5 things to do in Fresher’s Week

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Starting university this September? You’ve probably heard about Fresher’s Week and all the hype that goes along with it. However, it can be overwhelming at times, so we’ve pulled together some top tips on how to make the most out of your experience.

1. Meet new people

Students-Relaxing-In-Lounge

Starting university and not knowing anyone can be quite terrifying. But you shouldn’t let this worry you too much – remember, most students will be in exactly the same boat as you and will be hoping to make friends quickly too.

So, whether it’s people on your course, in your accommodation, at university events or even whilst you’re in a queue, don’t be afraid to start up random conversation with others. They’re probably be feeling just as nervous as you and will be grateful of the chat!

2. Sign up to societies

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Joining societies is a great way to meet new people and if you’re all part of the same society, you know you’ll have at least one thing in common with each other! And Fresher’s Week is the perfect opportunity to sign up to a whole host of different societies and clubs.

Don’t just stick to something you’ve tried before or are good at, try something different or unusual, push out of your comfort zone. Sign up for as many things as you fancy and then after a few sessions you’ll soon know which ones you prefer and want to stick with.

Having an activity to get involved with is also a great way to relax and unwind after working hard at university.

3. Get out and about

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During your first few weeks at university it’s important to get out and explore the city. Don’t worry if you’re a bit nervous about going out, it’s only natural. It can be a scary time for any fresher because you’re in a new place and are still getting to know people. So, try to familiarise yourself with the new area and get to know your away around.

Travel the route to university, find the nearest food shops and sample some of the local restaurants and bars. You’ll soon realise there was no need to worry and you’ll know the place off the back of your hand!

And whilst you’ve got the time, why not be a real tourist? Check out some of the city’s top attractions and landmarks and really get to know the place that will be your home for the next few years.

4. Be organised

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Fresher’s week will be pretty chaotic but it’s not all about societies, partying and drinking. They’ll be some important introductory things for you to do at university such as registering and collecting your student ID, receiving module timetables and reading lists, attending subject-specific introductory talks and meeting your personal tutor.

It’s a good idea to get these things done and dusted with as soon as possible so that you haven’t got to worry about them for the rest of the week. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have everything ready for when lectures and the hard work starts – from stationary and books, to laptops and lunch boxes, because it won’t look good when you turn up for your first day of lectures unprepared and having to borrow a pen!

5. Find out what support is available

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Although you may not need any support right now, it’s worth finding out what help is available to you throughout the year – and the entirety of your time at university, should you need it.

Universities have a variety of different departments and staff on hand to help offer support and advice on things such as money, careers, mental health and wellbeing, learning difficulties and religion, should you ever need it.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and if you’re experience a problem or have something on your mind that is worrying you, you should always speak to someone.

We hope that you enjoy Fresher’s Week and life at university. Remember to enjoy yourself and make the most of your time as a student!

Finishing University

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Students all around the country are finishing university. For some of you, it’s the end of your first year. Phew, you made it! But for others, it’s the end of your final year and your time at university. If that’s you, how are you feeling right now? Excited? Sad? Nostalgic? Nervous?

Well, you’re probably not alone. This time in your life is what we know as “the end of an era” (you may have heard the saying before, perhaps when you finished primary school and then again when you left high school). It’s the end of a journey, all of your hard work and determination has paid off; you’ve made it. No more exams, no more revision, and no more coursework – dissertation complete!

It won’t be long until you’re holding your certificate, wearing your gown and jumping in the air with your hat at your graduation. This is when the emotions really kick in. Life is changing and it’s time to move onto the next chapter of your life.

And whilst saying goodbye to your sidekicks may be difficult right now, just remember the good times you’ve had together. They’ve been by your side since the beginning – through thick and thin. You’ve lived, partied, laughed and cried with them. You’ve supported each other and been there for the selfies through the fun times, and let’s not forget the hard times, whilst under pressure – you’ve listened to one another moan and been there to cheer each other up. After all, that’s what friends are for.

Now you’ve all finished your degrees and university is officially over, you should get everyone together for one last celebration before you all leave. Saying goodbye will never be easy, but this should be a happy and exciting time, so enjoy it! And don’t worry, just because you’re leaving university, all the amazing memories, achievements and friends you made will always be there. They never change. The main thing is that as you all go off in different directions, you’ll stay in contact with the people that mean the most to you. Think of all those great reunions and get-togethers you can organise for the future!

But what about now, what will you do? Move back to your family home? Get your own place? Travel the world with friends? Move to another city for work? There are so many opportunities flying your way… Do WHATEVER makes you happy!

So, although your “uni days” are over, summer is here (which makes everything better), and so is the start of many more good times to come. There’s no exact way to feel right now, it’s a rollercoaster of different emotions. Just relax, enjoy the sunshine and wait patiently for your results – you’ve done it!

Once again, from everyone at One Penrhyn Road, well done for finishing university. Whatever you decide to do from here we wish you the best of luck, and remember the world is your oyster!

If you’re heading back to university in September, or if you need a place to stay over summer, why not live with us here at One Penrhyn Road? Contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas.

(Seriously…) fun study tips

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It’s that time of year again; Easter is upon us and those dreaded exams are on the horizon. We can probably all familiarise with the last minute panic, the cramming of information and the all-nighter’s which make you debate your existence. But fear no more. Here at One Penrhyn Road, we’ve put together some (if I do say so myself), hilarious tips for you to take the edge off this stressful time.

1. Make up a song

“Mrs. D, Mrs. I… Mrs. F-F-I, Mrs. C, Mrs. U, Mrs. L-T-Y.”

If you’ve ever seen the film Matilda, then you’re more than likely remember the above. Why? Because this simple – but catchy rhyme on how to spell the word ‘difficulty’ sticks in our minds. So, whether its important dates in history, a sequence of numbers or a complicated matrix, put them into a jolly little tune and your brain should remember it – the mind is amazing!

2. Look at cute animalsbunny-rabbits-sunshine

According to science (and we all know that when this term is used it is legit), looking at cute and adorable pictures of animals – be it bunnies, kittens or puppies, can actually make you more productive. So when you feel your motivation slipping, take a few minutes out to admire an image of a furry friend!

3. Have a boogie

Now, this might sound like a very strange idea, but hang on in there. Let’s explain. Have you ever noticed how as soon as you leave your desk you start thinking about things? Well the next time you find yourself at a standstill with your studies, why not use this as a technique to boost your inspiration? Get up from your desk, have a boogie, head out for a walk, or even take a shower – after all, inspiration can strike us when we least expect it. Then, once you return to your desk you’ll be ready to continue your studies!

4. Doodle

chalk-board-with-doodlesWhen you’re in lectures and you just don’t have enough time to write everything down, you might end up scribbling diagrams and drawing random things to help you remember. Follow this simple method and turn your drawings into visual study notes. The brain L.O.V.E.S associating images with words. Did you know visuals are processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text? And we actually remember 80% of what we see compared to only 20% of what we read! If that’s not a reason to draw then I don’t know what is?

5. Give yourself a breaktime-for-a-break

If you’re going to take on board any tip from this blog today, please take this one away with you… No matter how hard you are working for those exams always remember to take a break! You won’t do yourself any favours by running yourself into the ground with too much revision. You’ll feel tired, stressed and a lack of motivation to continue. So, always allow some ‘me’ time – whether it’s lunch with your friends, a game on the computer or a film at the cinema – take a short break and when you return you will feel more relaxed and likely to absorb more information.

We hope these top tips have made you giggle and forget the life stresses for a few minutes. GOOD LUCK over the next few months and remember…

TAKE A BREAK!

If you’re in need of a place to live while you study in London, contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas at One Penrhyn Road.

Student living at One Penrhyn Road

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Being a student isn’t just about the degree and qualifications you’ll get at the end of your course. Moving to a new city or even a new country to study, and living away from home is all part of the experience too. However, the prospect of life as a student can sometimes be daunting. But fear not. Here at One Penrhyn Road, we offer comfortable and stylish student accommodation to make you feel right at home, and we’re on hand to provide you with a welcoming, reassuring and stress-free experience during your stay. Below are just some of the reasons why our students choose to live with us…

1. Hassle-free living
Whether you’re living on your own for the first time or you’re in your final year, the last thing you want to worry about is paying the monthly bills. That’s why we make living on your own even easier by providing all-inclusive student accommodation – meaning all of your bills, from water to internet are included in your rent. With one less thing to worry about, there’s more time to focus on your studies and enjoy the freedom of being a student.

2. Independent living
Even though we take care of the bills, there’s still lots you can learn when living on your own. And living at One Penrhyn Road, you’re sure to develop your skills and become even more independent. With your very own combi oven and hob in all studio rooms, practice your cooking skills and cook up a storm in the kitchen. Then when you need clean clothes, it’s time to work the washing machines in the laundry room. And you’ll soon learn that you can’t always rely on someone else to get you up and out of bed in time for your lectures – that’s down to you now!

3. The social scene
We’ve got plenty of open, onsite communal areas for you to take advantage of. If your friends are living with us too, great – you can catch up and enjoy the space together. But if you don’t know anyone, then it’s the perfect place to socialise and get to know your fellow residents. After all, they’re probably in the same situation as you too. So challenge them to a game of pool, or strike up a conversation in the lounge. Plus, throughout the year, our team will host a number of events for you to get involved in and get to know one another better.

4. The location
If you’re studying at Kingston University or Kingston College, you couldn’t get much closer if you tried. Located in the heart of elegant Kingston Upon Thames, One Penrhyn Road is just 3 minutes away on foot from both – making it the perfect location for those students. And when you’re not in uni, the bustling town packed with shops, restaurants and bars will keep you entertained. Fancy heading into the city centre? Jump on the train at Kingston and you’ll be in the centre of London within 30 minutes.

If you like the sound of living with us here at One Penrhyn Road, contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas.

Christmas shopping on a budget

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The street lights are up, winter wonderlands are open and the shops are playing festive songs.  With December fast approaching and only a month to go until the big day, it’s time to start thinking about what Christmas presents you’re going to buy – and how much you’re going to spend.  But with the first semester of term almost finished, student loans may be spent and you’re probably a bit strapped for cash.  So, to help you out, we’ve got 4 top tips to help you be savvy with your spending, yet still give great gifts this Christmas.

1. Secret Santa
You’ve probably made good friends with fellow residents or students on your course and would love to buy them all a small gift – but that can be pricey. So, if there’s a number of you in a group, get together, set a budget and play Secret Santa.  This way, everyone gets a present but you’ll only buy one, and you won’t need to spend more than the set budget (e.g. £5.00) – saving you a lot of money.

2. Shop online
Sat at home on your laptop might not give you the same warm, festive feeling as walking around the department stores, but it will probably save you money. Try your luck and bag a bargain on auction website, eBay. Or use exclusive online discount codes for money off big name brands and shops. Plus, many shops offer free delivery or free collection in store which means it won’t cost you any extra to shop online.

3. DIY gifts
What better way to get into the spirit of things than with a bit of DIY to spark your creativity? Making your own presents is a low-cost alternative, which can also be fun to do. From filling glass jars with sweet treats or making novelty snow domes, to baking Christmas goodies or building your own hampers – there’s lots of homemade gifts to choose from.

4. Wait for the sales
You’ll find many shops start their ‘January’ sales early and slash their prices before Christmas has even passed. So if you can hold-off doing your shopping until just a few days before Christmas, you’re sure to make a saving. What’s more, if you’re not seeing family or friends until after Christmas Day, wait until then to do your shopping. Boxing Day sales are bigger than ever before and what you might have paid full price for the week before Christmas, you might find has 50% off after Christmas.

Fright Night at Thorpe Park this Halloween

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Fright Night at Thorpe Park is back! And this time, it’s bigger and better than ever before. This October sees the return of Fright Night live action horror maze classics including The Big Top, Saw Alive and The Cabin in The Woods. Plus, new for 2016, walk The Island’s deserted railroad at Platform 15 or venture into the black hills wood in The Blair Witch maze if you dare.

If that wasn’t enough to give you the creeps, then why not take a ride on one of the park’s thrilling rollercoasters? From the UK’s first winged rollercoaster, SWARM, to Europe’s fastest and tallest rollercoaster, Stealth, experience them all this Halloween in the dark.

With Thorpe Park less than 40 minutes away from One Penrhyn Road, it’s definitely a worthwhile trip if you’re looking for some scary fun this Halloween. Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights are on from 3pm during 21st – 31st October and tickets are available from £29.99. Find out more here.

Our London student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out of your student life. If you would like to find out more about living with us, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119. 

Kingston Freshers’ Week 2016

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You done it; you got the results, you’ve moved in and now it’s time for the fun (and hard work) to begin! And as a fresher in Kingston, there’s plenty for you to see, do and enjoy. Along with enrolment and other activities your university has scheduled for welcome week, here are two events you won’t want to miss…

Freshers’ Ball: Thursday 22nd September
Every year there’s a Freshers’ ball for students in Kingston and it’s one of the biggest nights of the week – so make sure you add this one to your calendar. This year’s ball is at Przym nightclub in the centre of Kingston, and there’s a circus theme too!

With special guest DJs, a magician, circus entertainment, face painting, a photo booth and much more – it’s sure to be a night to remember. Oh, and don’t forget to dig out your fancy dress costume to really get in the party spirit.

Freshers’ Fayre: Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd September
The biggest Freshers’ fayre in the South East returns to Kingston this September and it’s definitely one not to be missed. Taking place over 2 days the Kingston Hill Campus will be taken over by local restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and companies who will all be handing out freebies for you to get your hand on!

You’ll also be able to find out more about university life and what options are available to you as a student in Kingston – including the societies and sports clubs you can join, how to become a course or student representative, opportunities to volunteer and student jobs, plus much more.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to tempt you to visit then how about some free pizza? The fayre is being sponsored by Domino’s, which means free pizza for everyone!

One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out your student life. If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119.

Preparing for University this September

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So, the results are in and you’re heading off to university very soon – congratulations! Whether you’re attending your first choice university or you’ve applied to another through clearing, university can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. But while you wait for move in day and for the first semester to start, anticipation can build and you might feel nervous about the journey ahead. Sure, these feelings are expected but there really is nothing to worry about – after all, everyone will be in the same situation. But to make sure your university journey starts well, here are a few things you can do that will fully prepare you for student life.

1. Start packing
If you’re moving away from home, space might be limited in your new residence – particularly if you’re sharing with others, so pack sensibly. Of course, you’ll need the essentials such as clothes and bed linen, but you won’t need to bring the kitchen sink with you. If you’re staying in student halls or privately rented accommodation then find out if things such as a microwave, toaster or kettle are provided to prevent duplicating items. Also consider whether things such as kitchen utensils can be shared with flat mates to save on space and money. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your toothbrush – no one wants to share one of them!

2. Learn to cook
While takeaways and ready-made meals are convenient, they’re not the healthiest option – for both your waistline and your wallet. We’re not saying you need to be Gordon Ramsey, but if you can’t already cook (or haven’t had much experience of cooking), now is the perfect time to get practicing. From simple pasta dishes and healthy salads, to sweet treats and savoury snacks, there’s plenty of recipes available online which are quick, easy and cheap to make.

3. Choose your gadgets
Nothing beats a good old fashioned notepad and pen, but you’ll also need to decide which gadgets to pack for your studies. Smartphones are a popular choice (95% of students own one), as they make connecting with others and accessing information quick and easy. For researching, working on projects and completing dissertations, most students prefer to use a computer – in fact, 91% of students have their own laptop.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t got your own, the university campuses will have computers available on site for you to use, as well as printers and copiers. So before you splash out and make those big purchases, ask yourself do you really need it?

4. Connect with others
From Facebook to Twitter, social media is a great way to connect with others before you even arrive at university. Like Facebook pages for your chosen university or accommodation provider, and follow them on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest news, information and events. Search Facebook for any Groups at your chosen halls, course and even societies that you’re interested in, and then engage with those in the same location, on the same course, or those who share the same interests as you. Similarly, type a keyword into Twitter (such as Host) and see who else is talking about it and join the conversation!

Our London student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out of your student life. If you would like to find out how you can join them, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 to arrange a viewing.

Do something a little different with your free time this summer

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With summer well underway and the start of university for many students over a month away, there’s plenty of time left for you to enjoy yourself. While it’s great to catch up with family and friends over a few drinks or some food, relax in the park on a sunny day or indulge in a bit of retail therapy, sometimes it’s good to do something a little different.

And, one of the best things about living in London is the fact that there’s always something for everyone to do – regardless of budgets and interests. Here are just 3 different (and low-cost) things you can do in Kingston.

1. Looking in Wonderland
You’ve probably read the books and even watched the films, so why not take some time to admire the illustrations? From 23rd July – 17th September, a selection of the best of Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there, will be on show at Kingston Museum.

What’ more, inspired by the work of Sir John Tenniel, Couture hats made by fashion students at Kingston College, and tea cups made by members of Embroiderers Guild Kingston, will also be on display throughout the exhibition. It’s free to enter, so get yourself down to the museum and who knows, you might be inspired too!

 2. Kingston Markets
Take a step back from the modern and wonderful shopping malls and districts of London, and instead experience the local, vibrant markets of Kingston. Close to the river, you’ll find Kingston Ancient Market which offers fresh food – from fruit and vegetables, or bread and fish, to high quality and international produce.  The Ancient Market is open 7 days a week, 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Plus, on Mondays, you will also find the Monday Market which not only sells food, but also clothes, fabrics and more! This is located on the ground level of the Cattle Market car park – close to Kingston Museum.

3. Comedy Club
We all love a good giggle now and then, and there’s probably a good chance of having a laugh at a comedy club! The Outside the Box comedy club was founded in Kingston 10 years ago, and has had many notable comics perform at the venue including Robin Williams, Jimmy Carr and Russell Brand. As well as regular weekly performances at the club, it is also used by celebrity comics to road test newly written work. With tickets from just £10, see what tickles your fancy and make it a comedy night to remember.

Our London student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out of your student life. If you would like to find out how you can join them, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 to arrange a viewing.