4 reasons why visuals are great for revision

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lost in reams of text-heavy paperwork? Tired of rewriting the same information? Feel like you’re never going to remember everything? These are just some of the common complaints when revising for upcoming exams.

There are many tried and tested methods for revision and what works for one person, may not work for another. But there is one method that may be worth trying; using visuals. Whether it’s diagrams, graphs, images, colours and the like, the use of visuals in your work has many benefits. Check out some of them below…

1. Visuals are easy to process

Your brain finds it much easier to process visuals than it does large amounts of text-based information. Words are based on a symbol system which must be decoded before they can be interpreted. Visuals on the other hand, require virtually no effort to process, meaning with just a glance you can quickly establish key information.

2. Images attract and engage

Too much text can very quickly overload your cognitive capacity, and when this happens information is likely to be lost and your revision productivity is likely to go down. Visual displays however, lessen the load. They are more concise, clear and interesting – which is just what you need when you’ve got lots of exams to revise for.

3. You remember what you see

Your ability to remember images is far better than your memory for words. Unlike words, which are processed by your short-term memory, images are directed through your long-term memory and so become deeply etched – making all your revision and exam prep unforgettable!

4. Colour keeps you alert

Colour is exciting and stirs up a response in us. It alters the level of alpha brain wave activity, which triggers human alertness – just the trick for getting you fired up to tackle your revision!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for September 2019, 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

9 tips for living with less plastic

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Plastic is all around us; in your home, university, shops, restaurants and even as you walk down the high street you’ll pass plastic products. But unfortunately, each year approximately 8.8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the World’s oceans which endangers wildlife, pollutes the water, and puts human health at risk.

And although some plastic products are hard wearing and used for long-term purposes, approximately 40% of the plastic waste is made up of single-use plastic items such as straws, water bottles and bags. However, with just a few small changes to your day-to-day life, you can help to make a big difference towards reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean. Below we’ve pulled together a few things you can do to reduce your use of plastic…

9 tips for living with less plastic

Keep an eye out on our blog for the latest news and tips for students.

For more information about our student accommodation and living with us here at The Hive, visit our website or contact us and we’ll be happy to help. 

London at Christmas

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

It’s that time of year where some of the most popular, well known West-End shows re-appear for the festive season, and the Christmas lights are a sight you don’t want to miss. From ice rinks to Christmas markets, whatever takes your fancy, London is the place to be for the festive month.

Here are a few ideas for you to get out and make the most of London at Christmas…

1. Winter Wonderland

blurred-image-of-winter-wonderland

Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, is the ever-popular Winter Wonderland.

For over 10 years, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has been spreading the Christmas spirit throughout London, becoming a landmark event. Winter Wonderland has grown into a wide extravaganza with ice-skating, shows, roller coaster rides and attractions, street food stalls, festive bars and live music, with 2018 hoping to be one the best years yet!

The Wonderland is open now and will be open all the way up until 6th January 2019. It’s open every day from 10am-10pm (apart from Christmas Day), and is free to enter! So, even if you don’t plan to spend a lot of money you can still enjoy the Christmas atmosphere for not a single penny!

2. Ice Skating

Night-View-Of-Natural-History-Museum-Ice-Rink

Nothing says winter is here more than ice-skating, and London is home to various ice-skating rinks at this time of year. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, it’s an activity that nearly everybody loves! Some of the most iconic ice skating rinks in London include:

  • Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park – until 6th January 2019
  • Natural History Museum – until 20th January 2019
  • Canary Wharf, Canada Square Park – until 16th February 2019
  • Skyline skating at John Lewis, Oxford Street – until 6th January 2019

3. Christmas Markets

From festive gifts to mulled wine, the Christmas markets always prove to be popular with gift ideas and tasty foods. And once again if you’re looking to spend the minimal this Christmas, the markets deliver a festive atmosphere and a fun day out.

Here are some popular festive markets you can visit this year:

  • Winter Wonderlands Angels market
  • Southbank Centre Winter Festival and Christmas market
  • Camden Market’s Christmas Takeover
  • Christmas by the River at London Bridge

4. Shows

Whether it’s a classic West-End show or a seasonal pantomime, a trip to the theatre is one of the most popular activities in the city around this time of the year.

With a whole host of theatres to choose from including, the Royal National Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Cambridge Theatre and the Prince Edward Theatre, there’s something for everyone.

5. Christmas Lights

blurred-christmas-lights-london

London is a magical place at Christmas as the streets light up and the amazing display of Christmas lights illuminate the skies around the city. There are some popular areas for Christmas lights that many Londoners and tourists love to visit every year. Here are just a some of them:

  • Oxford Street – until 6th January 2019
  • Kew Gardens – until 5th January 2019
  • Regent Street – until 5th January 2019
  • London Zoo Light Trail – until 1st January 2019

All of the above are just a selection of some of the things you can do if you’re in London over the festive period. No matter what you’re doing, we hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy a well-deserved break from your studies.

If you have any questions about our student accommodation and living with Host at The Hive for the 2019/20 academic year, contact us and our friendly team will be happy to help.

Staying safe at your student accommodation

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

A day out in London with visitors

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If you’re getting ready to move to London for your studies, you’ve probably already got friends and family telling you they’ll come to visit. So, once you’ve settled into your new home, university life and you know a bit more about how everything in London works, you’ll more than likely have visitors knocking at your door.

But whether it’s your mum, dad, brother, sister, friends or even your grandparents, it can sometimes be hard and stressful to plan out a day full of excitement suited for everyone in this fabulous city. So, to help you out, we’ve pulled together a detailed itinerary for the day if you have any visitors showing up at your doorstep…

10:15 am – Take the Central Line from Bethnal Green Station (Westbound – 7 stops) and change platforms at Bakerloo Station (Northbound – 5 stops). Get off at Paddington Station.

10:45 am – Paddington Station has an exit onto the towpath. Turn left and walk along the trail with the water on your right. Pass under the road bridge and you will come to the Waterbus stop (approx. 5 mins).

little-venice-canal-boats

10:50 am – You have now arrived at a magical place called Little Venice. This is a tranquil neighbourhood full of boat houses and cute riverside cafes and pubs. Here you will find the “London Waterbus Co”. These are the folks that will be taking you on to the next part of the adventure so hop on-board and enjoy the scenery.

11:00 am – As you are travelling along the canal you will have a choice to get off at London Zoo (if you wish to get off here you can pay for entry on the boat and avoid the queues at the main entrance), but for our itinerary we will stay on the boat and save the zoo for another day!

donuts-on-market-stall-camden-town

12:00 am – You have now arrived at Camden Market. This place used to be an old timber yard and was turned into a market during the 70’s. Since then it has become a place of art and cultures and home to various artists including Amy Winehouse! Please feel free to explore the different passages of the market and munch away on the delicious food this truly picturesque place has to offer.

3:00 pm – We will now be travelling all the way down to the edge of the River Thames so please head to Camden Town station (Southbound – 6 stops to Bank). Get off at Bank station and follow the signs to change platforms for the DLR (towards Lewisham). Try sitting at the front of the carriage on the right side. The views are amazing! Get off at Cutty Sark.

Greenwich-park-Royal-Navy-college

3:45 pm– You have now arrived at the borough of Greenwich. This place is filled with maritime history and it’s home to the Cutty Sark (a restored 19th-century ship), the amazing National Maritime Museum, and the classical buildings of the Old Royal Naval College. It also has a beautiful market and delicious food of all sorts. Please feel free to explore the area!

5:43 pm (RB1X) / 5:55 pm (RB1) – We will now be taking a boat ride along the River Thames. Please note that you have to queue in advance to secure a spot on the boat. You can pay using your Oyster card. The two boats that will take you to our next stop are the RB1X and the RB1.

6:30 pm – Get off at Embankment and walk along Villiers St until you see “Gordon’s Wine Bar” on your right. This magical place is a 19th century candlelit little wine bar, which has a great selection of cheeses and wines. It also has an amazing vaulted cellar and all over the walls you can see clippings from different major events since the place opened in 1890. We recommend sampling some of the cheeseboards and the tapas dishes. Enjoy!

When you’re ready to head back home, walk to Embankment Station and take the Northern Line (Northbound – 3 Stops), change platforms at Tottenham Court Road for the Central Line (Eastbound – 6 stops) and get off at Bethnal Green Station.

Summer in the city

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The UK has had the perfect start to summer already and we’ve heard that the wonderful weather is set to continue for a little longer. So, if you’re in London and have some spare time on your hands, then here are just some of the many things you can do during the summer in the capital.

Explore the parks
With almost 50% of London being green space, you’re never too far from a place to escape to and enjoy the summer sun. Amongst the open spaces and parks, there are eight royal parks all offering a variety of attractions and beautiful scenery including Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens and Richmond Park.

The best part? Exploring the parks is totally free. And if you’re after a little extra, there’s always something to do – from lounging in deck chairs and eating ice-creams, to rowing a boat on the lake and or hitting some balls on the tennis courts.

Take the plunge
When the summer heat gets too much, why not head to one of the city’s many outdoor lidos and dive straight in to cool off? One of the biggest lidos is the Grade II-listed Parliament Hill Lido which measures 60 metres by 20 metres. Other popular lidos include London Fields Lido, Tooting Bec Lido, Brockwell Lido and Charlton Lido.

And with plenty of additional facilities available at the lidos – from cafes and bars to fitness studios and loungers, it’s the perfect place to spend a summer’s day.

Quench your thirst
Enjoying the summer sun can be thirsty work. So, whether it’s a pitcher of Pimm’s, an ice-cold pint or a refreshing mocktail, there’s no better way to quench your first than with a nice cold refreshment.

And London is packed with pubs and bars with beautiful outdoor spaces, quirky beer gardens and stunning roof terraces, so you won’t be short of a place or two to soak up the sun and enjoy a cold drink.

If you’re in London this summer and need a place to stay then why not stay with us at The Hive? Summer accommodation available until 1st September 2018. To find out more, or to book, please contact the onsite management team at The Hive, who will be happy to help.

7 things to do when leaving your student accommodation

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Easter Weekend celebrations in London 2018

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

This coming weekend is Easter weekend. And whilst there’s no doubt many of you will be busy tucking into chocolate Easter eggs and sweet treats, if you’re in London for the long weekend, there’s lots more going on in the city to keep you entertained. Below are just some of the seasonal events taking place to celebrate the occasion.

  • Head to Trafalgar Square this Friday – which is Good Friday, and watch a spectacular performance of The Passion of Jesus. The event is free and involves 100 performers and animals re-enacting Jesus’s final days – from his arrest to his resurrection.
  • From Good Friday through to Easter Sunday, join an Easter weekend service at one of London’s many churches or cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Southwark Cathedral.
  • If you like chocolate then head down to Hampton Court Palace and you’ll be in for a real treat. Join the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt and admire the home and gardens of Henry VIII as you hunt for the delicious chocolate treat. And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your chocolate needs, you can even partake in some Royal chocolate tasting!
  • If the Easter weekend weather holds up, it’s the perfect time to step outside and enjoy some fresh Spring air. And there’s no better place to do this than at the beautiful Kew Gardens. You can even follow the Peter Rabbit trail among spring daffodils and crocuses, stopping off for lots of fun activities along the way.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Once you’ve eaten enough chocolate eggs to make you feel sick, and have enjoyed some of the above Easter festivities, it’s time to make the most of the 4-day weekend and celebrate in style with you friends!

  • Willy Wonka Easter Brunch Party – From chocolate fountains and a Willy Wonka inspired menu, to live DJs and Oompa Loompas, head to Bunga Bunga in Battersea on Good Friday for a brunch like no other.
  • South Place Cinema – There’s no better time of year to watch the classic films, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Chocolat than at Easter. Showing on Saturday 31st March and Easter Sunday respectively, take your pick and also tuck into a delicious two-course dinner following the screening.
  • If you haven’t had enough of Easter treats, then why not sample a unique Easter cocktail? Many bars and restaurants are serving limited edition Easter-themed concoctions. Check out these 7 best cocktails for Easter 2018 – with many of them available right here in London!

5 small changes for a healthier day

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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