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Student Discounts 101: Where to Find the Best Deals

Being a student is expensive. In addition to costly tuition and textbooks, you have all sorts of living expenses — and no time for more than a part-time job, if that. To make university more affordable without needing to take out additional loans or keep to a strict budget, you need to look for deals. The good news is there are many great deals for every facet of student life.

1. Transportation

You may need your own car while you’re at university. Save money on auto insurance by searching for a carrier that offers discounts to students with good grades or to young drivers who have had no accidents or traffic tickets in recent years.

If you’re leaving your car behind, you’ll need to rely on other means of transportation, especially when returning home or traveling over breaks. Some intercity bus services offer student discounts, as do some travel programs for cheap flights and other services.

2. Grocery Discounts

Find out if your local grocery store offers discounted rates for students. In addition to reduced prices for membership, many stores offer free or discounted delivery, which is especially convenient if you don’t have your own mode of transportation.

3. Streaming Services

Some streaming services are making it difficult to share a subscription with people outside your household, meaning you’ll need to purchase your own subscriptions when you leave home. In addition to limiting yourself to just a couple platforms, you can save money by checking if services have any discounts for students. This goes for music streaming as well as TV and movies.

4. Clothing

Several clothing brands offer student discounts, including athletic and everyday fashion clothing. You’ll also need to make sure you have a business casual outfit for interviews, job fairs, and networking events. Since this may be a big expense, make sure you search for discounts before you hit the stores.

5. Software

Many software brands (including Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe) offer reduced rates for students. Some of these are lower monthly or annual prices, whereas others allow you to make a one-time purchase rather than needing a subscription — something you should definitely consider taking advantage of. Find out what you’ll need for your classes before you make any investments.

6. Electronics

In addition to a laptop or tablet, you may want a monitor, an external hard drive, a portable charger, and decent headphones. Many electronics companies offer discounts for students, but the offers may only be available at certain times of the year.

7. Cell Service

Many cell carriers have special plans for students. Before purchasing a plan, consider how much data you’re likely to need, as there may be fast WiFi around campus and in your student housing, meaning you can opt for less data.

It is also important to save on big expenses, like student housing. Kingston has affordable apartments at Foundry Princess. To help you save even more, rent includes gas, heat, water, and internet, all the units are fully furnished, and you’ll have access to the range of exclusive amenities on site, including the bright study spaces, a fitness center, and our outdoor swimming pool. Contact us to apply for a lease.

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8 of the Best Holiday Movies Streaming This Season

Whether you need a break from your schoolwork or you’ve decided to host a movie night with friends, there’s nothing like holiday movies to put you in the mood for the season. No matter what streaming subscriptions you have, there are some great options available. Here are a few classics to consider.

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

A good comedy is the perfect distraction from the stresses of university. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation may be absurd, but there are definitely parts of it you’ll relate to. If you watch this in a group, you may like to all share your most ridiculous holiday stories with each other after you finish the movie.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? It doesn’t even matter! If this is something you want to stream over the holidays, go for it. This is another perfect choice for watching with friends because you can sing along — you definitely know the songs.

3. Home Alone

You and your friends have most likely seen Home Alone before, which makes it a great option to stream for nostalgia or if you just want something playing in the background while you catch up on the latest gossip.

4. Elf

Stock up on your favourite maple syrup treats and sit down to Elf. If you need something easy on the brain, this is a good option. Plus, it will make you feel like a child again, which is ideal for preparing you to return home for winter break.

5. The Santa Clause

If you want something heartwarming to lift your mood, try The Santa Clause. This movie will remind you of how magical the holidays felt when you were a kid. If you’re looking for a few movies to binge over the course of an evening, you could even watch all three in the franchise.

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Even if you’re not a fan of the holiday season, there’s a movie for you: How the Grinch Stole Christmas will give you something you can relate to. However, don’t be surprised if your sentiment has changed by the end of the movie.

7. I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Let’s hope your return home for winter break goes easier than it does for Jake in I’ll Be Home for Christmas. By the end, you’ll be itching to go home to your family yourself.

8. Die Hard

Of course, holiday movies are much more than just comedies. Die Hard is a classic for the holidays because it combines the sentimentality of the season with a great story and plenty of action.

Watching movies is a big part of being a student. After all, you can’t be studying all the time. Plus, streaming movies is a top activity to do with friends — although it’s only possible if you have a spacious living room with a comfortable couch and a fast internet connection. You’ll find all of this at Foundry Princess. Our Kingston student housing rentals come in various layouts, all of which are fully furnished. You can also hang out with friends in the community clubhouse, which has a large screen and is ideal for watching movies. There are still some rooms available for this year — book a tour now!

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A Complete Checklist for the End of the Semester

At the end of the semester, all you want to think about is going home on break. However, there are important admin tasks to do as well that will save you from stress when you return to university next semester. Work through this checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything important.

1. Complete Any Remaining Assignments

Don’t allow the excitement of going home for break to distract from your schoolwork. Make sure you finish any assignments you still have due. If a deadline is fast approaching, make the assignment a priority — unfortunately, this may mean missing out on some end-of-semester events, but your academics should always come first. If you missed any assignments earlier in the semester, talk to your professors about your options to avoid a failing grade, such as submitting a paper late for partial credit.

2. Check Your Email

It’s common to ignore your student email account throughout the semester, but it is important to check it at least occasionally. Use the end of the semester as a reminder to see if you have any communications from your professors, advisors, or other staff at your university.

3. Return Items You’ve Borrowed

Avoid additional fees by returning items you’ve borrowed, such as books, equipment, and course materials. If you own all your books but no longer need some of them, advertise them in social media groups and elsewhere online to sell them to students who are already preparing for next semester.

4. Confirm That Your Final Grades Are Correct

As soon as your professors have released your final grades, check that your grades have been recorded correctly. If you notice any mistakes, reach out to your professors as soon as possible.

5. Talk to Your Academic Advisor

You should have a meeting with your academic advisor at the end of every semester to discuss what action you need to take to ensure you stay on track to meet your goals. Some of the classes you’ve taken or the opportunities you’ve had over the semester may even have changed your goals. Make sure you discuss this with your academic advisor to make sure you pick appropriate classes next semester.

6. Look for New Financial Aid Options

If your financial situation has changed, you may be eligible for additional financial aid options. Plus, bear in mind that you can apply for scholarships at any time — the end of the semester is a good time to search for new possibilities. Devote some time to searching for and applying to scholarships to make university more affordable.

One more thing to do at the end of the semester is consider how you could improve your living situation — for instance, by moving off campus and into student rentals. Kingston students can find a new home at Foundry Princess. With amenities ranging from spacious floor plans to a rooftop patio and onsite study rooms, our premier apartments have everything you need for the ultimate student experience. Book a tour to check out our housing before the end of the semester to secure one of the last remaining spaces.

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6 Simple Student Apartment Hacks

Since your student apartment is the place you’ll be spending the most time at university, it’s important to make it somewhere you can call home. The good news is there’s no need to invest much nor risk your security deposit. These simple hacks can transform your space to make it more comfortable, convenient, and attractive.

1. Hang Shoe Organizers on Doors

Gain more storage space in places like your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen by hanging shoe organizers on the backs of doors. You can use the organizers for much more than just shoes — they’re ideal for holding cleaning products, toiletries, snacks, and anything else that needs a home. Choose between fabric shoe organizers to keep items hidden and clear plastic ones to make finding what you’ve stored in each section easier.

2. Warm Your Space with Throw Rugs

Instantly bring warmth to your apartment by adding some throw rugs. They’re ideal for next to your bed and near the couch in the living room. Remember to add some non-slip rug pads if you’re putting the rug on top of hardwood flooring.

3. Decorate Your Walls with Decals

The walls in your apartment may not be your favourite colour — and, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to paint them. Add a fun design that shows off your personality with decals. These stick to surfaces like walls and windows without the need for adhesive. Some are even reusable, meaning you can rotate between a few different designs to suit your mood or the season.

4. Use Command Hooks and Strips

You may be prohibited from using nails and thumbtacks in your apartment, as these damage the walls. In fact, even if your lease doesn’t specify that they’re not allowed, you should avoid anything that pierces the wall to ensure you’ll keep your security deposit. However, you’ll still want to hang things like photos, posters, and fairy lights. The solution is to use Command hooks and strips. These are strong enough to hold virtually anything you could want to hang on the wall and you can remove them without damaging the paint.

5. Keep Your Drawers Neat with Silverware Organizers

It’s impossible to keep your drawers organized if you fill them with small items that become jumbled together. An easy solution is to purchase silverware organizers. These are ideal for holding stationery, spare change, keys, makeup, and more.

6. Secure Cables with Binder Clips

When your cables are not plugged into any devices, they may drop to the floor and form a tangled mess under your desk. Keep them within reach by attaching some binder clips to the side of your desk and threading the cables through. You’ll never need to search around for the type of cable you need and you’ll reduce damage to cables that mean they need replacing sooner.

Of course, it helps to live in an apartment that is already stylish and comfortable when you move in. You’ll find just such apartments at Foundry Princess. Our Queen’s University housing offers fully-furnished suites in multiple layouts. All the floor plans are spacious and attractive, with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Units with en suite washrooms and deep soakers are also available on request. Apply now to secure your spot while there are still spaces available.

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A Guide to Finding & Applying for Scholarships

You have several ways of paying for university, including student loans and paying upfront using the money you earn from a part-time job. The best option, though, has to be using scholarships because you never need to pay back the funds nor earn the money. Scholarships are based on all sorts of criteria, including academic achievements, athletics, involvement in extracurriculars, and personal circumstances or characteristics. The huge number available means you need a strategy to find those relevant to you. After this, you’ll need to submit a compelling application to ensure you stand out from other candidates.

Here are some simple steps for finding and applying for scholarships.

1. Check What Scholarships Your University Offers

Many colleges and universities have their own scholarships. In the case of automatic entrance awards, you don’t even need to apply for the scholarship — your university will give you a discount on your tuition if your final grades are high enough. For merit-based scholarships, however, you will need to submit an application. Depending on the school, there may be scholarships for volunteer experience, athletics, or artistic achievements.

2. Talk to Your High School Counsellor

Some high schools also offer scholarships for students moving on to post-secondary education. Since not all schools widely advertise these opportunities, it’s worth asking your counselor if any exist that you’re eligible for.

3. Find Out About Community and Affiliate Scholarships

Your local district or the community organizations you belong to may have scholarships. Ask the people you know and those affiliated with clubs or volunteer organizations. You may have opportunities through your employer, if a family member is a veteran, or if you are a particular ethnicity, religion, or gender.

4. Use Scholarship Databases

Look more broadly for scholarships using a national database. The difficulty with this strategy is that you’ll find thousands of options, many of which have high competition. However, it can be useful if the above tactics yielded few options or if you simply want to maximize your chances.

5. Confirm the Eligibility Requirements

Before starting the application process, always double-check the eligibility requirements. If you’re using a database and have found many scholarships you could apply for, use eligibility requirements to create a shortlist of scholarships that have the lowest competition.

6. Apply Early

Never leave applying for a scholarship until close to the deadline. You may need to provide documentation to support your application that could take a while to acquire. In addition, you’ll need to spend time crafting a unique letter of intent for each scholarship. Giving yourself enough time will strengthen your application and improve your chances.

In addition to gaining more funds to pay for your education, you can make university more affordable by cutting your expenses. One way to do this is to search for an inexpensive room for rent. Kingston students can find affordable accommodation that still provides them with an incredible experience at Foundry Princess. We have two- to five-bedroom apartments, all fully furnished and equipped with modern conveniences. You’ll also have access to an endless list of amenities to make your time at university extra special, including a 24-hour market, rooftop patio, and outdoor swimming pool. Apply now — there are only limited spaces remaining.

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How to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work While Away at School

Many students start university already in a committed relationship. It can be tough to make the relationship work if you’re attending schools far away from each other — but it’s certainly not impossible. With the right strategy, you can make a long-distance relationship work and succeed at university. Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Put Your Education First

Although you may want to do everything possible to ensure your relationship works out, it’s important to remember that your priority is your education. Your classes, homework, and labs always need to come first if you’re going to graduate on time and with a good GPA. By prioritizing your studies from the start, you’ll be able to keep your goals in mind through any ups and downs.

2. Set Ground Rules

Before you head off to university, discuss what you can expect from your relationship and your partner. This will help you confirm you’re both on the same page and will give you the chance to work out any details while you still have the chance to talk in person.

3. Communicate How You’re Feeling

Situations may occur that you hadn’t considered when you were setting ground rules. If you’re ever feeling upset or unhappy about something, make sure you communicate this. Never expect your partner to know how you’re feeling — this is extra important when you’re far away from each other, as it’s more difficult to read someone’s emotions when you’re not talking in person. By communicating, you’ll be able to overcome issues and prevent them from becoming major problems.

4. Be Honest

Although there’s no need to tell your partner about every detail of your life, it is important not to hide anything. Lies even about small things can erode the trust between you.

5. Live the Full University Experience

Make sure you complete university with no regrets. It’s important to live your own life by making friends and finding activities you enjoy. Not only is it definitely possible to do this while maintaining a long-distance relationship, it’s crucial for feeling happy at university. You’re more likely than your peers to feel lonely — but having plenty of friends and making good use of your time will help keep negative emotions in check. You should encourage your partner to do the same.

6. Schedule Time to Chat

In addition to sending each other messages throughout the day — such as to share pictures and brief greetings — schedule regular times to chat. This will ensure there’s always a time when both of you will be available, meaning you won’t need to turn down a chance to talk because you have a class, an extracurricular, or something planned with friends.

7. Arrange to See Each Other

Depending on how far away you are from each other, you may be able to meet up frequently at the weekends, occasionally during the semester, or only during your breaks. Whatever the case, it’s worth always having something on your calendar to look forward to.

It will be easier to arrange visits from your partner if you’re living off campus. You can find Queen’s University student housing at Foundry Princess. When your partner comes to visit, you’ll be able to hang out in places like the rooftop patio, outdoor swimming pool, and clubhouse as well as your spacious apartment. Book a tour to see where you could be living.

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3 Factors to Think About When Planning Your Career

Before you start university, there are two big questions to answer: which school do you want to attend, and what do you want to major in? As you near your graduation date, another big question arises: what career do you want to pursue? Whereas you can always change your mind later, it’s helpful to go down the right path from the start, as you’ll start gaining experience that will influence your odds of landing other jobs in the future. To plan your career, here are three crucial factors to consider.

1. Your Purpose and Identity

Studying at university will likely have revealed your passions and may have led you to a more clearly-defined purpose. If you’re unsure what your purpose is, consider your deepest values. You may find it helps to draft a personal mission statement that aligns with your identity, summarizes your goals, and takes your skills into account. You can then use this to think about what kind of work will lead you to where you want to be.

2. Who You Want to Spend Your Time With

When you were choosing between universities, there’s a good chance you considered what the other students were like at each school. This is equally important when choosing a workplace. Although every business has its own culture, certain types of company culture are particularly prevalent in certain industries. Spend time learning more about the kinds of people who are attracted to different careers to find out who you’ll be spending your days with. This is important because it will influence who your friends and mentors are and even how your own identity develops.

3. How Much Flexibility You Want

Some jobs have rigid schedules and require you to be onsite throughout the workday. However, the world of work is becoming increasingly flexible — in some fields much more than others.

Flexibility means different things to different people. You may want to work from home every day to eliminate the need for a commute. Alternatively, you may be happy to go into the office once or twice a week to see your coworkers in person but still have the freedom to fit your job around other commitments. You may even prefer to work part time to earn a salary while you work on building your own business or explore other options through a side hustle.

You’ll need to consider how important flexibility is for you, especially in regard to other factors. For instance, you may decide it’s worth sacrificing some flexibility to fulfill what you feel is your purpose.

An important decision to make now is where you want to live while you finish your studies. If you’re tired of living on campus, you may be looking for a room for rent. Kingston students can find a new home at Foundry Princess. We’ll make your remaining time at university extra special by providing you with incredible amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, onsite market, and much more. Apply now while there are still limited spaces available.

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6 Ways to Keep Your Student Apartment Organized Next Semester

It’s common to think of the new semester as a time to set academic goals, but it’s also a great opportunity to commit to improving other aspects of your life. There are various low-cost methods you can use, all of which are suitable even when you have limited space. Here are a few tips to try.

1. Use Shoe Organizers for More Than Just Shoes

Shoe organizers are a great way to store a variety of items. They are particularly useful for cleaning supplies, especially when you need plenty of space to store the items you buy in bulk to save money. Top places to hang organizers include in your closet and on the back of doors.

2. Divide Your Refrigerator with Storage Containers

If you live with several roommates, your refrigerator may be cluttered and you may forget which food item belongs to whom. Adding storage containers will allow you to keep items separate to avoid any mixups and enable you to quickly access your food without needing to remove anything.

3. Store Small Items in Mason Jars

Small items are particularly prone to creating clutter and are easy to misplace. Mason jars are an inexpensive and fashionable way to store things, especially if you decorate the jars by painting them, adding stickers, or drawing doodles in permanent marker. Use them to store stationery, kitchen utensils, and all the things currently strewn across your bathroom counter.

4. Organize Your Desk and Drawers with Silverware Containers

Another option to store small items is to use silverware organizers. These are perfect for things you want to keep within reach on your desk as well as for objects you’d like to tuck away in a drawer.

5. Add Containers Under the Sink

Most kitchens have a decent amount of storage under the sink, but the lack of shelves means it’s difficult to utilize this space. You can overcome this problem by storing items in stackable containers.

6. Hang Baskets on the Wall

An attractive way to take advantage of wall space is to use hanging baskets. You should find it easy to find baskets in different styles at the dollar store — you can pick some to match the decor of the room.

There are multiple ways you can use baskets. For instance, you could install a couple in the bathroom for spare towels — this is extra useful if you share a bathroom with a roommate and want to avoid realizing you’ve forgotten a towel when you finish showering. In the bedroom, you can use baskets for anything from accessories like scarves and hats to books. You could even have a different basket for each of your classes.

If you follow these tips but are still struggling to keep your home organized, the solution may be to upgrade to a better apartment. You can find premier Queen’s University student housing at Foundry Princess. Our three- to five-bedroom apartments are all spacious and fully-furnished and some even have en suite bathrooms. Plus, we offer a monthly in-suite cleaning service to keep your space organized. Apply now while there are still units available.

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6 Tips for Writing Better Papers

Understanding the material from your classes is not enough — you also need to be able to demonstrate this knowledge, which often means writing a paper. This requires you to come up with creative ideas about what to include, perform research to gain the citations you’ll need, and write everything into a coherent argument. Although this task can be time consuming and stressful, there are ways you can make it easier and start creating papers that lead to better grades.

1. Know What You Need to Cover

The only way you’ll write a great paper is if you answer the question. Even a well-crafted paper will receive a low grade if it doesn’t address all the necessary points.

Spend time reading the assignment to make sure you know how to tackle the question. If you have any doubts, reach out to your professor.

2. Start with Some Preliminary Research

Set a time limit of how long you’ll dedicate to initial research. Remember, there’s no need to read the material in depth when you’re researching — just skim-read to pick out the information you need for your paper. Plus, you just need to make sure you have sources to cover all the main points. You can do more research to fill in any gaps once you start writing.

3. Create an Outline

Use the question you need to answer and the information you were able to find from your research to determine what to include in the paper. Put this into an outline to guide your writing. When you have an outline, approaching the paper is much less intimidating than trying to write with a blank page. Plus, it ensures you don’t forget to write about anything important.

4. Draft, Then Edit

It will take far longer to finish your paper if you try to perfect your sentences as you go along. Unless it’s immediately obvious that there’s a better way to write something, don’t worry too much about your wording as you draft your paper. Once you’ve finished, read through the entire paper (perhaps twice, if it’s especially important) to see where you could make improvements. You’ll likely find it’s much better than it seemed when you were drafting it!

5. Don’t Add Fluff

It can be tempting to add superfluous information to bring your paper closer to the word or page limit. However, it’s always better to be concise. If you’ve already covered everything, there’s no need to search for places to add more words just to make your paper longer — you’ll only end up diluting your argument and reducing the quality of your paper.

6. Use a Reference Manager

Keep track of all your sources by storing them in a reference manager. The software can also create citations for you in the right style — although you should still check the citations because tools can occasionally make mistakes.

Even if you put all the above tips into practice, you’ll struggle to write great papers if you lack somewhere to work on your assignments in peace. If you live on campus, you may need to rely on your campus library — but this can be inconvenient. A better option to study without distractions is to have your own bedroom in a room for rent. Kingston students can upgrade their housing by moving into Foundry Princess. Not only will you have a desk in a fully-furnished suite, you can use our multiple onsite study areas, all of which have lightning-fast internet. Book a tour to check out all the amenities and modern conveniences we have to offer.

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Should You Move Off Campus Next Semester?

Living on campus can have a negative effect on your student experience. It’s stressful to lack privacy, need to share a bathroom with many people, and be stuck with a meal plan. You may be wondering if living off campus would be any better. Whereas this will depend on what housing you choose, you’ll typically be much more comfortable.

Here are some of the most noteworthy perks to consider.

1. Stay in Your Apartment Over the Summer

If you want to stay in your university town over the summer, moving off campus is a necessity. Universities tend to close their dorms for the summer and students need to remove all their stuff — including if they’re returning in the fall. In fact, not needing to move in and out of your housing each year could be reason enough to search for off-campus housing, even if you do want to go home for the summer.

2. Study Without Distractions

Your academic performance could be suffering due to the distractions you face by living in residence. With an off-campus apartment, you’ll have a private space where you can focus in peace. If necessary, you can even agree with your roommates to have quiet times when you all want to study. Living in student housing is even better, as there will likely be study rooms on site.

3. Build a Rental History

It’s easier to find housing after you graduate if you’ve rented in the past. Living in a student residence doesn’t count, whereas any kind of apartment — including one in a student community — will come up in a background check. You’ll be able to show prospective landlords that you have a history of paying your rent on time and that you left the apartment in good condition when you moved out.

4. Have a Car

You may have wanted to bring a car to university but found it wasn’t an option because you’d have nowhere to park it on campus — or at least not for an affordable price. If you find an apartment where parking is available, it will be much easier to have a car to commute to your part-time job, for weekend trips, and to reach other places farther away than campus.

5. Great Amenities

Off-campus apartments often feature great amenities to attract students. Even the most basic apartment is likely to have fast WiFi, a kitchen with full-size appliances, and enough bathrooms to mean you only need to share with a maximum of two other people. The best student communities have additional perks like fitness centers, BBQ areas, and lounges.

6. Save Money

Even though living on campus provides you with a shared room and few amenities, it tends to be more expensive than living in an apartment. You should be able to find an apartment that fits your budget, such as by having more roommates if you need to save money.

The choice to move off campus is easy when you find a great apartment. An example is the Queens University student housing at Foundry Princess. In addition to finally having your own room, you’ll gain access to some fantastic amenities, including in-suite laundry facilities, a monthly cleaning service, a rooftop patio lounge, multiple study areas, and an outdoor swimming pool. You can even choose a unit with an en suite bathroom. Apply now while there are still limited spaces available.