Category: Residence Life (Page 1 of 3)

Room Hacks: A guide to efficient living in King’s Residences

Post contributed by CF Rad

Moving into a new place is one of the most exciting things about starting uni, but it is also quite a monumental task. Add a pandemic to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for a stressful couple of weeks.

But worry not- here at King’s ResiLife we have compiled a comprehensive list of tips and tricks you can use to avoid any hassle and settle into your new home as quickly as possible. It is a by-product of our collective experience of living in student halls, so you know that these recommendations are worth a try!

Bedroom Hacks

Decorating:

  1. Door tags are a wonderful way to introduce yourself to your flatmates, and not to mention, they look extremely cute! If you are self-isolating, you can also put your social media handles on there so your flatmates can reach out to you online.
  2. Plants fulfil many purposes- apart from adding a pop of colour, they also keep the air in your room fresh and add a homely vibe. Cacti and succulents are extremely popular with students as they require minimal care and are also sold at low prices at local supermarkets.
  3. Photos of friends and family, or postcards of places you have visited are a great way to personalise the space. Websites like Snapfish will print your photos out for you and deliver them to your door. Photographs also go well with fairy lights and will look great on your notice board!

Organising:

  1. Most rooms in residences have two main areas for storage- under your bed, and on wall-mounted shelves and cabinets. It is best to use the under-bed storage for larger items such as suitcases, and items you do not use often- for instance, you could store your winter clothes under your bed during warmer months. Shelves can be used for books and trinkets, or any other items you need often.
  2. Drawer dividers are an efficient way to organise underwear, socks, and other small items. They make it easy to find your things and utilize drawer space that otherwise might go wasted.
  3. Desk organisation units are a great way to make the most out of your workstation. Most stationery shops like Ryman and WH Smith sell file racks, bookends and pen stands in sets; consider buying these for a more cohesive look!

Cleaning:

  1. A list of equipment you will need to maintain a clean bedroom:
  • Multi-purpose spray
  • Glass cleaner spray
  • J-cloths
  • Microfiber clothes 
  • Duster 
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Optional: Mini vacuum

**Pro tips: Try talking to your flatmates about pitching in to buy a set of these for everyone’s use!

2. Make a cleaning timetable for yourself. Look at your university timetable and extracurricular activities and find the days which work best for you to clean do your laundry and freshen up your room. Your laundry day might be different than your cleaning day!

3. Here is the most efficient set of steps to clean your room, so that you don’t have to repeat any task:

  • Dust: When dusting, make sure you work from top to bottom, left to right. This way you’re not scattering dust on surfaces you have already cleaned.
  • Glass: Wipe mirrors with a microfiber cloth and some glass cleaner spray, also useful for picture frames.
  • Wipe surfaces: Wipe surfaces using a j-cloth and some multi-purpose spray.
  • Vacuum: After dusting / wiping, vacuum your room. Make sure you go under your desk too!
  • Take out the trash!! Take the rubbish out your bin and replace the bin-liner. Make sure you take the rubbish to your buildings rubbish room and separate into recycling/rubbish.

4. Clean up spillages as soon as they happen. Take out old plates and used dishes when you are done eating- this way your room won’t smell of old food.

5. Since candles and incense sticks are not allowed in residences, you may use room spray or a reed diffuser to make your room smell nice. Reed diffusers can be bought at Sainsbury’s for £3.

We hope that these tips are helpful for you! Tag us on social media using #kingsresilife if you use these so we can see you thriving in residences!

CF Jiashu’s Restaurants of the Month

 

  1. Flat iron
    • A steak house that actually tastes alright while being economically viable, and eh, you don’t see that every day in London. Or, as they say it themselves, great steak, at affordable prices.
    • A mouth-watering flat iron steak served with house salad for £10, accompanied by a choice of sides like dripping cooked chips, creamed spinach and market greens. This easily makes up for the fact that you can’t reserve a table, instead they have a nifty way that involves texting when there is a space available.
    • They also offer free icecream! After your steak, you will merrily receive a Mr. Whippy-style caramel mousse in a mug, with rock salt crystals to scatter according to your whim.
    • They have many restaurants within the reach of central London, located in London bridge, Covent Garden, Hackney and Spitalfields.

  1. The breakfast club
    • This is probably London’s most popular all-day breakfast and brunch place. It’s been called many names, the ‘London must-do’, the ‘most amazing all-day breakfast’. And it’s not just the food that’s perfect. It’s also bright, colourful, saturated with cultural references and intriguing ornaments and memorabilia. If you are into the styles of the 1980s, or just wish to experience some pop culture, here would be the perfect place to walk down.
    • Price range quite affordable, £12.50 for full Monty, which is one of the more expensive dishes.
    • They have an all-day breakfast menu, including the classics, such as Eggs Benedict (£9.50), Berry pancakes (£9.50) and Avocado on Rye (£7.00)
    • I recommend the All American (pancake stack, bacon, sausage, crispy homestyle potatoes, fried eggs and maple syrup); as well as the Full Monty, a deviation from full English (bacon, sausage, crispy homestyle potatoes, garlic mushrooms, hash brown, black pudding, beans, tomato, fried eggs and toast).
    • These cafes are easy to find. They can be found all around London, Battersea, London Bridge, Soho and Spitalfields.

Self-Care

Post contributed by Jasmin, Welfare Lead

I’m Jasmin, and I’m one of the Residence Welfare Leads here at King’s. Members of our team live on-site at each residence to provide welfare support for our student community. Moving into residences is a big change, even without some of the additional stresses we are facing this year, and it’s totally normal to be feeling worried or overwhelmed. Your wellbeing is really important and so we thought we’d share a bit about self-care!

What is self-care?

It can be really easy to get lost in buzzwords, so we’ll keep it simple here. Self-care is anything you consciously do to promote your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

What kind of things can I do?

Self-care is a personal thing and it looks different for everyone! It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming and regularly choosing an activity that takes 10 minutes or less can make a real difference. Action For Happiness have some great tips on their #SelfCareSeptember daily action calendar.

We’ve also listed a few ideas below, and you can check out the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub for activities, events and resources around King’s to boost wellbeing all year round.

  • Taking an online exercise class
    We all know exercise is physically good for us, but it can also give a real boost to your mood too! King’s Sport offer access to their BeActive program for free if you are a resident at King’s Halls. 
  • Listening to music
    Music can be a powerful tool for both relaxing and getting motivated. Whatever you choose to listen to, taking some time for your favourite music can help in making your new space feel a bit more like home. 
  • Doing something creative
    Spending some time on a creative hobby can provide the break you need to boost wellbeing. You might want to learn a new skill or practise an old one! If you’re looking for inspiration, keep an eye on the King’s ResiLife virtual events for their Creativity Nights.
  • Having a nice cup of tea
    Or any hot drink really – I’ve saved one of the simplest until last! Taking ten minutes to step away from daily stresses and relax.

   

About the Residence Welfare Lead Team

We’re a group of friendly, trained volunteers who live in the King’s Residences to support with student welfare.

Our duty hours are between 8PM – 8AM on weekdays and 24 hours on the weekend. We can be reached over text, phone or email and you can find our contact details around the residence as well as on our webpages here.

Getting to London and your King’s Residence safely

*This article was written prior to COVID-19 restrictions*

You might have started thinking about decorating your new bedroom and speaking to your new flatmates on Facebook but have you thought about your actual arrival to London?

Arriving at KCL is one of the most exciting times in your first year but it’s also a pretty jam-packed period. Lots of people are moving in, getting settled and adapting to their new environment. You will need to know how to make your way around London, your local area and campus pretty quickly, but that can be easier said than done!  Continue reading

Black Students Talk

Post contributed by Nkasi Stoll, 1st year PhD student, Department of Psychological Medicine

 

Black Students Talk is a new virtual weekly peer wellbeing support group run by us, for us.

 

Topic: Black Students Talk (BST)

When: Every Thursday, 3pm-5pm

Link:  https://zoom.us/j/98862363294?pwd=anJRZzBLTkxjQXhpYmNvVFVnREtnUT09

Meeting ID: 988 6236 3294

Password: BPT20

 

What is Black Students Talk (BST)? 

BST is a peer support group that provides safe, supportive and therapeutic spaces for black* students to meet, share, learn, and manage our mental health & wellbeing at university.

BST online sessions are held weekly via Zoom. Each weekly session from 3PM-5PM and lasts 2 hours.

Why does BST exist?

As university students we experience complex academic, psychological, social, emotional and financial pressures. Black* students face specific pressures that often affect our mental health and therefore, our university experience and outcome.

BST x KCL was set up by Nkasi Stoll (Postgraduate student at King’s College London, IoPPN) and Yannick Yalipende (Postgraduate student at University of Bristol).

Nkasi and Yannick worked with the IoPPN Diversity and Inclusion team to set up this group due to their own experiences with depression and anxiety whilst studying at university.

What do Black Students Talk (BST) sessions offer?

  • one-to-one/group discussions using culturally relevant/specific psychoeducation
  • help accessing appropriate mental health services within the university and wider community
  • a ‘home away from home’ to connect with other black* students
  • visiting speakers from black mental health organisations
  • BPT resources designed and delivered by trained facilitators

Who is Black Students Talk (BST) for?

University students at King’s College London who identify as “black*” (African, Caribbean, Mixed heritage).

How do I attend the Black Students Talk (BST) sessions?

BST sessions are being held virtually. No need to sign up in advance. On Thursday at 3pm click the zoom link and enter the meeting ID and password (provided at the top of this email) to join the group. Email us on: hello@blackpeopletalk.co.uk.  Find us on Twitter: @yyalipende & @NkasiStoll

KCL CF Wins National Award!

Contributed by Maddie Jammeh, Residence Manager at Great Dover Street Apartments

The prestigious CUBO RA Awards  is open to all Universities in the UK and Ireland. The award seeks to recognise the important contribution the Community Facilitators or Residence Assistants make to students’ wellbeing, and this year our very own Jessica O’Logbon is a winner!

 

Jessica is a medical student studying at King’s. Last year she was amongst some students from King’s who visited No.10 Downing Street and Parliament to help promote how BAME students can apply for medicine and diversify the profession.

I nominated Jessica for this award because I was able to observe her over the past two years working with new teams who had no knowledge or little experience in the Community Facilitator role.  She is very passionate in her work and worked very effectively with the ResiLife team to support students at Great Dover Street Apartments and other societies she pioneers within King’s.

Jessica is dedicated to student experience and enjoys her role as a Community Facilitator. She has demonstrated this through her continuous engagement and commitment with the residents and others.

Thank you, and well done!

What is Life Like in Kings Residences?

*This article was written prior to COVID-19 restrictions*

Post contributed by Julie, War Studies

Hi, my name is Julie from France. I am 18 years old, and I just finished my first year at King’s. I am studying War Studies, and all of my classes are at Strand campus.

When I arrived in London, I was still 17 years old. It was impressive to be in a huge international city, mainly because I come from a town in the South of France, which is not that big. I remember, it was like a dream, to be by myself not knowing anyone and having to get used to this new chapter of my life. This dream was real, and before I even realised, my life changed completely for the best. This first year was a fantastic year that I will never forget.

I stayed at one of the King’s residences taking care of under-18s. I was placed in an en suite, sharing the kitchen and the ‘living room’ with ten other under-18 students. In my opinion, the fact that everybody was around the same age made it easier to be well included and safe as minors. We all turned 18 at some point, but it did not change anything.

In that kitchen I met some amazing people who are now friends that I love a lot. Living with people is something unique, which creates links that will stay for a very long time. Since the beginning, we shared a lot of things, while respecting each other and our belongings. I think it is crucial to talk to your flatmates and establish some friendly rules to follow. Even if everyone gets along, it avoids potential conflicts. It allows everyone to live in a friendly environment, and that is why I have amazing memories in that kitchen. Every time one of us was celebrating his/her 18th birthday, we bought a cake and eating it all together. We were also organising movie nights or just little friendly parties.

If you just arrived, King’s activities, especially at the beginning of the year, are a fantastic way to meet a lot of friendly and kind people who can become your friends. Even after, throughout the year, in each residence, there are themed nights and activities to do. It is an excellent way to meet new people and free your mind from stress and anxiety.

Another thing that I appreciate being in one of King’s residences is having access to the BeActive program, which is free for students living in King’s accommodation. It is a friendly social part of King’s Sport organising events classes such as basketball, football, yoga, dance, pilates. The aim is really to enjoy and meet new friends there, no skills are required for anything. I even had the chance to be an Activator supervising the activities, and it was useful. I learned a lot of new skills and values!

If I had to tell you something before starting your first year it would be that: you don’t have to worry or stress about anything. This year was the best year of my life, being able to study what I like while living with amazing people. With some organisation, even if you have to study a lot, you can do so many things. You can be part of one of King’s societies, do exercise, do activities with other student and visit London, which is a fantastic city, especially in winter or at night it is magical!

I hope you will enjoy your experience at King’s.

Julie.

How I started a business from my room in King’s Residences

Contributed by Konstantinos, 3rd year medical student

My name is Kostas, I am a medical student at King’s. 2018 was the year I started my own business called Student Essentials.

Don’t get too excited it doesn’t involve machine learning or artificial intelligence. It is a super simple business, yet it offers great convenience to our customers. We deliver all the essentials (like duvets, pillows, towels, kitchen items) to students when they arrive at their accommodation. It saves them time and money.

Looking back 2 years ago, I started from just having this idea and now my business is a recommended supplier of Bedroom and Kitchen Packs for King’s College London. I vaguely remember the period when I had just a couple of orders to having hundreds of orders going through our website. The reason for this is because it went by really fast, just a matter of a few days/weeks. I was the happiest person in the world when I received the first batch of samples from my suppliers. I had all different types of pillowcases, colours, pillow fillings etc on my hands to choose from. The only downside was my storage capacity, as I lived in en-suite single bedroom at great dover street apartments so all my friends started questioning how I was going to do this.

But that didn’t stop me from pursuing my goals. I knew this business had great potential and that students would benefit from this service. A few weeks later when I started getting hundreds of orders, it became apparent my bedroom could no longer be the place I store the orders. So I ended up renting a room at a big storage company and that changed everything. Things became much easier to handle now I had all the space I needed! Getting all this stock out in time for the student arrival was one of the biggest challenges. Luckily, I had the support from my two best friends that helped in delivering hundreds of bedroom packs to the students!

Although it is just me behind the business, I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am now without the incredible support from my family, friends and King’s College London. Kings’ strategic vision for 2029 is to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and that means I am (and even you if you want to become an entrepreneur) in the right place at the right time. Something that stood out to me, which you do not see often, is how willing the staff at King’s College London are to foster entrepreneurial ideas. I have had managers from residences spend hours with me discussing how best to launch my business, which is invaluable.

King’s Residences is a great place to start your entrepreneurial journey and I am thankful of the support King’s College London provided me with.

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