  1. Decide Where Every Item Goes

Assign a location for each one of your belongings. Not only will this reduce clutter, it will make finding things much easier.

  1. Schedule a Cleaning Day

Make one day a week cleaning day. Sweep or vacuum the floor, dust surfaces, and wipe down the fridge. Also, go through your food to make sure nothing has expired.

  1. Clean Up Messes in the Moment

Some things should not wait until cleaning day. If you make a mess, such as a spill, clean it up straight away. It will only become more difficult to clean later — plus, it may cause a stain or invite pests.

  1. Wash Dishes After Use

Similarly, dirty dishes should never wait until cleaning day. If you don’t have a sink in your room, cleaning dishes does pose more of a challenge. However, there’s a simple solution to the problem: just purchase a dish pan, soap, and a sponge to create your own dishwashing caddy.

When you’re stuck with a messy roommate, there may be little you can do to keep your living space neat. For organized people, this is especially frustrating.

The best solution is to move into off-campus housing. Fanshawe students have Foundry First. As you’ll have a private room in a suite, it’s easy to keep your personal living space neat. Plus, the roommate matching service means you’ll share your suite with students who have similar lifestyle preferences, which can help to prevent disagreements around tidiness.

For more information or to book a tour, please contact us.

Tips for Sharing Responsibilities with Roommates

Before heading off to college, many students look forward to the independence that comes with living away from their parents. Yet, while living with roommates can be a fun experience – especially if you share the same interests and have similar personalities – it can also be challenging.

Often, the greatest challenge lies in making sure everyone does their part to keep the living space clean. To avoid conflict, it’s important to come to an agreement as to how you’ll divide household chores. Here are some helpful tips for sharing responsibilities fairly.

  1. Hold a Roommate Meeting

Open communication is critical to getting along with the people you live with. There will always be disagreements and tension if you fail to discuss expectations and responsibilities for chores. To make sure you’re all on the same page, arrange a time to talk about apartment responsibilities when everyone will be present.

  1. Assign Each Roommate Chores

Start by compiling a list of chores that will need to be completed on a regular basis. This could include sweeping or vacuuming the floor, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash, and washing the windows, among other things. There may also be some tasks you decide to share — for instance, you may agree that you’ll all wash your own dishes.

The next step is to divvy up these responsibilities. You have two options: you can rotate chores (meaning everyone takes turns at doing everything), or you can each pick the chores you’ll do. The latter is a good idea if one of you dislikes a certain task but another person has no qualms about doing it.

Try to make sure each person is spending about the same amount of time on chores each week. None of your roommates should feel that the schedule is unfair or that they’re doing more housework than someone else.

  1. Pool Money for Cleaning Supplies

Another way to ensure tasks are divided as fairly as possible is to have everyone contribute the same amount of money for cleaning supplies. The simplest way to navigate this is to pool money and use the funds to purchase products as you need them. Bear in mind that you might all have different budgets, which may mean it’s necessary to compromise on quality for certain things. For example, try selecting generic brands for cleaning solutions and paper towels whenever possible.

  1. Create a Cleaning Calendar

Make it clear who is responsible for what (and when) by drawing up a calendar. A chalk or dry erase board is perfect for this, as it’s easy to change and you can erase chores once they’ve been completed.

  1. Be Flexible

Never demand that your roommates carry out chores at particular times. In fact, as long as the chore gets done, it shouldn’t even matter if your roommate is a couple days late — after all, you’re students with busy schedules. If you’re unhappy about how a roommate completes a chore, discuss the issue calmly or perhaps offer to switch chores.

Living with roommates is much easier when you all have similar expectations. Unfortunately, when you share a room on campus, who you are paired with often comes down to luck.

However, on-campus housing is far from your only option. You can also live the college experience in off-campus student rentals. London, Ontario, students have Foundry First, which offers a convenient roommate matching service. This means you’ll share a suite with roommates who have similar interests, and as a result, sharing responsibilities can be a smooth, hassle-free experience. Plus, since you’ll have your own room, you’ll only need to divide chores for keeping common areas tidy.

Should You Declare a Minor?

Declaring a major is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during university, and therefore comes with many questions. One of the most common questions is whether or not you should also declare a minor. While you can’t graduate without declaring a major, declaring a minor is often optional.

Like majors, minors are concentrated fields of study. The only difference is that they require fewer courses to complete. While declaring one is just an option in many cases, some fields of study do require a minor for completion. If you have the option to choose, however, here are some factors you should consider.

Reasons to Declare a Minor

For some students, declaring a minor just makes sense. For example, if you’re studying education but planning to teach in a developing African country where French is the first language, minoring in French would be beneficial. In fact, many students planning to work internationally often choose to minor in foreign languages. It may also be helpful for students majoring in fields where translating important texts from foreign languages is commonplace, such as archeology or anthropology. Moreover, to ensure the ability to serve a broader range of patients, many pre-med students minor in Spanish.

Sometimes, a minor can provide versatility and prepare you for career challenges. In other cases, they open up additional career options. For instance, minoring in math as a computer science major could open you to future IT positions. You could also use a minor to narrow your field of expertise or specialization, cornering a niche position in your profession. Or, some minors, like liberal arts, could make you appear versatile and useful in many professional atmospheres. Thus, such a minor could improve your chances of getting hired for certain positions.

Minors often fit major fields of study, but in some circumstances, you can acquire a special permission to minor in whatever you want. So, a biology major could minor in art. Thus, declaring a minor could be an extension of your personal or professional interests. After all, many students wrestle with choosing the right major. Instead of changing your major later (which can create added stress and lengthen your time at college), simply declare a minor in your other field of interest. You’ll then be able to study your two most desired subjects.

Furthermore, completing a minor is much less rigorous than completing a double major. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort by declaring a major and a minor. If you decide later that you’re more interested in your minor, changing your major should be fairly simple. Of course, the choice should still be made with care and consideration, much like choosing the right Fanshawe off-campus housing.

How to Declare a Minor

The process of declaring a minor is simple and straightforward. It’s not formal like the process for declaring a major, but it should involve some research. Before attempting to declare a minor, research what your school offers, how the process works, and what circumstances require special permissions. Most of this information can be found in your school’s course catalog, but you should conduct some independent research on topics such as career prospects for specific minors as well. Additionally, consult your academic advisor for their opinion on declaring a minor, as well as tips on completing the application process.

Balancing Work and Going to College

Balancing Work and Going to College

Going to college can be challenging enough, but when you’ve got to juggle working at a part-time job, as well, it can be even more stressful, and it might even feel impossible at times. But there are ways to attend school, work part-time, and have time for fun – it’s all about keeping a balance. Take a look at our top three tips below for finding and keeping the balance.

Create a Realistic Schedule

Creating a realistic schedule is vital to keeping a good school/work balance. The key is to not stretch yourself too thin. Find a job that offers flexible hours that work around your class schedule, and be sure to schedule time for schoolwork, study, and leisure. A part-time job at a restaurant or retail store could be the perfect match for a full-time college student. These types of jobs offer flexible shifts that can often be adapted to your academic schedule.

Set Realistic Goals

When you have a full schedule, it can be difficult to stay on track and keep motivated. Setting short-term, milestone and long-term goals for yourself can remind you of why you’re working so hard and can help provide constant motivation. Set attainable goals for your job and your schoolwork. This will keep you aware of your achievements in both environments and may even make it easier to get a promotion or to improve your grades in the future. Goals are also a great way to see where you’re working too hard, or where you’re not putting in enough effort.

Know Your Priorities

It can be difficult to balance school and work if you’re unaware of, or neglect your priorities; however, If you live in an off-campus Fanshawe residence like Foundry First, you should find plenty of resources to help keep you on track. Before the semester starts or before you start a new job, make a list of your current priorities and how they’ll be affected by the new responsibility. Create a daily time log that includes separate lists of your priorities (e.g. work and class), important activities or duties that can be postponed if you don’t have the time (e.g. going to the gym or doing the laundry), and unimportant activities (e.g. watching television). Additionally, use a weekly calendar to track your time and help you estimate how much time you’ll have for extra activities after taking care of your responsibilities.

Whether you have a part-time job or are looking for one, put these tips into action to find and keep the perfect school/work balance.