Summer Courses? Here’s What You Should Consider

Summer Courses? Here’s What You Should Consider

For college students, summer courses can be a good way to get ahead, earn some credits, and learn something new. If you’re in a program where there’s some flexibility with regards to the types of courses you take, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your list of options. The key to choosing the right summer courses is taking the following factors into consideration:

  • Your regular course load

  • The length of the courses

  • Your financial situation

  • The types of summer courses offered

Your Regular Course Load

The number and type of summer courses you take can affect the number and type of winter and fall courses you’re required to take. Taking some summer classes can lighten your course load during the rest of the school year, which can be very helpful for some students. That said, keep in mind that some degree programs may not allow summer courses, and some require students to take at least five courses per term. Figuring out which classes to take and when to take them can be confusing, so always ask your academic advisor first. It’s also important to keep in mind that dropping down to part-time status during the academic year may change the access you have to on-campus or student government-run services; make sure you check with the Registrar’s office about what a part-time Fall or Winter course load could mean for you.

The Length of the Courses

Mistakenly, some students are under the impression that summer classes are shorter than fall and winter semester classes. While that is occasionally true, summer courses are often the same length as fall and winter courses. This should be a major consideration if you’re balancing work and school. For many students, the summer provides an opportunity to work more hours and make more money, so taking courses that last the entire summer can make this more difficult.

Remember, though, that the length of a course can depend on the course type. Shorter summer courses are often a condensed version of fall and winter term courses, so keep this in mind as you create your course schedule. It may be counter-productive to take a condensed version of an important class, especially one that’s vital to your program.

Your Financial Situation

When you’re a college student, finances are a major part of every decision you make. Your financial situation affects everything from the food you eat, to where you live, to the courses you take. Financial assistance and student loan programs only provide a certain amount of money per year and may not fund summer courses. Additionally, taking summer courses may expend precious funds needed for fall and winter courses. So it’s imperative to consider your financial situation and options before signing up for the summer semester.

The Types of Summer Courses Offered

Although it’s possible to take courses during the summer months, the variety of courses offered can be somewhat limited. For this reason, you shouldn’t assume that any and/or all of your pre-requisite courses will be available. Fortunately, there are typically plenty of electives offered in the summer term and you may also have the opportunity to take some of those classes online.

Whether you’re planning to take courses this summer or you are thinking ahead to the fall, don’t forget to secure a quality student rental. London, Ontario offers many options for off-campus student housing, but only Foundry First offers premier housing at affordable prices, just steps away from Fanshawe College.

Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder in College

Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder in College

The ‘January blues’ or ‘winter blues’ is a challenge for many Canadians, including college students. Once the holidays end, it’s back to school and back to responsibility, which is a transition many students just don’t want to make. Plus, the cold weather can make this transition even more daunting and depressing. Depression during the winter is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It can affect many college students and dealing with the issue begins with educating yourself. Below are the symptoms, causes, and treatments for SAD.

The Cause and Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is simply defined as seasonal depression that happens most commonly during the colder months. Symptoms of this disorder include fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of motivation, trouble concentrating, agitation, weight loss, insomnia and restlessness, suicidal thoughts, decreased interest in personal and social activities, and feelings of hopelessness. Seasonal affective disorder is caused by a reduction in the hormones serotonin and melatonin due to reduced sunlight during the winter. Serotonin controls mood, while melatonin causes sleepiness. Changes in these hormones can lead to depression or SAD. If you find you’re having suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately.

How Seasonal Affective Disorder is Treated

Light therapy is the most common and most effective way to treat this disorder. This therapy comes in the form of a light therapy box, which students can purchase from many places online or that they may be able to borrow from their doctor’s office. The box mimics natural light and helps to increase and balance serotonin and other hormones. Treatment requires the patients to sit in front of the box every day until the symptoms disappear. Patients may also be prescribed psychotherapy or antidepressant medication as supplemental or alternative treatments. Psychotherapy teaches patients how to manage stress and cope with their symptoms, while antidepressants help regulate chemicals in the brain,  reducing certain symptoms.

Getting Help Around Campus

First, seasonal affective disorder must be diagnosed by a physician, but there are some campus resources that can help you as well. For example, you could visit the college’s health centre to get a preliminary diagnosis or rule out the possibility that your symptoms are caused by another health condition. You could also seek therapy from one of the specialists at the school’s counselling centre. Talking to, or simply hanging out with, friends or roommate(s) could also help you cope with some of the symptoms.

Some colleges even have student organizations designed to help students who are suffering from depression or other mental health issues. Being in touch with a community is often an effective coping mechanism for depression. If you’re living in London, Ontario apartments for students, like Foundry First, this type of off-campus housing offers a rich sense of community.

Reasons Why Some Students are More Susceptible to SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder can affect anyone, but some individuals are more susceptible to it than others. For example, young adults are more susceptible to the disorder than older adults, which is why it’s so common among college students. Those living in colder environments, such as Canada, are also more likely to develop SAD. Finally, female students have a higher susceptibility to the disorder than male students because of differences in hormone levels.

If you think you may be experiencing some of the symptoms of SAD, please talk to your doctor about additional things you can do to overcome or at least cope with these challenges.

Getting the New Semester Off to the Right Start – Here’s How

Getting the New Semester Off to the Right Start – Here’s How

Surviving college is all about having the right plan. This means that each semester you’ll have to be prepared for new courses and getting back into the swing of student life. Realistically, success throughout the semester often depends on how well you begin the semester; if you start strong, it’s easier to maintain that momentum and finish strong. There are several ways to make sure you get off to the best possible start. Here are a few tips:

Get Your Textbooks Early

Although you may not need your textbooks the first day of class, you’ll need to purchase them as early as possible. This is because textbooks, specifically used textbooks, literally fly off the shelves. If you wait too long, you could end up paying significantly more for your books. Before the semester begins, find out which textbooks you need and purchase them in the campus bookstore or online (if you can’t get to campus). Just remember to look for used books first. It’s always a good thing to start off the semester with a little extra cash in your pocket!

Freshen Up Your Living Space

A fresh environment can give you a fresh start. Creating a fresh environment can include cleaning your living space, redecorating, or moving to a new space. For example, moving off campus offers a bigger living space, more freedom, and an array of amenities. This can provide you with a sense of peace, comfort, and mental clarity, which can all help you improve your study habits and overall academic performance. If you’re staying on campus, make sure your dorm room is clean, add new decorations and furnishings, or move some furniture around. This can also create a more tranquil environment that’s conducive to good study habits. That said, most students will agree that there’s nothing like having your own space, such as an off-campus apartment. If you’re wondering how to find off-campus housing that’s just the right fit, simplify your search by checking out our suites at Residence on First.

Create a Journal of Your Goals

A journal of goals is simply a notebook that includes your short-term and long-term goals. This could be as simple as “Attend five parties this semester,” or as complex as, “Maintain the highest marks in all classes.” Your journal can also be used to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Not to mention, it can help you manage your time well, set priorities, plan academic events (i.e. studying or research sessions), track assignments, set health-related goals, and even improve your academic performance.

Start the upcoming semester and the year off right – start planning for success!

Master Grocery Shopping: Tips for College Students

Master Grocery Shopping: Tips for College Students

When you’re in college, living off-campus can be fun and exciting, but it can also be somewhat overwhelming. Chances are, you’re doing a lot of things on your own for the first time. Believe it or not, one of the things many students find challenging is grocery shopping on a budget. It may sound simple, but eating well can become expensive and cutting costs can be difficult. Luckily, there are some tips you can use to help you save money and step up your grocery-shopping game.

Make a Shopping List

It’s not impossible to shop without a list, but it’s also not efficient. Making a list is budget-friendly and time-effective. Not to mention, it can prevent you from forgetting important items. A grocery list is also a good place to do some meal planning. You can make a list of ingredients or create meals from some of the items on your list. A smartphone is the most convenient place to write your grocery list; just create a list and set a reminder for your shopping trip. Planning your trip to the supermarket can also help you save money by helping you avoid impulse buys and/or overpriced products.

Use Coupons

Coupons are perhaps the most practical way to save money on groceries. It doesn’t matter if you sign up for a coupon-oriented website or clip them from the paper, coupons will ensure you get the most bang for your buck. They can also be motivation for trying new products and/or brands. Keep in mind, though, that your coupons will go even further if you wait until the items are on sale. Shopping with coupons during a sale will allow you to buy and save even more.

Keep Track of Your Spending

No matter what you buy, always keep your receipts. Receipts can help you track how much you spend on food, as well as help you create an accurate budget. Besides that, if you shop at different supermarkets, it’ll help you figure out which one has the best deals and could help you save the most money. Not to mention, keeping your receipts will help you track overspending.

Go Shopping with Your Friends

Put a little fun into grocery shopping – yes, it is possible! Plan to go shopping with a friend or two. Friends can stop you from making impulse purchases and roommates can help share the cost of some food items. Plus, it just makes the shopping trip more fun.

Rent an Apartment with a Well-Equipped Kitchen

When you have everything you need in the kitchen to prepare food from scratch, you can save much more easily on groceries than you would if you had to buy ready-made meals. If you’re currently looking for places to rent in London, Ontario where you have access to a kitchen that’s great for cooking, check out the apartments here at Foundry First.

Money-Saving Tips for College Students – Christmas Time and Any Time!

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The holiday season can create some financial strain for most people, especially college students who are on a budget. During this time of year, the compulsion to spend can outweigh your finances, but there are plenty of ways for college students to control their spending at Christmas and the rest of the year. Check out the tips below to discover some proven ways to save.

Avoid Eating Out

When you live in off-campus housing, cooking meals at home is one of the easiest ways to save money. Remember that the expense of eating out can add up quickly and lead to bad habits, even if it’s only once a week. Buying coffee or snacks from the vending machine can also become expensive and should be avoided. That’s not to say that you should never splurge on a meal out; going out to eat every once in a while is just fine! Try to keep meals out to a maximum of once a month.

Buy Used Textbooks

Textbooks are expensive, so buying used books or renting textbooks is a great option. If your budget is tight, you could also borrow textbooks from the college’s library, your fellow classmates, or friends who are former students. The money you save on books could be put toward more important things or even luxuries, such as holiday shopping. If your books are new, remember to sell them back to the bookstore or online at the end of the semester. This will put a little money back in your bank account – and that’s always a good thing!

Be Smart about Your Housing

Students often think that dorm living is less expensive than off-campus living, but this isn’t always true. For example, sharing your expenses with a roommate (or several roommates) can make an off-campus apartment much more affordable than a dorm. Most student apartments are also inclusive, making them cost-effective for even a single resident. Plus, apartment communities offer amenities that can also help you save money. Amenities like the fitness centre, the cinema, recreation rooms, and laundry facilities at Foundry First can greatly reduce costs for entertainment, fitness, and basic necessities (i.e. having clean laundry). If you’re wondering how to find affordable housing that offers these amenities and more, look no further than Foundry First!

Become a Smart Shopper

The student discount is one of the greatest perks of being in college. These discounts offer lower rates on everything from food to travel accommodations. Flashing your student ID could garner major discounts at restaurants, movie theatres, retail shops, and so much more. Using these discounts can help you save money on essentials, luxuries, and even gifts for the holidays. Clipping coupons is also a smart shopper move; just remember to wait for the sales, stock up, and buy in bulk.

Remember, saving a few dollars here and there can go a long way. Put these tips into action and start saving now!

Beat Exam Stress with these Proven Tips

Beat Exam Stress with these Proven Tips

It’s almost December, which not only brings the hectic holiday season, but it also means that you’re nearing the end of your first term and exam season will be around the corner in January. If you feel like the exam rush is more stressful than the holiday rush, you’re not alone. Study halls, dorm rooms, libraries, and student lounges will soon be full of people studying, and all of this hubbub can make it difficult to stay on track and find a time or place to study in peace. Check out the following tips and learn some proven ways to prepare for your exams while keeping your stress levels to a minimum.

Get Organized and Stay Organized

During exams, organization is the key to your success. Being or staying organized starts with effective time management. Effective time management includes scheduling your study sessions and writing down important deadlines and test dates, but it also means budgeting some time for fun and relaxation. Set milestones to help you stay on track and motivated.

Organization also includes smart, effective note-taking, such as writing down definitions and important facts on notecards or using different notebooks for each course. Finally, stay organized by making sure your study space is clean and clutter-free. A clutter-free environment makes it easier to avoid distraction.

Join a Study Group

For some people, studying in a group can actually increase their concentration and make the entire study process easier and faster. In a group, you can share notes, concerns, and solutions to problems. Having study partners can also help with concentration and procrastination issues. Plus, if you’re living in off-campus Fanshawe College student housing, like R1, organizing a study group will be easy because there are plenty of places where study groups can meet.

Take Care of Yourself

Exam-time can be stressful, and many students get stuck in a cycle of studying, working on assignments, and writing exams without a break. This cycle can make it easy for you to neglect yourself. What most students don’t realize is that health and wellbeing can play a major role in academic performance; you’ll need plenty of energy to perform at your best! To get this energy, you should eat healthy meals and snacks on a consistent basis, exercise, sleep seven to nine hours a night, and take breaks or do something fun when you need to. All of these activities will keep your mind sharp and your body fueled.

Reward Your Achievements

The end of the semester can be so stressful that completing your exams is truly an achievement – and achievements should be rewarded! Don’t be afraid to treat yourself after your exams and assignments are done. Make plans with friends for a nice dinner out, buy tickets to a concert or movie you want to see, or plan a night out bowling.

Now is a great time to start thinking about your upcoming exams. Get your mind in the game and put your best foot forward. You’ll be happy that you did!