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.


3 Savvy Money Management Tips for Students

Many of the things you learn at university have nothing to do with your classes. In particular, you’ll learn to be independent, which includes managing money. There are two ways to acquire these skills: the hard way by making mistakes and the easy way by using savvy money management strategies from the start. Here are some money-saving tips to guide you.

1. Create a Budget

It’s crucial to make a budget for all your expenses. This will ensure you never overspend and it will show you where your money is going.

To create a budget, you first need to know how much you have available to spend each month. Add together all your sources of income, such as from your part-time job and financial aid. Next, calculate fixed expenses like rent, subscriptions, and car payments. The amount that remains is for your variable expenses, which likely includes food, textbooks and other school supplies, personal care items, and entertainment. Decide how you’ll divide your money between these activities — always give yourself more than you think you’ll need for essentials.

To stick to your budget, it’s important to track expenditures. You can use a budgeting app or just a spreadsheet. This is especially useful when you start out budgeting because it allows you to adapt the amounts you assign to each category.

2. Be Smart with Credit Cards

Having a credit card can be a great way to build credit for after you graduate — but only if you use the card appropriately. Using a credit card to buy things you want now but can’t afford will hurt your credit score and potentially put you into debt. The best way to use credit cards is to only purchase what you could pay for in cash. Then, you’ll be able to pay your bill in full every month and avoid interest. It’s also a good idea to set a reminder to pay your bill to avoid late fees.

The last thing to bear in mind is you should use no more than about 30% of your credit. This may feel restrictive, but it will have a big impact on your credit score. By continuing to use your card appropriately, you’ll soon be able to apply for one with a bigger credit limit.

3. Keep Applying for Scholarships

Many students are under the impression they can only apply for scholarships right before they start university. In fact, many scholarships are available at any time. You can search for them yourself in databases or ask your financial aid office for suggestions. It’s worth keeping some free time in your schedule to apply for scholarships because some applications can be time consuming — particularly if you need to make a video or ask other people for letters of recommendation.

One last tip is to stop wasting money on expensive housing. Living on campus is particularly expensive, especially when you consider that all you’re receiving is a cramped room you need to share with another student. You can find Queens University off-campus housing at Foundry Princess. For an affordable price, you’ll receive everything you need and more: a spacious suite with a full kitchen and laundry facilities, underground parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and places where you can study alone or in a group. Our floor plans range from two to five bedrooms and some rooms have en suite bathrooms. Apply now for the unit you want.


What to Think About Before Taking a Semester Off

Taking a semester off can be appealing if you need a break for health reasons, you have another opportunity to pursue, or you’re unsure that you’re on the right path and need to clear your mind. Whereas time off can be a great decision for some students, it is a big decision — and not one you should take lightly. Here are several things you should consider before deciding if it’s the right move for you.

1. What Your Academic Advisor Says

The academic advisors at your school will have helped many students navigate taking a semester off. They can explain the process and its implications. In addition, they may be able to offer you other options that you hadn’t considered.

You may also like to seek advice from other school officials — especially people who already know you. Consider what these people tell you when coming to a decision.

2. How It Will Affect Your Financial Aid

It’s crucial to know how taking a semester off would impact any loans, scholarships, or grants you have. For instance, there may be requirements that you take a certain number of credits each semester or graduate by a particular date. If you’re unsure, talk to someone in the financial aid office on campus.

3. What You’ll Do in the Meantime

Using your semester off as a chance to earn money could solve any problems with financial aid. Plus, it may give you the experience you need to boost your resume after you graduate or allow you to explore a field you’d like to work in. If you feel you need time to rest, you can always search for part-time, rather than full-time, work.

Of course, a job is far from your only option — it may even be the opposite of what you need. Other options for a semester off include studying abroad, an internship, volunteer work, or developing other skills.

4. Whether You’d Prefer to Transfer

An alternative to returning to your current school after returning from a semester off could be to transfer to another university. You could do this immediately or after a break. This may be the right solution for you if you’ve never felt completely comfortable at university or you’ve decided to pursue a different career to what you originally intended.

5. How You’ll Return

The biggest risk to taking a semester off is losing momentum — but you can avoid this by preparing for your return. This will involve things like deciding where you’ll live, picking your classes, and choosing which extracurriculars you’ll take.

Whatever you ultimately decide to do, it’s important to make changes to prevent burnout and stay motivated until graduation. Key to this is searching for a better apartment. You can find Queens University student housing at Foundry Princess. We offer everything you need to help you study, socialize, and relax, including study areas, an outdoor BBQ area, a 24-hour convenience market, and the option for a deep soaker tub in your apartment. Apply for a lease in time for your return to university.


10 Habits to Be a More Successful Student

What success means at university may be different for everyone. However, most people will agree it means gaining good grades, graduating on time, and enjoying the experience. You can be a successful student by developing the following key habits.

1. Set Goals

To stay motivated, it’s important to have several short- and long-term goals. These will give you a reason to keep studying, even when times are tough. Short-term goals can be things like studying every day for a week for a test or receiving a good grade on a paper, whereas a long-term goal could be to pass a challenging class or land a great internship.

2. Take Full Advantage of Your Professors

Your professors can help you succeed — you just need to ask for help. Reach out whenever you have doubts, either via email or by dropping in during office hours. This will help you produce better papers and achieve higher scores on tests. Plus, you’ll strengthen relationships with professors, which may be useful after you graduate.

3. Become Involved on Campus

You’ll feel a greater connection to your school if you belong to some clubs or intramural sports teams. This will also enrich your time at university.

4. Create a Schedule

The best way to make sure you stay on track is to create a study schedule. To do this, put all your commitments into a calendar and block out the time that remains for studying for your classes. Bear in mind that some of your classes may require more hours than others, depending on their difficulty and the amount of homework you receive.

5. Use a Variety of Study Techniques

Try different study techniques and use a variety of tools until you’ve figured out what works for you. Most importantly, strive to improve your note-taking skills to capture all the critical information while still being concise.

6. Choose a Balance of Classes

Think carefully before you choose your classes at the start of each semester. Learn from experience how many you can handle and avoid too having many challenging classes at the same time.

7. Join a Study Group

Study groups are your chance to consolidate what you’ve learned in class, discuss aspects you’re finding difficult, and explain concepts to others — this is one of the best ways to ensure you’ve understood something. It’s worth joining study groups for all your most important classes.

8. Go to Class

It’s impossible to be successful with your academics if you skip class. You’ll learn much more by hearing the material first hand and taking your own notes. Plus, you’ll have the chance to ask questions and participate.

9. Sleep Enough

It’s impossible to live up to your full potential unless you sleep enough each night. Stick to a consistent bedtime whenever possible.

10. Utilize Campus Resources

Your school has many resources available to help you succeed with your academics and in other areas of your life. Visit the library, writing center, academic advisors, and financial aid office whenever you need support.

Where you live can also make a big difference to your success during university. This means finding the right room for rent. Kingston students can find the ultimate housing at Foundry Princess. We offer spacious floor plans with in-suite laundry, lightning-fast fiber internet, multiple study areas, a rooftop patio, a community clubhouse, and much more. Book a tour to check out your new space before you sign a lease.


6 Ways to Enjoy Spring Break Without Travelling

It can feel disappointing to stay home during spring break when many of your friends are leaving for exotic destinations. However, not everyone can afford to travel or they may have commitments that keep them from traveling. Whatever your reason for staying behind, there are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy spring break.

1. Play Some Group Games

Ask around to find who else is staying in town during spring break and invite these students to some group games. You could use the chance to add some cardio to your day by playing sports like baseball or kickball. If you’d prefer something with a slower pace, you could play cards or board games.

2. Host a Movie Marathon

Another way to enjoy spring break with a group of students is to host a movie marathon. Make your place as comfortable as possible and ask everyone to bring snacks. To keep the entertainment flowing, watch movies that have plenty of sequels and prequels or pick a theme.

3. Explore Your Surroundings

It’s likely there are many spots nearby you’ve never visited. Plan a few day trips to explore places in your town and its surroundings, such as hiking trails, museums, or even new coffee shops you can frequent when university starts up again. Ask a friend to come along, too — you’ll come up with even more ideas for destinations to visit when there’s two of you.

4. Pretend You’re on Vacation

Stay a couple nights somewhere else in your town — this could be at a friend’s house if you can’t afford to pay for anything. Create alternate identities for yourself and anyone who joins you to make it feel like you’re on an actual vacation.

5. Learn to Cook

It may not sound thrilling but cooking can be fun when you’ve mastered the basics — especially if you’re listening to music and dancing around the kitchen as you do it. Plus, cooking is a great way to spend spring break because it will teach you crucial skills. Pick some easy recipes you’ll be able to recreate throughout the semester or learn how to make your favorite dishes. Perhaps you could invite friends over for a meal or potluck to share your creations.

6. Read Ahead for Next Semester

Preparing for upcoming classes is another activity that may not seem fun on the surface — but it will be a relief next semester to feel ahead. Ultimately, you’ll have more time for socializing, clubs, or just relaxing.
It’s lonely to stay on campus during spring break — you’ll have much more fun if you’re living in student rentals. Kingston students can live life to the max at Foundry Princess. Our great onsite amenities mean you won’t feel like you’re missing out by not traveling. For instance, you can relax on the rooftop patio, meet new people in the community clubhouse, or cool off in our outdoor swimming pool. Book a tour to see how you could turn your spring break around.


How to Stay in Touch with Friends While Studying Abroad

If you have the chance to study abroad while you’re at university, you should take it. Studying abroad will teach you about the world in ways you can’t learn from books — it will open your eyes to new cultures, help you improve your language skills, and give you the chance to have exciting experiences. Many students worry about how they’ll stay in touch with friends while they’re away, particularly if they need to juggle different time zones. However, in the digital age, this is far from impossible. Here are some tips to try.

1. Create Fun Traditions

It can be more difficult to keep a conversation flowing when your daily life has little in common with that of your friends. This can happen when you stop taking the same classes, start spending time with different people, and are involved in different campus gossip. One way to make sure you stay in contact is to create reasons to reach out to friends. For instance, you could send a selfie every time you do a particular activity.

2. Post on Social Media

Make a habit of posting to social media regularly or create a group chat where everyone can share their latest photos and news. It can be easier to stay in touch with friends when you don’t feel obligated to message each person individually. Plus, this helps you keep friends you’re less close to in the loop about what you’re doing.

3. Schedule Video Chats

It’s easier to have a conversation over a video call than texting back and forth. Find a time when you and your friends are all available to chat, such as during a weekend when none of you have plans. This is also a great way to beat any homesickness you may experience when you start your study abroad experience.

4. Send Postcards from Tourist Destinations

While interacting online is a simple way to stay connected, receiving snail mail can be fun and unexpected. It’s always exciting to receive a postcard in the mail. When you visit tourist spots during your time abroad, send your closest friends postcards. This will give them something to decorate the walls of their student apartments with.

5. Collaborate on a Playlist

Whenever you discover a new song you love (perhaps it’s trending where you’re studying but not back home), add it to a playlist. Invite friends to do the same to build a playlist together that’s representative of all your tastes. You’ll feel closer to your friends when you’re all listening to the same songs.

6. Decide What You’ll Do When You’re Reunited

You may feel like you’ll be away from your friends forever; in actual fact, your time studying abroad will be over all too soon. Come up with ideas for things you want to do with your friends when you return. These plans can be as elaborate as a road trip or as simple as going to brunch at a favourite restaurant.

One of the best places to study abroad is Canada. To make your time here memorable, search for housing in a student community. You can find Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Princess. We have the largest amenity package in the area — it includes a rooftop patio, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, and fully-furnished suites. Contact us to ask about our leases.


Journal Prompts for a New Year

Starting a journal is a great choice for a new year’s resolution. It will help you organize your thoughts, allow you to reflect on what’s most important to you, and serve as an outlet for anything you need to get off your chest. Most importantly, though, it can act as a tool to help you reach all your other goals.

However, you may find that when you sit down to write in your journal, you have no idea where to begin. Using journal prompts can be the solution: you’ll never have writer’s block and can use your journaling time productively. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Look at the Big Picture

Start by thinking about your biggest dreams. These can be things that you’re unsure are even possible to achieve but that you want to do more than anything. Some journal prompts to help you with this include:

What would be your ideal career after you graduate?

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would you do?

2. Think About Your Goals

After journaling about your dreams without a specific timeline in mind, you can begin thinking about the nearer term. Consider what you could start doing now to put yourself on the right track to make these things possible. This should show you that even dreams that seem far fetched could be within your reach.

To explore your ideas, use journal prompts like:

What do you want to have achieved by this time next year

What do you need to move closer to your goals?

How can you bring more happiness into your life?

3. Create an Action Plan

The last thing to do is turn all your ideas into actions. This can be particularly difficult for huge goals. In fact, many people feel so overwhelmed at the idea that they end up waiting for some external force to push them onto the right track — which may never happen. If you’re serious about seeing your dreams come true, there’s no better time than the present to take action.

Journaling can help you decide what to do next when you answer questions like:

How can you split large goals into achievable tasks?

What small actions can you take on a daily basis?

How can you make more time for what’s important?

Journaling Tips

To gain the best results from your journaling, there are a few more things you need to do. The key is to let your writing flow. Take whatever inspiration you can from the prompts — as you’re not writing a paper for a class, you don’t need to worry about sticking to the question exactly. Secondly, go into as much depth as you can. This may mean writing long paragraphs or it could involve mind maps and diagrams. Lastly, always be honest. No one ever needs to read your journal except you, meaning this is a judgment-free space.

Just as important as coming up with ideas is having somewhere you can write in your journal in peace. Foundry Princess provides you with the Queens off-campus housing you deserve. Choose from a number of spacious floor plans with between two and five private bedrooms. Plus, our great onsite amenities will also help you meet your goals — for instance, you’ll have access to a fitness center, community clubhouse, and study areas. Book a tour to see our premier student housing for yourself.


How Much Do University Students Spend Each Month?

To determine whether you need a part-time job, how much you should save before starting university, and how to allocate your budget, you need to know how much you’re likely to spend every month. Since every student is different, there’s no standard figure. Instead, you’ll need to consider each of your expenses and determine where your money will be coming from.

What Expenses Will You Have?

The biggest expense at university is tuition. The good news is you can often avoid paying tuition fees until later by taking out a loan. Alternatively, you may qualify for a grant or receive a scholarship to avoid paying a chunk of tuition fees entirely.

Other big expenses you’ll have include accommodation, textbooks, and possibly transport (such as if you want to have a car at university and will need to cover all the related costs or if you’ll be attending school far from home and plane tickets may be expensive). You’ll also have living expenses like food, clothing, entertainment, school supplies, and personal items.
Calculate how much each of these will cost based on what you (or your parents) currently pay, by talking to other students, and by researching prices for your location.

How Much Will You Receive from Your Parents?

Many students receive a monthly allowance from their parents, especially during the first year when they may not have had the chance to earn any money yet. Your parents may transfer an amount to you or provide you with a credit card to pay for essentials. It’s also important to know what your parents expect you to do in an emergency — for instance, will they be able to lend you money but expect you to pay it back?

Covering the Rest of Your Expenses

If your allowance is not enough to pay for everything you want to do at university, you’ll need to find other ways to cover your costs. Finding a job is the easiest way to build up funds. You can work between semesters at seasonal jobs or year round with a part-time job. If you work throughout the year, you may be able to pick up extra shifts during your spring and winter breaks to increase your earnings.

An alternative option is to start a side hustle, such as housesitting, tutoring, or delivery driving. This will allow you to work more whenever you have the time.

Try to avoid spending all the money you earn. It’s important to have a fund for unexpected expenses and opportunities. Plus, it’s a good idea if you can graduate with some savings, especially if you want to take some time off before searching for a full-time job or if you’d like to start paying off your student loans immediately.

Exactly how much you spend will depend on factors like your lifestyle, where you’re attending university, and your accommodation. Kingston, Ontario, students can save money without sacrificing comfort by living at Foundry Princess. Our affordable suites have everything you need from student housing — along with some extras to make your time at university extra special. For instance, we have a rooftop patio, outdoor swimming pool, dedicated study spaces, and much more. Book a tour before you sign a lease.


5 Options for Earning Income as a Student

Saving money as a student can be a challenge. If you have a tight budget, you may need to turn down invitations to fun events and carefully watch all your expenses, including food. Some students increase their spending money by finding a part-time job, but this can be hard to fit around classes and other commitments. A great alternative is to earn an income by finding gig work or starting your own side hustle. You’ll be able to work whenever you want and will hopefully earn enough extra cash to feel financially secure.

1. House Sitting

There’s always a need for house sitters, especially during weekends and holidays. You’re particularly well-suited to house sitting if you already have experience taking care of pets. A gig could involve staying in the house or just coming over a couple times a day to feed and walk the animals. To find work, you’ll need to advertise your services, which could be as simple as offering to help when someone mentions a weekend trip and expresses concerns about leaving a pet behind.

2. Blogging

It’s likely there’s one niche topic you know more about than almost anyone else. You can share your unique knowledge or insights by setting up a blog. You’re most likely to be successful if you pick a topic no one else is covering (or at least not covering well) but that other people do find interesting. To get started, use a template on a free website builder and pay for a catchy domain name.

For the best results, aim to write a blog post or shoot a short video twice a week. To gain more visibility, share the content to social media and use some basic search engine optimization techniques. Once you have a decent number of followers viewing your content regularly, research ways to monetize.

3. Rent Your Car

If you live close to campus and have few commitments that require you to go farther afield, you may only need your car to return home at the end of each semester. Instead of leaving your vehicle sitting in the parking lot for the rest of the time, rent it. You can find services online that will help you rent your car safely.

4. Tutoring

A classic gig for university students is tutoring. You could offer to help others with a class you’ve already passed, provide homework help for kids at a local school, or even teach English to kids online — tutoring in another country can be particularly convenient due to the time difference.

5. Sell Crafts on Etsy

Turn your hobby into a side hustle by setting up an Etsy store. It’s likely that whatever you make has a market — from jewelry and clothing to photographs and gift tags. This is a great way to turn what you enjoy most into an income and perhaps explore more creative outlets.

As well as earning more money, it makes sense to cut expenses. A simple way to do this is to search for more less expensive housing. You can find affordable Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Princess. Choose between apartments with two, three, four, and five bedrooms — all our suites are spacious, feature a full kitchen, and have their own laundry facilities. You’ll also have access to great onsite amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool. Take a virtual tour to check out the apartments and community spaces for yourself.


A Guide to Seasonal Depression in Students

It can be extra difficult when you see your peers excited about winter if you struggle with your mental health due to the change of seasons. In fact, seasonal depression is not uncommon. It tends to happen during the fall and winter when there are many hours of darkness, the most severe months being January and February. This serious condition can make it challenging to carry out even routine tasks.

Symptoms of seasonal depression are wide ranging and can be anywhere from mild to severe. Typically, they include fatigue, weight gain, loss of energy, and agitation. Some of these symptoms are due to sleeping too much and craving carbohydrates, which often accompany seasonal depression.

Unfortunately, seasonal depression can be especially hard on university students. You’re away from your family, who likely provided you with support in the past. You may struggle to get up in the morning, which can spiral into skipping classes and neglecting your studies. As a result, you may spend even less time outdoors in the sun, which reduces your vitamin D intake and causes symptoms to worsen.

Nonetheless, with the right strategy, you can fight seasonal depression. You’ll be able to continue living your life and enjoying the things that usually give you pleasure. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Stick to a Routine

One reason why it may be more difficult to manage seasonal depression at university than it was at high school is the lack of structure. You may have classes at different times of the day and various other activities throughout the week. By creating a routine for yourself, you can bring structure back to your life. It can help to write your schedule into your calendar, as this will mean you always know what you should be doing.

2. Have a Set Bedtime and Wake-Up Time

One important aspect of your routine needs to be sleep. By setting both a bedtime and a wake-up time, you’ll ensure you sleep the same number of hours each night. This is crucial because a lack of sleep can make your symptoms worse and have an effect on your academic performance. Trying to catch up on sleep later is never a good idea. However, it’s particularly problematic if you’re suffering from seasonal depression, as oversleeping can worsen your symptoms just as much as too little sleep.

3. Stay Active

Make sure you exercise on a regular basis, such as by adding a morning run to your routine, finding a buddy to do workouts with, or looking for opportunities on campus, such as fitness classes or an elective that will get you moving.

4. Keep Socializing

Seasonal depression can make you want to spend all of your time on your own. Commit to at least a couple social events each week, whether they involve hanging out with friends or attending meetings for a club. You may not always want to go out, but you should find you feel better when you do.

If you’re suffering from seasonal depression, the most important thing to do is receive support for your mental health. Find out if your university offers any free or discounted counseling services.

You’ll also find it helps to have your own space but also to be near other students — as this will encourage you to keep socializing. You can gain both by moving into student rentals. Kingston has Foundry Princess. You’ll be able to relax in your private bedroom when you need time alone, but you’ll also have roommates who you can spend time with and you can meet more people in our community clubhouse. There’s also an onsite fitness centre to keep you physically healthy. Book a tour to see how living at Foundry Princess could improve your university experience.