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We all know uni can be very expensive and students aren't known for having a lot of money (despite spending a lot of it) but that doesn't mean we should be living on the bread line.

Tip 1. Try and stay at home if you can

It might be the experience of a lifetime living in halls but at home is where the savings are at; from having a fully stocked fridge, to a warm, well-lit house plus little to no rent every month, living at home definitely takes the strain off your wallet.

Tip 2. Stick to the Basics

From store own brands foods to unnamed branded clothes - there's nothing wrong the basics and its usually cheaper. You'd be surprised at how much a branded label can bump up the total price.

Tip 3. Discount!

If you really are a shopaholic then at least try not to pay full price for your gear; many shops offer discounts especially for students, there's also the NUS card and some stores even have vouchers available online that can be found when googled. Don't forget clothing stores often have summer and winter sales which means the same great stuff at up to half the price.

Tip 4. Double Up

If you're living with flatmates likely chances are you'll need the same thing, it makes no sense to buy two sets of groceries or cutlery or toiletries - instead put your money together. You'll find that you don't spend as much individually and you might even get bulk discounts for buying more with your combined funds.

Tip 5. Budget!

This tip is literally the most crucial advice you'll be given when it comes to financial management. A budget details your incomings and outgoings and gives you an idea of where you can cut back or where to better allocate your resources - A bit of advance planning never hurt anyone.

 

So, this week was results week which can be stressful for everyone! After working so hard for months trying to get all the preparation done for assignments, dissertations and those dreaded exams, I always think that results day is a nerve wracking day, and trying to find the courage to press the 'view grades' button can be tough! I got my degree grade back on Friday and was pleased to see that I got a 2:1 so will be graduating at the end of the year! I hope all you guys that got your results back got what you wanted too and all did well!

For the past few months since exams, I have been thinking about grades and how I did, and have been asked many times that dreaded graduate question of 'So what are you going to do now then?', and each time I was thrown off and didn't really know what to say as I didn't have any plans, however I have now also been offered a job within a great company and am beginning my career in rehabilitation! All in all, this past week has been a pretty good one!

That means that sadly, the blog you're reading will be my last one, and I have officially worked my last KUSA shift *sobs!*

On reflection, coming to Kingston has been the best experience of my life and although K-town has thrown some interesting situations at me, I haven't regretted being here one bit, and have thoroughly loved every minute of being here! Here are some of my top tips of things you have to do before you graduate and get old and wrinkly (like me!).

- Go somewhere in London you've never been to before; put away your maps and phones and just get lost somewhere. It might sound crazy, but I love doing this! I love to go to random places and not know quite where I am, find some back alley café and have a coffee and read, or go and explore somewhere new! In London, you can't get lost because you'll eventually run into a bus or tube stop - why not give it a go!

- Live with people that you never thought you would - I have lived with some real characters in my three years at Kingston, some which I love to bits and am great friends with now, and some that I didn't like in the slightest. I feel that living with a bunch of random people is amazing, as you can meet some amazing people that you wouldn't normally know, yet on the other hand living with people you don't like helps you to get to know yourself, and you learn how much you can tolerate and put up with!

- Go out with your friends - as a student, you're allowed to roll up at the pub at 2pm on a Wednesday with your friends, and hang out, have a pint and just generally catch up and chill! Make the most of it, and really spend time with people that you love!

- And lastly, keep in touch with people! I have met some truly amazing people through my three years in Kingston, and cheesy as it may sound, I can't imagine my life without some of them! So make sure that you keep in touch, give those old friends a quick call every now and again and let them know that you still think about them!

Farewell Kingston, you've been the best! :D

I hope everyone at Kingston has an experience as amazing and life changing as mine was!

A Very Busy Summer

Posted 28 Jul 2014 by Jane

 

I'm six weeks into my summer vacation and it's been pretty packed already! I thought to myself "This summer I won't do as much and I'll have a little break..." and it hasn't worked out that way!

Disneyland

My family visited Paris over the May bank holiday weekend. My Dad works in Chartres so we stayed in his apartment and visited all the tourist attractions - including Disneyland! I bought myself some Mickey ears and got fully into the Disney spirit. Going as an adult makes you appreciate how special it is to kids, (and how expensive it is!)

The week after I flew to Canada to see a friend and her gorgeous kids. I stopped over at Niagara Falls before I flew to her small town in Northern Alberta; a four hour flight from Toronto. Thanks to one of my wonderful customers in the pub where I work I managed to get upgraded on both of my Heathrow flights and I had a brilliant time sipping champagne and choosing what to have for dinner. Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) is a strange town - it's got a lot of amusement arcades and a Casino, but looks exactly like a Stepford town. It has perfectly manicured gardens and hanging baskets!

I had a great time with my friends in Alberta and their beautiful children. We took our traditional visits to Wendy's and Dairy Queen and as always, they were fantastic to spend time with.

Niagra FallsAfter I got back from Canada I was on the admin team for a 6000 person Guide and Scout camp in Sussex! The weather wasn't too horrific and nothing major happened so it was a fun weekend camp. My Guides thoroughly enjoyed themselves and although I got next to no sleep, I really enjoyed myself as well.

I am now working my way through the summer with my pub job and I will also be at the Compact Scheme's Head Start summer schools. Head Start is so much fun and so useful if you're starting at Kingston this year, it's full of great information and is a place to meet some friends before you start Uni. I know people who are living with people they met on Head Start - it really is a place where you can enjoy yourself and get questions answered.

Our results for the year are out soon (as I am second year, I have had to wait until after final results are given to get mine) and there are three modules I'm reasonably confident about, the other one I know I will have passed - I'd passed it on coursework before I even sat the exam! I'm excited to move on and go into third year. Life Science students mostly have their dissertation topics already so having that little bit of extra time to research has been really useful, I feel like next year might not be quite as stressful!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer before results come out and the Uni countdown starts!

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