How to Prepare for Life After University During Your Senior Year

When you start your senior year, the reality that university will be over soon and you’ll need to survive in the real world sets in. Another major life change is just around the corner — but there’s no reason to think you won’t excel. In fact, you can start preparing for this next stage in your life while you’re still at university.

1. Begin Your Job Search

Don’t wait until graduation to start looking for a job. Depending on the field you want to enter, it may be worth beginning your search during the fall semester of your senior year, if not before.

2. Attend Job Fairs

One way to find employment is at campus job fairs. These are also a great way to meet employers, talk to people in your industry about what they’re looking for in candidates, and gain a better picture of the job market.

3. Visit the Career Development Centre

You’ll increase your odds of landing a job if you come across as capable and professional in your application and interview. The career development center on campus can help you prepare by giving you tips to improve your resume, helping you practice for interviews, and providing you with career advice. The staff may also know of internships that could help you gain relevant experience before you begin full-time employment.

4. Expand Your Network

You have the chance to network all the time, not just at formal events like job fairs. People you meet at your internship, at your part-time job, in class, and during activities on campus can all form part of your network.

Start thinking of everyone you meet as a potential connection who could help you with some aspect of your life in the future, such as for job opportunities, finding an apartment, or advice. Stay in touch through social media (particularly LinkedIn). If your school has an alumni association, consider joining to expand your network further.

5. Improve Your Online Presence

Whenever an employer is considering you for a job or people meet you in a professional capacity, they will likely do an internet search for your name. Make sure the results present you in the best possible light. The easiest way to do this is to focus on your social media profiles. Delete or change the privacy settings for any content you’d prefer professional contacts not to see and spend time optimizing your LinkedIn profile. To go a step further, you may like to set up a personal website or an online portfolio of your work.

6. Search for a Mentor

It’s useful to have a mentor who can advise you on how to meet your career goals. This person should be someone in your field who you already have a relationship with, such as a professor, a former supervisor, or someone you met during your internship. Ask anyone you feel could fit this role if he or she would be willing to become your mentor.

7. Increase Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score will make you a stronger candidate for an apartment after you graduate and give you better terms when you’re borrowing money, such as for buying a car or starting your own business. One of the best ways to boost your credit score is to make timely payments on your student loans every month. In addition, if you don’t already have a credit card, it’s worth applying for one now and using it only for purchases you know you’ll be able to pay in full. Keep your balance under 30% of the limit to maximize your credit score.

You’ll feel more prepared for life after university if you’ve been living in an independent apartment rather than in a campus residence. You can find a room in Barrie near Georgian College at Arcadian Students. You’ll have everything you need to be independent: a kitchen to prepare your own meals, fibre internet to work on papers from the comfort of your home, and in-suite laundry facilities. Apply now to move in before the fall semester starts.


4 Apps to Boost Your Mental Health

Although your college years may be among some of the best of your life, they’re certainly not stress free. There’s the drama that comes from college friendships and relationships, anxiety around exams, the challenge of living away from home for the first time, and much more.

One solution to boost your mental health is to turn to wellness apps. Many options are affordable (if not free) and allow you to receive help at the moment you need it.

1. The Shine App

With features ranging from meditations to self-care courses and virtual workshops, the Shine app is ideal for working on your mental health every day. The app was founded by two women of colour who wanted to make mental health support more inclusive and representative. It is now owned by Headspace, meaning a yearly subscription gives you access to Headspace Health. However, there’s also a free version of the Shine app available if you just want meditations personally recommended for you.

2. Mood Mission

Use Mood Mission whenever you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or emotional in some other way. The app will ask you how you’re feeling and then provide you with five suggestions called Missions, all of which have been shown to have an impact on mental health through scientific research. Completing a Mission will give you a reward in the app to incentivize you to keep taking steps to become healthier and happier.

3. Moodfit

It may be that certain coping mechanisms work better for you than others. With Moodfit, you can track what these are. The app also provides you with daily goals to work toward to improve your mental health and allows you to track how your mood changes over time.

Lastly, there are a huge number of learning resources on the app to teach you how to prevent procrastination, rumination, and distorted thinking, regain your motivation, and become responsive instead of reactive. Best of all, everything is available for free.


Aimed at people aged 18 to 30, is an online platform rather than an app. It’s staffed by people in this age group who have had their own struggles with mental health and who have received training to give others support through one-on-one video sessions.

You can search for the right peer supporter to help you based on life experience (such as depression, loneliness, academic stress, or body image) or by identity (gender, sexuality, or ethnicity). All the peer supporters have the date and time of when they’re next available along with the languages they speak on their profiles.

Another way to boost your mental health is to improve your living situation. You can do this by moving into student rentals. Barrie has a housing community of modern apartments at Arcadian Students. You’ll be able to relax in your private bedroom, chill with your roommates in your fully-furnished living room, or meet other students in the common areas, which include a lounge, basketball court, and outdoor fire pit. Contact us to sign a lease today.


How to Get the Most Out of a Paid Internship

If you’re lucky enough to have landed a paid internship, you need to take full advantage of the opportunity. In particular, here are a few things to do to make the most of your time and gain some valuable experience.

1. Ask Questions

Ask the people you work with plenty of questions. In addition to asking for guidance, find out the purpose of the projects you’re working on — both to improve your understanding of what the company is doing and to reduce the chance you make a mistake. In addition, ask for feedback after you submit work or meet a milestone.

It will be a confidence booster to hear about your strengths, whereas learning about your weaknesses can help you take steps to improve. Finally, ask people questions about their jobs and career paths — this could give you inspiration.

2. Offer to Do More

Instead of waiting for your supervisor to assign you tasks, be vocal about what kind of experience you want to gain. If something is happening you’d like to be a part of, ask if you can be involved. For instance, you may like to go to an event, attend a meeting, or work on a particular project. Your supervisor may be unaware that you’re interested in these things if you don’t speak up.

3. Network with People Throughout the Company

You’re in a unique position to network with numerous people in your field during your internship. Take advantage of the opportunity by striking up conversations — you could even offer to help, if you’re not too busy. If there are particular people in other departments at the company you’d like to meet, reach out to ask if you can schedule a meeting.

4. Save Some of Your Paycheck

If you were surviving on a limited budget before your internship, your earnings may suddenly provide you with a great deal of potential spending money. However, it’s worth trying to save at least a portion of what you earn. If you have any immediate needs, take care of these first. This may include high-interest debt or a depleted emergency fund. Next, consider if you could allocate a portion of your earnings to paying off your student loans or even putting some into a savings account. Use the rest for activities that matter the most to you, whether that’s shopping, going out with friends a couple times a week, or a hobby.

5. Find Other Ways to Gain Value

In addition to your earnings, an internship provides you with value in a variety of ways. For instance, you may be able to earn college credit, take part in training, earn certificates, or even eat the occasional free meal, such as at the weekly team lunch.

6. Let Your Supervisor Know If You’re Interested in a Job

If you can see yourself working at the company full time, communicate this with your supervisor. The company may have an opening for an entry-level position — it’s great if you can have a job lined up for after you graduate.

Many students search for an internship near their school, but they’re unable to continue living in their dorms on campus because student residence is closed for the summer. You can find a room for rent in Barrie near Georgian College at Arcadian Students. When you come home and need a rest after your internship, you can spend time with other students in places like the common area lounge, outdoor grill and fire pit, and basketball half court. Contact us for a short-term lease to cover the length of your internship or a full-year lease to stay here during the school year as well.


7 Microwave-Friendly Meals to Make in Your Student Apartment

Even if you only have a microwave at your disposal, there’s no need to rely on food from the dining hall on campus. There are plenty of meals you can make quickly and easily at home with only basic equipment and ingredients. Many of them are healthier than campus food and they’ll definitely save you money. Here are a few simple recipes to try.

1. Microwave Pasta

You can cook your favourite pasta in mere minutes in the microwave. Create a sauce to make it more interesting. For a particularly simple sauce, just mix salsa and hummus — it’s creamy and delicious.

2. Mexican Street Corn

Recreate Mexican street food by preparing elote in the microwave. Just heat up some corn and butter in the microwave and then add lime juice, chili powder, and some tangy cheese like cotija.

3. Grain Bowl

Heat some pre-cooked grains and add them to your choice of raw vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, or chickpeas. For extra flavour, blend up an avocado with a clove of garlic, a handful of parsley, and half a cup of coconut milk to make a dressing.

4. Eggs in a Mug

If you want a hot breakfast, scramble eggs in a mug and add some seasoning. Buying a seasoning packet is a great way to make sure your eggs taste great. You can also add some salsa or cheese if you want a little extra.

5. French Toast in a Mug

Another hot breakfast in a mug is French toast. To prepare this, start by melting some butter in your mug. Then, add an egg, some cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla essence, and two slices of bread cut into small pieces. Soak the bread in the mixture before microwaving it for about 1:30 minutes. To complete your breakfast, top with some fruit, powdered sugar, and maple syrup.

6. Tortilla Wrap

An ideal lunch when you’re rushing from one class to another is a wrap. You can put virtually anything inside the tortilla, including deli meat, cheese, and vegetables like red peppers, spinach, cabbage, and carrot. Mix things up to have a different lunch every day and to use up whatever you have in your kitchen.

7. Chocolate Pretzels

If you’re having a movie night with friends, you need some comfort food, or it’s your turn to provide snacks for your study group, try preparing chocolate-covered pretzels. All you need to do is melt chocolate in a mug and use it as a dip for the pretzels. Let the chocolate harden before eating.

8. Rice Noodle Soup

An alternative to ramen that’s almost as easy to prepare is rice noodle soup. In a bowl of water, add rice noodles, tofu, spinach, mushrooms, and seasoning made from stock powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili oil. It takes five minutes to cook the soup in the microwave.

You can do much better than just microwave-friendly meals if you move into student rentals. Barrie has the perfect housing at Arcadian Students. All our apartments come with a full kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. You can store plenty of groceries in the fridge and cook using the stove and oven as well as the microwave. You’ll even have a dishwasher to reduce the effort of cleaning up. Book a tour to see everything for yourself.


A Checklist for Your First Week at University

Your first week at university is a whirlwind. Not only is there a huge amount to do, you’re also adjusting to your new life. To make sure you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed, follow this checklist.

1. Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

Beat any homesickness you may be feeling by transforming your apartment into your new home. Don’t delay in unpacking all your belongings. In particular, make sure you have some decorations that reflect your personality. For instance, you could hang some photos on the walls, display your favourite trinkets on your desk, or create a backdrop out of fairy lights.

2. Set Ground Rules with Roommates

Prevent conflict between you and your roommates by sitting down together to discuss ground rules. You’ll need to cover your expectations for having quiet times to study, rules about having guests over, how you’ll divide the cleaning, and anything else you feel is important. It’s also worth having everyone sign a contract when you’ve come to an agreement.

3. Start Meeting People

Try to expand your social circle beyond your roommates. The best way to meet new people during your first week is to attend a variety of campus events. If you’d prefer not to go alone, ask a roommate to join you — use the free food that’s likely to be available as an incentive.

4. Acquire Your Textbooks

Find out what textbooks you’ll need for your classes and research your options for acquiring them. As well as buying new copies from the campus bookstore, you may be able to find them at discount bookstores, purchase them used from other students, or lease them from a rental service.

5. Familiarize Yourself with Campus and the Surroundings

In addition to taking advantage of the formal tour of campus, spend some time exploring by yourself. Find all the places that will be important to you, such as where your classes and labs will be taking place, the campus library, and possible study spots.

This will minimize the risk of getting lost when classes start.
Since you won’t want to spend all your time on campus, you should also explore further afield. Find local grocery stores, coffee shops, and parks where you can relax if you have some free time. You may also like to look for potential activities for the weekends.

6. Find Out About Campus Resources

Make sure you know where you can find campus resources and how to book appointments with an advisor. In particular, find out where the financial aid office, academic advisors, health center, career services, and writing center are located.

Long before your first week at university, you need to figure out your accommodation. However, you may have decided to live in student residence and are now regretting your decision. Don’t worry — you can still sort out better housing for next semester. For a room for rent in Barrie near Georgian College, come to Arcadian Students. You’ll have your own bedroom and en suite bathroom as well as access to amenities like a common area lounge, outdoor basketball half court, and fire pit. Contact us for details about our leases.


How to Make the Right First Impression at University

It’s always important to be yourself when meeting new people, but you still need to put in the effort to make the right first impression. This will help you make new friends, develop good relationships with your roommates, and present yourself in the best light to professors. The good news is there’s nothing too difficult about making a first impression. In fact, you’ll soon find it becomes second nature when you follow these tips.

1. Consider Your Appearance

Although college students tend to dress casually, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your physical appearance. At the very least, make sure your clothing is clean, free from wrinkles, and undamaged. In addition, always make sure you brush your teeth in the morning — even if you’re rushing to class — and consider showering in the afternoon before going to events or parties. This will show respect toward the people you’re meeting.

2. Give a Firm Handshake

One of the first interactions you’ll have with many people is a handshake. Send a message in this simple gesture by making sure your handshake is firm rather than limp. This is a great way to create a professional appearance.

3. Remember Names

When people tell you their names, it’s important to put conscious effort into remembering. Otherwise, you’ll find you immediately forget. This can be awkward — especially if the other person does remember your name — and can give off the impression that you don’t care.

There are tactics you can use to make sure you remember someone’s name, such as using the name in conversation and associating it with a famous person. Plus, you can always ask people to repeat their names before you say goodbye if you didn’t quite catch what they said the first time.

4. Be Positive in Your Interactions

Enter into every interaction with positivity. This will make people feel comfortable around you, helping you to develop friendships much sooner. Even if you don’t share someone’s views, there’s no need to be impolite. Take the time to listen to others’ ideas — you may learn something new. Besides, with so many people to meet at college, there’s no need to spend time in the future with people whose personalities or opinions clash with your own.

5. Show You’re Listening

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to be extra talkative to let your personality shine or ensure people you meet know who you are. People will be much more impressed if you listen when they speak. However, you should go beyond simply listening and show enthusiasm for what they say, both through your words and with your body language.

Many students find it tiring to be around other people all day, especially at the start of college when everyone is new and you need to constantly put in the effort to make the right impression. The problem with living in a dorm room is you may rarely have the chance to be alone. A better option is to live in student rentals. Barrie students can move into a five-bedroom suite or townhouse at Arcadian Students. As well as your own bedroom, you’ll have an en suite bathroom, comfortable living room, and kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances. Contact us for information about our leases.


8 Budget-Friendly Vacation Hotspots

After working hard all year, you need a summer vacation — but your budget may restrict where you can go. The good news is there are hotspots around the globe where great accommodation, food, and entertainment are all available even when you’re on a tight budget. As long as you can afford the flight, you’ll be able to have a low-cost vacation.

1. Costa Rica

As well as being budget friendly, Costa Rica has a lot to offer in terms of adventure sports, including diving, hiking, ATVs, caving, and surfing. If you avoid the most touristic areas, you’ll be able to find accommodation and food for a low price.

2. Albania

If you have enough in your budget for a plane ticket to Europe, you may like to go to Albania. One of the most affordable countries in the continent, it has plenty to offer in terms of beaches, cuisine, and beautiful mountain villages.

3. Puerto Rico

Although it’s a U.S. territory, you won’t spend much in Puerto Rico if you stay in a hostel. Plus, you’ll meet plenty of other students, especially in the capital, San Juan, where there’s a big party scene. During the day, there are beaches, fortresses, and colonial neighbourhoods to visit.

4. Niagara Falls

If you can only afford to stay close to home, consider a vacation at Niagara Falls. As well as seeing the impressive waterfalls, you’ll be able to enjoy some active nightlife, especially on the Canadian side — meaning you won’t even need a passport for this vacation.

5. Ecuador

A top choice for South America is Ecuador because it’s safe for tourists as well as being affordable. You can relax on the beach, marvel at the biodiversity of the jungle, or even take a trip to the Galapagos islands — a must-see for biology majors. Plus, if you’ve been taking Spanish classes at college, visiting Ecuador will give you a chance to put your skills into practice.

6. Bolivia

Another option in South America to consider is Bolivia. Since prices for activities can vary, it’s worth putting effort into making a plan. That way, you’ll be able to travel around and visit highlights like Uyuni Salt Flat, the Valley of the Moon, and Laguna Colorada.

7. Florida

Although Florida is a favourite destination for spring break, the party continues throughout the summer. There are many beach destinations to consider in the state, but Panama Beach is a particularly popular choice for students on a budget.

8. New Orleans

It may be most famous for Mardi Gras, but New Orleans is a fun place to visit all year round. There’s live jazz all day and night, tasty food, and countless interesting shops, galleries, and historical sites to explore. If you book in advance, you may even be able to stay in a hostel in the French Quarter for a reasonable price.

It’s important to save money throughout the year to have enough for opportunities like vacations with friends. An easy way to save is to search for more affordable rooms for rent. Barrie students can find a new home at Arcadian Students. You’ll have your own bedroom with an en suite bathroom in a comfortable suite or townhouse with modern fixtures, including laundry facilities. Apply for a lease now before all the units are taken.


A Complete Pre-College Bucket List

Heading off to college is a major milestone, but it’s important to not become so absorbed in preparing to leave home that you neglect to have fun over the summer. You’ll likely be away from most (if not all) of your high school friends for several months. Your last summer before college is the perfect time to make memories and take photos you can display in your apartment. Include the following ideas on your pre-college bucket list to fill the summer with fun activities.

1. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Spending time outdoors is great for your mental health. Plus, strenuous activities can help with your fitness levels. You’ll see benefits whether you go for a hike, kayak on the lake, or take a stroll in the park and have a picnic.

2. Organize a Road Trip

Have one last big adventure with friends from your hometown by organizing a road trip. Depending on how much time you have available and your budget, your trip could be for just a couple days or more than a week. You could travel to see a major landmark, visit a couple national parks, or hit the road with no real plan. Save money by packing a tent or even sleeping under the stars.

3. Go to a Concert

Another possible destination for your road trip is a concert or music festival. There tend to be many shows happening all over the country during the summer, meaning it should be possible to find something you’d enjoy that’s not too far away.

4. Read a Good Book

You also need some laidback activities for the summer. Put your brain into gear for your studies by reading at least one good book. It doesn’t need to be something related to your major — a novel, memoir, self-help book (perhaps about coping with challenges of college), or anything else you’d enjoy is fine. The important thing is to get into the habit of reading regularly.

5. Host a Dinner Party

Make sure your cooking skills are up to scratch before you head off to college — you’ll save a lot of money if you’re able to prepare most of your own meals. Put your skills to the test by hosting a dinner party for your friends. You could all go grocery shopping to purchase the ingredients you need to make a meal together or have a potluck where everyone brings a dish.

6. Visit Relatives

Remember to spend time with other people you won’t be seeing for a while, including relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They’ll be glad to see you and excited to wish you well in the next stage of your journey. Make a promise to stay in touch when you say goodbye.

7. Take Photos of Your Pets

Pets are also an important part of your family — and you’re sure to miss them while you’re away at college. Dedicate a day to a photoshoot with your pets to ensure you have a few great shots you can frame or use in a collage when you’re decorating your bedroom.

8. Buy a Couple Houseplants

Another way to make your new apartment feel like home is with some houseplants. Purchase a couple that will be easy to keep alive.
One last thing to do before you head off to college is find great student housing. Barrie students can look no further than Arcadian Students.

Our brand new community is just 10 minutes from campus and provides you with your own room in a furnished suite or townhouse. If you don’t know anyone yet, that’s not a problem — we’ll match you with roommates. Apply now to secure a spot while there’s still space left.


What to Do When You Have Too Much Homework

Perhaps you registered for more classes than you can handle or maybe some of your classes have a particularly heavy workload. In either case, you now have too much homework and are unsure of what to do. Instead of procrastinating and making the situation worse, use some strategies to tackle your homework effectively.

1. Take Your Time to Fully Read the Questions

It can be tempting to rush through your homework to complete it as fast as possible. The problem with this approach is you may misread questions and then either need to rewrite your answer (meaning the task will take twice as long) or receive a lower grade. Besides, spending enough time on homework now will save time later — when you understand the material better, you’ll have less to cover when preparing for exams.

2. Stop Striving for Perfection

If you’re struggling to keep up, it’s far more important to complete something on time than to craft the perfect paper or make sure you have absolutely no mistakes. This is especially true when a piece of homework has only a minimal impact on your final grade.

3. Start Homework the Day You Receive It

It can be tempting to complete homework the day before it’s due — or at least no earlier than a couple days in advance. However, when you take this approach, you’ll find it quickly leads to problems. It’s best if you can find the discipline to complete homework the day you receive it. There are some added advantages to this approach. Firstly, what you covered in class will still be fresh in your mind, which will make completing the assignment much easier. Secondly, if you run into problems, you’ll likely have enough time to ask for support, such as during office hours or at your study group.

4. Track How You Use Your Time

You may have more time available for homework than you realize — there’s a large possibility that you’re just wasting too much of it. Find out where all your time is going by tracking exactly how you spend each day. In particular, make a note of how many hours you spend on social media, gaming, watching series, and other unessential activities. By setting limitations, you may be able to free up a few hours a week to make your homework manageable.

5. Find a Place Where You Can Focus

Choose a place to complete your homework where you’ll be free from distractions like people interrupting you and noise. Ideally, this will be your desk at home, but other alternatives include the campus library, a coffee shop, or a study room.

Having a place where you can go to study makes a big difference. It’s best if this is at your apartment, as it will mean you can fit in some homework whenever you have a few spare minutes. You can find a room for rent in Barrie near Georgian College at Arcadian Students.

You’ll have a fully-furnished suite or townhouse with your own bedroom, complete with a desk and chair. Plus, you’ll be able to use the onsite study rooms, lounge, and other common areas. Apply now while there are still a few spots left.


5 Strategies to Get Past a Creative Block

Creative blocks often seem to strike when you have a due date approaching on an important paper. It’s frustrating if you have no idea how to begin and stressful if you’re worried you may be running out of time. When this happens, there are some effective strategies you can use.

1. Use Mind Mapping to Explore Ideas

Instead of forcing yourself to start writing sections of your paper, jot down ideas in the form of a mind map. This practice is helpful because it involves coming up with as many ideas as possible and thinking about points that lead from a central idea. Plus, even if you come up with ideas that you later dismiss as implausible, the exercise is useful because each idea will often lead to another.

There are several ways to use mind mapping. One effective method is to put individual ideas on sticky notes. You can then group together ideas that complement each other. You may find you can use several related ideas in the same section of a paper to round out your argument.

2. Find Solutions By Imposing Restrictions

It can sometimes be difficult to be creative because you have too many possibilities. By giving yourself restrictions, you may find it easier to arrive at solutions. For instance, you could decide to only take inspiration for a project from things in your room. Once you start generating ideas, you can remove the restrictions to complete your project.

3. Avoid Striving for Perfection

You may be dismissing ideas or deleting what you do manage to write because it feels too imperfect. It’s important to remember that the creative process is never about seeking perfection: it’s about experimenting with what works. Once you have a first draft, you can go back and edit it as much as necessary. The important thing is to make some kind of progress to ensure you’ll be able to submit a paper at all.

4. Stop Waiting for Inspiration

If the minutes are ticking by and you still have a blank page, try creating anything. Even if you start in a completely different direction to where you ultimately end, it won’t be wasted time because you’ll gain the momentum you need to begin. Inspiration often doesn’t just strike — it happens when you’re in the midst of working.

5. Become Bored

If you’re unable to force yourself to create something by sitting down at your desk, give yourself a break. However, it’s important to not allow yourself to do anything interesting until you come up with something. Spend time on your most monotonous chores until you’re desperate to do homework instead.

You’ll likely struggle less from creative blocks when the atmosphere is conducive to studying. This means moving out of your dorm room and into student rentals. Barrie has apartments at Arcadian Students. As well as studying at your desk in your fully-furnished bedroom, you can use the onsite study rooms whenever you need a change of scenery. Book a tour to check out the facilities for yourself.