How to Start Off on the Right Foot with a Roommate

Since most schools pair students with roommates at random, whether you get along is often down to luck. However, there are things you can do to ensure you have a good relationship with your roommate, starting even before you meet.

1. Reach Out Before You Move In Together

Your student housing should be able to provide you with your roommate’s contact information. Send your roommate an email and ask if you can connect on social media to learn more about each other. Try to send the occasional message to check in with your roommate — you could talk about how your summers are going, voice any concerns about starting college, or coordinate what each of you is bringing to the apartment.

2. Have a Proper Conversation

In addition to messaging back and forth, make sure you have at least one real conversation with your roommate. This could be over video chat or even in person if you live close enough to meet up. Having a proper chat will help you feel like you actually know each other and make the transition of living together much less awkward.

3. Set Your Ground Rules

Establishing rules for your apartment may be an uncomfortable topic, but it’s important to do this as soon as you move in — if not before. You need to make sure you’re both on the same page about things like having guests over, chores, quiet times for studying, and sharing things like cleaning supplies, food, and any appliances one of you brought from home.

4. Attend Campus Events Together

Once you’re living together, get to know each other by finding activities to go to. In particular, you should find out what events are taking place on campus and attend together. Even though your roommate may still feel like a stranger, meeting new people will be much more comfortable when you already know at least one person.

5. Resolve Any Conflict Straight Away

You’re likely to face some issues with your roommate at some point — after all, you’re sharing a living space with someone who may come from a completely different background. Whereas setting expectations from the start should help you avoid any serious conflict, unexpected problems may still crop up. It’s important to address these in a calm and respectful way as soon as possible to prevent small disagreements from getting out of hand.

6. Expand Your Social Circle

No matter if you and your roommate end up becoming close friends or you just remain acquaintances, it’s important to have plenty of other friends. Don’t expect your roommate to want to do everything with you — go out on your own, try extracurriculars that match your interests, and take advantage of all the opportunities you have to meet new people.

If you live on campus, your school will likely pair you with a random roommate. However, we do things differently at Parkway Lofts: to make sure you have a great experience, we’ll match you with a roommate who has a similar lifestyle to you. All the students who live at our Brock University off-campus housing have their own room and most units also have en suite bathrooms. If you prefer, you can even lease a studio apartment to avoid dealing with roommates altogether. Apply now for the type of apartment you want and secure the lowest rates of the year.


9 Tips for Packing for a Student Apartment

Preparing to go to college requires a great deal of planning. One of the biggest tasks is figuring out what to pack. Make sure you’ll be comfortable and won’t forget anything important by following these tips.

1. Make a List

Before you start packing, make a list of what you’ll actually need. If you bring everything from your room at home, you’ll find you have many items you don’t need for college cluttering up your apartment. Worse still, you’ll likely neglect many essentials you didn’t need to own before now.

2. Pack All Your Toiletries

You may think it would be a good idea to purchase toiletries when you arrive at your college town to save space in your car. The problem with this tactic is many other students will have the same idea, meaning the local grocery store could run out. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’ll find your favourite brands. It’s best not to run any risks — instead, bring along large bottles of all the products you need.

3. Coordinate with Your Roommates

Reach out to your future roommates to find out what everyone’s bringing to the apartment. This will avoid you doubling up on essential items you can all share.

4. Find Out What Items Are Prohibited

Your lease should state what items you’re not allowed to bring to your student housing. If you’ll be living in an apartment, this list will likely contain just a few things. However, you can expect a long list if you’re moving into student residence.

5. Bring Clothing on Hangers

Since you need hangers anyway, it makes sense to pull your clothing straight from your closet still on the hangers. You can then store everything in a large garbage bag. This will also make it easy to unpack when you arrive.

6. Leave Behind Clothing You Won’t Be Wearing

Unless you’ll be staying in your college town year round without making trips back home during breaks, there’s no need to bring out-of-season clothing. It will only take up space — both in your car now and in your apartment later. Another way to reduce the amount of clothing you bring is to consider if you’re likely to wear something. Any items that have been sitting in your closet for more than a year are unlikely to make an appearance at college.

7. Have a Professional Outfit

You need at least one outfit to use for formal business occasions, such as for interviews and networking events. If you don’t have anything suitable already, take a shopping trip before you head off to college.

8. Pack an Overnight Bag

It will take you a while to unpack all your belongings. The last thing you want is to be searching among all your bags and boxes for the things you need right after you move in. Pack a small bag with all your essentials for the first couple days, including clothing, toiletries, medication, and a phone charger.

9. Bring Plenty Towels

Make sure you have plenty of towels — at least three bath towels is ideal. Having extra will mean you won’t constantly be doing laundry.

Avoid the need for packing furniture on top of all your personal belongings by searching for a fully-furnished apartment. For Niagara College student housing, there’s Parkway Lofts. Our luxury studio, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments come with everything you need: quartz countertops in the kitchens, premium finishes, and free WiFi. Apply now to secure the type of unit you want.


Tips for Managing Your Time Well

If you have a full schedule of classes, a couple extracurriculars, and other commitments like a part-time job, you may often feel like there are too few hours in the day. However, managing your time better can free up several hours each week, which you can use to accomplish more and take some well-deserved time off.

1. Figure Out Where You’re Wasting Time

For a couple days, make a note of how exactly you use your time throughout the day. You may find more time is going toward time-wasting tasks than you realized. For instance, you may mindlessly check social media whenever you have a free moment or regularly interrupt your study sessions to send a text.

Once you’re aware of how you’re wasting time, you can take steps to improve. This could involve keeping your phone out of reach when you’re studying, turning off notifications, or setting daily limits for certain apps.

2. Create a To-Do List

To ensure you stay on track with meeting your due dates and larger goals, you need to be clear about what you want to accomplish each day. Create a to-do list of tasks in order of priority. Once you’ve finished your highest-priority tasks, you can work on whatever resonates with you the most. For example, you may be more in the mood to read than to write a paper.

3. Stop Trying to Multitask

You may try to save time by multitasking, but this tends to mean you spend longer on the tasks and reduces the quality of the results. It’s much better to stay focused on one thing at a time, even if the task seems simple enough to multitask.

4. Complete All Your Smallest Tasks

It’s worth starting your day with tasks you can complete quickly. Completing a large number of tasks in a short period of time will help you feel like you’ve achieved a lot and may give you the motivation you need to start working on larger projects.

5. Have a Weekly Routine

Sticking to a routine will mean you always know what you should be doing, which can help you be more productive. Figure out what kinds of activities fit best into the free time you have between classes and what time of day you’re most in the mood for a particular type of task.

6. Take Breaks

Although it may feel like you can’t afford to stop, breaks are essential for preventing burnout. During a long study session, short breaks are important for maintaining your focus, whereas you need a few hours off occasionally to give your mind a proper rest. Both will improve your overall productivity.

You can stop losing time to an unnecessary commute by living close to your classes — but this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice comfort and privacy by moving into student residence. You can find Brock University off-campus housing at Parkway Lofts. You’ll be living just across the street from campus and will have everything you need on site, including a fitness center, laundry facilities, and study rooms. Plus, there are restaurants and shopping nearby. Apply now to upgrade your university experience.


5 Healthy Habits for Students

When you start college you gain all the benefits that come with independence — but you’ll also need to learn to be responsible. In particular, it’s up to you to develop healthy habits to avoid illness, stay fit, and maintain mental wellness.

1. Sleep Enough

One of the most difficult healthy habits to adopt at college is sleeping enough every night. Whether you’ve been invited to a party, you end up staying up late studying, or you just lack the discipline to put away your phone and go to bed, you can quickly find you become sleep deprived. This will make it difficult to focus in classes, produce high-quality papers, and manage your mood.

Setting a bedtime is key to sleeping enough. However, if you’re struggling to fall asleep, there are additional things you can do. This includes putting all screens away at least an hour before you want to sleep, cutting caffeine after the early afternoon, and finding relaxing activities to do before bed, such as yoga, stretches, or drawing.

Finally, you may need to have a strategy for parties and other events that run late. For instance, there will likely be times when you need to come home before the party ends, especially if you have an early class the next day. This may be disappointing at the time, but you’ll be glad you did when you’re not feeling exhausted.

2. Keep Your Apartment Clean

Few people enjoy cleaning, but it’s essential to your health. Make time every day to do a little cleaning and have a schedule for larger chores. For example, you need to periodically change your bedding, wipe down surfaces, and clean the bathroom. Make sure you also frequently open the windows to let in some fresh air, even during the winter.

3. Eat Balanced Meals

Although eating well is obviously key to staying healthy, it’s easy to slip into bad habits at college when convenience food surrounds you on campus. Unfortunately, a poor diet can impact your academic performance, lead to lower energy levels, and ultimately make you feel worse than if you had eaten something healthy.

The best way to eat balanced meals is to cook for yourself. Try to include many vegetables, experiment with different recipes to keep things interesting, and avoid ultra-processed foods. In addition, stock up on healthy snacks to avoid temptations between meals.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

You may feel tired or rundown simply because you’re dehydrated. Drinking water is the best solution — it has no calories and it’s free. Carry a bottle around with you at all times to avoid the need to purchase beverages.

5. Exercise on a Regular Basis

Staying physically fit is crucial for your health. Make exercise a part of your regular routine by finding activities you enjoy, such as working out at the gym, joining an intramural sports team, or taking fitness classes. You’ll notice that exercise has immediate effects on your health, such as by improving your sleep, concentration, and mind–body connection. You may also find it motivates you to eat better and drink more water.

It’s easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have your own apartment than if you live on campus. You can find off-campus Niagara College student housing at Parkway Lofts. When you live in one of our luxury apartments, you’ll have your own bedroom in a fully-furnished suite. Plus, you’ll be able to use the common areas like the fitness center and the commercial-style kitchen, where you can cook meals with friends. Apply for a lease now to secure the type of floor plan you want.


Are Night Classes Right for You?

If you’re a full-time student, you may have only considered taking classes during the morning or afternoon. However, night classes are also available to you — and they could be a good option for a number of reasons. However, it’s important to note that they do also have a number of downsides. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to decide if they’re right for you.

Pro: Graduate Earlier

If you take a combination of day and night classes, you may be able to fit more into your schedule and finish a semester or two early. This can be appealing if you want to graduate as soon as possible to start earning an income.

Con: Miss Out on Social Events

For many students, the social side of university is important. Night classes may mean you’re unable to attend meetings for extracurriculars and could reduce how much time you have for socializing with friends. You may even be unable to go out after class if you have a large amount of homework.

Pro: Make Time for Other Commitments

If it’s more important for you to work than to socialize, night classes could be ideal. You can find a job with daytime shifts — perhaps something more related to your career goals than a part-time job during evenings and weekends could offer.

Con: Risk of Burnout

If night classes mean you take on a heavier workload and have more responsibilities, you may be exhausted. This puts you at risk of burnout. It’s important to not make any decisions that will mean your performance at university or health suffers.

Pro: Wake Up Late

Making it to morning classes on time can be a big struggle for some students, especially those who are not morning people or who like to stay up late. If you pick all night and afternoon classes, you may never need to wake up early during your time at university, which could be much more comfortable.

Con: Longer Lessons

Night classes often involve longer periods of time in the classroom. You’ll need to decide if you’ll be able to pay attention for the entire duration of the class. This could be extra difficult if you’ve already had a busy day or if you naturally find it easier to concentrate early in the day.

Pro: More Time to Prepare

Taking classes in the daytime often means completing homework during the evenings. If you won’t be filling your day with other activities (such as a job), you’ll be able to use the hours leading up to your night classes for completing assignments and required readings. Some students prefer such a schedule because it helps them feel more prepared for their classes.

If you decide to take night classes, it’s extra important to live near campus . However, there’s no need to live in student residence. You can find Brock University off-campus housing at Parkway Lofts. You’ll be just a 10-minute walk from campus and a short distance from plenty of restaurants and stores. Book a tour to check out the apartments and onsite amenities for yourself.


6 Qualities to Look For in a Summer Internship

One of the most challenging things about finding the right internship is knowing what makes a particular program a great choice. Whatever your field of interest, there are a few qualities in particular to look for.

1. The Chance to Explore a Career

If you have a career in mind you’d like to pursue after you graduate, an internship could be a great opportunity to confirm you’d enjoy working in the field. You may discover you actually want to go in a slightly different direction, which could influence what classes you take when you return to college in the fall.

2. Work on Important Projects

The best internships go beyond giving you the chance to try out what it would be like working in a certain field by allowing you to participate in a project that has an impact in the real world. At the end of the internship, you should be able to clearly point to what you achieved. Bear in mind that it will be much more fulfilling if you choose a project that is meaningful to you.

3. Something That Will Look Impressive on Your Resume

Many students graduate with only limited work experience — your internship is likely to be your most relevant experience. Choose something that will make a great impression on employers when you’re applying for jobs.

4. The Skills You Need

Consider what kind of skills you need that you won’t learn at college. Employers will be extra impressed if you’re able to develop skills to a high level during the short period of an internship.

5. Test Your Current Skills

An internship shouldn’t just be teaching you new skills. In fact, the majority of work you do should put what you learned in the classroom into practice. This will help you see what you enjoy doing, as often it’s often quite different to apply skills than to learn them.

6. Great Contacts

In addition to giving you the chance to gain skills and experience, an internship is an opportunity to make contacts in the field. Of course, it may be difficult to know what kind of people you’ll meet before you start working. However, researching the company culture, reaching out to people who work at the company, and simply listening to your gut during the interview can tell you a great deal.

In addition, find out if the internship has a support system for students that includes access to executives at the company. It’s ideal if you can meet someone who will become your mentor.

Since the dorms on campus will most likely be closed, you’ll need to find somewhere to live over the summer. You can find Niagara College student housing that’s available year round at Parkway Lofts. You’ll have your own room in a shared apartment or a studio apartment to yourself. In the evenings, you can meet other students and relax in places like the common area, multipurpose room, and fitness centre. Apply now to secure your spot in time for your internship.


7 Tips for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Having a great idea for a business is not enough to become a successful entrepreneur. Whether you want to start a business while you’re still at university or wait until after you graduate, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.

1. Understand the Market

Your market research needs to look at what customers want and where existing businesses are falling short. Identify a unique selling point that will mean customers have a reason to choose you over your competitors.

2. Create Your Strategic Plan

Once you have an understanding of the market and its potential, you can create a strategic plan. This will state what you want to achieve with your business venture and how you’ll reach your goals. You should have specific objectives along with a timeline to reach them, an idea of the hurdles that may stand in your way, and a list of resources you need to acquire. Consider both the best and worst case scenarios to ensure you have a shot at success.

3. Attend Networking Events

It’s important to network with people who may be interested in investing in your company, customers who can tell you what they’re looking for, and experienced business owners who can advise you on how to avoid making the same mistakes they did. To meet these people, join networking events, attend meetups for entrepreneurs, and reach out to your target customers.

4. Find a Mentor

At networking events, see if you can connect with someone who is willing to be your mentor. Someone who has experience in your particular field is ideal. Make sure you ask plenty of questions — and always heed the advice your mentor gives you.

5. Fund Your Venture

Even low-cost business ideas require some funding to get off the ground. The good news is you have multiple options: you could start a crowdfunding campaign, take out a loan, contact angel investors and venture capital firms, or research government grants for young entrepreneurs.

6. Work on Your Credit Score

You’re more likely to receive approval funding if you have a good credit score. As a student, the best ways to do this are to pay your rent and bills on time and pay off the balance on your credit card in full each month.

7. Keep Up with the Latest Trends

A change in your industry could mean you need to rethink parts of your business idea. Stay up to date with industry news, including the latest technology and innovations. Monitor the tactics your competitors are using that have led to both success and failure.

You’ll also need somewhere you can work on your business idea in peace and have phone calls with people who are interested in becoming involved in your venture. The only way to gain this kind of atmosphere is to live in an independent apartment. Parkway lofts offers Brock University off-campus housing that has everything you need to be successful. In addition to a private bedroom in a shared or studio apartment, you’ll be able to meet new people in the common area lounge, have a workout at the fitness centre, and walk to nearby restaurants and stores. Take a virtual tour to explore all the facilities.


A Guide to Hygge for College Students

The Danish concept of hygge has taken the world by storm. Since it’s all about creating a welcoming atmosphere, it’s ideal for college students who want to create a home away from home. But what exactly is hygge and how can you apply it to your life?

The Definition of Hygge

There is no direct translation of hygge. The word describes a sense of warmth and a cozy atmosphere where you can fully relax. As soon as you enter a place that is hygge, your worries fall away and you feel safe.

Often, hygge means being with friends and family, but you can also be on your own, enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

The Hygge Aesthetic

Hygge has become one of the most popular interior design styles for homes in general, but it is particularly well suited for student apartments. College can be stressful. Having a welcoming home to come back to at the end of the day can help relieve some stress. Key to a hygge apartment are a comfortable place to sit, reminders of fond memories, and smells that make you think of home.

In addition to interior design, hygge can relate to your own appearance. Hygge clothing can be whatever you enjoy wearing. Layers are important in hygge, especially on chilly days. Scarves, thick socks, and any clothing in neutral tones and soft materials are ideal. Trends, however, don’t matter — in fact, there’s nothing more hygge than a baggy sweater from a thrift store.

Creating a Hygge Apartment

Turning your student apartment hygge doesn’t need to cost much — it’s actually better if you use things you already have. However, if you’ve just moved in and are looking for some decoration ideas, focus on soft lighting and a cozy feel. Fairy lights are a great alternative to keeping the overhead lights on, whereas candles can add both a glow and scent. You should also try to have plenty of throw blankets, pillows, and rugs. If you know how to knit, you could even make some things yourself.  Spending time knitting is definitely hygge!

Making Your Events Hygge

A central aspect of hygge is enjoying the company of others. There are several ways to make the events you host more hygge. Firstly, remember that just because you’re the host doesn’t mean all the responsibility falls to you. Hygge is about everyone participating equally. If you host a dinner or movie night, all your friends should contribute a dish or snacks. It’s even more hygge to cook something together, especially comfort foods that take a while to prepare. Everyone should bring an ingredient or two and participate in the preparation.

To achieve hygge at home, you’ll need an apartment that is possible to make comfortable and is big enough for you to be able to invite several friends over. You’ll find luxury Niagara College student housing at Parkway Lofts. We have studio, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments, all of which come fully furnished. All you need to do is bring your personal touch to make your home hygge. Book a tour now.


What to Look For in Student Housing

Since housing will be one of your biggest expenses while at college, it’s important to be selective about where you live. The huge number of choices can be overwhelming, but you can narrow down your options by looking for a few key features.

1. Great Location

The first thing you should think about when searching for student housing is where you want to live. As well as being near campus, look for amenities in the community, such as coffee shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants. You may also prefer a quiet neighbourhood where you’ll be able to study in peace.

2. Safety Features

Both the neighbourhood and the building itself need to be safe. Consider how comfortable you feel when walking around the neighbourhood as well as security features on the apartment building, such as locks and video surveillance.

3. Reasonable Price

Set a budget before you start your search to immediately rule out any housing that’s too expensive. When you’re figuring out your budget, take into account other expenses you’ll incur, such as books, utilities (unless these are included in the rent), food, and other essentials.

4. Public Transportation or Parking

You may be able to find apartments available for a lower rent if you live slightly farther from campus. However, this could be more problematic than it’s worth if you’ll struggle to make it to your classes. If you rely on public transportation, find out if there’s a bus stop near the apartment and a direct route to campus. If you have your own car, you’ll need parking near the apartment. Alternatively, you may find an apartment that’s close enough for you to cycle to campus, in which case you’ll need bike storage.

5. Furnishings

It’s ideal if you can find a fully-furnished apartment equipped with modern appliances. Not needing to purchase furniture yourself will lead to significant cost savings and avoid complicated logistics when you move out. Having laundry facilities and a full kitchen will make your life more comfortable.

6. Internet Connectivity

You’ll find it difficult to study at home unless you have a fast internet connection. Whether you’re taking online classes or doing research for a paper, you need reliable internet. Ideally, you’ll be able to access the internet in your apartment and other places in the building, such as dedicated study areas.

7. Sufficient Space

Avoid apartments that are especially small, as you’ll likely find you lack enough space for all your belongings. If you’re attending college a long way from home, you may have a large amount of clothing to suit all seasons — and you need to be able to pack away whatever you’re not using. You may also have equipment for sports and hobbies.

Whereas you won’t find most of these features with on-campus housing, you will gain all the above at Parkway Lofts. Our Niagara College student housing is designed with what students want in mind. We offer convenience, affordability, privacy, and comfort all in one place to bring you the college experience you deserve. Apply now!


Ways to Have a Successful Spring Semester

The start of a new semester is the ideal time to think about the things you could do to have the best semester yet. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure a successful spring semester. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Map Out Your Calendar

As soon as you have your class schedule, write the key dates on your calendar. Then, use this information to create a study schedule. If your classes involve any large projects, break them down into manageable chunks, setting targets to finish each part ahead of the due date.

2. Take Failures in Your Stride

It’s common to occasionally find a class is more difficult than you had expected or to receive a lower grade than you wanted. Instead of feeling down, take steps to improve. Visit your professor during office hours to ask how you can succeed in class. Remember, you can also reach out to your professors via email if you have an urgent query.

3. Use the Academic Resources Available to You

Your university has more ways to support you than just through your professors. For instance, academic advisors can ensure you’re on track for meeting the requirements of your major, librarians can help you find the resources you need for a project, and your campus writing centre can help you fine-tune a paper. Finally, if you’re finding a particular class especially difficult, you may benefit from a tutor.

4. Meet Someone New in Each Class

A big part of university is making social connections. Meeting people in your classes is particularly advantageous because it can improve your motivation. Aim to meet at least one person in each class to have someone you can study, discuss doubts, and share notes with (such as if one of you needs to miss a class).

5. Participate in Plenty of Extracurriculars

Another way to meet new people and enrich your experience at university is to join clubs, organizations, and intramural sport leagues. These are great for developing skills outside of classes (such as leadership skills), discovering new interests, and staying fit.

6. Improve Your Study Practices

You may need to experiment with a variety of study habits to find what works best for you. For instance, whereas some people work best in a quiet environment, others are able to concentrate better if they listen to music or when they’re around other people. You may also discover you’re more productive at particular times of day. Lastly, it’s worth figuring out how long you can stay focused before you need a break.

You’ll be more successful at university if you feel comfortable where you live. Use your free time over the spring semester to search for better housing. Now’s the ideal time to start your search, as the best places are more likely to have availability. For Brock University off-campus housing, there’s no need to look far: you can move into Parkway Lofts. You’ll be just a short distance from campus and have access to a range of great amenities. Apply for a spot now!