6 Unique Qualities of Gen Z

If you were born between the late 90s and early 2010s, you’re a Gen Zer (most university students are part of this generation). Everything from growing up in the digital age to living through a pandemic as a child, teen, or young adult has influenced this generation’s values and personality, leading to some unique qualities. Here are a few to think about as you start planning for the future.

1. Serious About Work–Life Balance

Gen Zers are unwilling to dedicate their lives to work. They are refusing to do unpaid overtime and rejecting the hustle culture. Their idea of success is achieving a healthy work–life balance. In addition, they’re looking to gain specific experiences from work. Many value having a mentor and appreciate the chance to train others. They also like to work with clients and customers. Both of these things suggest that Gen Zers appreciate knowledge sharing and collaborative work.

2. Gamers

Although there have been plenty of gamers in previous generations, Gen Zers are different. For one thing, they like gaming to interact with others — it’s a social experience more than a chance to relax. Gen Z’s interest in the metaverse is also different from other generations, with the main focus being spending time with friends in a virtual environment and meeting new people.

3. Financially Driven

It’s likely that seeing the struggles Millennials have faced with their finances has led Gen Z to pay more attention to money. A greater proportion of Gen Zers say they want to save money than do members of other generations. Many are unsure about the best way to budget and control their spending. Although they expect banks to provide them with advice, more than half say financial institutions are falling short.

4. Passionate About Traveling

Gen Z has been bitten by the travel bug. After Millennials, Gen Z is the generation most likely to have traveled or to have purchased a vacation in the last six months. Gen Zers are using trips to recover from schoolwork and exams or to take a break from work.

5. Social Media Is for Inspiration and Information

There are many reasons why people use social media, but the main drivers for Gen Z are inspiration and information. They use platforms to inspire them about where they could travel to next, learn about trends, and find answers to their questions. Other generations tend to use search engines for these things.

6. Nostalgic

Perhaps nostalgic is not quite the right word, since it’s decades Gen Zers weren’t even alive to see what they’re passionate about. Yet, their appreciation for historical trends is a unique quality of this generation. This is apparent in their music tastes and fashion choices like low-rise jeans and claw clips. In addition, more Gen Zers say they prefer to think about the past over the future than do members of other generations.

A major distinction between Gen Z and the generations that came before is that Gen Zers are asking more from life. For example, many students are not satisfied with traditional dorm rooms and are instead living in apartments in student communities. Foundry Lofts offers Brock University off-campus housing with everything Gen Z students could want, including a games room, movie theater, fireside lounge, and study spaces. Book a tour to see how living here will enhance your university experience.


Top Fashion Trends for Students in 2023

How you present yourself to the world matters. It influences how people perceive you, gives you confidence, and allows you to express your personality. For these reasons, what you wear can impact everything from your social life to your academic performance. To feel comfortable and stylish, it can be helpful to know what’s in fashion for your age group. Learning about the top fashion trends for students will help you prepare your wardrobe in time for the fall semester.

1. Trending Colours

The most fashionable colours in 2023 are pink and blue, as well as related tones like lavender and violet. No particular shades are trending among students — anything from shocking pink to pastel blue is in fashion at the moment. You may like to combine pink and blue in the same outfit for a bold look.

2. Crochet

Ideal for achieving a boho look, crochet is appearing in all sorts of outfits. Tones range from muted to vivid. As you prepare for the weather turning cooler, pick up some crochet hats, scarves, and gloves.

Plus, if you’re looking to take up a hobby, crochet could be a fashionable one to try — you’ll be able to make your own clothes and gifts your friends will love.

3. Ruffles, Lace, and Fringe

After several years, ruffles, lace, and fringe are back in fashion, particularly for women’s clothing. Ruffles work especially well for smart casual outfits, such as when you pair a ruffle-neck blouse with jeans. In contrast, lace tends to be mainly for dresses, whereas fringe is appearing in all sorts of outfits, particularly in vibrant colours.

4. Asymmetry

It’s possible to show off your unique side while remaining fashionable with asymmetrical clothing. Although asymmetry works with virtually any style, you’ll see it most in urban fashion.

5. 90s Style

Fashion trends from the past are always returning. In 2023, some styles from the 90s that are particularly popular among students are baggy or flared jeans, overalls, bike shorts, and chokers.

6. Early 2000s

Another decade currently trending is the early 2000s. Some styles to consider include tops with detached and off-the-shoulder sleeves, cargo joggers, and tank tops. Plus, metallic tones are making a comeback — and not just for nights out.

7. Vintage

Just about any era from the past is in fashion if the clothing counts as vintage. In fact, vintage is a big trend among college students because many are eco-conscious and want to dress stylishly without increasing their carbon footprint. Wearing second-hand clothes is a great way to achieve this — not to mention it helps you save money and gives you more opportunity to develop your own style than is possible when purchasing from chain stores.

Fashion is about much more than just clothing — you also need a stylish apartment. For Niagara College student housing, look no further than Foundry Lofts. Our apartments all come with stainless steel appliances, are spacious, and have nine-foot ceilings. We even have fully-furnished options fitted with stylish decor. Book a tour to see the apartments and other amenities for yourself.


A Guide to Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

Making sure you sleep enough every night and stick to a consistent sleep schedule requires discipline. There will always be other activities available that may keep you up late or prevent you from studying and mean you need to pull an all-nighter to catch up. However, adopting better sleep habits is crucial for your overall health. Rather than just setting a goal to improve your sleep, you need a strategy to ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Here’s how to start.

1. Create a Bedtime Routine

Just as you have routines for other parts of the day, make a routine around your bedtime. At least on weeknights, never allow anything to interrupt this schedule.

A few hours before you want to be asleep, start winding down. For instance, you may like to prepare yourself a caffeine-free tea, dim the lights, and find an activity that relaxes you. When bedtime arrives, try using an eye mask or playing some soothing sounds to fall asleep faster.

2. Turn Off Your Devices

Your bedtime routine must definitely not involve any devices that emit blue light. This includes your phone, laptop, tablet, and TV. The effects of blue light last up to a couple hours before you try to sleep, keeping your brain awake and alert. This makes it harder to fall asleep and lowers the quality of your sleep.

One way to stay away from screens is to schedule homework earlier in the day. You also need to find more activities that don’t involve screens, such as reading, art projects, or gentle exercise. Lastly, you should set up sleep mode on your phone to stop receiving notifications.

3. Have Fun Without Sacrificing Sleep

Don’t let your sleep routine stop you from having the full college experience. If your friends want to go out on Fridays or Saturdays, decide if you can give yourself a little extra leeway. This will only be an option when you don’t have activities early the next morning, as may be the case if you’re a student athlete, you work on the weekends, or you have other commitments.

4. Separate Sleep and Studying

To keep sleep and studying separate, you should never study while sitting on your bed. However, you may also like to avoid using the desk in your room at times because it may mean you’re spending many hours in the same place. It’s worth searching for other places to study, such as the campus library, your local coffee shop, or a common area in your student housing.

You’ll find it much easier to stick to a healthy sleep routine if you at least have your own room. Moving into Foundry Lofts will mean you have a private bedroom in a suite you’ll share with just three or four other students. Our alternative to Niagara College residence also provides you with a full kitchen where you can prepare a delicious breakfast to incentivize yourself to get out of bed in the morning, a games room where you can socialize without screens, and study spaces to give you a change of scenery. Apply today while there are still some units available.


8 Goals to Set for Yourself This Summer

During college, summer can be whatever you make of it. You could just use it as a chance to relax — passing the days watching movies and catching up with friends. However, even though you’re likely to need some time for relaxation, dedicating your whole summer to chilling is a waste. A better idea is to use the weeks you have off productively. To do this, you should set goals. Some types of goals are particularly relevant for college students.

1. Keep Learning

Ensure your mind stays active over the summer break to make returning in the fall easier. There are a variety of ways you can keep learning, including by signing up for a summer class, taking online courses, or watching tutorials. Choose a topic that will complement what you’re studying at college, a skill you’ll need for work, or just something you want to learn for fun.

2. Take the First Steps Toward Pursuing Your Dream Career

Gain experience in your field with an internship. This will give you the skills you need to apply to better jobs once you graduate. If you’re lucky, you may even receive an offer from the company where you intern. In some industries, there are even remote internships with flexible hours, meaning you’ll have enough time to meet your other goals, too. You could even pick up more than one internship if you want to explore two potential career paths.

3. Give Back to the Community

Use your time for good this summer by volunteering. This will look great on your resume, especially if you choose something relevant to your career goals. As well as searching for projects near you, consider volunteering abroad for a few weeks to combine doing good with traveling.

4. Finish Some Books

Set a target to read a certain number of books over the summer. Add books that will give you insights into some of the topics you’ll be covering in your upcoming classes as well as books you just want to read for fun.

5. Find a New Hobby

It’s important to have hobbies you can turn to when you need to destress or take a break from your studies. Choose something you’ll be able to continue when you’re back at college, such as a craft or sport. You may like to consider if your college offers a related extracurricular when picking a hobby.

6. Make Some Money

Earn money to start paying off your student loans or to have extra to spend when you return to college. You could look for a temporary job over the summer, pick up gig work, freelance, or even start your own business.

7. Discover a New Podcast

Listen to an episode or two of some podcasts covering topics you find interesting until you discover one you’d like to listen to regularly. It’s great to have a few podcasts in your feed that you can play whenever you need to complete a boring task (such as cleaning your apartment) or for your commute.

8. Declutter Your Physical and Digital Life

Go through your belongings to see what you could get rid of — clothes you’ll never wear again, old handouts from classes, and other items that are taking up space. Next, move on to decluttering your digital presence. Delete old social posts, stop following people who are now unimportant to you, and update your personal information to reflect who you are today.

A final goal for the summer should be to find better housing for when you return to college in the fall. Foundry Lofts offers Niagara College student housing that comes with all the extras you need for the ultimate student experience. Our suites are fully furnished with leather couches, flatscreen TVs, and full-size appliances and you’ll have access to common areas including a games room, indoor atrium, and coffee shop. Apply today to secure your spot.


7 Skills to Hone During College

When you graduate, employers will expect you to have some crucial skills in addition to knowledge related to your major. There are multiple ways you can learn these skills, including by volunteering, participating in campus clubs and organizations, and working a part-time job or an internship, as well as in the classroom. Here are a few to start building now.

1. Time Management

You’ll begin developing better time management skills as soon as you start college because you’ll need to dedicate several hours a week to studying in your own time. You also won’t have anyone reminding you to keep making progress on projects to ensure you meet your deadlines. Being able to explain in a job interview how you created a balance between your schoolwork and your social life can help make you an appealing candidate.

2. Digital Literacy

Employers will want to know you’re able to perform basic tasks using a computer without the need for any training. You may need to be familiar with specialist software, know how to use shortcuts, and be able to perform internet research. If you’re lacking any of these skills, watch tutorials, take some free online courses, or ask for help at your college.

3. Teamwork

Even positions that typically require you to work independently will involve some collaboration. It’s important to be able to show that you will be a valuable team member. This involves listening to others’ ideas, contributing your own thoughts, and working with teammates to meet your goals. You may be able to demonstrate that you possess these skills if you belong to a club or sports team or if you’ve worked on group projects.

4. Communication

You need to have good verbal and written communication skills to succeed in the world of work. Your classes will likely give you plenty of opportunity to improve your writing, but chances to practice verbal communication may be more limited. If you feel this is something you lack, join a study group or become more active in your community to gain experience listening to others, asking for clarification, and explaining concepts.

5. Networking

More jobs and other opportunities will be open to you in the future if you hone your networking skills now. Push yourself to network with students and other people by attending events where you don’t know anyone and setting an aim to make a certain number of new contacts.

6. Leadership

You may have learned to be a leader without even realizing it, such as if you played a central role in a group project. However, if you want to apply for managerial positions after you graduate, it may be worth taking leadership classes or running for student government. These options will teach you more about delegating, providing constructive feedback, and resolving conflict.

7. Global Citizenship

Understanding more than just your own culture is important when working for an international company or for a business that has clients all over the globe. You can develop your global citizenship skills by taking electives that will teach you about other cultures, participating in projects with people from a variety of backgrounds, and studying or volunteering abroad.

You also need to learn how to be independent — not just for your career but to be able to survive on your own after graduation. To learn this, it’s important to live in your own apartment rather than on campus. You’ll find Niagara College student housing at Foundry Lofts. In your suite, you’ll have laundry facilities, everything you need to prepare your own meals, and fibre internet to keep you connected. Book a tour to check out our student community for yourself before you sign a lease.


Try These Products to Help with College Exams

For college students, exams are a dreaded aspect of classes. So much hangs on your performance in the exams and papers you need to complete. Studying for big tests is often challenging, but you can make it easier by purchasing the following useful products.

1. Pens in a Range of Colours

When you’re rewriting your notes to remind yourself of the material you covered in class, it can help to organize your ideas by colour. Plus, having pens in a range of colours will enable you to colour-code your agenda quickly to see what you should be working on.

2. Meditation App

Take care of your mental health before exams by downloading a meditation app to use on a daily basis. Whereas paid subscriptions typically offer a wider range of guided meditations, you can find plenty of free options if you’re looking to save money.

3. Water Bottle

Although you should include regular breaks in your study schedule, it’s easy to cheat and head to the kitchen for some water before you’re supposed to take a break — and who knows what distractions you may encounter along the way. Make sure you stay hydrated without needing to disrupt your concentration by keeping a large water bottle on your desk at all times.

4. Heated Eye Masks

If you struggle to fall asleep before a big exam due to anxiety, try using heated eye masks. These are great at helping you feel sleepy.

5. Scented Candle

Creating a habit for every time you sit down to study can help put you in the right frame of mind. A scented candle is ideal because the flickering flame is somehow relaxing and motivating at the same time. Plus, you’ll start to associate the scent with studying, which is useful for maintaining your focus.

6. Wall Calendar

Check when your assignments are due and the dates for your exams at a glance by keeping a wall calendar hanging above your desk. This will also be a huge help if you’re worried you may forget something important.

7. Plenty of Food

Stock up on plenty of food to prepare filling meals. The last thing you want is to need to order a meal when you have little in your budget left for the month or run to the grocery store in the middle of a study session. Choose meals you can prepare quickly and have healthy ingredients to fuel your brain and give you energy.

Equipping yourself with the above products is a good start, but you also need somewhere you can go to study for your exams in peace. A desk in your own bedroom is ideal, but you won’t have this if you’re still living on campus. A great alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts. As well as having your own room, you’ll only need to share the kitchen and living room with up to three roommates. Plus, you can use our onsite study area — there’s free WiFi throughout the building. Apply today to secure the type of floor plan you want.


9 Easy Single-Serve Meals to Make in Your Student Apartment

As a busy student, you have limited time to devote to cooking — but preparing your own meals is much less expensive than eating out. Plus, cooking for yourself will help you maintain a balanced diet. What you need is some ideas for easy meals you can whip up quickly. It’s possible to make all the following as single servings to avoid food waste from leftovers that you end up throwing out.

1. Tex-Mex Bowl

A meal can be both filling and healthy — a great example is this Tex-Mex bowl. Use equal parts quinoa and brown rice and add ingredients like beans, tomato, avocado, onion, chili peppers, and cilantro. Top with a fried or poached egg.

2. Pasta in Tomato Sauce

A serving of pasta for one person is about 60 to 100 grams. You can make the sauce yourself using tomato, onion, and herbs or purchase a jar of sauce — this will be more expensive but faster. Complete your meal with some chunks of sausage or vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

3. Omelette

A great choice for a healthy breakfast or light meal any time of the day is an omelette. For the omelette itself, all you need is a couple eggs, a little cooking oil, and some pepper. You can make the filling from virtually any type of cheese and vegetables.

4. Pesto Pizza

For an individual-size pizza, use a naan or pita. Instead of pizza sauce, you can use pesto. Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella are ideal as toppings, but you can use different ingredients if you prefer.

5. Yogurt Parfait

To make yogurt parfait, combine Greek yogurt, granola, chia seeds, your choice of fruit (strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are ideal), and some honey. Prepare it the night before to have a ready-to-go breakfast.

6. Mediterranean Grilled Cheese

Put a twist on a regular grilled cheese sandwich by using feta. This goes great with Mediterranean vegetables like roasted peppers, red onion, tomato, and olives.

7. Eggplant Parmesan

Using a small casserole dish, you can prepare a single-serve eggplant Parmesan. You’ll need to prepare the eggplant first — dip it in egg, coat it in breadcrumbs, and then fry it until it’s golden on either side. Once you’ve done this, lightly grease your dish and add a layer of eggplant slices. Follow this with a layer of mozzarella and a layer of tomato sauce. Then, repeat all three layers one more time. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. It takes just 30 minutes to bake at 180 ºC.

8. Baked Oatmeal

Hot oatmeal can be comforting — and it’s just as easy to prepare as cold oatmeal. Simply heat half a cup of oats with a cup of either milk or water (or a combination of the two). Then, stir in a spoonful of peanut butter, some chunks of apple, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

9. Caprese Salad

Salads make great lunches and sides to larger meals, but they become boring when you always use the same vegetables. A new combination to try is mozzarella, tomato, and arugula. You can also make this classic caprese salad a little heavier by adding some avocado.

Although all these meals are easy to make, they still require a kitchen, which is something you don’t have when you’re living on campus. You’ll find apartments near Brock University at Foundry Lofts that have full-size kitchens with stainless steel appliances. There are also grocery stores nearby — as well as restaurants for times when you want a treat. Contact us now before all the units are leased.


How to Safely Meet Up with Someone You Met Online

As a college student, you have a huge number of opportunities to meet new people. In addition to making friends on campus, you may meet people online, such as in virtual clubs, interest groups, and fandom spaces. It’s easy for these friends to become as close as the people you see on a regular basis. If the opportunity arises to meet up with online friends, you’ll definitely want to take it. However, there are steps you need to take to ensure your safety.

1. Check Your Friend’s Identity

There are several ways to confirm someone’s identity. For instance, you could ask to follow the friend on social media and check if the account seems legitimate. Even better, you could have a couple of video chats before you meet up. Online friends who are unwilling to do either of these things may be lying about their personal details.

2. Go to a Public Place

It’s best to meet in a public place — just in case the encounter doesn’t turn out as you expected. A good choice is a local coffee shop. Alternatively, if you originally connected over a shared taste in music, a hobby, or an interest, bonding at a concert or convention could be better still.

3. Arrange Your Own Transportation

Never rely on someone you’ve only just met for transportation. If you don’t have your own car, go somewhere you can reach by public transit. This will mean you can leave at a moment’s notice if you feel uncomfortable.

4. Involve Another Friend

It may be worth inviting another friend to come along with you, both for your safety and to prevent you from feeling awkward. Choose someone you believe will get along with your online friend — perhaps someone who is talkative and will keep the conversation flowing.

If you don’t want to bring someone with you, at least let a friend know where you’ll be. This is useful whenever you go out, but it’s extra important when you’re meeting someone new. You may even like to share your live location.

5. Prepare Some Icebreakers

Another way to avoid an awkward situation is to think about possible topics of conversation beforehand. Remind yourself that you do know this person — just because you’ve never met before doesn’t mean you’re strangers. Ask personal questions and continue conversations you’ve had online.

6. Have Clear Plans

Let your online friend know what you expect from the meeting in advance. For instance, make it clear where you’ll be meeting, how much time you’d like to spend together, and if anyone else will be coming along. Feel free to set boundaries and let your friend know if anything makes you uncomfortable. Anyone who’s worth spending time with will respect your boundaries.

You also need to have an exit plan — just in case. You could have an excuse in mind to use if you want to leave early or have a friend call or text you to give you a reason to leave.

If your meeting goes well, you may want to arrange to see your online friend more often. Once you get to know each other better, this could include inviting your friend over to your home. However, it’s difficult to entertain guests when you’re living on campus — which is another in the long list of reasons why you should find your own apartment. An alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts. Our spacious apartments are ideal for entertaining. Plus, you’ll have access to common areas like the outdoor courtyard, movie theater, and fireside lounge. Book a tour to pay us a visit before you sign a lease.


Ways to Keep a Strong Relationship with Family in College

A big adjustment to make when you start college is being away from your family for prolonged periods of time. In addition to missing your relatives, you may find it difficult to maintain the same kind of relationship. This can be due to a combination of distance, your new freedom, and discovering more about who you are. It’s important to take steps to maintain strong relationships while still embracing your new life. This means discussing boundaries and potential areas of conflict before you go away to college.

1. Talk About Rules for When You Return Home

Depending on how far your school is from your family home, you may be paying your family visits on the occasional weekend or only going back for longer breaks. In either case, it’s important to know if you’ll need to continue to follow the rules you had during high school or if your parents will allow you more flexibility.

Furthermore, you should discuss whether your bedroom will still be your own private space. Your family may decide to use the room for another purpose after you move out, meaning you may need to share the space when you return or even sleep somewhere else. It’s useful to know this in advance to avoid surprises that could lead to tension — which is the last thing you want after being away from your family for several weeks or months.

2. Set Expectations for Communication

Your family members will want to stay in touch while you’re at college. Whereas this is important for maintaining your relationship, you don’t want keeping in contact to become overwhelming. Try to come up with a solution everyone will be happy with and that doesn’t take too much of your time away from college experiences. For instance, you could agree to a weekly video chat or to keeping your family in the loop with regular text messages.

3. Be Clear About Your Financial Responsibilities

If your parents will be supporting you financially during college, it’s important to be clear about how much you can expect to receive each month and if there will be any restrictions as to how you can spend the money. You may decide that the amount your parents are able to give you will be insufficient for meeting your needs or that accepting money will have too many strings attached. In these cases, a better alternative is to search for other sources of financing, such as through a part-time job or a scholarship.

Make the adjustment of being away from your family easier by finding a place you can call home while you’re at college. An alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts.

You’ll have your own room in a fully-furnished apartment — equipped with everything you need to be comfortable. Plus, you can take advantage of some great onsite amenities, including a fireside lounge, fitness center, movie theater, and games room. Book a tour to see all the facilities for yourself.


How to Improve Your Credit Score as a Student

College is likely to be your first chance to develop a credit score. The choices you make now will have an effect on your life for years to come. For instance, by making smart choices, you’ll receive lower interest rates on loans, be approved for credit cards with better terms, and even find better housing after you graduate. There are several things you can do right now to improve your credit score.

1. Apply for a Secured Credit Card

If you have no credit history, it may be difficult to receive approval for a credit card. One solution is to take out a secured card. This type of credit card is connected to an account where you deposit funds. The amount you have in the account at any given time is the maximum limit on your card. You make payments just as you would a regular credit card — the funds in the account are purely for collateral. To improve your credit score, it’s important to always make payments on time and never to use the amount in your account. After a while, the creditor may even offer you an unsecured credit card.

2. Become an Authorized User on a Credit Card

An alternative to taking out a credit card yourself is to become an authorized user on someone else’s account. For instance, you could ask a close family member, such as a parent, grandparent, or older sibling. You’ll have your own card you can use to make purchases, but the primary account holder will be responsible for making payments. You should arrange to send your family member the funds to pay the balance separately.

To build credit in this way, it’s crucial the primary account holder always makes payments on time. A history of timely payments will appear in your own credit history.

3. Take Out Student Loans

Many students need loans to be able to pay for college. Although this will mean you have debt to pay after you graduate, it can have a positive effect on your credit score — provided you always pay the installments in full and on time.

It’s even better if you start making payments while you’re still in college. However, it’s still important to exhaust your other options first, such as by applying for scholarships and researching grants. This will help you avoid problems making loan payments.

4. Use Credit-Builder Loans

If you don’t need student loans, you could improve your credit score with credit-builder loans. This involves making monthly payments over a set period. At the end of the payment period, you’ll receive the amount you’ve paid (minus interest). The lender will report your payment history to the credit bureaus, helping you to improve your credit score.

5. Pay Your Rent on Time

Simply paying your rent on time can build your credit. You’ll need to ask your landlord to disclose your payment history to both of the credit bureaus to ensure your rent payments do form part of your credit score.

To be able to pay your rent on time each month, you need to find an affordable apartment. For Niagara student housing, look no further than Foundry Lofts. You can choose between a four- and five-bedroom apartment — whatever best matches your budget. Plus, all our apartments are fully furnished (including with in-suite laundry facilities) and rent includes high-speed internet. Apply now to secure the floor plan you want before they’re all sold out.