Staying safe at your student accommodation

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Just moved into your student accommodation? No matter whether it’s your first time living away from home, or you’re starting your final year, it’s important to consider the safety and security of your belongings and those living at your accommodation as you go about your day.

So, to help improve the level of security at your accommodation below are some simple steps for you to follow.

1. Keep it shut
Burglaries can happen because doors or windows are left open. So, when you’re leaving your accommodation always make sure you close windows and lock doors behind you as you head out – don’t make it easy for someone to get in!

2. Hide any valuables
When you’re not in your room or flat, don’t leave any money or valuable items such as phones or laptops on display. Keep them hidden and out of sight so anyone looking to break in will struggle to find anything of value.

3. Hang onto your keys
Keep your keys and fob into the building and your room on your person at all times and don’t lend them to anyone else. If you lose your keys and/or fob, you should report it to reception immediately so that the access can be cancelled, and replacement ones can be issued.

4. Don’t let strangers into the building
If you’re accessing the building or flat, it’s only natural to hold the door open for the person coming in behind you. But you shouldn’t allow for anyone you don’t know to follow you into the building/flat/room. Any visitors to the accommodation should be signed in at reception.

5. Lock up your bike
If you’re bringing a bike to university with you, be sure to secure it in the designated bicycle storage area at your accommodation. Even if it is kept in the bicycle storage area, you should still keep it locked up with a quality lock to minimise the chances of it being stolen.

Combined with an on-site management team, electronic door entry systems, intercoms and CCTV, following the above steps will help to ensure that everyone who lives with us enjoys a high standard of security and the safest possible environment 24/7.

If you have any questions about our student accommodation or living with Host at The Hivecontact us and our friendly team will be happy to help.

7 things to do when leaving your student accommodation

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Exams are finished, the sun is shining and university is finished for another year. It’s time to get out, make the most of summer and enjoy your freedom.

But before you do, you’ll need to pack up and move out of your student accommodation. And sometimes, knowing where to start can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

Instead, seize the moment and take the opportunity to have a cleanse and get things in order before you look to the future. And to help you out, we’ve put together a few handy tips and reminders for leaving your student accommodation.

1. Have a clear out

woman-packing-suitcase

Don’t just empty your cupboards, throw everything you own in bags and boxes, fill the car boot and hope for the best. Take time to sort through your belongings and decide whether you really need to be taking everything away with you; you’ll be surprised at how much stuff you have accumulated since moving in.

If it’s rubbish, throw it. If it can be reused, recycle it. And if it’s something you don’t want or need, but it’s still in great condition, give it to someone else who can benefit from it or make some extra cash and sell it – eBay and Gumtree are a great way to sell unwanted items.

2. Donate

Food-donations

Now you’ve sorted through your belongings, you might find yourself with a pile of things that you don’t want. You’ve offered them to your flatmates but they don’t want them either. So why not donate to charity?

Whether it’s unopened tins of food from the back of the kitchen cupboard, or great condition clothes that you no longer want, don’t just bin them, donate to a worthy cause.

Local food banks such as The Trussell Trust provide emergency food for people in crisis, and welcome any donations of non-perishable food. And charities such as Cancer Research UK or the British Heart Foundation, always appreciate clean clothing in good condition.

If you do have items you’d like to donate, pop down to reception and speak to the Host team as we can collect items from you on behalf of the charity.

3. Pack smart

Girls-Moving-packing

Before you chuck everything in boxes, think carefully about what you’re packing and when you might need it.

Pack any items you’re less likely to need such as decorative items and kitchen utensils, pack at the bottom of boxes. And any essential items such as phone chargers and your toothbrush should be packed at the top and easy to access; you don’t want to be rummaging through all your boxes trying to find these items.

If you’re packing fragile or sharp items such as glasses, picture frames and knives, wrap them up and keep them safe. You don’t want any accidents or damages in transit, so use bubble wrap, clothing or newspapers to protect your items.

4. Update mail

Posting-Letters

If you’re leaving your student accommodation, it means you’ll no longer be living at that address. Which means, any mail and deliveries you currently receive to your accommodation will need to be redirected to your new address.

From mobile phone contracts to online shops, the easiest way to avoid missing any post or parcels, is to update your billing and delivery addresses on any accounts, bills and documents that you have.

5. Clean

Deluxe-Studio-kitchen

When you’re ready to vacate your room, don’t just up and leave your accommodation without giving it a good clean before you go. Your room was left in a good, clean condition when you moved in and should be left how you found it.

Try to tackle the mess and clean as thoroughly as you can. Having a clean room and flat will help to ensure you pass the room inspection upon checking out and avoid any additional charges incurred from hiring professional cleaners to come in.

6. Make use of storage

pinglocker-logo

If you’re leaving your accommodation, but don’t have a new place to move into straight away then you might be wondering what to do with all of your belongings.

A simple solution is to put everything into storage temporarily. There are lots of storage providers such as Pinglocker who offer affordable and convenient student storage in the UK.

They make it easy for you by sending you boxes, collecting your items to put into storage and they can even re-deliver your items to your new address when needed; it’s storage made simple.

7. Return your keys

the-hive-reception

Amongst the commotion and hustle and bustle of moving, it can be easy to forget to hand your keys back to reception. But if you don’t return them, you could incur additional charges for replacements keys.

So, make sure you leave them out on the side and don’t pack them away. Then as you leave your room, they’ll be clearly visible for you to see and remember to pick up.

Pop them into reception and say goodbye to the Host team as you make your way out of the building and leave your accommodation.

Whether you’re leaving because you’ve finished uni, or are just moving out for summer, we hope that your move goes well and you enjoy the next chapter of your journey. And if you’re returning, we look forward to welcoming you back for the new term in September.

Mental Health Awareness Week

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This week (14th – 20th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of this year’s campaign – which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is stress. And although stress itself isn’t a mental health problem, it is linked to our mental health because too much stress, for too long, can make us ill. If unaddressed, stress can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which can lead to self-harm and suicide. Stress can also affect your physical health and cause problems such as cardiovascular disease and problems with your joints and muscles.

mental health awareness week

As a student, there are times throughout your time at university that you may feel stressed or overwhelmed such as when sitting exams. However, there are things you can do which will take your mind off things and help you to feel less stressed. Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Exercise: your physical and mental health are connected so eat well and exercise regularly to release endorphins – which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Whether it’s riding your bike, playing a team sport, or hitting the gym, find an activity that you enjoy and you can fit into your schedule.
  2. Have fun: your life shouldn’t revolve around studying and exams. Yes, you’re at university to learn and get a degree, but you should also make time to have fun and embrace life as a student. From catching up with friends or watching a movie, to shopping or a night out, it’s important to set aside time to have fun and indulge because the positive emotions can help build a buffer against stress.
  3. Learn a new skill: Having a hobby can be the perfect way to unwind and take your mind off feeling stressed, and trying a something new can be fun too. So why not try learning a new language, playing an instrument, painting a picture or joining a photography class – the options are endless.
  4. Switch off: In this day and age, it’s too easy to get caught up with things going on around you – both online and offline. So, take some time out and step away from any distractions to have some ‘me’ time – that includes turning off your phone! Even if it’s just 10 minutes each day, make time for yourself as regular part of your routine.
  5. Talk to others: It’s OK to feel stressed, we all do at different stages in our lives. But it’s important to share how you’re feeling and not keep things bottled up. It’s OK to ask for help and support from others. Whether it’s a friend, flat mate, university lecturer or a staff member at your accommodation, there is always someone to turn to.

If you are concerned about your stress levels, please pop to Reception and speak with our friendly team and we will be happy to help. You can also find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here.

5 small changes for a healthier day

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Contrary to popular belief, student life isn’t just fuelled by Pot Noodles and alcohol. Nowadays, students are turning to healthier options, and with a rise in social media apps such as Instagram, snapping shots of healthy, colourful meals and making your dinner time a masterpiece has become a common trend. But being healthier isn’t just about the foods that you eat, there are other small changes you can make to your daily student life that will make you feel healthier and happier!

1. Have a protein packed breakfast
It’s all too easy to hit the snooze button, oversleep and be rushing out the door to make it in time for your 9am lecture. And when that happens, breakfast can often be forgotten. But if you skip breakfast, your energy and concentration levels will be lower and as you become hungrier, you’re more likely to reach for the unhealthy snacks and junk food as a quick fix to curb those cravings. So, if you’ve got a busy day ahead, it’s a good idea to fill up on breakfast. Having a high-protein breakfast will keep you fuelled and focused for longer at university.

2. Take a walk
For the days you’re not running late or in a rush, why not take a leisurely stroll to uni instead of automatically opting for public transport? Walking will not only help to keep you fit, but getting outside in the fresh air can do wonders for your mental well-being. It gives you the chance to escape and have some ‘me’ time, process your thoughts and clear your mind. Plus, your wallet will thank you for choosing to walk too as you won’t be spending on travel costs.

3. Plan ahead
When it comes to eating well and avoiding those all too convenient takeaways and sugary snacks, planning and meal prep is key. Decide on some meals you’d like to have then do a weekly shop so you have everything you need. And on a day where you’ve not got much on, spend some time in the kitchen cooking up some meals that you can portion up and keep in the fridge or freezer to have the rest of the week. Whether it’s a packed lunch in between lectures or dinner back at home in the evening, knowing what you’re going to eat in advance will save you time, money and probably your waistline too!

4. Drink aware
For a lot of students, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a drink or two on a night out (or a night in). But rather than going heavy on the pints or guzzling the wine, why not opt for a single spirit with a low-calorie mixer instead? This choice of drink has far fewer calories in than beer and wine. And when you’re contemplating whether to have that last drink of the night before you head home, you could always opt for a soft drink instead – a decision you’ll probably be glad of the next morning!

5. Sleep longer
Now here’s one you’re probably not going to argue with; getting more sleep. Yes, you heard that right, where you can you should try and sleep for longer. Getting a good night sleep while studying will do you wonders. You’ll wake up feeling energised and ready to take on the day ahead. But that’s not the only reason sleep is important, studies have found that losing just 30 minutes of sleep a night can lead to long-term weight gain in adults. So, it’s time to hit the sack a little earlier at night or when you don’t have an early morning lecture, it’s a great excuse for a lie in.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for September 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

How to be more productive in 2018

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With a New Year here, it’s the perfect time to ditch any bad habits and make 2018 an even more productive year. So, whilst attending all of your lectures is great, how productive is it if you sit through them without taking any notes and leave the lecture empty handed? Can you really remember all of the important information off the top of your head? Or what if you spend hours and days writing an assignment and then your computer breaks? That’s a lot of wasted time and effort, that you’ll have to redo all over again.

Although not everything can be prevented and you will likely come across set-backs and times of misfortune where hours are lost and you’ve not got done things done as well or as quickly as you’d like, but there are some tools you can use that will certainly help to make your life at university more organised and productive this year.

Task Manager
A class presentation, two assignments, research questions to answer, recommended reading and writing up your lecture notes are just some of the things you’ve got to do!

Keeping track of all of your tasks and to-dos can be tough, especially when more get added to the list before you’ve even had chance to cross off the current ones. With so many things to do running through your mind, it’s no wonder you forgot to buy the milk on your way home from uni.

So, to help you remember everything, why not use a task manager or to-do list app? It’ll allow you to get all tasks out of your head and in a place where you can clearly see them all together. Many apps such as Todoist, Any.Do, Remember The Milk, Asana and Trello allow you to prioritise tasks, set due dates, reminders and add notes. And when you’re done, there’s no greater satisfaction than checking off a task as complete!

Calendar
It’s always good to know what’s on the horizon so you can plan your workload and be sure not to double book yourself! From exam dates and assignment deadlines, to family visits and party nights, having them all in a calendar will mean you never miss a thing!

And in this day and age, keeping track of your social and academic life couldn’t be easier with calendar apps pre-installed on your smartphones and a whole range of other calendar apps available to download. You’ll be able to set reminders and add additional information to calendar events, so they’ll be no excuses for missed deadlines!

Note Taking
Attending lectures is great, but sometimes if you sit there without taking notes you may as well have not been there, as you probably won’t remember what you’ve been told or shown.

It’s important for your own reference and revision that any key information, dates, facts or figures, and useful websites or resources are jotted down so you can refer to them at a later note. And while good old pen and paper is fine for taking note, if you’ve got a mobile, iPad or laptop with you, why not use an electronic note taking tool such as Evernote or OneNote to type in notes during the lecture?

It’ll save you typing up any notes later, and you won’t have to try and decode any rushed or messy handwriting, as it’ll all be clearly typed up. You can easily edit your notes, and you can even add links, images and attach documents to them. An electronic tool allows you to save your notes to the cloud, so they’ll be no misplaced sheets of paper, and being online, you can easily access them and share with others too.

Storage
Having your work backed up is a must as a student. If your computer breaks or it gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to have to rewrite those essays all over again. One of the best ways to keep your work safe is to use a cloud based app such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Working online and saving files online will allow you to access your work whenever you like, wherever you are. So even if your computer breaks, you can login to your online account from another computer and your work will still be there – phew!!

Communication
Working on a group project with your classmates? Make the way you communicate with each other even easier by setting up a group chat. Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to invite members to the same group, where you can all chat together in one place.

Having a group chat will save time as you won’t have to send separate messages to each team member, it will save repeated conversations and help to avoid any misunderstandings. Everyone will be on the same page and will be kept in the loop with what’s going on.

We hope that some of the tools and methods mentioned will help make your life easier at university this year!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com