Tips for Building a New Friend Group

One of the most daunting things about going to university is starting from scratch with making friends. The likelihood is you won’t know anyone on campus — but the good news is everyone else is in the same boat. Plus, there’s a huge number of people for you to meet, any of whom is a potential new friend. All the same, it’s worth having a strategy in place, as this will mean you establish a new friend group faster.

1. Spend Time with Your Roommates

When you arrive at university, the first people you meet will be your roommates. Even if you and your roommates never become more than acquaintances, it’s worth spending time with them during the first few days to have some company. Plus, they may introduce you to people who do become your close friends.

2. Attend Campus Events

Your campus will likely hold frequent events, particularly at the start of the fall semester. These are a great way to meet other students, especially when you attend events that match your interests.

3. Talk to Your Classmates

Strike up a conversation with people from your classes. You could use something that came up in the lecture as an icebreaker or just ask students how they’re finding the class. You’re particularly likely to have possible talking points with students in classes that are a requirement for your major, as the students will often have similar career goals to you.

4. Join a Study Group

Find out if the students in your classes are forming any study groups you could join. As well as meeting people who may end up being your friends, this will help you gain better grades for the class.

5. Go to Club Meetings

The more involved you are with extracurriculars, the more likely you are to make friends. Choose a couple of clubs or organizations to join according to your current hobbies and based on activities you think you may enjoy but have never had the chance to try before.

6. Find Places Where Students Hang Out

When you have a break during the day, head to a place where students hang out. This could be the cafeteria, the quads, or a student center. This will give you the opportunity to meet people you may otherwise never have encountered. You may even find a whole group of friends at once.

7. Apply for a Job on Campus

If you want to earn an income while studying, working on campus is ideal for several reasons. In addition to lacking a commute and having an employer who is understanding about your schedule, you’ll be able to interact with other students while you work. Chatting with coworkers and customers could easily lead to friendships.

Often, students decide to live in a dorm to start making friends as soon as they arrive on campus. However, you’ll meet just as many people if you live in student rentals. Kingston, Ontario, has a student housing community at Foundry Mack. We can match you with roommates who study like you or you can choose to have a one-bedroom apartment to yourself. Either way, the chances are you’ll meet plenty of other people, including in places like the outdoor lounge and recreation area. Book a tour to see why you’ll love living here.


When to Start Packing for University

Knowing you’ll soon be heading off to university is exciting, but there’s so much to do in the weeks leading up to your departure. As well as completing administrative tasks, you’ll need to say goodbye to your hometown friends. This means packing often gets left to the last minute. Nonetheless, to avoid problems, it’s best to start packing for university reasonably early.

Ideally, Start Packing a Couple Weeks Before You Move

There’s much more to packing than just throwing what you currently have in your bedroom into boxes. For one thing, you may need things you currently don’t own. For this reason, it’s best to give yourself at least two weeks to pack. This will save you a great deal of stress, as you’ll be able to check you have everything you need and purchase whatever you currently lack.

One more advantage of starting early is you’ll be able to take advantage of back-to-school sales. Although some stores may run their sales right up until the first day of the new semester, you need to remember that the most sought-after items will be snapped up early.

If You Can’t Start Packing, Make a Checklist

It may be impossible for you to start packing until just a few days before you set off for university. This could be the case if you have travel plans or you’re just exceptionally busy. Packing right before you leave for university can be risky because it increases the chance you’ll forget something. Avoid this from happening by making a checklist. It’s best to keep the list on your phone, as you can easily add items if something pops into your mind, no matter where you are.

What You’ll Need

Make sure you bring everything you need with you to avoid needing to go shopping as soon as you arrive at your student housing. Either pack or add to your checklist all of the following:



-Laundry supplies


-School supplies

-Electronics (including cables)


-Decorations for your apartment

Acquire Packing Materials

Rather than using cardboard boxes to transport your belongings, pack items in storage containers or trash bags. The advantage of this is you’ll be able to continue using the storage containers when you arrive at your accommodation, such as by putting them under your bed or in your closet. Trash bags are also convenient because they take up no space. If you use cardboard boxes, on the other hand, you’ll need to either throw them out or find somewhere to keep them until you move again.

Before you decide what to take with you to university, you need to know where you’ll be living. There are Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Mack. We have a range of floor plans, with between one and five bedrooms. All are fully furnished, meaning you only need to bring your personal items. You’ll also have access to many other amenities to make your time at university that much more enjoyable, including an outdoor lounge area with BBQs and a fire pit, study rooms, and lightning-fast fiber internet. Apply today, while we still have spots available.


Gen Z’s Guide to Effective LinkedIn Networking

LinkedIn is a key place to make contacts who can help you with your job search and support you throughout your career. Although it’s easy to find tips about how to network on LinkedIn, some of these may not be relevant to you. This is because Gen Zers are using the platform a little differently than the generations that came before them. One reason for this is that Gen Zers are trailblazers in general and — as the first generation born during the digital age — especially in the internet sphere. Another reason is they have different ideas about work and are putting a greater emphasis on company culture and values. With this in mind, here are a few ways Gen Z should network on LinkedIn.

1. Connect with People You Know

Start building your network by adding people you know. It doesn’t matter if they’re not working in the right field — they may have connections you’re unaware of. In addition to adding classmates, professors, and faculty staff, connect with family members, former employers, and coworkers.

2. Search for Valuable Contacts

If you only have a few contacts who are likely to be useful in helping you meet your career goals, you should definitely network beyond the people you know. Think about what kinds of connections you need. This could include people who have your dream job, who work at a company where you’d like to work, or who could act as a mentor for you. Do a search on the platform to find these kinds of contacts.

If you’re unsure exactly what career you want to pursue, spend some time on the platform exploring job possibilities. Joining groups can also be beneficial for learning more about a particular industry.

3. Send Personalized Messages

Once you’ve found some users you’d like to connect with on LinkedIn, send them personalized messages explaining what attracted you to their profiles. You’ll find that many more people accept your invitation to connect if you include a message. Plus, you’ll be able to build a relationship. That way, if there’s a job opening or another opportunity, the person will be much more likely to think of you.

There’s no need for your messages requesting to connect to be long. Mention what attracted you to the person’s profile. Perhaps the person posted an interesting article or specializes in a niche area that you also want to work in. Plus, make it clear what you want from the contact. This should be more than a job referral — for instance, you may like to arrange a time to chat to gain advice.

4. Update Your Profile Regularly

Other users of LinkedIn are more likely to find you on the platform and see a reason to connect with you if your profile has current information. Update your profile often with new experience you’ve gained (such as work, internships, and volunteering), the skills you’ve learned, and the projects you’ve completed. You may also like to return to your summary to better reflect your career goals as you come closer to figuring out what you want to do after you graduate.

Another place where you can network is at your student housing. Foundry Mack is a student community with one- to five-bedroom apartments near Queen’s University. You can meet new people in the outdoor recreation area and collaborate on group projects in our bright study rooms. Book a tour before you secure a lease.


5 Books to Read to Boost Your Mental Health

Everyone can benefit from taking steps to improve mental wellness, but it can be hard to know what exactly to do. Instead of picking up a few tips here and there, it’s helpful to read some in-depth advice. A few books stand out as being among the best for boosting your mental health.

1. The Body Keeps the Score

If your mental health issues are due to past trauma, a book you must read is The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. You’ll learn how trauma results in the rewiring of certain areas of your brain, including those related to enjoyment, trust, control, and engagement. The good news is it’s possible to rewire these areas by practicing mindfulness, by playing, and with therapy. Not only will this book help you better understand why you’re struggling, you’ll be able to take action today to see results in the future.

2. Atomic Habits

Trying to make major life changes sets you up for failure because your goals may be too big to sustain. In Atomic Habits, James Clear presents ideas for small ways you can change your daily routine that will ultimately make a big difference.

3. Your Twenties

Entering your twenties is a big milestone. This is one of the more challenging decades of your life — it’s a time for figuring out who you are, what you want to do, and how to survive in the world on your own. These pressures can take a toll on your mental health. Your Twenties: No One Ever Teaches You How to Grow Up, You Know? by Jessica Smith can help guide your decisions and give you advice in the areas of your career, relationships, body acceptance, self-love, and a healthy mind.

4. Switch on Your Brain

By neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, Switch on Your Brain combines concepts from neurobiology with Christian scripture. For this reason, it will likely resonate with religious readers, although there are interesting facts and lessons for anyone. The book begins with an explanation of how genetics have a role to play in mental health. It then talks about how we can understand our fears and trauma in the context of our negative memories. Finally, it discusses how to make new neural networks to see long-lasting, positive effects.

5. Get Out of Your Head

Another book with a spiritual outlook is Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen. The author is the wife of a pastor and uses the bible to find her inspiration, but anyone can use the advice in the book. The point is to apply positive affirmations to your life to break destructive routines and start healthier habits.

Another way to boost your mental health during university is to have a home you love, where you’re surrounded by other students but also have your own space. You can find Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Mack. We have one- to five-bedroom suites, all of which are fully furnished. Plus, you can unwind and meet other people in our outdoor recreation area. Book a tour to see our student community for yourself.


7 Beach Destinations to Consider for Your Summer Vacation

The long summers you have when you’re a student are ideal for traveling. Even when you have other commitments, you should be able to make time for a short vacation — and if you have nothing else to do, you could even pick a far-off destination. To make sure you have a memorable vacation, choose one of the following best beach destinations.

1. San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’re taking language classes at university, it makes sense to go to a country where you can put your skills into practice. Spanish learners should consider San Juan in Puerto Rico. The capital is right on the coast, where there are many bars, nightclubs, and casinos. When you want a change from the beach, head into the city to see the colonial buildings, check out the fortresses, and walk the cobblestone streets.

2. Ecuador

A particularly safe country to visit in South America is Ecuador — another great option if you want to practice your Spanish. It also has some of the best beaches you’ll find on the continent. The beaches are particularly great for surfing and yoga as well as just relaxing. If you go to the Galapagos, the most popular island for beaches is Santa Cruz, which has Tortuga Bay and El Garrapatero.

3. Panama City, Florida

A classic student destination is Panama City, Florida. Since the beaches are often packed in the summer, it’s ideal if you like the party scene. Make sure to check for events before you decide to go — you may be able to make it to a music festival.

4. Albania

If you want to go to Europe for a beach vacation, one of the top choices is Albania, which is less expensive than many other European countries. It has fantastic Mediterranean beaches with white sands, set against a backdrop of mountains. When you want to do something other than bask in the sun, you can venture out to the castles and archeological sites.

5. Cambodia

To visit Asia on a budget, consider Cambodia. The hotels are particularly cheap, meaning you can stay right next to the beach without breaking the bank. Try to make it over to Koh Rong (also called Monkey Island) — it has a coast of sandy bays, coral reefs, and coconut palms and a center of dense jungle where you can take zip lines, rope walks, and suspension bridges.

6. Indonesia

A second option in Asia is Indonesia. Its top beach island is probably Bali, which is particularly inexpensive. You’ll often find fun activities are available at the beaches, including yoga and snorkeling.

7. Portugal

A European country that sees less tourism than it deserves is Portugal. Prices are lower than in most of Western Europe and the food is excellent — especially if you like seafood. Although a large amount of the country is coastline, most people agree that the best place for a Portuguese beach vacation is the Algarve.

University itself can be almost as fun as your summer vacation. The key is to have great housing, where you live around other students but still have your own space. For apartments near Queens University, move into Foundry Mack. We have one- to five-bedroom suites in a student community, complete with incredible amenities including an outdoor recreation area and study spaces. Apply now before all the leases are taken.


How to Get Past a Bad Internship

When researching internships, you try hard to find one you’ll enjoy at a company that treats its interns with respect and makes work interesting for them. However, it’s impossible to know how exactly it will pan out until you’re there. If you end up with a bad internship, you may feel like the summer will never end and wonder how you made such a mistake. Instead of dwelling in your misery and comparing your situation to the fun your friends are having, take these steps to make the most of the experience.

1. Make Everything a Learning Experience

Even when you’re in the midst of a task you’re not enjoying at all, you should be able to find something positive in the experience. For instance, you may learn a useful skill or put into practice knowledge you gained from the classroom.

In addition, you’ll learn things about yourself — you may discover you dislike something you thought you’d enjoy, or vice versa. This is especially important if the aspects you dislike are central to the role, as you may even discover you want to pursue a different career to what you originally thought. Whereas this is initially disappointing, it’s far better to figure this out while you’re still at university than when you’ve entered the workforce.

Finally, you’ll learn about leadership styles. If it’s a superior’s leadership style that’s making your internship unpleasant, you should ensure you lead your team differently whenever you’re in a similar position. For example, you may offer team members more support and feedback or listen to what they have to say.

2. Avoid the Same Mistakes in the Future

To avoid similar situations in the future, reflect on what is specifically making your internship bad. It could be the hours are longer than you expected (such as if you need to take work home), the large number of people you interact with make it difficult to build contacts, or you work mostly in isolation whereas you prefer to collaborate. Whatever the case, you should search for jobs in the future that have characteristics you do like. You can assess potential positions by reading job descriptions carefully, researching companies, and asking the right questions at interviews.

3. Don’t Blame Yourself

A bad internship can shatter your confidence, but it’s important to remember it isn’t a reflection on you. Struggling to fit in at one company doesn’t mean you’d have the same experience at another. This is especially true if what you dislike at your internship is the workplace dynamics, the company culture, or your supervisor’s communication style.

Have fun over the summer in spite of a bad internship by moving into a better apartment. You can find Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Mack. When you return home at the end of the day, you’ll be able to relax in your fully-furnished suite or head to the outdoor recreation area, fire pit, or lounge to meet other students. Apply now to move in over the summer and stay living here when the fall semester starts up.


A Guide to Goal Setting for a New Semester

A great way to start each new semester is to set goals for how you want to do better. However, when you sit down to write out your goals, you may find your mind goes blank. If you’re stuck for ideas, choose from some goals that are relevant for almost all university students.

1. Exercise on a Regular Basis

Create a workout schedule — and make sure you stick to it. University is a great time to discover more physical activities you enjoy. There’s likely a gym on campus, intramural sports teams you can join, and casual fitness classes you can attend. If you find it too tiring to do one long workout, build up your fitness level by adding more activity to your day, such as short walks, stretches, and quick exercises.

2. Use Your Phone Less

Wasting time on social media will mean you have less time available for the activities that matter. Put your phone out of reach while you’re studying and set time limits for social media, games, and other addictive apps to encourage you to cut back.

3. Improve Your Class Attendance

You should only skip class if you have a good reason, such as if you’re sick. The rest of the time, aim to attend all your classes — including when you’re not in the mood. You’ll benefit from being able to take your own notes and having the chance to ask your professors about any doubts.

4. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

You’ll find it easier to meet many of your other goals if you sleep enough. By going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, you’ll consistently sleep enough and improve the quality of your sleep.

5. Choose Your Extracurriculars Carefully

You have a huge number of opportunities to become involved in clubs, organizations, and other activities while at university. Whereas these can be fulfilling, teach you new skills, and give you the chance to expand your social circle, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Be selective when committing to extracurriculars to ensure you still have enough time for schoolwork and other responsibilities.

6. Work Toward Your Career Goals

As well as setting goals to improve your life now, you need to think ahead to the future. Consider what actions you can take now to move closer to meeting your career goals. Just reminding yourself of what you want to do in the future can be useful for keeping you motivated when studying and push you to do the best on your papers and exams.

7. Find Time to Relax

All your academic, social, and work commitments can mean you rarely have the chance to just relax. However, finding time for your hobbies is important for avoiding stress and staying happy. If you’re particularly busy, it may be worth marking time on your calendar for relaxing activities like reading, art projects, and journaling.

If you’re currently living on campus, one more goal to include on your list is to find student rentals. Kingston, Ontario, has the ideal housing for busy students at Foundry Mack. To ensure you’ll be comfortable, our suites are all fully furnished and come with top-of-the-line appliances, including a washer and dryer. Plus, you’ll be less than 10 minutes from campus and only a short walk from downtown. Apply now to secure the lowest rates of the year.


When to Start Looking For a Summer Internship

You should consider taking an internship even if it’s not a graduation requirement for your major. Through an internship, you’ll learn many skills you would never have the chance to pick up in the class, gain work experience to put on your resume, and build a network of contacts — perhaps even your future employer. However, since many other students will also be looking for summer internships, you should start searching several months in advance to land a top opportunity.

Three to Five Months in Advance Is Ideal

Unlike with a job, you don’t start working at an internship soon after you accept the position. Companies advertise summer internships several months in advance. By beginning your search at least three and as many as five months ahead of time, you’ll have more options and will be more likely to find something relevant to your career goals.

Why the Summer Is an Ideal Time for an Internship

There are opportunities for internships year round, but the summer is one of the best times to take an internship, for several reasons. For one thing, you won’t have as many other academic commitments and you may even have time off from your part-time job, such as if you work on campus.

Plus, if you want to use your summer productively anyway, there are few better options than an internship. Since the position will be in a field you are interested in, you’ll gain more relevant experience than if you were to search for a summer job and you may find it helps you decide if you’re on the right career path.

How to Find Internships

At the start of the spring semester, head to the careers services on campus to see what resources your university has for students searching for internships. The staff may be able to provide you with a list of internships or give you tips about how to ace an interview. Also stay alert for job fairs on campus, where you can meet potential employers.

Alternatively, you could search for internships on job sites or see if any companies you would like to work for have internships mentioned on their websites. If an employer doesn’t have any internships listed, reach out through email to request an informational interview — there’s always the chance an employer could create an internship just for you.

It’s Never Too Early for an Internship

Although it’s most common to take an internship in the summer of your third or fourth year, some students take an internship in their second or even first year. You may like to consider this if you know exactly what you want to do after you graduate and are passionate about the field you want to enter. In fact, taking an internship early could pave the way for an elite internship later. This, in turn, can improve your chances of landing a great job right after you graduate.

You’ll need somewhere to stay while you’re doing your summer internship, but the dorms on campus will likely be closed. You can find Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Mack. Our apartments are located within walking distance of downtown, where you’ll find many top businesses. Plus, you can continue living here when the fall semester starts — you’ll be just a couple blocks from campus. Apply now while we still have leases available.


5 Options for Earning Income as a Student

Saving money as a student can be a challenge. If you have a tight budget, you may need to turn down invitations to fun events and carefully watch all your expenses, including food. Some students increase their spending money by finding a part-time job, but this can be hard to fit around classes and other commitments. A great alternative is to earn an income by finding gig work or starting your own side hustle. You’ll be able to work whenever you want and will hopefully earn enough extra cash to feel financially secure.

1. House Sitting

There’s always a need for house sitters, especially during weekends and holidays. You’re particularly well-suited to house sitting if you already have experience taking care of pets. A gig could involve staying in the house or just coming over a couple times a day to feed and walk the animals. To find work, you’ll need to advertise your services, which could be as simple as offering to help when someone mentions a weekend trip and expresses concerns about leaving a pet behind.

2. Blogging

It’s likely there’s one niche topic you know more about than almost anyone else. You can share your unique knowledge or insights by setting up a blog. You’re most likely to be successful if you pick a topic no one else is covering (or at least not covering well) but that other people do find interesting. To get started, use a template on a free website builder and pay for a catchy domain name.

For the best results, aim to write a blog post or shoot a short video twice a week. To gain more visibility, share the content to social media and use some basic search engine optimization techniques. Once you have a decent number of followers viewing your content regularly, research ways to monetize.

3. Rent Your Car

If you live close to campus and have few commitments that require you to go farther afield, you may only need your car to return home at the end of each semester. Instead of leaving your vehicle sitting in the parking lot for the rest of the time, rent it. You can find services online that will help you rent your car safely.

4. Tutoring

A classic gig for university students is tutoring. You could offer to help others with a class you’ve already passed, provide homework help for kids at a local school, or even teach English to kids online — tutoring in another country can be particularly convenient due to the time difference.

5. Sell Crafts on Etsy

Turn your hobby into a side hustle by setting up an Etsy store. It’s likely that whatever you make has a market — from jewelry and clothing to photographs and gift tags. This is a great way to turn what you enjoy most into an income and perhaps explore more creative outlets.

As well as earning more money, it makes sense to cut expenses. A simple way to do this is to search for more less expensive housing. You can find affordable Kingston student housing rentals at Foundry Princess. Choose between apartments with two, three, four, and five bedrooms — all our suites are spacious, feature a full kitchen, and have their own laundry facilities. You’ll also have access to great onsite amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool. Take a virtual tour to check out the apartments and community spaces for yourself.


A Guide to Seasonal Depression in Students

It can be extra difficult when you see your peers excited about winter if you struggle with your mental health due to the change of seasons. In fact, seasonal depression is not uncommon. It tends to happen during the fall and winter when there are many hours of darkness, the most severe months being January and February. This serious condition can make it challenging to carry out even routine tasks.

Symptoms of seasonal depression are wide ranging and can be anywhere from mild to severe. Typically, they include fatigue, weight gain, loss of energy, and agitation. Some of these symptoms are due to sleeping too much and craving carbohydrates, which often accompany seasonal depression.

Unfortunately, seasonal depression can be especially hard on university students. You’re away from your family, who likely provided you with support in the past. You may struggle to get up in the morning, which can spiral into skipping classes and neglecting your studies. As a result, you may spend even less time outdoors in the sun, which reduces your vitamin D intake and causes symptoms to worsen.

Nonetheless, with the right strategy, you can fight seasonal depression. You’ll be able to continue living your life and enjoying the things that usually give you pleasure. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Stick to a Routine

One reason why it may be more difficult to manage seasonal depression at university than it was at high school is the lack of structure. You may have classes at different times of the day and various other activities throughout the week. By creating a routine for yourself, you can bring structure back to your life. It can help to write your schedule into your calendar, as this will mean you always know what you should be doing.

2. Have a Set Bedtime and Wake-Up Time

One important aspect of your routine needs to be sleep. By setting both a bedtime and a wake-up time, you’ll ensure you sleep the same number of hours each night. This is crucial because a lack of sleep can make your symptoms worse and have an effect on your academic performance. Trying to catch up on sleep later is never a good idea. However, it’s particularly problematic if you’re suffering from seasonal depression, as oversleeping can worsen your symptoms just as much as too little sleep.

3. Stay Active

Make sure you exercise on a regular basis, such as by adding a morning run to your routine, finding a buddy to do workouts with, or looking for opportunities on campus, such as fitness classes or an elective that will get you moving.

4. Keep Socializing

Seasonal depression can make you want to spend all of your time on your own. Commit to at least a couple social events each week, whether they involve hanging out with friends or attending meetings for a club. You may not always want to go out, but you should find you feel better when you do.

If you’re suffering from seasonal depression, the most important thing to do is receive support for your mental health. Find out if your university offers any free or discounted counseling services.

You’ll also find it helps to have your own space but also to be near other students — as this will encourage you to keep socializing. You can gain both by moving into student rentals. Kingston has Foundry Princess. You’ll be able to relax in your private bedroom when you need time alone, but you’ll also have roommates who you can spend time with and you can meet more people in our community clubhouse. There’s also an onsite fitness centre to keep you physically healthy. Book a tour to see how living at Foundry Princess could improve your university experience.