I love how close my apartment is to the university.  Its like a 5 minute walk from my door to the classroom.  It gives me that much more time to...

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10 Things to Do Before the Semester Ends

Clean out your (figurative and literal) closet as the semester end approaches and be as ready as ever for summer!

 

1. Update your resume: Now is the time to be looking for summer jobs, so it’s also time to spruce up your resume. Make sure to include all relevant experience for the job you’re applying for and tailor it to that specific field. One amazing summer job coming right up!

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2. Sell old textbooks: If you’re strapped for cash – which is often the case near the end of the semester – sell your old textbooks back to your campus bookstore. You’ll also save yourself from having to carry a box full of heavy books home for the summer.

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3. Clean your apartment:  It’s time to get rid of all the dust that collected over the winter months. Oh, and open up your windows while you tidy because smells collect too. Your guests will thank you.

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4. Write down all the classes you weren’t able to take this year: Plan ahead for the next school year by writing down all the classes that you couldn’t get into. This way when the time comes to signing up for classes you’ll be ahead of the game. Watching Movies 101 here we come!

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5. Sign up for those yoga classes: They’re still on at 75 Ann Street, Residence on First, and La Marq 515 ;)

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6. See your advisor: Now is a good time to speak to your school advisor, so you can plan for next year and the grades you need to get for your classes this semester. They’ll even help you avoid signing up for the wrong classes!

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7. Study outside: Spring is here and the weather is heating up, so grab your books and your blanket and make studying outside part of your routine. Not bad for people watching either.

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8. Spend time with friends who live in different cities/countries: Make plans with your friends who you won’t see over the summer… or better yet, throw a goodbye party!

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9. Donate clothes you never wear: This will make a lot of extra space in your closet. It’s also a nice way to give back to your community :)  

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10. Make travel plans for the summer: Summer is definitely the time to travel, whether you can book a week or two off from work or you plan on doing a month-long Eurotrip. Travel while you’re young, they say!

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Quiz: Should You Live With Friends Or Your Significant Other?

Take our quiz!

February: the time of year when people share their feelings with the ones they love through thoughtful gifts and gestures… But it’s also the time when apartment hunting is in full swing!

So we thought we’d combine these two things and put everyone to the test. Are you considering living with your s/o, or would you be better off living with your pals? Answer the questions below to find out!

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1. Your idea of a perfect weekend is…

    1. Going out every night!
    2. Movies and snacks
    3. Hanging out with your s/o and their friends
    4. Fun activities with your group

2. Which feature in your current apartment/home do you value the most?

    1. Proximity to friends’ houses, the bar etc.
    2. TV and couch for chilling
    3. The privacy of your own bedroom
    4. Outdoor space for entertaining

3. What is your cooking ritual?

    1. Cooking for one is so hard!
    2. TV dinners
    3. Never cook only go out to eat
    4. You made too much food so you share with everyone or put into tupperware for leftovers

4. When you’re not with your s/o, what are you doing?

    1. Hanging with friends
    2. Hanging with my s/o’s friends
    3. Planning dates for me and my s/o
    4. Studying and working

5. How do you approach doing chores?

    1. Cleaning party… the more, the merrier!
    2. Clean my own mess and one other person’s… I’m not a maid
    3. Have a mutual understanding that each person does some each day
    4. Chore chart – everyone has their own responsibilities and a time to do them

 

Answer Key

Mostly A’s and D’s: You’re in the friendzone! Maybe you should put off living with your s/o for a little while and enjoy life living with your buddies.

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Mostly B’s and C’s: You would do well sharing your living space with your s/o and incorporating them into your life 24/7. Happy nesting!

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10 Ways To Get Back Into A Routine After Winter Break

The post-vacation blues is real. Very real.

 

Whether you traveled across the world during Winter Break or just lay around and binge watched Netflix on your couch, returning to school is one big uphill battle. Waking up early, being on time, and keeping on top of your school work… and all in negative temperatures!

We totally understand the lack of motivation après vacay, which is why we’ve brought to you 10 ways to get back into a routine after winter break is over. Follow these tips and have the most seamless return to school ever.

 

1. Make a study plan for the semester: Set goals you want to achieve in your classes this semester and take on your best study habits you learned from last semester. A great way to stay on top of things from the start is reading through your syllabus – knowing what is expected of you and writing down all important dates in your calendar helps you visualize your upcoming semester.

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2. Use the Fitness Room: Going the gym is so cliché you might say, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Regular exercise gives you that energy boost you need in the first week back and improves your mood so you forget about the pain of returning to school. Head down to our fitness room now!

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3. Make a meal schedule you’ll get excited about: This should include hearty breakfasts to fuel you up in the mornings and your favourite foods that’ll get you excited about cooking. #Nom

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4. Use a study room: The beauty of living at The MARQ/La Marq au 515 is the amenities we have to offer… and our study rooms will help you with this one. Spend some time during the first week to get your things together, whether it be school work, your part time job schedule, making a to-do list etc., away from the business of everything! Study buddies welcome.

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5. Make social plans: Making social plans throughout the week (but not too many so you forget about school!) will help you ease back into a balanced schedule. A happy medium between work and play is what we aim for.

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6. Attend yoga class: Going to our yoga classes once a week will help you with a number of ‘first week back’ issues.  Having trouble falling asleep? Yoga will help with that. Getting a cold? Yoga builds immunity! Suffering from migraines?? Yoga will ease the pain!

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7. Join a club, intramural sports team, etc: This will keep you busy and give you something to do other than school. Maybe you’ll become the next MVP of your team! 

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8. Make time for relaxing in your apartment: Kick back and relax every so often. Get to know the apartment you love so much.

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9. Embrace the things you didn’t do/have at home: Seeing your best friends, going out all night, wearing your new Holiday clothes, spending Holiday gift money!

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10. Be easy on yourself: It’s the first week back! Everyone is still half asleep from the holidays so you’re not alone. Soon you will back into the swing of things.

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10 Things To Do Before Heading Home For The Holidays

‘Twas the night before winter break, when all through the neighbourhood,

The residents were preparing, they were doing something good.

The kitchen was clean and the garbage taken out, so upon return in the New Year,

the students had nothing to worry about!

 

Make sure to do these 10 things in your MARQ apartment, before going away,

And all will be well when you return in January!

 

1. Set your thermostat: To avoid pipes freezing over the break, set your thermostat between 66-68 degrees. You don’t want to have to dress like this indoors…

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2. Turn off your lights: In the words of Nelly Furtado, turn off the light. This is important for saving energy and reducing fire hazards while you’re away, especially true for any Holiday decorations you may have put up (e.g. Christmas tree lights, plug-in Menorah).  

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3. Lock up: This one seems obvious, but many people forget to do this because of the excitement to return home. Make sure to lock BOTH your windows and doors, just to be safe.

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4. Empty your fridge: You don’t want to open your fridge after the break and say, “what’s that smell?” Get rid of anything that’ll grow mould, including leftovers and freshly bought foods. Tip: Avoid buying big loads of groceries in the last days of the semester so you don’t have to throw out good food. Only buy what you’ll eat!

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5. Take out the garbage (all of them!): Very very necessary. Enough said.

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6. Make a list of things to bring home: Never worry about leaving anything important behind with a “Things to Bring Home for Break” list.

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7. Have a roommate cleaning session: Plan a day to get everyone in your house together to collectively clean. You all live there so it’s all your responsibility… teamwork at its finest!

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8. Unplug all electronics (except your fridge!): Electronics that are plugged in but switched off actually use up a lot of power. Knowing they are all unplugged while you’re away gives you a good peace of mind too. No stress here.

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9. Tend to your plants: Don’t forget about your houseplants, they rely on you! Give them lots of water before you take off (but don’t drown them), so they stay hydrated over the break.

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10. Do your laundry: …Or bring it home. If you leave dirty clothes behind it’s very likely you’ll come back to the smell of old sweaty clothes and chores you don’t want to do.

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Now you’re ready to go home and have the best break ever! 

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15 Tips for Finding the Perfect Student Rental

Here’s 15 useful tips to help you find your next student rental.

1) Start your search early.

It may only be November, but for the off-campus housing market, it’s a popular time for students to look for properties for the following academic year. Start early to have your pick from the best of the best. Why not start here?

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2) Do your research.

What’s more fun than doing research for your 10-page essay? Researching for your next place to live, of course! Use all the online resources available to you to kick start your search. Aside from rental company websites, check out your university’s off-campus housing services and peer reviews

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3) Make a checklist.

Write down your must-haves and compare it to the properties you visit. You’ll quickly realize that you might have to compromise to find the perfect place.


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4) Location. Location. Location.

Want to live a skip away from all your classes and the campus library? Or would you love to have the grocery store, gym and your favourite nightly hangout at your doorstep? Take location into consideration because knowing where you want to be makes narrowing down your housing choices a breeze.

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5) Plan your budget.

Pretend you’re a financially responsible adult and develop a monthly budget to help you manage the added expense of rent payments, on top of all your other life necessities like Friday night liquor runs and Sunday hangover brunch.


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6) Get roommates.

Besides always having people with you to binge-watch Netflix, living with roommates makes monthly rental payments much cheaper.

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7) See before you sign.  

Self-explanatory. Always see something IRL and not just online.


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8) Visit more than one property.  

Visit at least 3 or 4 properties to keep your options open. Avoid falling in love with the perfect place then having to break up if things don’t work out. TIP: Book a bunch of viewings in one week to save time.  

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9) Ask questions.

Speak up! You should feel 100% confident about the details of your potential home away from home. Here are some good questions to ask if you’re unsure of where to start:

- Are pets allowed?

- What is your policy on overnight guests?

- Are utilities included in the monthly rental price? If not, what is the added cost?

- Do you provide cable and internet services, or am I required to look into that on my own?

- Have there been any major structural issues with the property in the last year?

- Have there been any infestation problems in the property within the last year?

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10) Be prepared to leave a deposit.

Most housing managers and rental companies will require you to leave a small deposit to secure a property you are interested in renting. Plan to have some extra income set aside for any of your scheduled property viewings. (Apologies if you can’t buy groceries that week.)

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11) Trust your gut.

If something in your lease seems out of the ordinary, trust your instincts and get clarification. Using a reputable rental company can also help take the guesswork out of the process.


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12) Read the entire lease carefully before signing.

Your lease is the binding legal document between you and your landlord so read it over (more than once if you have to!) before signing on the dotted line. Asking another person to read it over is also a good way to catch any red flags that you might have missed.

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13) Look into insurance coverage.

In the unlikely case of a potential burglary, fire or any other damage to your student rental, you’ll be glad you thought ahead and looked into personal coverage.

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14) Think about decorating.

 

When viewing properties, try to envision how your personal belongings will fit in the space. House hunting is also a good excuse to round up your roomies and take a thrift shop field trip.

 

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15) Move in.

Congratulations! You’ve found the perfect pad for you and your squad to call home for your next semester. The stressful part is over (but good luck moving in all your furniture). YAY ADULTHOOD!

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10 Brain Foods to Help Get You Through the Midterm Season

The month of October can seem like the best time of the year for university students – fall activities, school sports, the search for a perfect Halloween costume. That is, until the middle of the month rolls around and all those things are put on hold for one major event in the academic calendar: MIDTERMS.

It’s important to maintain an effective study schedule during midterms, but what’s equally or arguably more important, is making sure to eat properly. Late night bags of chips are tempting, but there are many better options that’ll keep you healthy and help you ace those exams.

Munch smarter this midterm season with these 10 BRAIN FOODS that are easy to make and proven to kick your brain into high gear:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

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Think twice before throwing away the insides of your freshly carved pumpkins! Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc, which has been proven to enhance memory and thinking skills. Toss the seeds in cinnamon and sugar, and then bake for a sweet and satisfying study snack.

2. Blueberries

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Whether by the handful or the cupful, blueberries pack a powerful punch and are the quickest snack to prepare. This tiny super fruit has both antioxidants and flavonoids, which boost memory and improve other cognitive functions. Eat them fresh, frozen or in this sweet berry parfait.

3. Roasted Chickpeas

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Low on energy? Skip the Red Bull and opt for chickpeas! Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) contain loads of iron, which will give you a much-needed boost during your major study marathons. Simply toss with olive oil and salt, or go wild with seasoning combos like garlic + parmesan or sesame seeds + soy sauce.

4. Apple Rounds with Almond Butter & Granola

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This quick recipe combines two super foods: apples and almond butter. Apples help the brain to think more clearly, while the protein in almond butter provides a steady source of energy. We give this snack an A+ for taste and convenience.

5. Avocado

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The avocado craze is still going strong and we can see why – rich in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, avocados contribute to a brilliant brain. If you’re bored with the standard lemon and salt dressing, up your avo game with these 17 delicious options (yes, we said 17!)

6. Bananas

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We’re bananas for the brain benefits of this super food! The high levels of potassium keep oxygen levels normalized and promote strong cell signal. Buy them by the bunch and try these bite size PB+B rollups during your next study break.

7. Broccoli

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We get it, the thought of eating broccoli doesn’t sound that appealing. But trust us, this vegetable sharpens your thinking, reasoning, and memory skills thanks to its high potassium levels. Charge up in-between memorizing chapters with this broccoli smoothie to reap all the brain benefits. We promise, your taste buds won’t notice.

8. Dark Chocolate

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Your brain (and sweet tooth!) will thank you. A daily portion of pure, dark cocoa can improve blood flow to the brain making your midnight cramming session a bit more bearable. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making this dark chocolate bark with roasted almonds and toasted coconut. But, don’t over-do it – too much chocolate can have adverse effects and send you straight into a sugar crash!

9. Salmon

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Remember this the next time you’re at the grocery store: fish and fish oils are a natural source of omega-3, which is proven to improve memory. Set your snack sights on these smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites the next time a study craving hits!

10. Whole Grains

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They say whole grain is the way to a healthy brain! Studying for long periods of time requires a steady flow of energy, and that’s exactly what whole grain food provides. Opt for this easy and delicious quinoa salad instead of heavy pasta or cereal bowls.

10 Décor & Organization Hacks for Your Student Apartment That Won’t Break the Bank

Moving into your own student apartment can be one of the most exciting milestones of your life – returning to your place can be equally as fun. So now that you’re all settled in and you and your roommates are all back under the same roof, it’s time to start decorating!

Need a clean and organized study space or a pop of colour in your bedroom but don’t want to spend all your savings? Well, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best decorating and organization techniques for your home away from home that won’t break the bank.

 

FOR YOUR DESK

 

Silverware organizer for desk drawer: Conveniently, pens and pencils are about the same size as your cutlery. Store the former in these organizers that you can get for cheap and fit really nicely into desk drawers.

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Binder clips for cord organization: Say goodbye to messy, tangled cords that can take up precious workspace. Secure those reckless wires on the side of your desk with a simple binder clip or create a shoebox home for your power cords and string them through cutouts in the side. Amazing.

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Jars for pencil holders: This may not be the most novel idea out there, but you can really turn this tried and true method into something more creative. Slap on a coat of paint or paste on some old fabric on a soup can or old mason jar, and you’ve got something brand new. You can pretty much find all these things in your basement at home – thanks ‘90s!

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FOR YOUR BEDROOM

 

Gallery Wall for multiple pictures: If you have a lot of pictures you want to hang in your room, a gallery wall is the way to go. All it takes is a few frames in several different sizes (dollar store!), a selection of your best photographs (trip to New York, yes… summer in Greece, yes!), and nails to hang. Then arrange them in whichever way your heart desires.

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Hanging Wall Boxes for storage and style: These hanging boxes, which you can get at any hardware store, will double as storage and decoration. Hang with a nail and string and voilà, you have a place to put a plant, books, or anything you have that needs a home.

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Shower caddy for school supplies: Who would’ve thought? The shower caddy finds a place in your bedroom, thanks to its perfect structure for storing school supplies. Swap out shampoo for scissors, and you’re on your way to having the freshest organizer on the block.

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Washi tape for decorating: This stuff is all the rage. You can use it to create your own wall mural – street art style – or use it to frame photos in a funky way, like they’ve done below!

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FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

 

Smartphone projector made from shoebox and magnifying glass: Find an old shoebox and cut a hole in the end. Then take your magnifying glass (again, dollar store) and tape it to the hole. Place your smartphone inside the shoebox, angle it towards the magnifying glass, and your screen will shine amazingness onto the wall. Movie night, anyone?

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Smartphone in jar as speakers – Another smart trick that’ll save you the cost of music speakers which aren’t cheap! Use it as your next shindig.

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Velcro on remotes: Velcro’s not just for little kids. Stick a piece on the back of your TV remote and another on the back of a chair or coffee table, and you will never lose that elusive clicker again.

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9 First Week Essentials

All those essential items needed to make your first week back at university a breeze:

1. Your Trusty Planner

A lot of information is going to be thrown your way during the first week of class, so make sure you have somewhere to get it all down. Don’t rely on your brain to remember, you know you’ll forget – just write it down!

2. Writing Utensils

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You’ll be needing one of these to write down all that info mentioned above… and maybe a few spares to lend to your classmates who forgot to read our blog!

3. Your Schedule

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This is something you should carry with you at all times during the first week. You don’t want to realize 10 minutes into Psychology 101 that you’re actually registered for Biology!

4. Campus Map

You probably got one of these during Orientation Week (if you read our 5 Tips for Surviving Frosh Week post, you followed our advice to keep everything given to you!) and it’s going to be your best friend during the first couple weeks of classes. Campuses can be large and confusing so bring this with you everywhere you go.

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5. Student Card

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You’ll want to take advantage of any and all student deals around campus during the first week or may want to hit the campus bar for drinks after class, so for these you’ll need your student card. Don’t stress too much about the photo – a funny one makes for a good conversation starter.

6. Watch and/or Cell Phone

Either one works for telling the time! We know it’s the 21st century and everyone has the time on their phones, but watches can also up your first week outfit swag and tell the time. This is crucial for getting to class and following your schedule (See #3)

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7. Phone Charger

Aside from the time, you may have other important information for school on your cell phone. Bring along your charger with you just in case – it’s better to come prepared!

Phone Charger

8. A Sturdy Bag 

All of this stuff needs to go somewhere! We suggest a back pack for full range mobility, but a shoulder bag works too – just make sure it’s big enough for all these essential items so your bag doesn’t start weighing more than you!

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9. COFFEE COFFEE COFFEEE

Summer days are over and we know waking up early and getting to those 8:30am classes can be a pain, so drink that java and get out of bed!

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Good luck to all those students headed back to school in the next couple weeks! For other info on student life, moving out, and going back to school, see the other articles listed on our blog page www.themarq.ca / www.lamarq.ca 

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5 Tips For Surviving Frosh Week

In just a short time, students from all over the country will be heading back to university or arriving there for the first time. But before class, exams, and the all-nighters commence, are a few days of freedom known as Frosh or Orientation Week.

Whether you’re a participant or a leader, Orientation Week is designed to expose students to university life through activities, partying, and socializing with their peers. It’s important to make the most of that time so you can get to know your classmates, your campus, and your school better for an overall amazing university experience.

But before embarking on what may be the highlight of your university career, consider these 5 useful tips to help get you through the week. 

1. Stay Hydrated

You may think drinking competitions and pre-drinks will keep you hydrated, but we’re talking about the real thirst quencher – water! Frosh takes place at the start of September, when temperatures are still high and beer, wine, and other drinks will actually continue to dehydrate your body if you don’t keep drinking that H2O

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2. Keep in Touch

It’s important to have a support group throughout the entire week, whether it be your frosh group, your roommate, or your floor in res. Grab everyone’s number and get a group chat going so you can coordinate times, and where to meet..

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3. Carbs

Your schedule is going to be totally hectic this week, but don’t forget to eat. In order to keep yourself going, you’ll need as much food as you can get your hands on! Make sure your meals are planned appropriately (i.e. don’t eat a giant burger before a wheelbarrow race), and that they are high in carbohydrates, which are key for providing you with the energy you need to party.

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4. Take advantage of Free Stuff

…Including food! Giveaways are all over the place during Frosh week so make sure you take one of everything thrown your way. Even that ugly poncho… it may come in handy later when you’re stranded in the middle of campus during a downpour.

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5. Let your walls down and participate!

This doesn’t mean you have to volunteer for every little activity, but go into everything you do with a whole heart and make those other teams wish you were on their side.

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Top 10 Reasons To Move Out of Your Parents’ House

It’s August and school is around the corner. Goodbye long days at the internship and sweaty commutes to the office – hello, the freedom to wake up at noon. The withdrawal from student life is nearly over, and soon you’ll be back with your roommates having the time of your lives.

In honour of living away from home and the return to school, here is a list of 10 reasons why signing your own MARQ apartment is better than living at home with your parents.

1) You can leave your apartment as messy as you want, for as long as you want.

Sure, in the beginning you tell yourself you won’t let yourself go, but let’s be honest…

2) You can have friends over whenever you want.

You’ll find yourself finding any excuse to have a party.

3) The freedom to watch whatever you want, whenever you want.

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You no longer have to fight over the remote with your siblings! Now your only problem is fighting over the remote with your roommate to watch your favorite show on your LCD T.V. Let’s hope they are as obsessed with Game of Thrones as you are.

4) You trade your siblings for much cooler roommates.

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Chances are, you’ll make a friend for life. MARQ apartments offer a study room and lounge for those times when you want to strangle them.

5) You can come home at 4am and no one will ground you.

If you had one too many beers at that kegger, the most judgmental thing you’ll have to face is your mirror.

6) You have more privacy

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Go ahead, invite your crush over; walk around in your underwear. In your MARQ apartment, you never have to worry about your little brother or sister walking in.

7) You have the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, without being frowned upon.

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Sure, nothing compares to mom’s cooking, but if you want to eat cold pizza for breakfast, nothing is stopping you. We have a cardio and weight room to help you work off that regret.

8) That feeling of pride when you learn how to do your laundry right.

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Sure, it may take some trial and error but once you get it, you can accomplish anything. MARQ apartments come with fully-equipped communal laundry rooms, which gives you endless opportunities to perfect your laundering skills.

9) Having the freedom to think for yourself, and make your own decisions, even if they may be the wrong ones.

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This is your time to make as many mistakes as possible. Go forth, and screw up.

10) The best thing about living on your own are the experiences you’ll have.

Between the people you’ll meet and the places you’ll end up, you will have the time of your life and these years will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Thinking of moving in time for the new school year? Visit MARQ apartments in your city:

Toronto

Hours of Operation:
Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
Phone: +1-888-236-7767

Montréal
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Friday 9am-8pm

Sat. & Sun. 11am-5pm

Phone: +1 514-844-0999
Fax: +1 514-844-1934
Toll Free: 1-877-824-0999