What You Can Do to Avoid Roommate Drama

Conflict with a roommate can be a stain on your college experience. It’s always unpleasant coming home when you don’t get along with the person in your shared space. However, instead of simply accepting your fate, there are things you can do to prevent drama.

1. Discuss Your Problems

Never expect issues to resolve themselves if you stay silent. A passive aggressive approach — such as making it obvious that you’re annoyed about something or complaining to someone else and hoping it gets back to your roommate — will only make things worse.

First, recognize that your roommate may be unaware that something is upsetting you. After all, what’s normal for one person could be offensive to another. Invite your roommate to a discussion about living together and talk calmly and kindly about anything that’s bothering you. Make sure to ask your roommate if there is anything you need to change, too.

2. Give Each Other Time to Overcome Issues

Long-standing bad habits can be difficult to change overnight. Plus, your roommate may need time to find solutions to whatever is leading to the conflict between the two of you. Give your roommate a chance to make adjustments, and only have another conversation about the problems if you don’t see any progress or if your roommate is taking too long to uphold his or her end of the bargain.

3. Find a Mediator

Some causes for conflict may be too big for the two of you alone to resolve. In these cases, it’s best to find a mediator. If you live on campus, an RA is a good choice. Otherwise, find someone else who can be neutral and who can help you work toward a solution. It may be beneficial for each of you to initially talk to the mediator one-on-one without the other being there. The mediator can then come up with an action plan or arrive at a compromise that means neither of you will be too unhappy.

4. Remember It Won’t Last Forever

The good thing about college is that you tend to live with the same roommate for only a short time before moving on to different accommodations. If your situation is uncomfortable but bearable, just remember that it will be over relatively soon. You can always spend more time in other places — such as the library when you want to study or your friends’ homes during evenings and weekends — to limit contact with your roommate.

Of course, if the situation is unbearable and unresolvable, the only solution is to find alternative housing. It’s best if you can switch rooms or apartments with someone you know. However, if that’s not possible, the only option may be to break your lease. In this case, learn from the experience to make better choices for your living arrangements next semester.

You’re much less likely to face roommate drama if you don’t share a room. This means moving off campus and into a student rental. Oshawa students can receive their own room in a three-bedroom suite or five-bedroom townhouse at Foundry Simcoe. Apply now before all the units are gone.


6 Ways to Stay Healthy at College

Since the habits you develop at college will likely stick with you for a long time, now is the perfect time to become healthier. There are many things you can do that require minimal time, effort, and expense but will make a big difference to your life.

1. Keep Your Apartment Clean

Make it part of your routine to do a little cleaning often. Wipe down surfaces and door handles, make your bed every morning, and do your laundry before you run out of clothing. Having a clean home will protect you from illness and improve your mental health. Bear in mind that it’s extra important to clean in the winter, as your windows will be shut more, which allows dust to build up.

2. Exercise Regularly

Much of your life as a college student may be spent sitting — either in class or at your desk when you’re studying at home. This means there’s a good chance you’re not moving enough. However, one of the great things about college is the chance to try out sports and activities you were never able to practice before. Experiment with as many as you can until you find one or a couple you love to incorporate into your weekly routine. You’ll find that you sleep better, improve your immunity, and just feel better overall.

3. Sleep Enough

Many college students try to survive on far too few hours of sleep, often believing that they can make up for what they missed on weeknights through naps on the weekend. However, your body is unable to function well like this. You’ll struggle to focus in class, you’ll be more irritable and stressed, and your immunity will be lower.

Setting a bedtime can help (it’s worth setting a notification on your phone to remind you), but this may not be enough if you find it difficult to fall asleep. The most important thing to do is stop looking at screens at least one hour before bedtime. Blue light wakes up your mind and makes it harder to fall asleep. Use this time to read, do some stretches, work on an art project — whatever helps you relax. In addition, avoid coffee from the late afternoon onward, as caffeine can stay in your body for hours and continue to have an effect.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

Having the freedom to eat whatever you want can mean you’re tempted to make less-than-ideal choices. Just paying more attention to what you choose can go a long way. Often, mindlessly eating the first thing that appeals to you ultimately won’t be what makes your body feel good. On the other hand, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, will keep you energized and satisfied.
The best way to eat a healthy diet is to go grocery shopping rather than to rely on what’s available on campus. As well as buying ingredients for meals, think about what you can have for snacks. You’ll end up spending less as a result, since unhealthy snacks sold in stores on campus tend to be pricey.

5. Drink Plenty of Water

Whenever you can, hydrate with water. Carry a reusable bottle with you everywhere: to classes, to your extracurriculars, and when you’re out and about. This is another money-saver, as it will prevent you from needing to purchase beverages, and you’ll end up consuming far less sugar.

6. Know Yourself

Stay alert for signs that you’re becoming unwell or need rest. It can be tempting to ignore indications of exhaustion because you never want to miss out on fun opportunities. However, it’s important to be alert for signs of burnout, as it can impact your academic performance and mean you no longer feel like socializing.

It’s easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have a comfortable place to live. For Durham College student housing, there’s Foundry Simcoe. You’ll have your own room where you can sleep undisturbed, a kitchen where you can prepare healthy meals, and great restaurants nearby for when you don’t feel like cooking. Apply for a lease now while units are still available.


How to Tell If You Should Drop a Class

Figuring out whether you should drop a class may be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make at college. You need to be sure you won’t regret your decision, especially if you drop the class too late to receive your money back. Having said that, there are certain indications that dropping a class is the best course of action.

1. Other People Recommend It

The most important person to talk to before you drop a class is your student advisor or registrar. It’s critical that you’re clear about the process and know what the consequences of dropping the class will be. In addition, though, you should talk to students who have already taken the class, your professor, and the department head. They can tell you if the class will become even more difficult and if you’re likely to continue struggling.

2. It Will Lower Your GPA

The last thing you want is to allow a single class to bring down your GPA. If the class is a requirement for your major, it could be better to take it at a later date — when you’re more prepared or you have more room in your schedule. If the class is an elective that you thought you were going to enjoy, learn from the experience. There may still be time to switch to something completely different.

3. You’ll Definitely Fail

There’s no point continuing with the class if you’re sure you’ll fail. For some classes, the final exam counts for your entire grade, in which case you may be able to work to improve your understanding of the material. However, if the class uses a continuous assessment model and something happened early that ruined your chances of passing — such as you missed the due date for a crucial assignment, you submitted the wrong work, or you forgot to set your alarm and overslept on the day of the test — the only solution may be to drop the class.

4. You Received Incorrect Information

Perhaps you thought the class was required for your major or maybe you missed the section in the course outline that specified a prerequisite that you don’t have. The class could even have changed from previous semesters and you read old information. In any case, it may be better to take the class later or drop it entirely.

5. Your Attendance Is Almost Nonexistent

You may skip a class because you dislike it or because you struggle to fit it into your schedule. In the latter scenario, you may have two classes back to back located on different parts of campus, or the class may clash with the schedule for your part-time job or another commitment. It’s best to come to the conclusion early that you can’t possibly attend the class, so it would be best to drp it.

6. The Class Is Simply a Nightmare

There may be a chance that you’d pass the class (perhaps even with a decent grade) if you stuck with it, but it’s ruining your life at the moment. It doesn’t matter if this is due to the materials, the professor, your workload, or something else: if a class is negatively affecting your mental health, it’s not worth continuing.

There’s also a possibility that the class is not the problem: it’s your study space. This is likely the case if you feel that several of your classes are unmanageable or that you’re falling behind in general. Instead of dropping classes, find a better place to study than your dorm room. A great solution is to move into Durham College off-campus housing. At Foundry Simcoe, you can have your own room in a five-bedroom townhouse or in a three-bedroom suite. Apply now before all the units are sold out.


How to Become a Morning Person at University

Students love to sleep, but going to bed on time is often difficult — and getting up in the morning is even more of a challenge. Nonetheless, becoming a morning person at university can improve your life. Not only will you arrive to class on time (without needing to rush), you can also use your morning productively, which will make it feel like you have more time. This may sound like a dream, but anyone can become a morning person — here’s how.

1. Get Up When Your Alarm Goes Off

Instead of hitting the snooze button, get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off. You may need to train yourself to do this. One method is to set your alarm to become louder every time you hit snooze; another is to set an alarm sound that you can’t stand.

If you use your phone as an alarm clock, avoid looking at any notifications — that will only keep you in bed that much longer. It can help to leave your phone across the room, making the only option to get out of bed. Just don’t allow yourself to climb back in.

2. Prepare Yourself for the Day

If you’re slow to wake up, it can help to spend a few minutes adjusting your mindset for the day. Think about what you want to achieve (such as how you’ll progress toward your goals) and check your calendar to see what you have on your schedule for the day. Perhaps think about how you’ll manage to complete everything on your to-do list, including how it will feel to check off that final item — which is much more likely to happen if you’re productive early in the day. Finally, you may like to meditate or reflect on the positive things in your life.

Turn all this into a regular morning ritual. Soon, you’ll find yourself adapting to this reflective morning routine.

3. Talk to Someone

A solution for morning irritability is to socialize. Call a friend or family member or strike up a conversation with a roommate. You may feel like this takes an unreasonable amount of effort at first, but it will soon lead to you feeling happier at the start of every day.

4. Start Moving

It’s impossible to stay sleepy when you exercise. Find an exercise routine that works for you to energize yourself in the morning. You could use an app for a workout to do in your room, head to a nearby gym, jog in the park, or even join a fitness class. In fact, exercising with others can keep you motivated and accountable. If there are no organized classes in your area, create something yourself with a group of friends.

5. Go to Sleep on Time

Unless you’ve slept enough, it’s impossible to feel anything but exhausted in the morning. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, try putting away all screens a couple hours before bedtime. If this is impossible due to your study schedule, at least enable a blue light filter on your devices.

6. If All Else Fails, There’s Coffee

If you need an extra boost of energy in the morning, turn to coffee. Just thinking about how it will taste and smell may be enough to incentivize you to get out of bed. Plus, you’ll feel instantly awake and ready to take on the day.

One more thing that can help you become a morning person at university is having your own room. No one will disturb you at night, which will mean you gain a better night’s sleep.

To have your own room, though, you’ll likely need to move out of your dorm and look for student apartments. Oshawa students have Foundry Simcoe. You’ll share an apartment with just two or four other people and have a private bedroom that comes with a comfortable double bed. Apply now to secure your spot in time for next semester.


9 Unique Electives to Consider

Although many of your classes are necessary for your degree, you’ll likely have at least a few electives, which allow you to choose classes in almost any subject. By picking some unique classes, you’ll create a less-demanding schedule, learn skills that none of your other classes cover, and give yourself something to look forward to when your core classes are tough. Whereas some electives may be just as difficult as your required courses, all the ones on this list are particularly fun and engaging.

1. Sign Language

Many universities offer introductory sign language, but few students take advantage of the opportunity — most likely because they underestimate the usefulness of this elective. Being able to communicate in sign well enough to hold a simple conversation will be invaluable for a wide range of jobs and industries.

2. Improv

Although most people are unlikely to use their improv skills in a career setting, it’s hard to find a better class if you’re looking to gain confidence. Improv is more relaxed than public speaking and you’ll be with other students who have no acting experience, many of whom may also feel anxious. Best of all, you’ll be on stage in a group rather than alone.

3. Intro to Psychology

There’s no need to be a psychology student to take an introductory psychology class. If you intend to work in a field that involves interacting with people, you’ll find it useful to learn about the science behind behaviour, personality, and thought processes. You may even feel inspired to take a more specialized psych elective later.

4. World Music

Understand music on another level by learning about genres, instruments, and traditions around the world. The great thing about this elective is anyone can do well, not just talented musicians.

5. Creative Writing

A creative writing elective is ideal for anyone who has an idea for a novel or screenplay but can’t seem to get it down on paper. You’ll learn how to tell stories, create realistic characters and dialogues, and structure your text correctly. Plus, improving your writing skills will help you succeed in all the other courses that involve any kind of writing. Another benefit to this elective is you’ll learn to take criticism: your classmates will read your work and provide feedback, helping you to continuously improve.

6. Pottery

Another way to experiment with creativity is through an elective like pottery. Even if you feel like you lack artistic skills, give it a go — you may surprise yourself when you engage with a completely new medium. Best of all, you’ll have something tangible at the end of the course.

7. Personal Finance

Students who are studying a creative major can add some variety to their class schedules by taking an elective like personal finance. This can be beneficial whatever you intend to do after you graduate, as you’ll have a better knowledge of how to save, manage debt, and use credit cards responsibly. It’s a particularly good option if you want to start your own business or even if you just have student debt.

8. Dance

If you’re struggling to stay active due to a heavy course load, consider taking an elective to keep fit. Your university may even offer more than one dance elective, allowing you to find a style you enjoy. You might even continue practicing after the course is over. As well as teaching you dance moves, the classes will cover aspects of dance such as history and culture.

9. Art History

A more academic elective than the above is art history. This elective is the perfect way to gain a deeper appreciation for all kinds of art or take your study of history in a new direction. It may even include a field trip to a nearby art museum.

Another way to bring fun into your life at university is by living in off-campus student housing. Oshawa students at Ontario Tech and Durham College can join a community of students living at Foundry Simcoe. You can choose between a suite and a townhouse, both of which are fully-furnished and equipped with everything you need. Contact us to schedule a tour.


How to Start a New Semester Off Right

A new semester is an ideal time for a fresh start. Use the opportunity to develop better habits related to everything from your studies to your social life.

1. Find a Space Where You Can Focus

If you’re attending in-person classes, you need a space to return to at the end of the day for your independent study. If you’re taking online classes, a study space is even more important, as you’ll need to maintain your concentration for long periods of time. The perfect study space is different for everyone. Some people find it motivating to be around others and enjoy spending time in a library or even a café. Others can only concentrate where it’s quiet and prefer to be alone. If you’re unsure where you focus best, take time to experiment with different locations and setups.

2. Improve Your Study Habits

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to studying. Maybe your mind wanders too easily, or maybe you’re prone to leaving schoolwork to the last minute and need to study for hours just to finish in time. Whatever the case is for you, set goals this semester to improve. Setting regular times to study over the week and timing yourself to ensure you take enough (but not too many) breaks can be helpful no matter what you’re trying to achieve.

In addition, keep your mind active when you’re away from your textbooks. You could, for instance, play brain-training games or dedicate more time to reading challenging articles.

3. Learn About the Resources Your School Offers

Most universities have a variety of resources on offer to students — these could be invaluable to your study journey. For example, your school may offer useful workshops to help with particular study skills or be able to connect you with a tutor.

4. Reach Out for Support

Besides your university, you can also rely on informal resources: the people you know. If you ever feel like you’re struggling or just need moral support, there’s no need to feel alone. Many of your family members, friends, and coworkers have already gone through what you’re experiencing. They may be able to offer you advice or just commiserate when times are tough. Plus, they’ll want to celebrate with you when you reach major milestones.

5. Get to Know Others in Your Classes

Forming study groups with classmates is a great way to prepare for exams, check that you understand the material, and just spend time with people who are facing the same challenges as you. Arrive early to class to talk to people or catch them on the way out. If all your classes are online, reach out through chat and ask classmates if they’d like to join a WhatsApp group or have a study session on Zoom.

6. Strike the Right Balance

In addition to studying, you may be working. Plus, you certainly need to maintain an active social life and dedicate time to yourself. It’s important to create a balance among all these responsibilities.

Make sure your employer, friends, and family understand how important your studies are, particularly when an important deadline is looming. However, it’s also crucial you avoid becoming so devoted to your schoolwork that you miss out on other aspects of life. Schedule time to see friends, practice your hobbies, and just relax — you need it!

A new semester is also a perfect time to move into better accommodation. For an off-campus Ontario Tech residence, a great option is Foundry Simcoe. You’ll have a comfortable place to study in your room, access to high-speed internet, and the chance to meet many other students to expand your social group. Book a tour to see our student housing options today.


How to Choose the Right Major

A lot of pressure is put on students to pick a major that will make them financially successful, but that’s not always the best idea. On the other hand, some people wind up being unhappy in their careers because they went with their passion instead of their strengths. Feeling overwhelmed? Pair that with the thousands of majors being offered, and you’re sure to find yourself stressed about making the right decision for your future.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure about your major—you’re not alone. Here are a few things you should consider before you settle on the best choice for you.

Identify Your Interests, Values, and Abilities

Don’t choose a major just because it’s the latest trend. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, determine if the major you’re considering matches your interests, abilities, and values. It’s also a good idea to give yourself some room to grow because, with the right exposure, some of your interests and values may solidify later in life. And if you have an interest or passion for something, why not get paid for it?

Consider the Future

Will you still enjoy your career path years down the road? Is it employable? Will it pay enough? Is it sustainable? Is there enough room for growth? These are important questions to consider when choosing a major.

A safe way to stay out of problematic situations is not to choose a super niche degree that limits employment opportunities. Doing so will also keep you from picking a major that will become obsolete with rapid technological advancements.

Choose the Right School

If you know what you want to pursue, choose a school popular for offering quality education in that particular field. Even if you haven’t decided yet what to major in, you can shortlist some suitable schools and look at what programs they are offering. Also, consider a college or university with a good alumni network—it can go a long way towards helping you in your career growth.

Take Time to Decide

Choosing a major doesn’t have to be an overnight decision. That’s because it will affect your life for years to come, so it’s important to give it careful thought.

Even university advisors suggest students avoid choosing majors immediately. Instead, they encourage students to take time to experiment with different courses before declaring their majors.

You can even consider taking a gap year or a semester off to travel to find yourself before deciding.

Get Help

While you are the only one who can make the final decision, it’s always a good idea to take the opinions of others and learn from their experiences or insights. For instance, you could talk to your advisors, career counselors, and parents. You can even speak with your peers – who, even though they’re in the same boat as you, can sometimes offer excellent advice.

Allow Yourself to Change Your Mind

According to the NY Times, 61% of the students at the University of Florida change their minds about their major by the time they reach the end of sophomore year. So, if the same thing happens to you, don’t worry—you’re in the majority if you’re second-guessing your decision! As you evolve as a person and in university, you may find out that a particular major isn’t right for you anymore. And that’s okay!

Key Takeaway

Remember that college or university brings so many new experiences. Living on-campus or off-campus in the rooms for rent in Oshawa, meeting new people, making new friends, new experiences, and more—it can all be a lot to take in at once! If you’re happy with your major and the path you’ve chosen, you may find it easier to settle into the other changes.

Indeed, choosing a major can be one of the most challenging decisions in life. The good news is that by following the tips given in this post, you can work your way towards the decision that’s best for you.


Tips for Balancing A Busy University Schedule

The hectic nature of university life can have many different effects on students. Fatigue from lack of sleep, difficulty focusing on lectures, and a higher stress level are just some of the side effects of busy university life.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to help manage your time. Here are some tips for balancing a busy university schedule.

Set a Workable Routine

You’re in university, so you’re most likely juggling a full schedule of coursework, assignments, a part-time job, and more. Establishing a routine is a tried and tested method to minimize stress and increase productivity. A practical and realistic routine helps manage all of the responsibilities you have without falling behind.

But don’t forget to take care of yourself, too! You’re not superhuman; you’re a student trying to work things out, so don’t make your routine a strict rule. Instead, keep it flexible, make adjustments, and don’t stress yourself out if you somehow slip away from your plan.

Also, try to keep your weekends free to catch on some sleep and relax after a week’s hard work. During the week, keep your work mode on and complete tasks early so you don’t have to cram. The “I’ll do it later” attitude cannot only disturb your schedule but also lead to more work for you. Eventually, it could even cause burnout.

Find Your Most Productive Time & Place

Are you more fresh, relaxed, and alert in the morning, between classes, or late at night? Similarly, does your roommate disturb your studies, or are you okay with people walking around while you try to focus?

It’s a good idea to try different times and places to find your most productive hours and environment. For some, corner coffee shops work well for studying, while others need the pin-drop silence of a library to activate their brain cells. Determine yours, and you’re sure to be more productive.

Take Breaks

Following the same everyday routine can eventually become boring and tiresome. As such, you should consider taking breaks whenever you can to switch off the “study brain” for a while and relax. For example, you could take a short break of five to ten minutes after every 30 minutes of studying. Also, consider taking a mental health day once every couple of months to unwind and re-energize your mind and body.

Get Enough Sleep

University students often don’t get enough sleep because of deadlines and unending assignments, coursework, meetings, and more. Remember that getting enough sleep every night is crucial for your health. So, you must set a proper sleep schedule and follow it as closely as possible. Doing so will help your brain function better and be more productive the next day.

Try New and Fun Things

Take some time off your busy life to try new things. For instance, you could visit a new place or browse student apartments for rent. North Oshawa has plenty of locations for you to explore during your downtime. Or, you could spend some time on your hobby or anything that interests you.

This is important for your mental and emotional health and can boost your productivity. Adding new experiences can be exciting and keep your energy levels high.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

Being in university doesn’t mean you have to put your family life on pause. Whether you live on-campus or off-campus, try to visit your family once a month. Or, you could do video calls if visiting your family isn’t feasible. Similarly, consider friends’ meetups every other week to stay connected and have fun.

Final Thoughts

Studies consume so much of the best years of our lives. Just because the clock is ticking and there’s a lot to do doesn’t mean you have to forget about yourself. Don’t allow the pressure to excel in school cause you to become exhausted and overworked.

Instead, develop a schedule that includes a balance of studies, work, and free time. You can tailor your schedule and change priorities as needed, since staying flexible will help you do well in university and beyond.