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Results Day Freebies

If there’s ever going to be where you need a free treat, to either celebrate or cheer you up, it’s Results Day. Check out our pick of the Thursday Freebies below…

 

Free eye tests

Can’t quite believe what’s written on the results slip? Head down to Tesco for a free eye test to make sure your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – this will also be handy for when you’re sitting at the back of the lecture hall; no more squinting to see the slides!

 

Free Goodfella’s Stonebaked Pizza

Whilst you’re in Tesco, check out the pizzas and find that Goodfella’s Stonebaked are down to £1 – keep this voucher handy to pick it up for free. Is there anything better than free pizza?

 

Free GBK burger + side

You’ll need the Gourmet Burger Kitchen app – download it and look for an offer called “Lapsed Lunch”. For some reason not everybody gets this, but if you’re one of the chosen few you’ll be getting a seriously cheap lunch.

 

Free face masks

Whichever way the day goes, you’re going to want some downtime to relax and gather yourself – what better way than with a free facemask to keep you feeling fresh! Join the 7th Heaven VIP club here to try the new products before anyone else.

 

Free glass of prosecco

Whether celebrating or not, a drink is well deserved so download the All Bar One app and get a free glass of prosecco in your local branch. We can’t think of a better way to kick off the post-results weekend.


What to do on Results Day

It’s Results Day-eve – here are our tips for how to prepare and what to do.

Eat!

It’s important to start the day in the right way – whether you’re jingling with nerves or brimming with excitement, you’re going to need a full stomach to keep you going. Seeing as it’s your big day, you might even be able to blag a special breakfast from the parents…

Log in

Make sure you’ve got your Track Login details to hand – this is your first port of call when you’re finding out whether you’ve got in or not. Whilst it won’t tell you your exact grades, you will be able to see whether your uni has accepted you.

University Contact Details

Unsure about something? Your chosen university will be on hand to help you out – they’ve been here before and have seen it all, so try not to panic and let them help you out as best they can.

The pick-up

Next you’ll need to head to school (perhaps for the last time!) and pick up your results. Hopefully you’ll see the rewards of all your hard work over the past two years, and can begin the celebrations. If you didn’t quite get what you hoped for, there are still some options.

Wrong grades; what now?

There are going to be plenty of people around that can offer advice on the day – the main options available to you now are:

  • Your grades might be strong enough to get you onto a course at a different university. Remember to think things through and don’t just jump at the first opportunity.
  • There’s always a second chance. Retaking you’re A-Levels probably doesn’t sound great right now, but it might be the best option for the long term.
  • Take a gap year. Work, travel, study – a chance to decide what it is that you really want to do.

 

Whatever happens, we’re wishing you the best!


Free Nando’s on Results Day!

It’s always time for a Nando’s.

Celebrating? Nando’s. Commiserating? Nando’s. Thankfully, the good folk from everyone’s favourite chicken spot are coming through with the freebies for all students this coming Thursday – do we need to remind you what day that is?

All you need to do to get your hands on the good stuff is rock up with some ID and your A-Level results (they’ve promised not to tell; you’re safe). You’ll be served up either some iconic chicken wings or ‘Firestarters’ like hummus, nuts and olives for the vegetarians and vegans amongst us.

The only requirement is that you spend £7 to claim your gifts but seasoned visitors (if you’ll pardon the pun) will know that that’s just a couple of sides. Buddy up and let the chicken run!

We’re sending a million wishes to all students in the hope that it’s a celebratory visit – good luck!


Podcasts – What’re you listening to?

Whether you love them, hate them or are yet to give them a go, it’s hard to deny that 2017 is the year of the podcast. More and more listeners are tuning in on train journeys and treadmills, whilst established names and new sensations alike are setting up studio and starting conversation that they hope will entertain, educate and enlighten.

There is a podcast for everyone. Whatever you want to do – laugh; cry; be inspired or just learn something new, there is certainly a series for you. If you’re yet to find your favourite or decide on this week’s download, here are our suggestions to get you started.

Educate

TED Radio Hour – look through our blog and you’ll soon see that we love a TED Talk (there’s one for everything. Stressed? TED talk. Procrastinating? TED Talk.) so we became regular listeners of Radio Hour pretty quickly. Each episode uses multiple TED Talks to examine a common theme – ghost stories to leadership to fake news, and everything inbetween.

Di$unomics – this podcast says that ‘everything in life is a transaction’, and sets about simplifying economics and politics for the masses. It’s understandable that the housing market and mortgages aren’t at the forefront of your thoughts whilst studying, but there is certainly something to be said about getting the knowhow now.

TEDxDisu

Entertain

Myths and Legends – Jason Weiber started his series by hammering out scripts in his car whilst on lunch, instantly making it a bonafide “started from the bottom” podcast. He tells stories of myths, legends and folklore from around the world in as entertaining a way as possible. Did you know that the original Beauty and the Beast story has monkey butlers with parrots strapped to their heads so that they can talk to you? No? Maybe you should check out Episode 35…

Cracked Podcast – an extension of entertainment website cracked.com, the Cracked Podcast fearlessly debate the topics that the masses demand to hear – from a glorious history of failed amusement parks to fierce discussion about how every movie is spoiled by characters’ hair. You might learn some useless trivia, you’ll definitely laugh.

Myths x Cracker

Enlighten

Serial – an award-winning investigative journalism podcast, Serial is responsible for a lot of people’s first foray into podcasts. True stories about love, death, justice and truth are told over the course of a season which brings suspense, surprise and suspicion – not even the host knows how it will end. Follow the facts to separate truth from fiction and find out what really happened.

Serial

What’re you listening to at the moment?


National Vegetarian Week: Easy Recipes

They say that variety is the spice of life, and what better time to try something new than National Vegetarian Week – meat-free meals that might not have crossed your mind otherwise can be a just-as-tasty treat as your usual dishes. Struggling students can benefit too; you’ll be saving some money by forsaking the burgers and resisting the sausages – no meat in your trolley guarantees a lower total at the till.

Here’s what we’ll be cooking to kick off National Vegetarian Week.

Simple bean and rice burritos
Meat-free Mexican…

Fry up some onion and taco seasoning for a few minutes before adding in Mexican mixed beans, chopped tomatoes and sweetcorn.

Splash in three tablespoons of water and keep it going until it starts to boil, at which point you can add a packet of microwavable quick-cook rice.

When the rice has absorbed the water and softened, you can pop it all into a tortilla wrap and top with guacamole, sour cream and cheese.

The hardest part of this recipe is folding the tortilla into something that resembles a burrito!

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One-pan chickpea curry
Less chicken, more chickpea…

Fry some onion for a few minutes. When your eyes start to water, it’s time to chuck in the chickpeas and some chopped tomato.

Sprinkle (salt bae style) a tablespoon of curry powder and mix it all together, leaving to simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the rice and then serve with the curry. Get yourself a naan bread for authentic and aromatic Indian cuisine – jai ho!

chickpea

Vegetable stir-fry
Vegetarian cooking level: easy…

Free reign for this one – pick your favourite vegetables and chop them into stir-fry sized pieces (we normally go for peppers, beansprouts, mushrooms, garlic and onion) and start frying in a wok.

When the vegetables are getting done, add in some straight-to-wok noodles and let them soften, mixing them amongst your veggie ensemble until they’re looking good to go.

Add in a sachet of stir fry sauce (or add hoisin, soy and water if you’re maestro enough to make your own) and mix well. Pro tip: sprinkle some sesame seeds on top to make your stir-fry look like the real deal.

veggie-stiry-fry-healthy-1


Student Superheroes

Not all heroes wear capes…unless it’s graduation day

Superhero Day 2017 couldn’t have come at a better time, with The Avengers currently assembling in Durham, just down the road from our brand new student accommodation The Clink. Sometimes the idea of taking Thor’s Hammer to your laptop when it crashes on Deadline Day Eve, or Hulk Smashing your way out of that 9am lecture to get back to bed is tempting, but our kind of superheroes are a little less Stark, and a little more student. Take a look at our pick of the good guys.

Bethel TadesseHidden Scars
Fighting the good fight…
Bethel didn’t use her placement year just to gain experience and get through her degree – she’s used it to make a vitally important and tangible difference by setting up Hidden Scars, a charity that raises awareness of, and works tirelessly to prevent, female genital mutilation in the UK. Bethel runs regular events to explain the dangers of the procedure alongside her full time studies and other projects to improve women’s rights and health. A superhero if ever we’ve seen one.

Bethel-1024x682

Neil JenningsStudent Switch Off
Saving the world, one light switch at a time…
Neil runs the Student Switch Off campaign, a not-for-profit mission that encourages students to save energy whilst living in halls of residence or private rented accommodation. Student Switch Off operates in Universities throughout the country and offers incentives such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, communal parties and event tickets – more than enough reason to be environmentally friendly. Ice cream in exchange for a tiny good deed? He’s the hero we need, but not the one that we dessert deserve.

SSO

Rosie TresslerStudent Minds
There’s a hero inside all of us…
Rosie is the CEO of Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. Thanks to the work of Rosie and her team, mental health amongst students is more talked about than ever, but the mission is far from complete. The charity’s campaigns continue to inspire chat about students’ wellbeing amongst themselves, their peers and their families. The charity vows to transform the state of student mental health, one conversation at a time. If that’s not a cause to get behind, we don’t know what is.

team-photo-16-17_1

Xie XuThe Local Hero
The Hero indeed for the Friend in Need…
We can all be a hero to someone, and nobody exemplifies this more than Xie Xu. Xie’s friend, Zhang Chi, suffered from muscular dystrophy, so from 2012 – 2015 Xie carried him to class every day. Thanks to Xie, Zhang sat amongst the top students in their class and has since gone on to college. A true heart-warming hero.

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Our favourite websites this week…

We’re all guilty of going to bed early and enjoying a good night’s internet. Whether you’re clicking around whilst watching TV or have given in to temptation and become a semi-professional procrastinator (check out our blog on how to deal with that here), there are always new places to discover online. Here are the things that have been taking up most of our time this week…

Honey
Student life is stressful (too stressful? Check this blog out), so it’s totally acceptable to treat yourself now and then to a sale item or two. At least it would be, if it weren’t for that pesky student budget that you’re living on; this is where Honey comes in. This handy browser extension works in the background, looking for discount codes, and will pop up with one whilst you’re checking out. It makes entering your card details that little bit easier…

Brainly
By students, for students – Brainly is like being a part of the biggest study group ever; ask a question that you just can’t find the answer to and somebody will surely be able to help. Build the community by sharing your knowledge with other struggling students and this site will soon turn into your go-to for revision and research.

Alison
A great place to practice, learn and develop new skills. This website has a range of free online courses that could make student life that little bit easier – from touch type training, helping you reach a deadline, to study skills designed to serve you for life, there’s certainly something useful to be found here.

Explore Everest
You’ve been working on an essay for an eternity; the font is looking fuzzy and the word count is still worrying, so you decide to take a break and get some fresh air…except, you’re all-nightering in the library and it’s 2:30am. The next best thing is sitting back and exploring Everest from the comfort of your chair. Put a fan on and wear a rucksack for an even more authentic experience.

Stumble Upon
Select a few things that interest you and let Stumble Upon take you on a journey through weird and wonderful websites that you might’ve never found otherwise. Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate, but this is a top time killer for when you’re taking the break that you’ve definitely, definitely earned.

Struggling to stream or always waiting for websites? Our accommodations have fast, free wifi that can cope with all of your internet needs. Find your university home here.


Hidden Newcastle

Our accommodation in Newcastle, Roman House, is so good that you could be forgiven for opting to spend most of your time in the awesome common room playing some pool, working up a sweat in the on-site gym or chilling with your flatmates in the movie room rather than getting out and about to see the sights of The Toon. We’ll be venturing outside in the Easter break here’s what we’ve got on the to-do list…

Boiler Shop Steamer
Described as “industrial, urban & chic”, this unique space is just a few hundred yards from Roman House and regularly has music nights, exhibitions and one-offs. Boiler Shop claims to be different to other venues and it certainly is; expect this place to quickly become your go-to for things to do and a hub of cultural buzz.

Cat Cafés
Statistically, the average person’s three favourite C’s are coffee, cake and cats…combine all three and we’re happier than we ever could’ve imagined. The fantastically named CatPawCino and the fabulous Mog On The Tyne is where we’re planning to go on those days where you just miss your pets.

Victoria Tunnel
There’s nothing like a bit of sun to make you want to descend underground and enjoy a bit of darkness. We’re suckers for a spook and often find ourselves hankering after some history, and the Victoria Tunnel can provide both. Tours of the tunnel give an insight into wartime Newcastle, with recreations of air raid sirens and planes flying overhead. Worth noting that you also might pick-up the trivia that’s going to win the next pub quiz.

If you’re already a student in Newcastle or hoping to become one, take a look at our fantastic Roman House accommodation here.

 

Newcastle blog pic


Blogging at Uni

Good idea? Bad idea? Here are our tips for starting a student blog, and why you might consider doing so…

How to begin

Think of a name
Sounds obvious, but this is easier said than done! The Internet, as wonderful as it is, doubles as a graveyard for forgotten blogs. You’ll have never felt frustration like thinking of the perfect name and finding that it’s already taken, idly sitting with a solitary post from 2006.

Content
Blogging is easy (or at least, easier!) when you’re writing about something that you know and enjoy, so play to your strengths. Whether make-up or music; sports or science is your thing, creating interesting content is a crucial part of connecting with your audience. Still struggling for ideas? There’s something that you know more about than anyone in the world: yourself. A blog about your experiences as a student could open all sorts of doors.

Frequency
Becoming blasé about your blog will soon see it falling behind and being forgotten about – set yourself a goal of a certain amount of posts per week to give you something to strive for and keep your audience engaged, waiting for the next post.

Why blog?

Practice makes perfect
Writing clearly and concisely is something that will come to you over the course of your blog and will stand you in good stead for any future essays or exams – a practiced tone could be key in your quest to impress your marker!

Reap the rewards
It’s great to write for yourself, but it’s rewarding to write for others. You may start to see traffic on your blog and realise that your content is giving your peers valuable insight. Whether you’re keeping them in the loop with the latest movies or staying in sync with fashion, the entries that you post will probably be helping someone, somewhere.

Big blogs make big bucks
A popular blog brings many different money-making opportunities that could make your student life a little less financially strict. Enough traffic will lead to advertising opportunities or even end up with you promoting brands. Free stuff in exchange for talking about them? Oh, go on then!


Student Bank Accounts: What to consider

Student bank accounts are a vital part of your university life – it’s easy to stick with the bank that you’ve always known or pop down to your local branch, but you could be missing out on a great deal elsewhere! It’s important to remember that the bank wants you. By getting a student on-board they are potentially gaining a lifelong customer, or at least one for the next few years, so it’s worth shopping around and finding the best solution. Here are our tips on what to consider when opening a student bank account.

Overdrafts – Is my seminar an overdraft? Because I’ve got 0% interest
It may feel like free money right now, but one day that overdraft will be overdue and the bank will be wanting it back. Therefore it pays to get not necessarily the biggest, but certainly the longest 0% offer that you can – this may well be the best overdraft you’ll ever have, so take your time!

Bank charges – For once, you definitely don’t need a charger
Uni is rarely smooth sailing when it comes to money – there’ll come a point where you’re creeping closer and closer to your overdraft limit, so it’s important to know what happens if you do tiptoe onto the wrong side of the line. Consider bank charges when choosing your account and try to go for the one that makes life easiest for you. A lot of accounts will charge you daily for being past your overdraft, whereas other will give you a handy buffering period to get yourself out of it.

New account incentives – Forgetting freebies and thinking of the future
A free railcard is helpful for those weekend trips home, and you could definitely get some room-completing decorations with that £60 Amazon gift card, but forgoing the freebies for the sake of your finances could be one of the most important factors in your choice of bank. Look past the offers and understand what kind of account you’re opening, because a few bank charges later could wipe out the value of the gift quicker than you can say ‘adulting’.

Understanding the language – Bamboozled by banker talk
We’re all guilty of sometimes putting a positive spin on something to make it sound a bit better, and banks are no different. When it comes to overdrafts, ‘guaranteed’ is better than ‘up to’. For example, a guaranteed overdraft of £1,500 is better than an overdraft of up to £3,000, of which you might only see a third. Remember that nothing is promised – if the banks have a selling point, you’ll know about it.

Struggling to figure out your finances whilst at university? There are some great resources online, such as Money Saving Expert and Save The Student.