9 Reasons to Love Living Alone During University

Everyone decides to live alone for many different reasons. You’ve either officially given up on roommates or trying to take control on this “adulting” thing. Living alone is a big step and definitely a commitment as you’re stuck alone for at least a year if you’re signing a lease. Not to worry! Here are some of the reasons why you will love living alone.

1) Cooking 24/7

Cooking in a house filled with roommates can be chaotic. Who knew all your roommates could be hungry at the exact same time as you? Cooking in an empty kitchen is so wonderful. You have all the available pots, pans and ingredients. There is also no passive aggressive arguments over washing your dishes 0.3 seconds after using them.

2) All The Storage Space

Living alone is so ideal when you own way too many things. All the storage space is yours! You can store away all those suitcases and endless textbooks properly without feeling like you’re taking up way too much space.

3) Living In Ice, Ice, Baby

Do you like your apartment so cold you could freeze? Well, now you can do that! There’s no one to argue with you about the temperature of the apartment. So turn that thermostat off and get yourself tons of blankets so you can be a life-size burrito!

4) Your Space, Your Rules

Because you’re living alone, there’s no need to be respectful of the shared living space. It’s your space, you can do whatever you please. If you like your home so clean you don’t know what dust is, by all means. If you prefer to live in a mess, you’re more than welcome to also.

5) Judgement Free Zone

One of the best things about living alone is the fact that no one can judge you. If you’re having a bad day, go ahead and eat two full boxes of Girl Guide cookies. There is no one around to judge your lifestyle and behaviours. There are absolutely no limitations. Live your best life!

6) No Distractions

This is such a positive to living alone! When you are swamped with school or work, you need the silence and the lack of distractions. Living alone gives you this because there is no one around you. If it is hard to appreciate this sometimes, just think of how your roommates were before one of your midterms. You’re lucky you’re living alone.

7) FREEDOM

You can do anything you want. Whenever. Wherever. You need to do laundry? Go ahead! Feel like taking a bath? Same, but you don’t have to wait for anyone to be done in the bathroom. You have the luxury of using everything in your home at your own convenience.

8) To Party, Or To Not Party?

Having guests over can be painful sometimes with roommates. Fortunately for you, having people over is something only you have to decide. You can have guests over all the time, or not at all because it is completely up to you. So if you want to throw a huge party, you can most definitely do that. If you would prefer to sit in front of your television all night, you most certainly can.

9) Independent Skills

It is true. Living alone can suck because you’re only relying on yourself. However, you’re learning so much about yourself by living alone! You learn about the ways you deal with problems, and the way you react to being alone. Not only you, but people around you will be impressed by your independence!

Living alone will definitely have its ups and downs, but you will end up loving it. It is a learning opportunity and a huge step that many people will take. Don’t let the fear of living alone scare you away, it’s an adventure, so get excited!

11 Student Budget Friendly Gifts To Give Your Friends

The holidays can be expensive, especially December. What student has the money for gifts when they spent all of exam season eating takeout? Not me! Doing a secret santa with your house mates or close friends can be a cost effective way to still give a gift. Below are items that your friends will praise you about.

Anti-Soggy Cereal Bowl

Do you or your friends procrastinate eating cereal like you do your papers? A never soggy cereal bowl may be the solution and best give gift for you. Amazon sells an anti-soggy cereal bowl for $14.99 and free shipping.

What Do You Meme? Card Game

Perfect for “outmemeing” your friends and giving back to that friend who cannot stop tagging you in memes. If your go hard friend already has the game you can purchase extension packs. There is the “Basic Bitch”, Stoner, and regular expansion pack which are all $19.99

7 Holiday Decorations On A Student Budget

The holidays are the best time of the year. Besides the presents and the family bonding, decorations are what makes this holiday so wonderful. There’s mistletoe, Christmas trees and garlands all around your parents home. Unfortunately, you are stuck until the last possible day of exams and miss out on all the fun decorating. With these cute ideas, you will be able to decorate your dorm or apartment and still be just as poor as you were before!

1) Paper Snowflakes

While it is very much of an elementary school type of activity, you will end up smiling in the end. Use all the construction paper and printer paper left around your house and spend a day making snowflakes. Just like real life snowflakes, every single one is different so have fun with it. You can hang them from the ceiling or tape them to your window! It will definitely get you feeling the holiday spirit.

2) DIY Christmas Trees

The typical tall, green Christmas trees are so overrated. Why not create your own Christmas tree in your dorm? If you have a lot of leftover textbooks from the previous years just sitting on your shelf, use them to make a tree! Your tree doesn’t need to be big. It could be the smallest tree to fit the size of your room. Regardless of the size, you will feel a lot better having a DIY Christmas tree in your home.

3) Paper Garlands

Turn your dorm into a room that Buddy the Elf just entered! Similar to paper snowflakes, paper garlands will give you flashbacks to elementary school but you’ll be happy making garlands. All you need are strips of paper and a stapler to make these fun garlands for your dorm!

4) Popcorn Garlands

Going off of the paper garlands, popcorn garlands are also a fun way to decorate your dorm room! It is a very traditional way to decorate most homes without breaking the bank. If saving money isn’t enough for you, just think about how good your dorm or apartment will smell!

5) Christmas Lights!

The Dollar store will be your best friend during the holiday season! Many Dollar stores have on their shelves indoor fairy lights that you can hang around the house. Get creative with where you place them. You can have them lining your door or stringing along your headboard of your bed. Nothing says festive more than Christmas lights!

6) Makeshift Mistletoe

Mistletoe is always fun to have in the dorm. You can make mistletoe out of coloured paper and hang it anywhere in your room. I advise you to not place it by the door because you’ll end up kissing every single guest you have in your room!

7) Saving Stockings

Hanging up stockings are a tradition in many households. You can purchase very simple stockings from the Dollar store and decorate them yourself. You could turn this into a roommate activity and have a little fun with it! Remember, it really isn’t the decorations you put up, it is the memories you make creating them!

Spend a day pretending to be an elf and make all these decorations for your dorm room or student house. You will feel the holiday spirit while making them and it will definitely make your atmosphere more positive during final exams!

Holidays You Can Celebrate In The Month Of November

November can feel like it’s three months long especially when it feels like there is nothing to celebrate. With this month being in between Thanksgiving and the holidays, November can feel terribly slow with nothing to look forward to. Fortunately for you, we have found all the offbeat holidays that happen in this month. Here are a list month of many unusual holidays that will give you a reason to celebrate the month of November!

Entire Month Of November: Movember

Movember is less of a celebration or holiday and more of a movement that I’m sure you’ve heard of. Even though it is an event to raise awareness, you can celebrate the healthy men that are you are surrounded by! The Movember Foundation is a charity that raises money for not only men’s physical health but mental also. Their main focuses are prostate and testicular cancer as well as mental health and suicide prevention. For more information on the movement visit Movember Canada.

November 13 – World Kindness Day

This holiday was founded by the World Kindness Movement and has been growing since 1998. This international holiday encourages everyone to go out of their ways to pay it forward. Today is a day to be kind to one another. While it is important to be kind to each other on this day, remember you should still be kind for the rest of the year!

November 15 – Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

You can let your roommate who has food molding in the fridge know that this is a holiday they’ll be partaking in! Spend the day finding all the leftovers you should have never left over.

November 18 – Use Less Stuff Day

This is great day for those of you who have been wanting to get rid of clothing or other things in your life but just haven’t had the chance. Use Less Stuff Day is a holiday to take the time to reflect on all the things you own and are grateful for. The things that you don’t necessarily need or use anymore you can donate to consignment stores or to shelter homes. You will feel good about your deed and they will be truly grateful. So spend the day cleaning out your closet and your cluttered desk in your dorm room!

November 19 – International Men’s Day

The word “men” itself may make you roll your eyes. Just remember that someone decided that they do deserve a day just for themselves! Every year, the theme of International Men’s Day changes. This year the focus on the holiday is health, mentally and physically. Check up on all the men in your life to let them know you appreciate them!

November 23 – National Day of Listening

National Day of Listening is a day that many have been celebrating for years. Every year StoryCorps, a non profit organization, recognizes people in the world who have taken the time out of their lives to listen to others. This year they are recognizing teachers for their ability to listen to those around them such as students and parents. Take the time of your day to tell someone you appreciate them for being able to listen to you on days when you need it.

Stop and Remember

Remembrance Day is coming up on November 11. While we continue to be caught up in our own lives, it is important to take a step back and appreciate the beautiful country we live in. Originally recognized as Armistice Day, at the 11th hour, we pause to recognize and remember the soldiers who fought for our country. It is also important to take the time on this day to appreciate our Armed Forces for their sacrifices. Along with this, here are a few ways to honor those who fought and are still fighting for us.

1) Wear a Poppy

It isn’t difficult to purchase one as there will be plenty of people handing them out in return for donations. The donations will benefit our veterans. These poppies are being handed out up until Remembrance day to represent support to our Canadian troops and veterans. If you are looking for a poppy, visit your local grocery stores as there will be people handing them out.

2) Take Two Minutes

At exactly 11:00 a.m. on November 11th, pause for two minutes of silence to reflect, honour and remember our soldiers. Take the time to be grateful for the wonderful country we live in. Remember that there could be people around you who have lost loved ones to the war. Be courteous to those who are around you during this time as they will be doing the same.

3) Visit a War Memorial

There are several war memorials across Canada. If you are looking for a place to pay your respects, feel free to check out the War Memorial of Montreal West. There are other memorials such as The National War Memorial in Ottawa of The Victoria Memorial in British Columbia.

4) Visit The Commemorative Ceremony

On November 9 at 10:45 a.m. Outremont Park Cenotaph will be hosting a Remembrance Day ceremony. This park is on the corner of Elmwood and Outremont Avenues. The service will run until 11:30 a.m. There will be local elected officials as well as the City of Montreal Police service participating in the ceremony. For more information visit Veterans Affairs Canada.

5) Educate Yourself

Learning about Canadian history is a lot more interesting when you’re doing it in a museum. If you happen to be in Ottawa, the Canadian War Museum is a must see. This museum will provide you with a lot of information about our history. If you are currently in Ottawa, there is an option to visit the online Remembrance Day exhibition.

 

6) Say Thank You.

Around the days leading up to November 11, there will be many veterans dressed in their uniforms in public. It will take two seconds to say thank you. This gesture will go a long way and won’t cost you anything. Say thank you to the veterans, the armed forces, and those who are dedicating their time to hand out poppies.

 

7) Remember on This Day and Every Other Day

November 11 is a day dedicated to those who have served and to those who have fallen. Try to remember and pay your respects as much as you can throughout the rest of the year.

7 Signs Your Roommate Is Your Best Friend

Roommates that are absolutely wonderful are hard to come by. I am grateful enough to have found a roommate that is quite literally my other half. My roommate is not someone I had known before we moved in. In fact, we barely knew each other before we moved in. I met him once and decided that he was going to be my roommate. It was the best decision I have ever made because my roommate has become one of my best friends and one of the better stories to my university experience. Here are seven signs that you also, have a roommate that is amazing.

 

1)  Free Therapy Service

Sometimes life gets tough. Exam season is coming, the boy you’re into won’t text you back and you have three dollars in your bank account. Thankfully, your roommate is stuck with you and has no choice but to listen to you complain.

 

2) They Feed You

Whether it is the leftover poutine from a night out or warm nachos, they will always offer you food. If you are as lucky as me, sometimes they will even go out of their way and make you food. Just like your grandma, they will make sure you are fully fed and happy knowing you would do the same for them in a heartbeat.

 

3) They Don’t Judge You For Your Quarter Life Crisis

A roommate will look past the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in about a week and won’t judge you for never wearing pants around the house. They won’t even judge the fact that you definitely do not have your life together. Instead, they’ll provide love, unconditional support and maybe kindly gift you some shampoo and conditioner.

 

4) My Closet + Their Closet = Our Closet

I may not have had the luxury of sharing cute dresses because my roommate was a male, but I still managed to get a pair of Minion pajama pants and a pretty sick Levi’s shirt. Your roommate will become a savior when it comes to clothes especially when we’re all too broke to buy anything new.

 

5) Separation Anxiety

With such busy class and work schedules, it is sometimes impossible to see your roommate. It is perfectly fine to miss them because you hate being apart even if it is only for about half an hour. When you both are not together, you end up texting, Snapchatting and tagging each other in memes to remind them that you’re thinking about them.

 

6) They’re Mr. Clean

Cleaning is usually the most common argument between roommates, however, your roommate likes the home just as clean as you do. They leave rooms semi presentable, they take out the trash, and they clean up after themselves. Bonus points if you don’t even need to ask them! This is all clear signs that you are truly blessed with a good roommate.

 

7) You Wouldn’t Want To Change Roommates

Your roommate may irritate you sometimes, but realistically, there is no one else who would deal with your nonsense. They’re the person you will share everything with while transitioning in and out of university and there is no one else you would rather share the experience with.

7 Must See Netflix Holiday Movies

‘Tis the season of Mariah Carey and Michael Buble! As spooky season begins to wither away, Jingle Bells are coming your way. November is a strange month as it still the fall season, but for holiday lovers, we are celebrating the Christmas pre! If you are someone who considers November as the holiday seasons, you are definitely in for a treat. Grab a cozy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle up in front of your television or laptop for these 7 must watch holiday movies!

The Holiday Calendar

This Netflix Original is a new release that will definitely get you into the holiday spirit. This movie is about an aspiring young photographer who is struggling in a dead-end job. She is gifted an antique advent calendar that may be predicting her future. It is considered a romance but who doesn’t love love? Grab an advent calendar and eat all the chocolates in this 1.5 hour long movie.

 

Four Christmases

This comedy will have you thinking about the awkward interactions that may take place in your family dynamic through the holiday’s. Four Christmases is about a couple that are forced into spending their first Christmas together with all their parents. Each of their parents are divorced. They have to visit them all in a single day. Enjoy this chaos of a movie.

 

DreamWorks Shrek the Halls

Looking for something that is less time consuming? This 28 minute film will definitely leave you in a better mood as Shrek handles the mayhem of his family during the holiday season. Nothing will make you happier than witnessing Shrek in a Santa Claus costume. You will not regret this choice.

 

A Christmas Prince

This movie is a must see. If you’ve already seen it, then you know it is a movie that is tradition to watch every year during the holidays. This movie is about a young journalist who has the opportunity to go abroad to write stories on a prince. It is quite the cliche as it is clear that they fall in love, however, it is a beautiful story that will make you feel the holiday spirit.

 

Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure

This movie is about a dog. Enough said. Beethoven, an over-sized Saint Bernard will truly warm your heart with his love for trying to save Christmas. Even if holiday movies are not your forte, this dog will make you love the holiday’s just a little bit more!

 

Santa Claws

Another movie about animals! For you cat lovers out there, this movie is about kittens trying to save the holidays after Santa has a bad allergic reaction. This 2014 movie will keep you entertained for 1.5 hours and will leave you wishing you had kittens of your own to snuggle in front your television with.

 

Office Christmas Party

This 2016 comedy movie will leave you wanting to throw a party of your own! A branch manager does everything in his power to host a wild holiday party with the goal of getting the opportunity to work with a big client. Does he land the client? Watch the movie to find out!

 

6 Motivation Tricks for Midterm Season

It’s that time of year again! You’re mentally drained, your motivation has completely disappeared and you likely believe midterm season will finish you before you finish it. You’re struggling with the idea of staying driven to the very end of exams. It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel  but with these 6 tricks, your motivation will be back and here to stay until the end of the semester.

1) Give yourself a break.

If you’re completely burnt out, it will show in your work. You want to give the best you can possibly give and to do so, you need to be at 100%. Give yourself a break! Take a nap, watch an episode of a television show you enjoy. Remember that it is just a break, so don’t spend the entire day taking a break.

 

2) Airplane Mode Is Your Best Friend

It is easy to get carried away with social media apps that are available right on your phone. As exciting as it is to view photos of golden retrievers on Instagram, your schoolwork will not get done with your phone sitting on your desk. Put your phone on airplane mode and putit in a drawer. As a way to encourage yourself to get work done, place an hourly timer to use your phone for 15 minutes after every hour as a motivation mechanism!

 

3) Set All The Goals!

As humans, we love the feeling of accomplishment and encouragement. Think about that feeling of closing all those tabs on your laptop after finishing an assignment. Now, think about the feeling of crossing that assignment off your to-do list. There are very few things that feel as good as this! Set goals, big or small, for yourself to keep yourself motivated and encouraged to keep working.

 

4) Treat Your Body Like A Temple

As students, we sometimes forget that broccoli is important. Some might have not seen a piece of broccoli since they’ve started university. It is difficult to meal prep and make meals that are healthy, however, it is not hard to at least try and eat a little better. Cut back on the endless instant noodles and feed yourself some brain food so that you’re awake while you’re studying. The more energy you have, the more you will get done and feel accomplished!

 

5) Change Up Your Study Style

Studying can be quite boring especially if you have been studying the exact same way for as long as you can remember. Get out of your comfort zone and try group studying. It will encourage you to meet some of your classmates and will potentially benefit you as it will be numerous brains studying together as opposed to just one.

 

6) Don’t Over Do It

The brain can stay focused for about five to six hours. The minute you stop retaining information is the minute you should take a break. You will be wasting your own time trying to stay focused and will only result in frustration from the lack of retaining. Keep your motivation and encouragement by not over doing it!

 

Student Success: 9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Student Success: 9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Eat well, achieve well.

While studying, most students reach for junk food and coffee to destress, however, these foods can lead to decreased levels of focus. Choosing healthy and brain powering foods can help you eat your way to success.

1. Avocados

These green powerhouses contain vitamin K and folate, which help improve cognitive function, especially memory and focus. Avocado toast will boost your Instagram and studying game.

Avocado gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/2gEnmrQ

2. Blueberries

Often referred to as the “brain berry,” this fruit is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants improve brain health, leading to improved memory and cognition. If you find yourself craving some sugar choose a natural sugar source instead.

Blueberries gif. Retrieved from http://gph.is/1aeHJan

3. Blackberries

Similarly, these berries improve memory during long hours of studying. Blackberries contain polyphenols that encourage communication between neurons and allow the brain to be open to new things. In other words, these berries will help you remember the most boring readings while you cram.

Bowl of Blackberries by Stephen Rees on Flickr.

 

4. Oily Fish

Salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring contain high levels of omega-3 fats, which help decrease stress and improve serotonin. Plant alternatives include soya beans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. If you cry during stressful studying periods (I’ve been there) then increasing your omega 3s can help boost your mood.

Wolf of Wall Street gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/19KtpVt

5. Dark Chocolate

Need an excuse to eat chocolate all the time? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help regulate blood flow to the brain and heart. Increased blood flow improves memory and focus. If you want an added bonus, try chocolate covered coffee beans to boost brain activity and improve focus.

SpongeBob chocolate gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/XIz2hf
SpongeBob chocolate gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/XIz2hf

6. Broccoli

Your parents told you to eat your vegetables, and they were right. Broccoli is a nutritious source of vitamin K, iron, and chlorine. These nutrients help keep your memory sharp. Eat your greens to fuel your brain for missed readings and cramming.

The Office broccoli gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UTJBGf
The Office broccoli gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UTJBGf

7. Green Tea

Green tea is a smart alternative to high-caffeinated products. Energy drinks and too much coffee can overwhelm your body and cause caffeine crashes. Green tea provides antioxidants and releases caffeine slowly in the body to avoid crashing and promote concentration over longer periods of time. Green tea also reduces stress, allowing student’s to improve their sleep and rest their brain before tests. David’s Tea also has wellness teas to increase certain moods like energy and focus.

Kermit gif. Retrieved from http://gph.is/1IFn5eh

8. Dark Leafy Greens

When reaching for salads, spinach, kale, and romaine are dark greens that are filled with nutrients like vitamin A, B6, and B12. Eating a salad a day can make your brain 11 years younger and sharpen your memory. While eating salad is a good diet for weight loss it can also be a good diet for your brain.

Kourtney Kardashian salad gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/2nL0qwg

9. Eggs

Last but not least, eggs are packed with vitamins B6, B12, and chlorine. Higher intakes of chlorine increase memory and mood. If you find yourself skipping breakfast and rushing to campus look for breakfast sandwiches with eggs to prepare for your day.

Eggs gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UnVsSo

Switching out junk for healthy habits will improve your focus, memory, and retention. Take your study game to the next level and choose healthy over junk. Happy eating and studying, good luck!

Bruce Almighty gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1AwfvEM

 

 

5 Productivity Tools Every Student Needs!

5 Productivity Tools Every Student Needs!

Get on track!

Naturally, during the busy school year, it’s easy to push things off until a calmer time rolls around. While the semester hasn’t quite started yet, take this opportunity to organize important parts of your life that may get neglected as your time becomes increasingly occupied. From your health to financial management, check out these 5 great tools that will help you be your best self! Achieving your goals has never been easier.

 

FitnessPal

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Track your steps, exercise and eating habits with this goal-centric fitness mobile application. With a simplified experience that involves searching or scanning your food items and exercise, Fitnesspal is easily the best app to stay on top of your health!

 

Mint: Money Manager

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Save for your future house, retirement, or even just that clothing item you’ve been dying for with Mint Money Manager. There’s no better way to achieve your financial goals than beginning to track your finances and spending.

 

Trello

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Track your to-do’s, commitments, and goals, by using the new application Trello. This app is perfect to map out your schedule or track your workflow, no matter where you are in life; school, work, or aspiring to/running your own venture, among others. Best of all with mobile, tablet, desktop and Mac applications, this platform is always accessible.

 

Last Pass

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Okay, this one isn’t exactly free – but is sure to free up space in your mind! Last Pass is a mobile and desktop application that controls all of your passwords, automatically inputting them for each platform you choose to use. This way, logging in is as simple as the click of a button, while simultaneously only requiring you to remember one password.

 

Cram

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Cram is hands down the best study tool available today! This web/mobile application allows you to create countless flashcards for different subjects, that are shared between your web account and mobile application. This way, you can study on-the-go, while enjoying easy creation through their web-based platform.

 

Did we miss your favorite productivity app? If you have any awesome life hacks or tools to help with productivity, that we’ve failed to mention, educate us in the comment section below!