Archives for September 2020

September 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Wellbeing: Top tips for staying healthy

New students often get ill during the first few weeks of university. The phenomenon even has its own name (and Wikipedia page): Freshers’ Flu. Here are four things you can do to help keep it at bay...

Get your beauty sleep

According to the NHS, most people need eight hours good-quality sleep a night. Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your mood. It can also make you gain weight (due to lower leptin levels) and even put you at risk of serious medical conditions such as diabetes. Simple ways to improve your quality of sleep include removing distractions (TV, computer, phone etc.) and avoiding caffeine, nicotine or alcohol close to bedtime.

Watch what you eat

No self-respecting student can go a whole term without the occasional McDonald’s, Pot Noodle or 2am kebab. But an all-junk-food regime should definitely be avoided. A recent study found that poor diet was responsible for 11 million deaths in 2017 (22% of all those recorded). Good foods to cook with on a student budget include wholegrain pasta and rice, tinned tomatoes, lentils and beans (kidney, butter, flageolet, etc.). And, of course, all vegetables (fresh or frozen) give you an amazing bang for your buck.

Look after your mental health

A growing number of students appear to be affected by mental illness, with the number reporting a mental health condition to their institution increasing fivefold between 2006 and 2016. This year, Covid-19 is likely to push that number even higher, with many of us finding the ongoing disruption difficult for our mental health. Here are some good places to go for advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic:

Exercise

Don’t worry. You don’t need to train like an Olympic medal winner. According to NHS guidelines, 150 minutes of moderate activity a week is all you need. That’s 2½ hours of brisk walking, gentle bike riding, roller blading… or whatever takes your fancy. And remember: exercise doesn’t just keep you physically fit; it’s great for mental health and wellbeing as well.

Oh. and you can save a heap on supplements too...

Supplement is a great way to help you supplement your diets, so you get all of your vitamins, protein, minerals and more. A great way to keep healthy, and build immunity, build your muscles and more. You can get 55% off MyVitamins with the code: PAPERCLIP55

Head back to the welcome pack here.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Wellbeing: 5 simple ways to keep fit

Exercise is proven to boost self-esteem, sleep quality and brain power while reducing the risk of depression and disease. But many students struggle to find time to fit it in. Here are five quick and easy activities that you can slot into any schedule.

Running

The great thing about running is that you can do it pretty much anytime and anywhere. Plus it won’t cost you a penny (although it is probably worth investing in a decent pair of shoes). Never done it before? The NHS Couch to 5k program is a great place to start.

HIIT workouts

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a very efficient method for improving your VO2 max (a fancy measure of aerobic fitness). And, depending on what you’re doing, it can help build strength and flexibility as well. Beginner workouts typically involve 30 seconds effort followed by 30 seconds rest. Typical exercises include push-ups, squats, burpees, mountain climbers and star jumps. No gym, no problem. There are thousands of free workout plans and videos available online.

You can save a whopping 40% on all your activewear at Distance when you use the code: PAPERCLIP40.

Yoga

Yoga is a safe and effective way to build up your strength, flexibility and balance. Classes are advisable if you’ve never done it before – learning the poses correctly helps minimise the risk of injury. But there are plenty of teach-yourself videos online if you can’t spare the cash.

Join a club

There is a huge array of sports and clubs for you to get into at university – everything from amateur boxing to ultimate frisbee, so it’s a great was to be active, and to try new things. But being part of a club isn’t just about keeping fit. It’s also a great way to meet new people, and to part of many fun socials. This is such a unique experience to university life, this is a must do!

Walk it

Walking is what we humans are literally designed to do. But, sadly, we seem to be doing less and less of it. Swapping cars and public transport for your own two feet is probably the simplest way there is to get more active, lose weight and be healthier. It also saves £££ and gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore your new city or town.

Head back to the welcome pack here.5

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Study: Secrets of being a top student

Apart from anything else, university is a brilliant opportunity for you to dive deep into your chosen subject and acquire knowledge and learning that will last you a lifetime. Here are some tips for helping you make the most of your studies...

Get organised

A study plan can help you manage your time more effectively and reduces the risk of missing deadlines (or forgetting about them altogether). Download a weekly timetable template and make sure you have all the right tools for the job. Psst – you can get a exclusive discount for some gorgeous Amethies Stationary here.

Go to lectures

Of course you’re going to sleep through the odd 9am-er. Nobody’s perfect. Just try not to miss too many – you’ll regret it come exam time.

Take notes

Not only will it give you something to revise from come exam time. The process of taking notes is also extremely useful for helping you learn, understand and remember new concepts. Not sure how to do it? Try one of these tried and tested methods: the Cornell Notes system, Outlining, Concept mapping

Get your textbooks sorted early

Textbooks may not be essential for all courses, but when a deadline looms, those books will be like gold dust in the uni library. Don’t get caught out – our partners Perlego allow you to access every textbook you need online, at a fraction of the price. You can even try it out, for free, right here!

Practise memorisation

To do well in your final exams, you’re going to need to be able to recall large amounts of information. So it’s worth getting regular practice in from the start. Once or twice every study session, try closing the book, covering up your notes and seeing how much you can remember of what you’ve just learned. Flashcards are a quick, cheap and easy way to memorise key bits of info ahead of your exam or timed essay.

Learn to focus

There are more ways than ever to waste time while studying (we’re looking at you, YouTube). Before you know it, you’ve spent an entire day ‘stuck indoors with your books’… without actually learning anything at all. One solution is to commit to short bursts of intense, uninterrupted study. Turn off your phone - you'll thank us later.

Talk it over

Studying isn’t just about learning what your lecturers tell you. It’s about getting to grips with the subject, making interesting connections and, even, coming up with your own theories and ideas. Talking things through with course mates can help you organise your thoughts. It’s also a useful opportunity to hear different insights and perspectives.

Take a break

The memory-boosting effects of taking a break have been demonstrated through countless studies, dating back more than 100 years. Put simply, your brain retains information better if you rest it completely for 10 or 15 minutes after learning something new. So while it might feel more virtuously to soldier on for six straight hours, it actually pays to give yourself a break.

Eat, sleep, exercise

All of them have been proven to boost productivity and brainpower. Check out the Wellbeing section of the pack for more info...

Head back to the welcome pack here.


Study

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Finance: Making your money go further (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of our guide to saving cash whilst at university...

11.) Buy supermarket own brands

A fancy branded box of cornflakes is more than twice the price of its supermarket equivalent. But not twice as tasty.

12.) Reuse leftovers

Most food keeps perfectly well for three days, as long as you refrigerate it soon enough after cooking. Some things can be stored in the freezer for three months or more.

13.) Don’t buy bottled water

All mains tap water in the UK is safe to drink. And, unless you’re on a meter, it’s essentially free.

14.) Freecycle

Need any extra bits and pieces for your room? There are lots of people who are more than happy for you to take their old stuff off their hands.

15.) Watch your overdraft

Most banks will hit you with eye-watering penalties if you go over your limit. Download your bank's mobile app to keep a close eye on your balance wherever you are.

16.) Claim back overpaid tax

Do you have a holiday or term-time job? Does it pay less than £12,500 a year? Then your income tax bill should be £0. Find out how to get a tax rebate if you’ve paid too much

17.) Make the most of student discounts

Use your university ID card to get money off all kinds of purchases. Our welcome pack is just the start of your student discount journey. Be sure to check back for

18.) Get free software

Microsoft let most students download Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. for free. Find out if you’re eligible

19.) Sell your old phone

Got any old phones or tablets lying around? Try downloading the Paperclip app, and sell it to a student at your university.

20.) Ignore best before dates

Best before dates on food are about quality, not safety. So while that ‘out of date’ packet of penne may not taste tip-top, there’s absolutely no need to chuck it out. (Do not eat, cook or freeze anything past its use by date, however, as it could be unsafe even if it looks or smells fine.)

Other considerations...
Be careful about borrowing

99% of students cannot avoid getting into debt. But some debt is much better than others. Student loans are good because they offer a reasonable interest rate and you don’t have to pay them back until you’re earning enough to afford it. Most other loans are not nearly so generous. Beware!

Seize earning opportunities

Babysitting? Dog walking? Focus groups? Every little helps. If you’re after paid work, keep an eye out for student brand ambassador jobs – much more fun and flexible than working in a supermarket or behind a bar.

Head back to the welcome pack here.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Finance: Making your money go further (Part 1)

Strapped for cash? Here are ten quick tips to help you reduce spending and minimise debt.

1.) Apply for scholarships, bursaries and grants

Scholarships, bursaries and grants are all funding that is provided by the university, government, charities and more, which doesn’t need to be paid back. Thousands of students every year are eligible for these funding, but miss out due to not knowing about them, or simply not applying. Check out your university for this information as each one will be different.

2.) University Hardship Fund

If you’re struggling to pay your way through university, you can apply to a university Hardship fund. You can check if your within the criteria here.

3.) Learn how to haggle

You’d be amazed how easy it is to get things cheaper just by asking.

4.) Switch

Are you getting the best deal you can from your bank / mobile phone provider / electricity supplier? If not, get a different one.

5.) Stop smoking

The average smoker saves more than £1,500(!) a year by giving up. Why wouldn’t you?

6.) Leave the card at home

It’s an old trick but a good one. Take a set amount of cash (and nothing else) with you on a night out and there’s no risk of it turning into an account-battering spree.

7.) Make your own sandwiches

For £2, you can buy a tasteless supermarket cheese sandwich. For £5, you could make your own delicious cheese sandwiches for a week.

8.) Use libraries and other uni resources

Most universities give you free access to all the books and learning resources you could ever need. So why buy them?

9.) Claim back rail fares

Did you know you can get compensation if your train is delayed by 15 minutes or more? Check your train company’s website for more info on the Delay Repay scheme.

10.) Fill in online surveys

There are plenty of websites willing to give you vouchers or even hard cash in return. Try Crowdology, Swagbucks or OnePoll.

Check out Part 2 of our guide here, or head back to the welcome pack.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 24, 2020 - No Comments!

Staying In: The perfect student house party in six steps

Everyone should try to host at least one party during their time at university. Here are six quick tips for making yours one to remember...

Note: always take note of the Coronovirus rules and guidelines in your area before holding any indoor gathering.

1.) Music

It’s the all-important ingredient of any great party, so don’t leave it to chance. Create a playlist in advance or find one you like. If you’re unsure, get advice from a music-loving friend (who will probably be only too happy to help). Beg, borrow or steal (but don’t actually steal) some decent Bluetooth speakers. And make sure they are ones that require a pin – that way, nobody can hijack your carefully curated selection with a room-clearing drone metal set.

2.) Food

Snacks are always good. It gives people something to do with their hands and stops hungry guests raiding your cereal cupboard. No need to go overboard, though. Some cheap crisps and dips, breadsticks, popcorn etc. should be enough to keep everyone happy.

3.) Drink

A party without drink is like a football match without goals. So even though most people will bring their own alcohol, it’s definitely worth investing in a communal supply. A couple of punch bowls / cocktail jugs usually does the trick.

4.) Lighting

Bright overhead lights are the ultimate mood killer. That’s why clubs turn them on at the end of the night. Make use of whatever alternatives you can lay your hands on. Bedside lights? Lava lamps? Christmas decorations? The world of low-watt lighting is your oyster. Candles and tea lights obviously come with a fire risk, so please use with caution.

5.) Neighbours

There are two good reasons to let your neighbours know when you’re having a party. One, it’s just common decency. Two, they’ll be less likely to complain. Give them a rough idea of when the party’s going to start and end. It might also be a nice idea to extend them an invite. Who knows? You could end up becoming friends.

6.) Stay safe

As we all know, the coronavirus slammed the brakes on all partying during the first half of the year. As we have seen this month, from time to time, the government may impose some stricter measures to help stop the spread of the virus. It’s always best to check gov.uk for the latest updates on the rules and regulations in your locality.  

Head back to the welcome pack here.


Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 24, 2020 - No Comments!

Student Life: Best (and worst) things about sharing a house

After a year in halls, most students are expected to fly the university nest and find a place of their own. It’s nice to be able to choose where you live and who you live with. But private renting does come with potential pitfalls as well as perks. Here’s our list of top things to look forward to – and look out for – when you’re sharing a house with friends...

Best things

Cooking and eating together            

If you’ve been living in halls, your diet until now has probably been one-third canteen food, one-third cheap takeaway and one-third toast. Having your own kitchen opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Homemade curries, risotto, stews, soups, vegetarian lasagne - hell, you could even try making your own bread (it’s surprisingly simple). And the best thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. Sharing the burden, by making meals together or taking turns, can help cut costs, reduce waste and lessen the workload – and it’s great fun too!

Your own washing machine

Thank the lord of dose balls and spin cycles! You’ll never have to trudge down to the laundry room ever again.

Chilling at home

With a houseful of close friends and (hopefully) a shared living room, not going out suddenly becomes much more appealing. So slip on your onesie, hunker down on the sofa, and prepare for some cheap, cosy evenings in.

House parties!

Send out the invites. Fill up the fridge. Dust off the novelty glitter ball. Finally, you’ve got space for a proper grown-up party! Check out our top tips for throwing the perfect house party.

Worst things

Bills

Warning: you are now entering the adult world of unavoidable responsibilities and deadly boring paperwork. Unless you’re lucky, renting privately will involve paying your own water, gas and electricity bills (but not council tax, assuming you’re all full-time students). To avoid falling out (see below), sit down with your housemates at the beginning of the year to agree how you’re going to split them and who’s in charge of paying what. Our friends at The Bunch can help you consolidate all your bills into one and then split it amongst your housemates evenly.

Chores

Remember when someone (your mum, dad or university cleaner) used to empty your bins for you? Those days are gone forever. From now on, you’re going to have to tidy up after yourself – and put in some shifts on the communal washing-up and hoovering rotas as well.

Falling out

Arguments are inevitable when you’re living in close confinement. Three simple tips for avoiding conflict. 1) If you have an issue with another housemate, you’re better off talking to them about it rather than bottling up. 2) Do your share of the housework (see above). 3) Pay your bills (ditto).

Dodgy landlords

Horror stories abound of students suffering at the hands of unscrupulous landlords. To avoid getting shafted, make sure your landlord registers your deposit with a deposit protection scheme such as MyDeposits, as they are legally required to do. We also recommend keeping a record of all your bill payments and reading up on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

PBSA

Another option is to opt for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). These are student 'halls’ owned and run by private companies. The facilities and security are generally of a higher standard than private renting, and it offers the larger group dynamic you get with uni halls .

If you want to check out private halls as an option take a look at Student Roost they offer a range of different accommodation options in 20 cities across the UK.  Many private accommodation providers allow you to book a self-contained residence or studio, so you still be with all your friends.

Head back to the welcome pack here.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 22, 2020 - No Comments!

Nights Out: Staying safe

7 tips for staying safe on a night out

The UK is generally a safe place for students, thanks to relatively low crime rates and reliable security cover, especially on campuses and in big cities. That said, there are always extra steps you can take to stay safe...

1.    Stick together

You’re much less likely to be targeted by criminals when you’re with a group of people you know and trust. Safety in numbers.

2.    Remember the safeword ‘Angela’

If you’re feeling unsafe at a bar or club, tell the person at the bar or the bouncer that you’re ‘looking for Angela’. Most night time workers know that this is a codeword for them to provide you with some safety.

3.    Drink with caution

Yes, that third Jägerbomb does look very inviting… but losing control can be dangerous. Try not to push your limits with alcohol, however tempting it may be. To protect yourself against drink spiking, never leave your drink unattended and do not accept a drink from anyone you don’t know.

4.    Stay on the beaten track

People are less likely to commit crime in busy areas with good lighting and lots of CCTV. If you’re going to walk home, it’s a good idea to plan a safe route in advance, avoiding dark alleyways, canal paths and parks.

5.    Don’t get involved

Strangers may want to pick fights with you when you’re out. Especially drunken strangers. The best strategy is just to ignore them and walk away. If you see a fight, get help from bouncers or the police. You can also set up your iPhone to automatically record an incident if you think you might be in danger.

6.    Travel light

The more stuff you have on you, the more thieves have to steal. Try to keep cash to a minimum and only take what you need.

7.    Only use a licensed cab

In the words of the old Transport for London safety campaign: “If your minicab’s not booked, it’s just a stranger’s car.”  You can save £5 on your first Ola ride here!

Have fun and stay safe!

Head back to the welcome pack here.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 22, 2020 - No Comments!

Nights Out: What’s on

Even in a socially distanced, post-Covid world, there are still endless options for going out and having fun...

Student's Union nights

Most universities have a Student's Union on campus. The SU provides support and advice to students and offers you a place to hang out and chill with your new friends.

Most SUs also run live music events and club nights. Traditionally, Monday night has been a popular choice for hosting these kind of events as is Wednesday (typically the sports and societies night out). Both drinks and admission are usually a cheaper than you would expect at a nightclub in town and events are usually for only for students at your uni. Foam parties, popcorn parties and UV raves are all commonplace at the SU and provide a good opportunity to meet new people from different halls and courses.

These venues also often put on a comedy night, quiz nights and film screenings too. Most SUs try to cater for all tastes, so there will almost certainly be a regular event that floats your boat - just don't forget your student ID!

Overheard events

A name you’ll certainly come across at university is Overheard: they run a huge amount of massive nights out across the biggest cities in the UK, and also trips abroad.

This academic year, the Overheard team are putting on another Spring Break Festival in Amsterdam. The event takes place over three days in April, with over sixty huge artists taking the stage. Past acts have included: Kano, Rudimental, Chase & Status, MK, Sub Focus and Hannah Wants.

The first wave of tickets always sells out in flash. But you can register for the second wave right here.

Win a house party pack

The team at Paperclip are also giving you the chance to win the perfect house party accessory pack. We're going to be sending one lucky winner
a beer pong table, party cups, a stack drinking games, balloons a bunch of other bits and bobs to make sure your first house party is popping! It's free to enter and we will contact the winner on the 25th October - just in time for Halloween shenanigans!

Head back to the welcome pack to enter our house party competition and discover more great deals.N

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack

September 22, 2020 - No Comments!

Moving In: Essential (and not-so-essential) items

It can be tricky to decide what to take with you when you’re setting off to university for the first time. We’ve put this little checklist together to make sure you don’t miss anything out.

Quick tip: if you’re moving into a shared house, speak to your flatmates beforehand to check who’s bringing what. The last thing you want is 100 spoons, 4 toasters and 0 pans.

Bedroom

Must haves:

Nice to have:

  • Duvet and cover
  • Pillows and cases
  • Bed sheets
  • Blankets
  • Coat hangers
  • Desk lamp
  • Mirror
  • Clock
Bathroom

Must haves:

Nice to have

  • Towels
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Toilet roll
  • Shaving stuff
  • Sanitary products
  • Hairdryer / brush / straighteners
  • Nail cutters
  • Plasters
  • Dressing gown
  • Make-up wipes
  • Flip-flops (for showering in halls)
  • First-aid kit
Kitchen (check what’s already provided)
  • Cutlery set
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Mug
  • Glass
  • Kettle
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Can opener
  • Peeler
  • Grater
  • Bottle opener
  • Tea towel
  • Washing up liquid
Electricals

Must haves:

  • Laptop (and power cable) or desktop computer
  • Phone and charger
  • USB memory stick (for backing up)

Nice to have:

  • Extension lead
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Desktop printer
Stationery

Must haves:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper
  • Notebook

Nice to have:

  • Highlighters
  • Post-it notes
  • Sticky tape
  • Paperclips
Optional extras
  • Day bag
  • Water bottle
  • Keyring
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pack of cards
Pimp your room

Looking to create a really special home from home? Here are some cheap ways to make your student living space look a million dollars.Fairy lights

Fairy lights This is a great way to cover up a bare wall, or set the mood with some dimmer lights.

  • Indian Wall Tapestry
    This is a great way to add some character to your room. Groovy.
    Check out the ‘home and garden’ section on the Paperclip app to find this item.
  • Fairy lights
    This is a great way to cover up a bare wall, or set the mood with some dimmer lights. .
  • Hang up some photos
    Hang up some photos with some string and wooden clothes pegs. Watch your memories grow as you complete your year.
  • Wire wall hanging
    This is a great way you can add your notes and decorative items. However, best to lean it against the wall than to drill it in. Your deposit will be thankful.
  • Plants (Fake ones if your terrible at keeping them alive)
    Bring a natural element to your room with some plants. If you’re terrible at keeping them alive, fake ones or a cactus will be your replacement.

Head back to the welcome pack here.

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Digital Welcome Pack