Ways to Beat Homesickness at College

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Although it’s normal to feel homesick when you start college, homesickness can become a problem if it starts to interfere with your capability to live a normal college student life. You may constantly be checking in with old friends instead of trying to make new ones. You may prefer to stay in your room than go to events and sign up for extracurricular activities. The good news is there are tactics you can use to overcome homesickness and feel at ease at college.

1. Live Like a Tourist

Spend your first few weeks at college as if you were a tourist, exploring the area to discover what’s around. Check out local cafés and businesses and find places nearby where you could spend time on the weekends, such as hiking trails and parks. As you start making friends, you can introduce them to the great places you find — they’ll definitely be impressed.

2. Eat Your Favourite Meals

Make college feel like home by preparing meals you normally eat with your family. If you’re not the best cook, search for restaurants that prepare those dishes. You could even request a delivery and have a meal at your new home with your roommates.

3. Join Clubs

A major part of homesickness is the sense of isolation. You can combat this by trying to meet people straight away. Since it can be difficult to make friends in your classes, a better option is often to join clubs. This will allow you to connect with people who have the same interests as you while you’re also exploring your own passions.

Don’t wait for others to approach you — strike up a conversation and see where it takes you. Many other students are likely feeling shy or uncomfortable and may be waiting for someone to say something to them.

4. Become a Student Volunteer

One of the best ways to cope with homesickness is to help others. When you shift your attention away from yourself, it’s easier to forget about your own problems. In addition, you’ll gain a sense of wellbeing from doing something useful. There will be many ways to get involved on campus, including volunteering at events and joining committees.

5. Talk to Your Student Advisor

If you’re struggling to beat homesickness on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Your student advisor can provide you with further guidance, such as advice to navigate the complexities of student life. Plus, your advisor may be able to put you in touch with a mental health professional. This can be helpful, since it’s often easier to talk about personal issues with a counsellor than with your friends.

You’ll beat homesickness much faster if you live somewhere you can truly call home. If you want your own space but you’d still like to be around other students, the best option is student rentals. Barrie has Foundry Georgian, located just 10 minutes from campus. You’ll be able to relax in your fully-furnished suite (complete with high-speed internet) or meet other students in the clubhouse, fitness centre, and outdoor area. Apply now to move in by next semester.

A Guide to Cleaning Your Student Apartment

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Living in a student apartment offers independence and flexibility, but it’s important for those freedoms not to result in disarray. Between classes, socializing, work, and any other responsibilities you may be juggling, it’s easy to overlook another important task: cleaning your apartment. Fortunately, the task doesn’t have to be stressful or drawn-out. Here’s what you can do to get your living space clean and tidy.

1. Make a List

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your whole place is messy, but by making a list, you can determine everything that needs to be done and stay on track. Plus, as you cross tasks off, you’ll enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. Consider going from room to room to see what needs to get done.

2. Coordinate with Your Roommates

It’s everyone’s responsibility to clean the apartment. Leaving the majority of the work to just one roommate is a great way to lose friends fast. Plus, if word spreads, you may struggle to find roommates next year!

If any of your roommates slack on their responsibilities, sit down with them and find out what’s going on. Approaching the subject in a way that’s non-accusatory is best, as your roommate may simply be feeling overwhelmed. Offer to take on their tasks this week in exchange for them picking up yours next time. By supporting one another, you’re likely to maintain a good relationship and a tidy living space.

3. Work from the Top Down

It makes sense to begin at the top of rooms and work your way down. Otherwise, you may end up creating more work for yourself. Start with the ceilings, paying particular attention to cobwebs in the corners and dust on the light fixtures. Next, move on to the walls: check there is no damage more significant than small holes where you nailed pictures, wipe the light switches, dust the windowsills, clean the windows (at least on the inside — the outside may be too dangerous for you to do yourself), and polish the door handles.

Only move on to the floors once you’ve cleaned everything else. Leaving this until last will mean you remove any dust or grime that falls on the floor while you’re cleaning other areas. If the apartment has carpets, vacuum them and use spot remover on any stains.

4. Pay Particular Attention to the Kitchen and Bathrooms

The most challenging rooms to clean are the kitchen and bathrooms. However, they’re extra important because they’re also the places where germs are most likely to dwell.

If you’re doing a deep cleaning of the kitchen, start by cleaning out the cupboards. Search for spills and splatters you could easily miss, such as on the ceiling and down the sides of appliances. You’ll also need to clean inside appliances (including the refrigerator, freezer, oven, and microwave), cabinets, and drawers.

As for the bathroom, cleaning mainly means scrubbing the sink, shower, and tub to remove stains from soap and hard water. Don’t forget the faucet and mirrors. Finally, make sure the drains are clear of hair, clean the toilet, and wash the floor.

Cleaning an entire apartment can be overwhelming. You can limit how much you need by — instead of looking for an entire apartment — searching for rooms for rent. Barrie students can rent a room in a townhouse at Foundry Georgian. You’ll share your home with four other students, but you’ll only be responsible for making sure your private bedroom and bathroom are clean. Apply now for a lease before all the available rooms are gone.

Productive Ways to Spend Time Between Classes

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As a college student, your free time is limited while you juggle classes, studying, extracurriculars, and maintaining a social life. The free time you do have may be unequally distributed throughout the week. You may be lucky and have some days when your classes are more or less back to back. On other days, though, there will be breaks in your schedule that you need to fill. Here are several ways to use breaks of all lengths more productively.

1. Find Out What Campus Has to Offer

If you’re a new student, use those first breaks you have between classes to explore campus. See what’s on offer in various buildings, including options to eat. You likely already saw the library on your group tour, but take the chance now to explore it properly — perhaps to find a place you’d like to use for studying.

2. Take a Nap

A nap lasting just 20 minutes can be great for your health. It will stop you reaching for another coffee and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the rest of the day. If you’re unable to make it back to your room, find a spot on campus. For instance, an isolated couch or a big armchair in the library is perfect.

3. Exercise

On the other hand, if you’re feeling energized, a break can be a great opportunity to fit a workout into your schedule. You may be able to participate in a team sport or take a yoga class on campus. Alternatively, you could head to the gym or even do bodyweight exercises in your room.

4. Review Your Notes

After class is the ideal time to read through your notes, as the material will still be fresh in your mind. In addition to helping you retain information, this will show you if anything you’ve jotted down is unclear or unlikely to make sense later. Plus, you can use this time to tie points together or make a note of any areas where you need further clarification.

5. Use Office Hours

Once you have your notes organized, you’ll know what kind of questions you want to ask your professors during office hours. It can be less intimidating to bring up doubts at office hours than during class. Plus, office hours allow your professors to give you in-depth answers. Make an effort to visit all your professors at some point — especially if your class sizes are large, as this could be the only chance you have to gain a valuable contact.

6. Work Through Your To-Do List

Create a to-do list that you can work through whenever you have spare time. Make sure you always choose tasks according to what is most urgent and fits around your time constraints, rather than whatever is most appealing. Otherwise, you’ll find that you keep putting off the most boring or frustrating tasks.

7. Find Volunteer Work

Dedicate some of your free time to an activity you can add to your resume by volunteering. There are many ways you can give back to the community. For instance, you could join the leadership of a college organization, find a charity in your area, get involved in a political campaign, or help out at a local school. If you’re a health major, volunteering at a hospital is a great option.

8. Seek a Part-Time Job on Campus

If you need to earn an income, find a part-time job. Looking for something you can do on campus is ideal, as managers will be understanding of your schedule and allow you to choose hours that fit around your classes. Talk to an advisor or financial officer about what jobs are available.

It’s easier to make good use of your breaks if you live near campus. For off-campus Georgian College residence, there’s Foundry Georgian. Our brand-new student community is just down the street from campus — less than 10-minute walk. Book a tour to check out the housing for yourself.