Top tips to settle your nerves on your first day a
So you’ve got settled into yo...
So you’ve got settled into your new flat and now it’s time for your first day of studies! Are you feeling anxious? Is the thought of your first day at university a daunting one? Check out our tips to settle those nerves so you can start enjoying your new student life to the max.
Remember! Everyone is in the same boatYou are not alone! The vast majority of students will be feeling just as nervous as you are! Everyone around campus on the first day will be relieved to be on the receiving end of a friendly smile and hello.
Speak to friends and familySpeaking to friends and family will provide an opportunity to ask any questions ahead of your first day. Hearing their experiences of all the fun they had and the friends they made will help build your confidence and ease your nerves. Have you had chance to make any friends in your accommodation yet? Even if you’re not studying the same course, you could walk with them to university on your first day. Just don’t get too attached when it’s time to say goodbye!
Get up early and ease your way into the dayMaking sure you are ready the night before will ease your mind and let you focus on your first day. Frantically running around in the morning to find your notepad or uni campus map will only bring unwanted stress! Get up early, have a cup of tea or coffee, read a book or watch some TV to ensure your morning is a relaxing one. Your mind-set will be right for the day ahead.
Put yourself out thereWe know it’s much easier said than done, but try to strike up a conversation with the people on your course. You could talk about your summer break, where you’re staying, where you’ve come from or what you’re looking forward to the most about your new student life. You’ll be sat with them for the next few months at least, so making that initial effort can go a long way to making lasting friendships.
Are you going into your second, third or fourth year? Lend a hand to your fellow students!
Staying safe and secure in your student accommodat
While you spend the majority of you...
While you spend the majority of your university life having fun, it’s good to remember the importance of staying safe and vigilant in and around your student halls. We offer on-site security and CCTV at all of our sites but following our simple advice will help you keep yourself extra safe.
Don’t let tailgaters enter the propertyBe wary of people tailgating behind you when walking through gates or when swiping your fob to enter the building. If someone does try to tailgate you, ask them to show you their key fob. If they don’t have one, don’t let them in and report it.
Always lock your bedroom doorDon’t just lock your door when you’re going out, lock it even if you’re staying in. Keeping your bedroom door locked will help to keep your valuables safe.
Never leave your keys lying aroundMake sure that you always have your keys on you and don’t leave them hanging in the lock in the door. If you do lose your accommodation keys, report it to staff immediately.
If you see something suspicious, report it!It’s as easy as that. If you see someone or something around your halls of residence that doesn’t seem quite right, report it and call our 24-hour security team.
What NOT to pack when you move to student accommod
Before packing your bags to venture...
Before packing your bags to venture out into the world of university, it’s important to consider what you are and aren’t going to take with you to uni.
We have compiled a handy guide of items that you should definitely be putting in the ‘no’ pile.
PetsUnfortunately we don’t allow pets of any kind, so you can’t bring your four-legged friend with you… Or friends with any number of legs for that matter (nope, not even a goldfish!).
CandlesWe can’t stress this enough, leave all candles at home, even the nice smelly candles. Reed diffusers do the same job of making your room smell amazing without the risk of fire, or the lesser risk of damaging carpets/upholstery with dripping wax. Don’t forget that any damage to your room is your responsibility and you will be billed at the end of your tenancy for any damage caused.
Fairy LightsAs cosy and as hygge as fairy lights may look, unfortunately plug-in fairy lights aren’t allowed. You can however go wild with battery powered sets.
Over the door hangersAs the main door to your bedroom is a fire door, we can’t allow any hooks or hangers that attach over the door frame. At all. Sorry, your safety is really important to us.
Large items of furnitureOur rooms are designed with as much storage space as possible, so there’s no need to bring any furniture with you. Leave all shelves/dressers/bulky items of furniture at home.
Excessive amounts of kitchen gadgets/utensilsAlthough you may want to bring all your utensils with you, we do strongly recommend keeping things simple. If you think it’s an essential kitchen gadget, feel free to bring it along but don’t forget that you are sharing your kitchen space (unless you are renting a studio apartment), and you don’t want to be known as the person hogging the storage!
Electric heatersDue to the fire risk that some electric can pose we don’t allow permit the use of them in our halls. We keep your room toasty with heaters and if you ever have any problems with the temperature, speak to the on-site team.
Furnished or Unfurnished, the pros and cons
Many landlords ask the question ...
Many landlords ask the question of whether they should rent their investment property out as a furnished or unfurnished unit. Landlords should rather ask what they want to achieve with this investment property. In most cases it’s simply a matter of opinion, neither option is right or wrong, it all depends on your expectations, approach and property type
Furnished rental properties
Furnished properties attracts short term tenants. Giving the opportunity for big and quick money, but ensuring far more management, cleaning and time.
Pros of Furnished properties:
Cons of Furnished properties:
Despite the cons, furnished investment properties can still work out to be extremely lucrative, especially if the property is able to tap into a high-end corporate or tourist rental market. For these gains to become reality you will have to work on your marketing plan. Especially considering your time sensitive and target market specific property. It is for this reason highly recommended that furnished investment properties are managed by skilled property management companies.
Unfurnished properties are usually the investment to make. One of the biggest pros is a consistent cashflow, making it the saver financial option.
Pros of Unfurnished properties:
Cons of Unfurnished properties:
Finding the best of both, Semi-furnished properties
By mixing the two options you can create yourself a semi-sweet centre between Furnished and Unfurnished rental properties. Consider adding the big furnishings to your rental unit, allow the capability of a short term and long term tenant.
You will however need to be able to store some of the furnishings, especially when considering a long term tenant. But allowing your tenants to be able to choose to keep your dishwasher and washing machine allows you to charge a small rental premium. While still allowing the freedom for your tenants to choose to bring their own bed set.
You should keep a few things in mind when considering this mix rental property option:
Parents looking for Student Accommodation
Your child has just been accepte...
Your child has just been accepted into their chosen University. More often than not it means they will have to find a place to stay that is close to the University. As parents, you will obviously want to look out for their wellbeing and safety when it comes to finding them the right place to stay.
So what are your options? You could try for on campus accommodation but if that doesn’t suit, then you going to have to look for private accommodation. Hopefully these tips will guide you in the right direction and make it easier finding suitable digs.1. Where to look
Most parents will take the obvious route and start by looking in the newspapers or on the internet. Police and university personnel have warned parents and students to be vigilant against fraudsters and scammers during the last minute rush for a room or a place to stay. Reports of students and parents having lost money by paying into bogus bank accounts by EFT, is not uncommon. This after they had seen an ad, responded and spoke to the person, deposited the money, never to hear from them again.
Parents are urged to verify the credentials of the persons advertising and report any suspicious findings to the police. They are encouraged to go through accredited agents such as University Gate.Once you find somewhere suitable, where possible try and inspect the place before signing any documentation. This isn’t always possible especially when you stay in Durban and your child has been accepted in Johannesburg. However, the last thing you need is your child moving into a cockroach infested room with a leaking geyser. More reason to go through an accredited agent.
In addition to all the other costs parents will incur sending a son or a daughter to varsity, the majority of parents won’t’ have an unlimited budget, so cost will be an important factor. Knowing your limits beforehand certainly will help to narrow your search. If your child has a friend or friends they know are also looking, you could consider looking for larger places to stay. Sharing with friends will help reduce costs withregard to rent, food and any other costs that may arise. However, as much as sharing can have its’ benefits, it can also have its‘ downsides. Late-night partying, disagreements amongst each other, fighting, lack of committing to study are just some of these. So parents should have heart to heart talks with their kids before committing to these arrangements.
Although, generally speaking, you may find accommodation closer to the university more expensive than what is further away, this shouldn’t be the only factor that you make your decision on. One should look at other important considerations
i) How far will one have to travel? Will it be a short walk, or will you have to catch a bus or train? Catching buses or taxis in peak hour means leaving early and getting back late. It’s not a bad idea to weigh up the cost difference between paying more to stay closer verses staying further away factoring in travel costs. You may be surprized to find staying closer actually works out less expensive.
ii) What facilities will you have in the immediate area? Travelling long distances to do a bit of shopping or maybe have a meal or watch a movie can end up being an expensive exercise in the long run.
iii) Safety should also be a priority. Try and avoid areas that look dodgy, no matter cheap the accommodation might appear.
As much as you might think you’ve got all bases covered, there are always those hidden costs that pop up. You more than likely will have to pay a deposit. This is normally equal to one month’s rent but rarely can be as much as two months’ rent. Are lights and water included, or are you paying for it. Is there internet, and if so, is this an additional cost. Then there’s the expense of food and entertainment. You wouldn’t want see you’re your son or daughter living on bake beans on toast every night!In closing, remember, this is not race. Whatever you do, make sure all your ducks are 100% in a row before signing any documents or leases. In the long run this will see you and your child in good stead.
THE 8 BEST THINGS ABOUT FLATMATES
When you live with a flatmate durin...
When you live with a flatmate during your university years, you go through a lot together. But apart from sharing the cleaning roster and going halves on toilet paper, there’s plenty more to like about having a flatmate…
1. Your network of friends suddenly broadens.Chances are, since you’re both studying at university you may have a lot in common and could become best friends. Even if you don’t hit it off with your flatmate, they may have a group of friends that could soon become yours.
2. There’s a free wardrobe at your disposal.If you’re both the same size you can borrow each other’s clothes and avoid the cost of purchasing a new outfit.
3. You can watch your favourite TV series together.Whether it’s Game of Thrones or House of Cards you have someone to watch your favourite show with. It’s also a good way to bond as flatmates!
4. They can help with your uni work.When you’re second-guessing an essay or paper, your flatmate can look over it for free.
5. They may help you get fit too.If you move in with a flatmate that loves nothing more than lunges and squats, you may just find your new fitness buddy.
6. You can share food together.Things suddenly get cheaper when you’re halving all expenses with your flatmate, especially the cost of your favourite food!
7. The perks of their job.Whether your flatmate works in a bar or your favourite fashion store, you’ll be able to draw on the discounts and perks of their job.
8. You’ll always have someone to talk to.If you have some great news to share, looking for advice or have a hard day at university or your job, your flatmate is the perfect person to talk to.