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6 Tips for Easing the Transition to College Life

Going from living at home with your parents to college life is a major life change. Many college students find their first year difficult, especially at the beginning when everything is completely new. There are a few things you can do to have a positive college experience from the start.

1. Take Things Slow

Don’t expect to figure everything out immediately. Some things take time, including making friends and even settling on a major. For instance, the first people you meet could end up becoming your best friends, but it’s unlikely. You’ll probably need to attend events, talk to various students in your classes, and search for other opportunities to socialize before you find a group of close friends.

As for choosing your major, give yourself time to explore your interests. You may discover that you like a particular class much more than you expected or a professor could inspire you to pursue a different direction than you originally intended.

2. Allow Yourself to Feel Homesick

No matter how excited you are to start college, it’s normal to feel homesick. After all, you’ll be leaving everyone you know behind and creating completely new routines. This can make for a difficult adjustment. Staying in touch with people back home but also embracing your new life by becoming active on campus can help you overcome homesickness sooner.

3. Learn About the Resources on Campus

Your college likely has a range of services available to help you with the transition. This includes academic advisors who can help you choose the right classes to meet the requirements for your major, a careers centre where you can receive advice about your options after you graduate, and a writing centre where you can improve your papers to gain better grades. There will also be services to help disabled students succeed (such as through accommodations like note-taking assistance in lectures) and mental health services for counselling.

4. Join Clubs

The college experience is about much more than just your studies. By participating in a range of extracurriculars and belonging to campus organizations, you’ll feel more a part of your school. It can be intimidating to go to that first meeting, but you’ll find that a large number of new students will also be attending.

5. Talk to Your Roommates

You’ll be sharing some living spaces with roommates: it’s important to keep channels of communication open to avoid conflict. For example, it can be helpful to have a cleaning schedule and ground rules for things like noise, visitors, and sharing food.

6. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

When you feel better physically, you’ll feel better mentally. Set a bedtime to ensure you get enough sleep every night and never attend your classes sleep deprived. Otherwise, you’ll find that your decision-making and creative capacities are reduced. In addition, try to eat a balanced diet. Avoid sugary snacks and meals high in salt and fat by purchasing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains when grocery shopping. It helps to prepare most of your meals, and even snacks, at home.

You’ll find it easier to settle into college life when you have housing that you love. A room in a suite or townhouse at Foundry Georgian is a great alternative to living in a Georgian College residence. Not only will you have a private bedroom with an en-suite washroom, you’ll be part of a community of students. You’ll be able to socialize in places like the clubhouse or outdoor lounge, get in a workout at the basketball hoop or fitness centre, and escape to prepare your next paper in the study rooms. Secure a spot now at our lowest rates.

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6 Tips for Preparing to Move Off Campus

It’s common to start out living on campus, only to realize later that this is not the best option for you. Whether you want more privacy and more freedom, the chance to choose where you live and who you live with, or lower rent and no meal plans, moving off campus is the logical decision. Whereas this is nowhere near as big of a transition as moving out of your parents’ home, it still does require some preparation.

1. Choose an Affordable Apartment

Figure out your budget before you even start searching for housing. This will prevent you from visiting places that are too expensive, which can only lead to heartache.

2. Think About Who to Have as Roommates

Pick roommates according to who would be best to live with, rather than who are your closest friends. It’s important that your roommates are able to pay their share of the rent on time, want to keep the apartment clean to the same standard as you, and are good communicators. In addition, your roommates should have a similar lifestyle to you to avoid conflict. For instance, living with people who party constantly when you want peace and quiet to study is a recipe for disaster.

3. Learn About Meal Preparation

You’ll save a significant amount of money if you prepare most of your meals. However, you need to learn how to purchase the right amount of food on your regular grocery run and how to prepare nutritious meals. This will involve searching for recipes, working out your meals for the week, and writing a shopping list before you leave home. You may find that all this requires some practise to get right!

4. Check the Lease

It’s true that the most desirable housing tends to be snapped up quickly, but that’s no excuse for rushing into signing a lease. Read the terms carefully and ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand. The last thing you want is to face hidden fees, struggle to receive timely attention for your maintenance requests, or lose your security deposit.

5. Perform a Move-In Inspection

Before you start moving in any of your belongings, inspect the apartment for damage. Keep a record of what you find to ensure the landlord won’t charge you for damage when your lease ends.

6. Take Out Renters Insurance

It’s worth taking out renters insurance to cover yourself in the case of natural disasters, theft, damage to your personal property, or liabilities. Insurance is a small expense for the protection you’ll receive.

It’s crucial that you choose accommodation where you’ll be comfortable and happy. You can find the perfect room for rent in Barrie near Georgian College at Foundry Georgian. You’ll have a private bedroom in a fully-furnished suite or townhouse. You can request to share with friends or let us match you with roommates — in either case, you’ll only ever be responsible for your own share of the rent. Take advantage of our lowest rates of the year by applying for your spot.

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How to Turn Your Hobby into a Revenue Stream in College

The college experience is much more enjoyable if you have a little extra spending money. Working at a part-time job that you don’t particularly care about is fine if you just want to earn an income, but if you want to have fun while making money, your best option is to turn your hobby into a revenue stream. This is possible with a wide variety of hobbies — you just need to be skilled enough to provide products or services that other people are willing to pay for. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Conduct Some Market Research

Find out how other people are already making money from your hobby. Conduct some research, paying particular attention to online marketplaces and freelance platforms. Think about whether you’d be able to provide something to the same standard and how you can make your offering unique. Finally, make a note of the typical price range.

2. Create a Business Plan

You need a clear plan before you jump in. Start by considering how you’ll market yourself or your products. It may be enough just to list your offerings on an established marketplace, but you may like to also set up social media profiles for your business or even create a website — either to sell directly to customers or to showcase a portfolio of your work.

Next, you’ll need to figure out the financial side of your business. This includes how much you expect to earn and how much you’ll need to spend. Bear in mind that you may need to start out offering lower prices than what your competitors are charging. Once you’ve built a customer base and developed a name for yourself, you can increase your prices. When calculating expenses, consider things like raw materials, marketing, and postage.

Finally, decide how much time you’re willing to devote to your side hustle. It’s important not to let it take up so much time that you struggle to keep up with your studies or you need to sacrifice your personal life.

3. Develop a Brand

You’ll receive more sales if people are familiar with your name. Luckily, you’re in the ideal position to develop a brand image because you’re in contact with so many people every day. Begin by promoting yourself among friends and family, perhaps by providing them with samples or free trials. You could then move on to selling to other college students. Provide great customer service and ask everyone you work with to refer you to others or leave you a review online.

4. Look to the Future

If you’re successful with your side hustle, think about how you could develop it into a full-time venture. Use your time at college to iron out any kinks in your idea and learn the skills you need to take your business to the next level.

To run a successful side hustle, you need to have a comfortable space where you can focus. The best solution is to move out of your dorm room and into student rentals. Barrie students can find a new home at Foundry Georgian. You’ll have a private room in a spacious suite or townhouse, fully furnished with a double bed, desk, and chair. Sign a 16-month lease today to receive your first month free.

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Where to Travel as a Student This Summer

After a hard year of studying, the long summer break can come as a big relief. To take full advantage of your summer, it makes sense to go travelling — but when you have limited funds, you’re restricted about where you can go. The good news is you have no shortage of great options around the world.

1. Ecuador

The obvious reason to visit Ecuador is to go to the Galapagos Islands, but the country has so much more to offer, including beaches and beautiful nature. Although the national currency is the US dollar, most things in Ecuador are inexpensive, including delicious local dishes. In particular, Ecuador should be at the top of your list if you’re taking Spanish classes in college and want to put your skills to practice.

2. Bolivia

If you’re able to find a cheap plane ticket, you’ll find you spend little once you’re in Bolivia. With the right planning, you can keep to a tight budget and still travel around the country, eat well, and stay in comfortable accommodation.

3. Florida

To bring a spring break feel to summer, there’s no better option than Florida. In fact, going in the summer could be more enjoyable than waiting until spring, as there will be fewer crowds but otherwise the same experience. There’s very little risk of wet or cold weather and you’ll have access to expansive beaches, but you may be able to benefit from off-season pricing at some hotels.

4. Puerto Rico

A favourite destination for college students is Puerto Rico. Downtown San Juan is particularly vibrant — ideal if you’re looking for a party scene with plenty of rum-based cocktails. You’ll have plenty of options for affordable hostels as well as things to do during the day, whether you want to sunbathe on the beach, practise some water sports, or soak in the culture.

5. Costa Rica

One of the safest countries in Central America is Costa Rica. It’s a great destination for adventure sports, hiking, and beaches. To make the most of your trip, do some research in advance to avoid the most popular spots, where you could end up spending more than necessary. There is no shortage of possibilities for places to go, especially outside the big cities.

6. Albania

If you’re able to afford a plane ticket to Europe, a particularly inexpensive country to visit is Albania. This is another excellent place for beaches, but you’ll also be able to enjoy traditional Mediterranean food. Albania could be an ideal option if you want to combine sun and relaxation with trips to castles, archaeological sites, and museums.

7. Thailand

Alternatively, you may like to use your savings to go to Asia. Thailand sees plenty of college students due to the variety of adventure sports available and the low cost of living, which means you’ll spend a minimum on food and accommodation.

8. Niagara Falls

If you’re unable to afford a trip abroad, Niagara Falls can be a great choice. As well as seeing the impressive waterfalls during the day, there’s an active nightlife on the Canadian side. If you want to extend your trip, you could also continue on to New York and spend a couple days there.

Before the summer is up, remember to start searching for room for rent. Barrie students can find a home for the fall semester at Foundry Georgian. It’s just a 10-minute walk from campus and has everything you need on site, including high-speed WiFi, a washer and dryer in your suite, and communal areas where you can meet other students. Apply now to secure a fall lease.

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The Pros & Cons of Summer Classes

You have various options for how you could spend your summer. If it’s near the end of your time at university, you could find an internship, whereas if you want to increase your savings for next semester, searching for a job could be ideal. One more option is to take summer classes. There are several advantages to doing this — although there are also some significant downsides. Knowing the pros and cons can help you come to an informed decision.

Pro: Graduate Earlier

The main advantage of taking summer classes is to push your graduation date forward. Depending on how many credits you take, you could finish an entire semester earlier or reduce the workload for your remaining semesters to finish on time without burning out.

Con: Lack of Financial Aid

Many financial aid packages only cover classes that take place during regular semesters. If you’re relying on a scholarship or another type of aid to pay for your education, summer classes could lead to an extra expense that may create financial strain.

Pro: Retake Failed or Dropped Classes

You may be behind schedule if you failed or dropped a class in the past. Summer is a great time to pick a class back up. Since you will have already covered some of the material, it should be slightly easier than starting the class from the beginning.

Con: Options Are Limited

It’s likely that only some classes will be available over the summer. The classes you want to take may not be an option.

Pro: Benefit from Smaller Class Sizes

Many students find they do better in small class sizes, as they feel more comfortable participating. You’ll also get to know more of your classmates and develop a stronger rapport with your professors, which is useful for gaining personalized support and (in the future) letters of recommendation.

Con: A Large Amount of Material in a Short Space of Time

Some students find that cramming a full semester’s worth of material into a few weeks over the summer can be overwhelming. This means summer may be best for classes you know you’re unlikely to struggle with.

Pro: More Intensive

Summer classes tend to take place over a shorter amount of time than classes during the regular semester. This can be great for rushing through material you find less interesting. Plus, there may not be as much additional information in the syllabus, which can be helpful if the class is a general education one rather than one required for your major.

Con: Less Free Time

When you’re working out how much time you need to allocate to your summer classes, you’ll need to account for homework and studying. This could mean you have almost no free time.

Pro: Adjust to a New Setting

International students often find it less intimidating to start with summer classes, as it gives them the chance to settle into new surroundings and meet just a few people before the rest of the students return in the fall. You’ll also be able to explore campus and figure out where everything is while the atmosphere is more relaxed.

Con: More Tests

Condensed classes often mean you’re constantly facing assessments. If you find quizzes stressful and would prefer to have more time to prepare for each, it may be better to avoid summer classes.

If you do decide to take summer classes, you’ll need to find student housing. Barrie students can live at Foundry Georgian. You’ll have a private room in a fully-furnished suite or townhouse with great amenities to use over the summer and beyond, such as a clubhouse, fitness centre, and outdoor basketball hoop. Apply now for a lease.

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6 Ways to Gain Work Experience as a Student

Completing college will make a big difference to the job opportunities available to you. Unfortunately, though, most employers still prefer candidates with at least some experience. There are several ways you can gain work experience while you’re still a student to give yourself an edge over other graduates.

1. Use Your College Career Services

Beyond providing you with an education, your college can help you in ways. One service you should check out is career support. An advisor will be able to give you ideas for possible jobs to pursue that match your goals, prepare you for interviews, and check your resume.

2. Search for a Job on Campus

There are usually many opportunities to work on campus. Often, these positions are only open to students, which reduces the competition. Other advantages to working on campus are that it will be easy to get to your job and you’ll have an employer who understands that you need to fit your schedule around academic commitments (like classes and preparing for exams).

3. Volunteer at a Club

A great way to pair your passions with work experience is to join a club at college and volunteer for a leadership position. You may need to win an election to gain the post you want, which could mean you face some competition. If you’re unsuccessful in your first year, consider settling for a different volunteer position and running for the next election after you’ve learned more about the club. This will look extra impressive on your resume.

4. Apply for a Summer Internship

To gain experience for the career you want to pursue, find an internship for the summer. Check your college publications to see if they’re advertising anything you may be interested in and do your own research. Bear in mind that it’s sometimes necessary to apply several months in advance and that the application process can take several steps. Keep a note of upcoming deadlines to ensure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity.

5. Network with Your Contacts

Utilize all your connections to open up more possibilities than you’d find on your own. Talk to professors, alumni, and family members who have contacts in the field you want to enter. You’ll find that people want you to succeed and will be happy to help.

6. Consider Diverse Opportunities

Avoid limiting yourself too much when looking for a job or internship. Dismissing opportunities because you’re only interested in something specific could mean you end up with nothing. Remember that a wide variety of positions could give you valuable experience, including learning how to collaborate in a team, developing your organizational skills, and working with customers.

After a long day of classes and work, it’s important you have a comfortable home to return to, such as in student rentals. Barrie students can live in a spacious townhouse or suite at Foundry Georgian. As well as spending time alone in your private bedroom, you can relax in the clubhouse, work out at the fitness centre or outdoor basketball hoop, or escape to one of the study rooms to work on an assignment. Apply now to secure our lowest rates.

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How to Make the Most of Online Classes

Online classes have now become permanent for many students, for better or for worse. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to stay focused when you’re staring at a screen than when you’re in the same room as your professor. The good news is that there are ways to stay engaged and take full advantage of your classes, even when they are online.

1. Decide Where You’ll Take Classes

Put yourself in the right frame of mind by designating a spot for all your classes. For most students, this will likely be a desk, but you may prefer the couch in the living room, the kitchen table, or somewhere else in your student housing. Just make sure you won’t face too many interruptions and will be able to remain there comfortably until your class is over.

2. Exercise During Your Breaks

Between classes, step away from the screen to give your eyes a rest and move your body to prevent strain. Depending on how much time you have, you may even be able to fit in a short workout, a stroll, or some quick stretches. It’s best of all if you can head outdoors for some fresh air and sun.

3. Sit Near a Window

If possible, take classes near a window. This will give you some sun all day long, increasing your vitamin D intake. Plus, glancing outside to the trees and blue skies is relaxing, which can keep you motivated during classes.

4. Keep Your Phone Out of Reach

When a class is moving a bit slowly, it can be tempting to reach for your phone to check if you have any messages or to start scrolling through social media. Soon, though, you’ll find that you’re not paying any attention to the class. To take full advantage of your college education, you need to at least try to stay focused. The best way to do this is to keep your phone out of reach during class time.

5. Let Others Know That You’re in Class

Another way you may become distracted is if the people you live with want to talk to you during class. This is particularly a risk if you like to take classes in a shared space, such as in the living room. However, roommates could also knock on your door if you’re in your bedroom. Let everyone around know when you’re in class and need to be left alone. You could even use a system like a sign hanging on your door.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

It’s difficult to stay focused if you’re dehydrated or hungry. Keep water nearby, and perhaps some healthy snacks as well. Plus, figure out when you’ll have meals — if you’re limited for time, you could prepare food in advance.

7. Split Your Screen or Handwrite Your Notes

To avoid missing parts of the presentation, split your screen to watch the class and type at the same time. Alternatively, you may prefer to handwrite your notes. Many students find that this helps them retain information better, and you can always type your notes up later when you’re organizing them after class. Of course, it may be difficult to write quickly enough, depending on how fast your professor talks.

To succeed with online classes, it’s crucial that you’re able to attend in a quiet environment. This means having either a private bedroom or access to a study space. At Foundry Georgian, you’ll have both. Our alternative to Georgian College residence provides you with your own room in a townhouse or suite as well as community amenities like a clubhouse and study rooms — and everywhere has fast internet. Apply for a lease now to start getting more out of your time at college.

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When to Start Looking for Your Post-College Job

It’s difficult to know when you should start looking for your post-college job. You’re unavailable to begin working immediately, but, ideally, you want something lined up for soon after you finish college. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this problem: it depends on a variety of factors, including your industry and the kind of job you want. You may be able to wait until spring of your senior year to start applying, or it could be necessary to start reaching out to companies much sooner. Here are some considerations to help you make the right decision.

Jobs with Training Programs

You’ll need to apply early if the job you want requires you to complete a competitive training program. Recruitment for these kinds of jobs often starts in September, but candidates don’t typically receive offers until at least November. This includes jobs in the financial sector, particularly in consulting and accounting.

Internships Leading to Employment

Some organizations recruit many of their new employees through internship programs. In particular, positions in banking and business management tend to start out with internships, with the top students being offered employment when they graduate. If this is likely to be the case for the kind of job you want, you should apply for internships that you can take over the summer of your junior year.

Opportunities Available Later in the Year

Some companies don’t start the recruitment process until the spring or later. This includes small businesses that lack training programs as well as companies in sectors like advertising, communication, publishing, and the arts. Furthermore, assistant positions often open as they become available, particularly for editorial, human resources, gallery, and broker’s assistants.

Finally, many other jobs only open in the spring after companies have finished internal promotions and determined their need for additional employees.

Unlisted Jobs

It’s also possible to apply for jobs that are unadvertised by reaching out to companies you’d like to work for. You should do this as early as possible, sending a resume and cover letter detailing your relevant experience and explaining what kind of position you’re interested in. Ask when interviews will begin for suitable jobs. If you receive a reply that interviews are several months away, it’s a good idea to send another email nearer the time to remind the company that you’re still interested.

Including Your College Education on Your Resume

In all the above situations, you’ll be using a qualification you haven’t yet earned to land the job. For this reason, it’s important to include your college education on your resume. All you need to do is include the name of the institution, the type of degree you’re earning, your major, and your expected graduation date. You can even include the words “expected graduation” after the date to make it extra clear that you’re still in college.

Make your senior year of college the best yet by moving into better student housing. Barrie has Foundry Georgian — modern student living with all the amenities you need to be successful in your final year, including spacious private bedrooms, high-speed internet, and quiet study rooms. Secure your spot before all the suites are taken.

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What to Do When You Notice Your Grades Slipping

Although you likely started the semester with the best intentions, it’s not unusual to notice your grades start to slip at some point. This can be demotivating — which can make your grades slip even further. To improve your performance and achieve the grades you want, there are a few things to do.

1. Figure Out Why Your Grades Are Slipping

It’s only possible to fix your situation if you can figure out why you’re having problems. There are several possibilities, ranging from a workload that’s too heavy to misunderstanding the expectations of your professors. Alternatively, it could just be that you don’t enjoy what you’re learning.
To determine the cause of your poor grades, assess each of your classes in turn. You may be succeeding with some classes and struggling with others. Think about whether those you find difficult have any similarities. If you’re finding all of your classes too challenging, there could be an external factor at play.

2. Create an Action Plan

Once you know why you’re struggling, you can start thinking about ways to overcome your problems. If you find the material for several classes difficult, working with a tutor may help. If your personal life is impacting your ability to study, you may find it beneficial to use any counselling services your college offers. Whatever you decide to do, write down your ideas along with a timeline. To check that you’re on track, set some achievable goals, such as obtaining a particular grade on your next paper.

3. Be Disciplined

To see results, you’ll need to stick to your action plan. This may mean attending every lecture and tutoring session without fail or paying a professor a visit during office hours — even though you find talking about your assignments uncomfortable. You’ll also need to make sure you stick to a study schedule, including when other opportunities arise that are more appealing, such as going out with friends. Finally, you’ll need to put in the effort to stay focused while you’re studying and avoid distractions. Otherwise, you’ll find that you end up writing assignments right before the due date, which makes it difficult to do your best work.

4. Reassess the Situation and Adapt Your Action Plan

Check that you’re right about the reasons for your grades slipping and that your action plan is working by monitoring your grades. If you’re still not seeing the results you wanted, you may need to come up with more solutions (such as dropping a class or activity) or improve your self-discipline. Alternatively, it may be that you need to be more realistic about what you can expect to achieve at college.

If one of the reasons why you’re struggling to do well is that you’re unable to concentrate on your study while living on campus, the solution is to search for rooms for rent. Barrie students can find a home in a vibrant student community at Foundry Georgian. You’ll have your own room in a five-bedroom suite or townhouse along with great onsite amenities like study rooms, a clubhouse, and an outdoor area. Apply now to secure our lowest rates — available for a limited time only.

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A Guide to Getting Through Long Lectures Successfully

When you’re not particularly in the mood for a lecture, it can be hard to stay focused — especially if the lecture is long. In fact, some students choose just to skip them. However, this means it’s much more difficult to do well on your assignments and finals, as you’ll have missed out on key information to help you understand the materials. Here are a few things you can do to get through even the longest lectures and come away feeling that you’ve learned something.

1. Watch the Recording

It’s worth watching the recording of the lecture at a later date to refresh your memory, such as before you write a paper on the topic. If your college doesn’t record lectures, you can make your own audio recording using your phone. Either way, consider increasing the speed of the playback. This is effective and will prevent you from spending a large amount of time on the same lecture twice.

2. Sit at the Front

To stay focused (and make a clear recording of the lecture), it’s best to sit at the front near the middle of the room. You’ll also be able to hear better and have a clear view of the slides.

3. Learn to Take Better Notes

Note taking sounds easy, but most students quickly discover that this is a skill they need to improve. It’s important to use shorthand to keep up with the lecturer — after all, it doesn’t matter if no one else understands what your notes mean, although it should be obvious to you later. It can also be useful to use diagrams instead of just sticking to words.

Whereas typing can mean you take notes faster, many students find that they retain information better when they write by hand. You may also like to write in two or more different colours. If you want to have a digital version of your notes, consider typing them up later. The added benefit of this is it means you’ll look through your notes again soon after the lecture.

4. Ask Questions

If your professor says something you don’t understand, ask for clarification. While there will likely be a limited amount of time for questions, most professors still want their students to be able to follow the lecture. For more in-depth discussions, save your question until after the lecture or visit your professor during office hours. Just make sure you do ask at some point.

5. Fuel Up

Avoid heading to an early morning lecture on an empty stomach. If you don’t have time for a proper breakfast, at least grab a quick, healthy snack. It’s also worth having a bottle of water with you. This is better than relying on caffeine and energy drinks, as you won’t crash later and feel worse than ever.

6. Attend with a Friend

Try to make a friend in every class. This should motivate you to attend your lectures. Plus, you can talk afterward about what you learned and compare notes to ensure you didn’t miss anything important.

7. Choose Classes You’ll Enjoy

You’ll look forward to your lectures if you enjoy the topics. While many classes are essential for your major, you can still choose electives that interest you. If you find many of your required classes boring, you may like to consider switching majors.

To succeed at college, you’ll also need to dedicate plenty of time to studying on your own. Find a room for rent near Georgian College, Barrie, where you can study in peace at Foundry Georgian. Our student housing also has high-speed internet and dedicated study rooms. Book a tour to check out the community before you sign a lease.