A Student’s Guide to a Stress-Free Holiday Break

Although most students look forward to the holiday break, it can be a time of stress for others. Returning to your family home after many months and finding a way to fill the time can lead to anxiety. To have a stress-free break, there are a few things that may help, depending on the reason for your anxiety.

Set Goals for the Holiday Break

Your time at university is often so packed with activities that you barely have time to breathe. It can be quite a shock to go from this to nothing. Initially, all the free time may come as a relief. After a few days, though, it may feel just as overwhelming (if not more so) than having a full schedule.

To overcome this problem, set goals of what you’d like to achieve over the holiday break. This will mean there’s always something you can do. Your list may include visiting certain friends and relatives, books you want to read, your exercise goals, and art projects you want to complete. You could even search for an opportunity to volunteer for a cause that matters to you — this will look great on your resume.

Find Seasonal Work

If you lack enough money for gifts or even to just feel comfortable meeting friends, a solution could be to find a seasonal job. This is also another solution to give you something to do. Contact your old workplace or ask local businesses if they need an extra pair of hands — it’s common for companies to need more help this time of year. Alternatively, you could reach out to parents in your area to ask if they need a babysitter while they’re out at parties or events.

Avoid Family Conflict

It can be particularly difficult seeing college friends excited about going home when you have a strained relationship with your own family. Anticipate potential problems in advance and create a strategy to deal with them. For instance, if you tend to have arguments with your parents, think about what discussions are likely to arise and what would be the best way to deal with them.

In addition, figure out some coping mechanisms. These could include leaving the house when tensions are high and going for a walk or to see a friend. Having an activity like a seasonal job or volunteer position could be useful for keeping you out of the house more. However, if you do need to stay at home, practise some breathing exercises in advance or think about whether there’s a friend you can text and vent to.

Lastly, reward yourself whenever you do effectively deal with stressful family situations. Choose an activity that either relaxes you or helps you let off steam soon afterward.

If you’d prefer to stay at university over the holidays to avoid some stress (and perhaps continue working at your part-time job), that’s always an option, too. However, it’s lonely being on campus when almost everyone else has left — you’ll be much more comfortable in Queen’s off-campus housing. Students who live at Foundry Mack are just a 10-minute walk from campus and they receive a spacious apartment with modern appliances and pure fibre internet. Join our waitlist to secure your place in time for the next holiday season.


Fun Fall Activities for Students on a Budget

Fall is a time of year almost everyone looks forward to. The weather is still pleasant enough to spend time outdoors and there are many activities happening. If you’re a student on a budget, though, you may feel that everything is too expensive and that you’re missing out on chances to have a social life. In fact, there are plenty of low-cost activities in the fall that your friends will be excited to try out with you.

1. Haunted Attractions

A staple of Halloween is haunted houses. Some of these may be pricey, but it’s often possible to receive a student discount on certain nights. Not only does this make the haunted house much more affordable, it also means the attraction will be full of other university students seeking thrills, which is extra fun.

2. Movie Night

Another classic way to spend Halloween is to watch scary movies with friends. All you need is a TV, the login for a streaming account, and some tasty treats. In fact, this idea works throughout the fall — just with regular movies instead of exclusively scary ones.

3. Corn Mazes and Hayrides

If you hate being scared but you still want to participate in the Halloween fun, a corn maze or hayride may be a better choice for you. Corn mazes are always great exercise (especially if you get lost for hours!), whereas a hayride allows you to enjoy the changing fall colours. Plus, these are two more options that may offer student discounts, and admission tends to include other fun activities.

4. Fruit Picking

Farms that offer corn mazes and hayrides often give you the chance to pick fruit like apples and pears. You’ll also be able to purchase some fall vegetables to take home and prepare into dishes that remind you of your childhood.

5. Pumpkin Patches

One thing you definitely need to pick is a pumpkin. After each of your friends has chosen the perfect pumpkin, take them back with you and have a carving party to see who can come up with the best or most original design. Be sure to keep all the pulp and seeds — you can use the flesh in all sorts of recipes, whereas roasted seeds are a delicious snack.

6. Sports Games

If any of your friends are college athletes, show your support by attending their games. Alternatively, you could host a watch party for a big sporting event in your apartment. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon and the perfect excuse to invite friends over.

7. Hot Chocolate in the Park

If you’re looking for first date ideas that are perfect for fall, nothing beats hot chocolate in the park. Prepare a flask at home or head to a café beforehand. You can then take a stroll in the park and get to know your date. This is also a great activity if you just want to chat to a friend and need a change of scenery or want to enjoy the fall leaves.

8. Bonfires

Another outdoor activity that’s perfect with hot chocolate is a bonfire. Bring marshmallows to roast as well and some blankets to stay warm. You’ll find that conversation flows when you’re all comfortable around a fire.

Fun activities are only one of your expenses as a student — you’ll also need somewhere to live. Since on-campus housing is expensive, a better option is to search for affordable accommodation. Kingston, Ontario, has Foundry Mack: student housing with amazing amenities at a price you can afford. Join our waitlist to be first in line for a lease.


How to Manage a Heavy Workload in University

You may be surprised when you start university at just how heavy your workload is. If you’re also trying to manage other commitments (such as a part-time job, extracurriculars, or even just an active social life), you could find that you struggle to fit everything into your schedule. However, just managing your time better can go a long way toward helping you cope.

Here are some strategies to consider.

1. Skim Readings Whenever Possible

Instead of reading every text in depth, skim them to find the important parts. If you own the books, you can highlight sections and return later to read them in more depth. Alternatively, you could mark pages with sticky notes or write down page numbers in your notes.

2. Develop a Shorthand for Note-Taking

Taking notes is essential, but it can be time consuming, even if you write or type fast. Spend less time on note-taking by summarizing just the key information, and avoid writing in full sentences. To shorten your notes further, use abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols — just make sure you’ll understand what you meant later. To avoid confusion, consider creating a reference key.

3. Reduce Distractions

Tell the people you live with not to disturb you at certain times of the day to fully focus on your studies. Turn off push notifications on your phone and fight the urge to check social media or do anything unrelated to your schoolwork. Whenever possible, you may even like to turn off the internet on your laptop.

4. Ask for More Flexibility from Your Job

If you have a part-time job, talk to your employer about your difficulties balancing work and studies to see if you can come to an arrangement for a more reasonable schedule. You may be able to receive certain hours off or reduce the length of your shifts to free up more time for your studies. In addition, it may be possible to receive time off when you have a big assignment due or right before an important test, provided you tell your employer in advance.

5. Study Fewer Credits Each Semester

It’s tempting to try and graduate as early as possible, but you’ll only be hurting your grades and making yourself stressed if you take on more classes than you can handle. If you try all the above and you’re still struggling to cope with the heavy workload, the solution is to take one or two less courses. There may still be time to drop a class without consequences. Otherwise, you’ll need to use this semester as a learning experience and take less next time.

If you’re unsure what you can handle, talk to an academic advisor about which courses have the lightest and heaviest workloads. Together, you can determine when would be the best time to take your required classes and which electives are likely to best suit your schedule.

You’ll find it much easier to manage a heavy workload if you have a place where you can study in peace. For this reason, many university students move out of dorms after their first year and into apartments. If you’re looking for rooms for rent in Kingston, Ontario, there’s Foundry Mack.

You’ll gain the full university experience by living in a student community, but you’ll also have your own private bedroom. Join our waitlist to be the first to hear when a suite becomes available.


A Guide to Shopping for University on a Budget

University is expensive. In addition to paying for tuition, you need to buy all the things that will make your student apartment comfortable. The good news is it’s possible to find everything you need, even if you’re on a tight budget.

1. Stick to the Essentials

Create a list of everything you’ll need for college — and purchase only those things. It’s easy to make impulse buys when you’re excited about the prospect of leaving for university, but this could push you over your budget.

If you’re unsure about what counts as essential, search for packing lists online and assess what you’ll need. It’s also worth talking to students who are already at university about what they ended up needing and what they could have done without. Finally, talk to your roommates to find out what they’re bringing to avoid multiples of items you can share.

2. Shop in Stores Offering Student Discounts

Many stores offer discounts of at least 10 percent if you can show a student ID. You can use this for all sorts of purchases to see some big savings. Find out if a store provides a student discount before you even start looking at what it has to offer.

3. Avoid Products Marketed at Students

Some stores (particularly those that offer student discounts) may target some of their items as being for students. These items tend to be more expensive than products marketed toward the general public and have no real benefits. Bear this in mind and make sure you comparison shop to secure the best deals.

4. Consider Quality

Purchasing the cheapest items you find can backfire later when these products wear out and need replacing. If you’re unsure about what kind of quality to expect, read reviews. In addition, secondhand items that are still in good condition are often cheaper and more durable.

5. Choose Multipurpose Furniture

You can save money and prevent wasted space by purchasing furniture that serves more than one purpose. For instance, it makes sense to choose a coffee table and bedside table that comes with storage.

6. Borrow Items

Many items may become useless after you graduate, so it may be worthwhile to rent these things instead of purchasing them. The possibilities range from appliances like microwaves to textbooks.

7. Make Your Own Décor

Depending on your artistic abilities, there may be several types of décor you can make yourself. For instance, you can create artwork for your walls (this could be as simple as a photo collage, which is not difficult to do at all), sew some pillow cases, or decorate a box to keep your jewelry organized. You can also repurpose old furniture — often, a fresh coat of paint is all it needs.

8. Buy from Stores in Your College Town

Purchase as much as possible (especially big items) from stores near your student housing to avoid costly moving fees. If you buy from a big-name brand, you may be able to place an order to pick up the item from the store of your choice.

You can save even more money by searching for affordable student rentals. Kingston, Ontario, students can find a home at Foundry Princess. Choose between furnished and unfurnished suites with one to five bedrooms, according to your budget and preferences. Join our waitlist to be the first to hear when units become available.


Tips for Setting Goals for a New Semester

A new semester is a great time to start fresh and make improvements in your life. To succeed, though, you need to set goals. Since one of the most important aspects of being a student is gaining good grades, it makes sense to set several goals related to studying. When deciding on your goals, take into consideration a few things that are likely contributing to your bad study habits.

1. Class Attendance

Whereas many classes at university are technically optional, you’ll be missing out on a full education if you choose to skip them. If you try to teach yourself from your books, there’s a risk you could misunderstand something. Attending class, however, gives you the opportunity to get detailed explanations from your professors to help you fully understand the material. Stop seeing classes as optional and attend all of them, unless you have an excellent excuse.

2. Reviewing Your Notes

You take valuable notes when you attend class — or at least they could be valuable. It helps to check your notes soon after you write them, as some parts may be unclear and won’t make sense later. In addition, you should review your notes on a regular basis to remind yourself of the key points. That way, you won’t be relearning information when you study for an exam, but just reminding yourself of the fine details.

3. Required Readings

University is different from high school in several ways, including the emphasis on studying in your own time. You cannot expect to succeed if you just attend classes without first properly reading (rather than just skimming) the assigned readings. In addition, you should be familiar with what the readings cover long before the exam. Spend the period right before an exam reviewing your notes and revisiting any points you need to clarify, but not reading in depth.

4. Procrastination

Procrastination is an easy habit to fall into, but it’s one that should be avoided. Deadlines for assignments are often long, which can make it tempting to forget about them until a few days before the due date. However, you’ll never do your best work if you leave papers to the last minute. The same goes for studying for an exam: it’s much more difficult to retain information if you stay up all night rather than spreading out your studying over a longer period.

5. Enough Sleep

Even if you don’t procrastinate, you’ll retain less if you lack sleep. On weeknights, you need to have a bedtime to ensure you sleep between six and eight hours.

6. Your Study Spot

If you’re struggling to stay focused when you study, it could be because your study area is uncomfortable or full of distractions. It’s important to experiment with what works for you — some people focus better when they’re alone, while others perform better when they’re in a room with other people. Commit to finding a few places (perhaps the desk in your bedroom, the couch in your living room, the campus library, and a favourite coffee shop), since switching things up can help you retain more.

A goal for next semester unrelated to your studies should be to find better housing, such as by moving out of your dorm and into student rentals. Kingston students can live in luxury by moving to Foundry Princess. We have a broad range of amenities for students, such as group study rooms, a swimming pool, outdoor BBQ kitchens, and a fitness centre. Join our waitlist to be first in line for a suite when a spot opens up.


Ways to Beat Stress at University

Although many people say their time at university is one of the most enjoyable experiences of their life, it’s no secret that college can also be quite stressful. You’re suddenly away from your family, you’re adapting to a different lifestyle, and you need to be responsible if you’re to succeed with your classes. All this can be quite stressful. While there’s not always an easy fix for stress, there are some effective tactics you can use to relax.

1. Work Out

Dedicate at least a short time each day to exercise. Experiment with the different activities on offer at your university — the likelihood is there are a variety of clubs and groups you can join, including for sports you’ve never practiced before. Alternatively, you may like to join a gym to use the machines or swim. The important thing is you find something you enjoy; otherwise, you’ll struggle to stay motivated.

2. Sleep Enough

When you’re physically active, it’s easier to sleep well — which is another way to beat stress. Set a bedtime and put in the effort to stick to it as often as possible (at least weeknights). Staying up late to study or socialize and then trying to catch up later with naps in the afternoon is no good: your body needs a regular schedule and functions much better when you sleep during the night.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Sugar can give you a boost in the moment, but when the effects wear off, you’ll feel worse than ever. A balanced diet of healthy carbs (like whole grains) and plenty of fruits and vegetables will ultimately make you feel better, even if that’s not what you’re craving. Plus, eating a balanced diet means you’ll find it easier to maintain your optimal weight — one less thing to be stressed about.

4. Keep Up with Your Hobbies

You may feel like you have no spare time for anything but schoolwork, but if you create a weekly schedule, you should find that you can make time for hobbies. Continue with something you’ve always enjoyed or search for opportunities at your college to try something new.

5. Vent to Someone

It’s always useful to have someone you can talk to about whatever is making you stressed. Call a family member or an old friend on a regular basis, or find a professional counsellor — your university may be able to put you in touch with someone affordable.

6. Learn to Say No

You will have a huge number of opportunities while at university — for extracurricular activities and volunteering as well as classes. It’s crucial to know your limits. If your schedule is too overloaded, drop something. If you’re exhausted and someone invites you to yet another event, allow yourself to say no.

7. Find Healthy Ways to Relax

You may feel relaxed after a few drinks, but the stress will remain under that temporary sense of euphoria. Plus, if you regularly drink to relax, there’s the risk you’ll become dependent on alcohol every time you feel stressed. Healthy tactics to use instead include breathing exercises, stretches, or a massage. For instance, if you find that your muscles are often becoming tense, book a massage with a professional or purchase a massager for your neck and shoulders.

You’ll find it much easier to avoid stress entirely if you have a comfortable home to return to at the end of the day. At Foundry Princess, we give you more than just comfort: our Queen’s off-campus housing allows you to live in luxury.

We have everything you need to destress on site, including a clubhouse equipped with games and a large-screen TV, a fitness centre, and a swimming pool. Plus, we’re right by Queen’s University — you can be at campus in minutes. Apply now to secure the floor plan you want.


7 Considerations for Choosing Off-Campus Housing

Living on campus may be the easy option, but it’s rarely the best option. Although it takes less effort to ask your university to find a room for you, there are several downsides. It will end up costing you more, you’ll need to follow dorm rules, and your personal space will be limited. With off-campus housing, in contrast, you can find a place that suits you, share with whomever you want, and learn how to live independently — a skill you’ll need for the rest of your life. To make sure you find the best possible housing, take into account the following considerations.

1. Your Budget

Student housing varies widely in terms of cost. To figure out how much you can afford to spend on housing, calculate your monthly income and subtract all your other expenses. Try to spend no more than about 30 percent of your total income on housing and remember you’ll need enough left over for the security deposit and utilities.

2. The Right Roommates

Your closest friends may not necessarily make the best roommates — it’s more important to choose people with similar lifestyles to you. For instance, your roommates should have similar budgets, expectations for entertaining guests, and ideas about how clean your home should be. If you don’t know anyone who you feel would be a great fit (or you’re just starting at university), you can always connect with potential roommates over social media or inquire about roommate matching services.

3. How You’ll Get to Class

Determine where exactly to search for apartments by deciding how you’ll commute to campus. If you want to walk, your home should be a few blocks away at the most. However, if you have a bike or car, you can look farther afield — although you will need bike storage or parking. If you want to use public transit, consider how late the bus or train runs, especially if you plan on taking night classes.

4. The Earlier You Start Looking, the More Options You’ll Have

All the students attending your university who want to live off campus will be searching for housing in the same area as you. To avoid being left with places no one wants and apartments far away from campus, start your search as early as possible.

5. Extra Perks

If you start looking when there are still plenty of options on the market, you can search for amenities that will make your stay in student housing that much better. For instance, you may be able to find an apartment with high-speed internet, an onsite gym, and modern appliances, such as a washer and dryer.

6. Types of Housing

Be aware of the options for student housing in your city. As well as independent apartment buildings, many university towns have dedicated off-campus housing for students. These tend to be near schools and you may have the option of only leasing a bedroom, rather than needing to pay for the entire unit and utilities.

7. Your Gut Feeling

Only commit to an apartment when it feels right. If you’re unsure about the neighbourhood, if the building is rundown, or if anything feels off, search for somewhere else. At most places, you’ll need to sign a lease for a year — the last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere you dislike or need to break your lease and lose your security deposit.

Want to take the stress out of finding a room for rent? Kingston students can find a home at Foundry Princess. You’ll have access to a range of luxury amenities that you won’t find elsewhere, including a rooftop patio, a swimming pool, and free coffee. Apply now to secure your place while units last.


Ways to Set Yourself Up for Career Success at University

Starting university is the perfect opportunity to make the most of your education. It’s a time of change, excitement, and new opportunities. You’ll meet new people, discover your passions, and explore a whole new world.

But do you know that university life is also a great time to set yourself up for career success? Aside from a quality education, university can also equip you with the skills and attributes you need to transition into the real world—but it may take a little thought and preparation on your part.

Here’re some tips for setting yourself up for professional success while at university.

Scrub Your Social Media Presence

Employers are increasingly using social media to check out potential employees. A recent survey found that 91% of employers use social media to screen potential hires. So, if you want to land a job, it’s essential to clean up your social media profiles.

Remember that you must make your digital footprint look more professional and mature to increase your odds of landing a good job. As such, you must remove your questionable and unprofessional social media posts, tweets, and pictures. Also, be sure to populate any accounts that are visible to the public (especially LinkedIn) with professional content.

Start a Blog or Website

A personal blog or website is more than just product reviews and “what I eat in a day” posts. You can use your blog or website to share your personal and professional achievements to show potential employers that you’re a serious candidate. Moreover, you can use it to reflect your interests and show how you work around different challenges.

It’s also a good idea to create a portfolio section on your website to present your best work. For example, if you’re skilled or interested in graphic designing, you could upload your samples to your website and attract potential employers.

The best part is that starting a blog or website is much easier and cheaper today than some years ago. For example, you can now create and run your website from your on-campus residence or off-campus rooms for rent in Kingston Ontario. All you need is a computer and internet service.

Keep in mind that your blog or website represents you and your best work, so make it look professional and interesting.

Engage in Extracurricular Activities

While your coursework is important, extracurricular activities are just as essential. Student resumes with a good number of extracurricular activities reflect good balance and signal a well-rounded personality.

Getting involved in such activities indicates that you excel in communication, time management, teamwork, and problem-solving. It also suggests that you’re confident.

Employers may give priority to candidates who have engaged in more extracurricular activities than even the high achievers with no involvement in such activities, so it’s always a good idea to explore options at your university.


Networking in university can make a world of difference in your professional life because contacts are invaluable in the competitive job market. From professors and alumni to family, friends, and peers, be sure to establish good connections with everyone and grow your network.

It may also be helpful to attend industry events and talk to the participants about career guidance, job openings, industry trends, and more. Doing so will leave a good impression on your contacts and help nurture a relationship that may land you your dream job.

Get Help From a Mentor

A good mentor can change your life for the better. If there is one thing you can truly take away from university, it’s good mentorship from a professor. Not only will your professor guide you in professional decision-making and problem-solving, but they may also help you find a suitable job and could even put in a good word for you.

Do an Internship

Internships are crucial, especially for fresh graduates, because they can make your resume stand out against that of your peers. In addition, it shows employers that you have basic experience with general workplace protocols and a good work ethic.

Besides leaving a good impression on employers, an internship allows you to test the waters in your intended area of work. If you enjoy it, you know it’s the right call for you. If not, perhaps it’s time to try out something new.


How to Spend Your Summer Break as a University Student

The end of a university year means one thing and one thing only: summer break. The break is the perfect time to relax and recharge for the next school year. But, while summer is meant for relaxation, it doesn’t mean you should put your brain on autopilot.

Summer break is a time for rejuvenation, relaxation, and renewal. It’s also a time for self-reflection and growth. It takes you out of the everyday study grind, so you can have fun before the cycle of deadlines, exams, and submissions restarts.

If your summer break is around the corner, hang in there because it’ll be worth the wait. You’ll have enough free time to complete that craft project, catch up on some sleep, and connect with your loved ones.

But, if you aren’t sure about your summer break plans, you might waste some part of it procrastinating before you start anything new. Therefore, as a university student, you should have a clear idea of what you’ll do during the break and what you wish to achieve during this time.

Here are some tips for re-energizing and taking time for yourself during your summer break.

Travel & Make Memories

Weekends and short holidays during the semester don’t always give you enough time to travel. But luckily, you have a summer break to cross a new destination off your bucket list.

Whether you prefer solo travelling or wish to take your friends along, just plan it before your summer break and get travelling as soon as the break starts. By travelling during your university years, you’ll create some lifelong memories and have incredible experiences. So, don’t miss the chance to explore new places and meet new people!

Work & Save Money

Summer break is also your best opportunity to work and earn enough money to cover your expenses when university restarts. You can either do an odd job, start a small-scale business, or catch a paid internship to improve your resume.

You can start looking for job opportunities in your surroundings or online before summer break starts, so you don’t have to do it during the break. However, don’t make the summer break all about work. Instead, be sure to give yourself occasional breaks to unwind.

Learn New Skills & Explore Your Potential

So, you’re not up for travelling or doing a job during summer break? Then why not take it as an opportunity to learn new skills or hone your existing skills?

For example, you could learn digital skills or enroll in a course (other than your university curriculum) that supports your interests. Or, maybe you would want to start a DIY project to satiate your inner artist…the possibilities are endless! All these activities can make your summer break more fun and productive.

Have Some “Me Time” & Rest

Life shouldn’t be all about work and studies; your body and mind need some free time to relax and regain energy. So if you’re exhausted by the semester, take this year’s summer break to rest.

Catch up on your favourite shows, write a journal, cook your favourite foods, and relax. Whether you live at home or in student accommodation, Kingston, Ontario has plenty of places where you can grab a cup of coffee and get lost in a good book.

Connect With Friends and Family

Right now, studies keep you busy. And a few years down the road, your work will consume most of your time. For that reason, now is the time to nourish your personal life and relationships.

If visiting your parents or family over the weekends isn’t possible when classes are in session, you can save these visits for the summer break. Or think about some fun friends’ meetups and make unforgettable memories together.

Meeting your loved ones and knowing new people will refresh your mood and help you forget the strenuous study schedule you went through.

Final Thoughts

University students have to work hard to secure good grades and meet challenging deadlines. If there’s something that excites students, it’s the summer break.

Summer break is approaching, and if you aren’t sure how to spend it productively, consider the above suggestions and see if one or more of them meet your interests. Be sure to give yourself some time to rest this summer break and start afresh; cheers!