9 Affordable Gifts for College Friends

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Birthdays and holidays can be particularly difficult times of year for students. You want to give your college friends gifts they’ll like — but you undoubtedly have a limited budget. The good news is there are plenty of great options if you know what to look for. Here are some options to consider.

1. Ramen Cooker

The college student diet often consists of significant amounts of ramen. With a special ramen cooker, your friends will be able to prepare meals faster and avoid wasting water. Best of all, they’ll need nothing more than a microwave to use the cooker.

2. Metal Bookmarks

Most college students are reading numerous textbooks at any given time — which requires multiple bookmarks to avoid dog ears. The problem with regular bookmarks is they wear out quite quickly. Metal bookmarks can last forever and they come in a range of designs, meaning you can personalize the choice for each friend.

3. Sticky Notes

When you want to mark multiple places in a textbook, sticky notes are essential. Regular sticky notes are boring, but ones with cute characters or fun designs make the perfect gift.

4. Coffee Maker

If any of your friends spend far too much on buying coffee every day, gift them a coffee maker. Something like a French press or a moka pot will be inexpensive for you to buy and for your friends to use.

5. Portable Blender

Maybe you have other friends who are passionate about smoothies. A portable blender will allow them to whip up some fruit on the go. Plus, these blenders double up as a travel bottle, meaning the smoothie is ready to drink and there’s less mess to clean up.

6. Egg Cooker

Eggs can be difficult to cook without the right equipment, especially for any friends who are stuck living on campus and have to manage with just a microwave and mini fridge. An egg cooker can help, as it makes cooking eggs in the microwave possible — either scrambled, poached, or as an omelette. As a result, your friends will be able to eat healthier meals.

7. College Handbooks

There are some great books available to teach college students everything they need to know to survive the next few years. Most have a good dose of humour, making them great for a light read when your friends need a break from heavy textbooks.

8. Bedside Shelf

When you lack a bedside table, it’s easy for stuff to start piling up at the side of your bed and your room quickly becomes a mess. Whereas a bulky piece of furniture is too expensive for a gift — and may even be impractical for your friend — everyone can appreciate a simple shelf that attaches to the side of the bed. It’s ideal for keeping things like a phone, coffee mug, notebook, or anything else your friend may need at hand.

9. Snacks

If you need to stick to a particularly tight budget, remember that everyone appreciates snacks. Find out what your friends’ favorites are and create mini care packages.

You’ll have more money for gifts if you search for affordable rooms for rent. Oshawa students can find a home at Foundry Simcoe. You’ll live in a three- or five-bedroom suite that has plenty of space for entertaining friends. Apply now while there are still limited spaces available.

How to Avoid Falling Asleep in Class

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There’s no point going to class if you’re just going to fall asleep. However, staying awake is often easier said than done — particularly if you have a full schedule and always seem to arrive at class exhausted. The good news is there are several things you can do to stop falling asleep, all of which will also improve your concentration and help you avoid burnout.

1. Set a Bedtime

It may be tempting to stay up late almost every night, particularly if you have friends who want to hang out in the evenings or if you just want to catch up with social media or relax with some video games. Soon, though, all those late nights will catch up with you and you’ll find it more difficult to stay awake during the day and be productive.

To ensure you sleep enough, set a bedtime and make sure you stick to it. Bear in mind that it’s easier to push yourself to go to bed at the right time if you put away all your devices at least half an hour before. Since the light of screens wakes up your mind, this will also help you fall asleep faster.

2. Take Breaks Between Classes

Students often feel pressured to spend the entire day productively. This can lead to them trying to dedicate all the time between classes to studying. However, it’s impossible for your mind to stay focused for this long — you’ll only end up arriving to class too tired to focus and possibly falling asleep. A better approach is to be reasonable with how you use time between classes. For instance, as well as studying, fit in some exercise, healthy meals, and relaxation.

3. Put Your Phone Away

Some points in your class may be boring, especially if you don’t find the topic engaging or another student asks a question you already know the answer to. Whatever happens, though, you should never turn to your phone in class. In fact, keep it out of sight — then, you won’t feel tempted to look at it and you won’t start being lulled into sleep.

4. Block Websites on Your Laptop

It’s equally important to prevent distractions on your laptop. Install an extension on your browser to block websites that tend to distract you. As well as keeping this enabled for the duration of your class, you’ll also find it useful when studying in your own time.

5. Avoid Caffeine

A small amount of caffeine is useful for giving your body a quick boost of energy to stay alert. However, continuously drinking caffeine throughout the day to keep your energy levels up will backfire. At a certain point, no amount of caffeine will help. In fact, when the effects wear off, you’ll crash and feel much more tired.

Of all the above, getting enough sleep is the most crucial for staying awake in class, but this is only possible if you have a comfortable bedroom and no noisy roommate keeping you up all night. In other words, you need to move out of on-campus housing and search for apartments for rent. North Oshawa students can receive a private room with an ensuite bathroom at Foundry Simcoe. Sign a lease now before all the units are completely full.

How to Split Costs with Your Roommate

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There are many advantages to living off campus: you have your own space, rent is cheaper, and there are fewer rules to follow. However, you will need to figure out how to split costs with your roommates for things like paper products, food, and cleaning supplies. It’s essential you agree to these terms from the beginning, since sharing expenses can easily become the source of arguments.

Here are some tips to guide you.

Decide What to Do About Food

It’s important to determine what food items you’ll share and which belong to individuals. You may like to buy groceries together and take turns to cook. However, many college students find it easier to each buy their own food — in which case you’ll need to label food items to make it clear that they belong to you. Even in this case, though, you may like to share some types of food, like condiments.

Create a Payment-Sharing System

Avoid delays in your roommates paying each other back for shared purchases by creating a system to simplify reimbursements. Alternatively, you can set up a bank account where you deposit the same amount each month and use the funds for agreed-upon purchases. You should make a list in advance of what kinds of products everyone in the household will contribute toward.

Pay for Big Items Separately

Although you’ll all benefit from things like a lamp in the living room, a toaster in the kitchen, and a vacuum cleaner, you may decide it’s better if just one person pays for each item. This will mean that when you move out, it’s clear what belongs to whom. As long as you all contribute something to the apartment, you should be able to make such a system fair. It’s best to coordinate with roommates before you move in to avoid bringing duplicates of some items and lacking some other essentials.

Set Rules for Overnight or Frequent Guests

Guests to your apartment can also cost money, especially if they eat shared food or use the household supplies you all paid for. You’ll need to determine if a roommate who invites someone to stay the night or has a guest over frequently is required to contribute more.

Write an Agreement You’ll All Sign

Once you’ve figured out all the above, write it into an agreement. When all your roommates are happy with the agreement, they should sign it. Whereas this agreement won’t be legally binding (unlike your lease), it should prevent anyone claiming they misunderstood or trying to bind the rules.

If you share a lease with your roommates, you’ll also need to make sure everyone contributes their share of the rent and utility costs. If just one person fails to pay on time, the rest of you are on the hook. This can be one of the major disadvantages of living in a student rental. Oshawa students, however, receive individual leases when they live at Foundry Simcoe. This means you are only responsible for paying for your room, and the all-inclusive rent even covers utilities. Apply now to secure your spot in a suite or townhouse.