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Getting Active at King’s

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There’s no need to spend money on an expensive gym membership or fancy London yoga glasses. As a King’s student and resident you have access to a wide range of sports and activities run by professionals, and most of them are free! Keeping active helps you stay stress-free and more productive, so it’s the best way to procrastinate this exam period.

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BeActive Halls

BeActive Halls is a social sports programme open to all residents. Run by King’s Sport and KCLSU, the programme has a range of activities including yoga, football, boot camp and more! Each activity is based at a different residence, so you’re bound to find something right on your door step.

As a resident, you also have free access to the regular BeActive timetable, which is open to all King’s students. This programme has just launched a ‘how-to’ timetable, where you can try a sport/activity that you haven’t experienced before.

You can watch a video here and you can find the new spring timetables here.

giphy (7)KCLSU Sports Clubs 

KCLSU has over 50 sports clubs to choose from, all at a variety of levels. Whether you consider yourself a pro athlete or you just want to try something new, there’s something for you.

You can find a full list of clubs here.

King’s Sport Gyms

King’s Sport run residence gyms at Great Dover Street and Champion Hill. If you live in these residences you can visit your corresponding gym for free (it’s included in your fees), simply ask at reception.

King’s Health and Fitness centre is run by King’s Spot at Stamford Street, Waterloo. All Stamford Street Apartment residents can attend the gym for free! All other students have access to a very affordable membership.

The gym is fully equipped with cardio equipment and weights, and also has a full range of classes available that are included in your gym membership. Find more information on their website here.

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Four Cultural Activities for January

We all know that it’s hard to drag yourself out of bed when it’s below zero outside and every time you leave the house you risk injury-by-deceptive-footpath-frost.

London never stops, even in winter. So it’s time to pull on your third layer of thermals and head to some of these free activities happening around the city this January.

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‘Alternative’ Walking Tours

You won’t be seeing Tower Bridge or Big Ben on this walking tour. Take a walk through East London with one of the city’s most acclaimed walking companies for free. Discover the street art and history of Brick Lane and Shoreditch, areas which have surprisingly only recently been gentrified.

Alternative London has won a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the past four years, so it’s fair to say these tickets will sell out fast.  Book your ticket here.

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Chinese New Year

The Year of the Rooster kicks off on the 29 January, prepare for a month of music, acrobats and pyrotechnics! Begin your celebrations by watching the Chinese New Year Parade, starting at 10 am. Keep checking the London Chinatown Chinese Association’s website for more information.

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Teenage Bedrooms

Has your mum already turned your room into a yoga sanctuary or guest bedroom? Never fear, you can visit 26 different teenage bedrooms at this exhibition at the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton.  Maybe you can find one that resembles your own…

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January Markets

If you enjoy all things vintage and crafty, you should definitely visit The Old Dalston or Hackney Flea Market this January. Both markets offer a selection of hand-picked stall holders selling handmade crafts and everything retro, vintage and antique. You might be able to find a few new things for your flat (or maybe a present for your great grandma).

Markets are taking place 7, 8 and 15 January and are free!  Find out more information here.

How to Spend New Years Eve in London


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It’s just about that time of year when all the people who refuse to make plans for NYE start freaking out about not having plans for NYE. Never fear! We have four cheap, easy ways that you can easily avoid FOMO.

 

KCLSU New Year’s Eve Party

Head KCLSU’s BRAND NEW Philosophy Bar for their annual New Year’s Eve Party to end 2016. You’ll be ringing in the New Year right in the centre of London, alongside some of the biggest celebrations in the city.

What’s included? Your £18 ticket gets you a free drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic), light food options and low drink prices throughout the evening. The Union is currently offering two tickets for £25 on their website.

London Mayor’s Fireworks

If yougiphy live at Stamford Street Apartments, boy do we have news for you! You have access to one of London’s most popular New Year’s Eve events. Stamford Street Apartments is in the ticketed event area for the London Mayor’s Fireworks, which means as long as you have a wristband, you’ll have a great view of the event. The fireworks start at 7.30 pm, see the Major of London’s website for more information.

Even if don’t plan to watch the fireworks, we advise that all Stamford Street residents collect a wristband from reception before 31 December. Wristbands are limited so make sure you get in quick. You will not be allowed to enter the ticketed area if you do not hold a wristband or an ID card that includes your Stamford Street Address.

 

GlobalLounge_SMThe Global Lounge

If you have no plans and are worried about being alone, join the Global Lounge Facebook group and see how other King’s Students are celebrating.

The Global Lounge is your Winter Break space at Franklin-Wilkins Building. It will be open until 6 pm on New Year’s Eve, so you can head to Waterloo and play some Nintendo Wii or table tennis to kick off your night.

On New Year’s Day Bridget Jones’s Diary will be playing at 6 pm, the perfect way to start the New Year!

 

 Winter Wonderland or Kew Gardens

If you are more of a Christmas person and feel as though the season has ended too quickly, you can still visit two of London’s best Christmas displays on New Year’s Eve. Kew Gardens is beautiful all year around, but at Christmas, it really makes its mark.  Think beautiful nature inspired Christmas lights, a Santa’s Grotto and a vintage carousel.

Winter Wonderland is also open on New Year’s Eve until 10 pm, book your tickets now to secure a place!

Lastly, between 23.45 and 4.30, you can travel for free on the Tube, Overground, bus, DLR and TFL rail. Stay safe and see you in the New Year!

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Safe over Winter Break

26tkl6oesuCt5akbCNo matter whether you are in residences or back at home it is always important to stay safe. Christmas is a busy time of year. There are holiday parties to attend, copious amounts of food to be eaten, Christmas shopping to do and family to see.

However, during this time it is also important to look after yourself, whether you are heading home or staying in your residence.

Out on the Town

We all know it’s hard to avoid excessive consumption of both food and alcohol over the Christmas period. It’s the one time of the year where even gran might get a little tiddly.

If you’re planning a few big nights out make sure you remember to stay safe. The city might seem a whole lot more inviting at Christmas, but reports show that crime increases over this period. Make sure you:

  • Walk with friends
  • Take a taxi if you’re alone
  • Avoid dark alleyways (harder than it sounds when it gets dark at 3.30pm!)
  • Always tell someone where you’re going
  • Always shield your pin when withdrawing cash
  • Look out for your friends
  • Ensure there are no tailgaters when returning to your home or residence
  • Be responsible and don’t take unnecessary risks

In your Residence 

If you’re heading home over Winter break make sure you hide your valuables and make sure your doors and windows are secure.

To help maintain a safe, secure and sustainable residence please ensure the following are done before heading home:

  • Switch off any electrical appliances, an indoor fire isn’t very enjoyable without a fireplace.
  • Turn off your heating, lighting and any taps to avoid excess electricity and water consumption over the break.
  • Clean out the fridge, disposing of any produce or items that may become a serious health issue if left alone for three weeks.
  • Let us know if you are leaving. We have a duty of care to make sure all our residents ar26hisjy85ML01lqH6e safe, whether you are with us or at home.

Do something different

When classes start back on the 15 January many of you will be ready to break ground on a new term. With that in mind, now is your opportunity to make the most of this downtime. Use the break to catch up on that best seller you haven’t had the chance to read. Visit friends or go to a local café and people watch. Remember that this is the time of the year where you can put your feet up and recharge those batteries.

Qwi6fEcn2JJegKeep well!

It’s a cold, dark time of year, which makes locking yourself up in your room with a jar of peanut butter and Netflix seems very inviting. If you’re trying to beat the winter blues remember that exercise helps improve your mood. There’s a bunch of Christmas-themed walking tours taking place all over London, check them out here.

If you’re staying in your residence, make sure you get together with your flatmates or neighbours for a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate.

 

Get involved

There’s no need to be alone over the Christmas period. King’s College London and KCLSU have joined forces to create the Global Lounge, a Winter Break space with games, film nights and more. Attend one of the events or simply bring some friends along and celebrate the English Winter over a free cup of tea and a sandwich.

Merry Christmas! We can’t wait to welcome everyone back in the New Year. Remember, if you’re staying with us over the break you can still contact your Residence Welfare Team (RAs and Wardens) through email and phone. You can find out more information about Christmas at King’s here.

 

Giving a Little this Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. A large number of us will be heading home, surrounding ourselves with friends and family, eating far too much of mums cooking, cracking Christmas crackers and wearing silly party hats that are often too big.

No matter how you will be celebrating this holiday season, it’s important to remember that Christmas isn’t a great time for everyone. During this time we would like you to think about how you can help those in need and bring some Christmas cheer to others.

Here are four easy ways that you can help make a difference this Christmas.

Donate a Gift

Across a number of King’s Residences we are supporting The Salvation Army Gift Giving Appeal. At the Great Dover Street Apartments, Stamford Street Apartments, Wolfson House and Champion Hill residences you have the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life by donating a gift that a child will receive on Christmas Day. Simply purchase a small gift and head to your reception. You’ll be asked to place a tag on your gift and place it under the tree! Ideas for what to buy can be found here. This is a great opportunity to put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

Donate to a food bank

It’s likely that you’ve refined your culinary skills since you moved in to King’s Residenmy-nemesis-the-pot-noodleces. Hopefully you will have cut back on your pot noodle consumption and have learnt to cook a few specialities.

If you need to get rid of unwanted food (like pot noodles!), why not donate to your local food bank? Even a can of beans can help someone have a better Christmas. You can easily find your local food bank on the Trussell Trust website.

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Have a Christmas Clear Out

Going home over the Winter Break? In between stuffing yourself with mum’s cooking and squabbling with siblings, why not take the opportunity to have a Christmas Clear Out?

Chances are you haven’t been home in a while and might wonder why you’ve been holding on to that dress from Year 10 or those football boots from that one year you decided to play a sport. Take the time to rifle through your old room and donate any unwanted goods to a charity. Clutter is often linked to stress, so you’ll feel great for getting rid or your excess belongings and giving to others at the same time.

Help the Animals

Every year the RSPCA experiences an influx of abandoned animals during winter. The charity expects over to take in over 19,000 animals in England and Wales alone this winter, that’s a lot of cute puppies in need!

The RSPCA have a bunch of fundraising events you can take part in, or you can make a one off donation to help. You can also help any wild animals by reading through their online tips.

 

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

The time has come for our American counterparts to celebrate all that they’re thankful for over endless amounts of roast turkey, stuffing and pie.  Elyse in our ResiLife team is spending her first Thanksgiving alone in London. Below she reflects on her past celebrations and offers some tips to our American residents giving thanks today.


Today is Thanksgiving and I am not with my American family to celebrate. For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is a time for family, fun and a four day weekend. For me, it is usually a day/long weekend filled with fighting with my younger brothers over food, finding out about dark family secrets that are only ever shared at this time of year and counting down the hours till the Black Friday Sales. This year I am spending Thanksgiving in London instead of Las Vegas, working instead of laying on the couch and having dinner for alone instead of with a crazy family of 12.

Here are my #thanksgivingreflections. Take note as there are some highly important ones.

Avoid Awkward Dinner Conversations

These generally happen with family members you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving. They are the ones that ask the inappropriate questions and pry into every aspect of your personal life. “Why are you still single?” and “What do you plan to do with your life?” are the two that seem to come up the most when you have those unavoidable and lingering conversations with distant relatives. Sometimes you wish you were still sitting at the kids table.

WARNING – ***Avoid discussing the US Presidential Election outcome at all costs***

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Choose the family games well

Nothing separates family and friends more than Monopoly and UNO. If there is a way where you are able to play a game where everyone wins something, choose that. You will be even more thankful when everyone is still talking come Friday. Then you fight over leftovers and they are the battles worth fighting.

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Pace yourself when it comes to the food

It’s Thanksgiving and trust me. You will have more food than patience on this day. Pace yourself and remember that you can always go back for seconds. Don’t be the family member who falls asleep on the floor because you have given up sitting at the table. In saying that, don’t be the family member that unbuttons their jeans first; they will remember this for years to come.

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Football is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is highly entertaining

There is nothing worse than watching a sport that you have no clue how it is played or no interest in it at all. Whilst this is a Thanksgiving tradition do not feel obligated to watch it. However, it is fantastic watching grown men try and seriously harm one another and by the end of the game you generally have a team you will be supporting more than the other, even if this is just based on the colour of their jersey.

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Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Trust me… The giant Snoopy balloon is just tradition!

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Leftovers for days on end

Now this is one of the greatest things about Thanksgiving on a Thursday. You literally don’t need to leave the house for 4 whole days because there is that much leftover food. This is your opportunity to not change out of your PJs, watch endless reruns of terrible TV shows and just not have a care in the world until Monday rolls around.

P.S. For those of you that remember Gilmore Girls, the Netflix revival starts tomorrow! Get ready for a whole lot of awesome.

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Remember to give thanks

Whilst it may have been a bad year (and for a lot of people 2016 was one of the worst), remember that there are will always be people who are worse off. We have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Even if it is just for the food that you are eating, the fact that you have a roof over your head or someone to talk to when things get rough… it all counts!

Special note

For those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving without your family remember that you are never alone. There are a number of charitable organisations that could do with your support over the holiday period, especially during the lead up to Christmas.

Also remember that Friendsgiving is now a thing. Get some friends together, head to the pub and share those awkward family moments you have been dying to tell someone.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM ALL OF US HERE AT KING’S RESIDENCES. NOW EAT SOME TURKEY!

Get Connected!

Get Connected Week is your chance to meet new people and discover all the amazing opportunities and services open to you as a King’s resident. Did we also mention we’re giving you the chance to win massive prizes? Win the ultimate Mexican flat night, London Dungeon tickets and more by taking part in some of our ResiLife events next week.

 

What’s happening in your residence?

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KCLSU Societies Mixer & One World Variety Show

Meet new people, learn about KCLSU societies/activities and eat free food. What could be better? We’ll be meeting at Waterfront Bar at The Strand before heading to the One World Variety show to see some of our groups in action. Sign up now as tickets are limited.

 

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Get Connected Week Photo Hunt

Win a night out on us! Successfully complete the Get Connected Week Photo Hunt and go in the draw to win tickets for your team to London Dungeons and dinner at Pizza Express! Sign up now!

 

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The Great King’s Cook Off

Fancy yourself a bit of a king (or queen) in the kitchen? Sign your flat up to The Great King’s Cook Off. See what you can cook in a team of four using only £10 worth of ingredients! Win the ultimate Mexican flat night for your team, cinema tickets or amazon vouchers. Sign up quick!

 

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RA Kitchen Talks

Your RAs will be dropping into your kitchen to have a chat about how your time at King’s is going so far. This is your chance to discuss anything you like, you could have a welfare concern or be wondering how to deal with that flatmate who plays Disney theme songs at 1am.

 

Don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook and remember to tag your Get Connected Week photos and videos with #kingsresilife and #getconnectedweek.

 

7 Tips to get through Reading Week

It’s that time of year. Time to bunker down with a cup of tea and the hundreds of pages of university readings.

So Reading Week is supposed to be about getting work done without the pressure of lectures and copious group assignments and not about lying in bed and binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix (by the way,  if you haven’t started watching it you really should!)

We have compiled some tips for you to get through the week and come out of Reading Week with your sanity still intact.

Give yourself a break

Whilst Reading Week is designed to give you time to get through your many readings for your many classes, it is also an opportunity for you to realise you made it through your first month of University. You, a fully-fledged adult made it through Fresher’s week, dorm life, group projects and Monday mornings at 8am. Give yourself a break and remember to not overload yourself with more than you can handle.

Make a plan / to-do lists

You know it is getting serious when “Write To-do List” is actually an item on a separate To-Do list. Make sure you have a plan of how you are going to tackle the different readings on different subjects. A great way of doing this is by writing down all the things that need to be done by the end of the week, breaking these out into smaller goals and giving yourself deadlines. Remember to always prioritise those things with the shortest timeframe and the earliest deadlines. This ensures you don’t panic. You’ve got this!

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Once you complete a task, cross it out. Once you start making lists this way it becomes a habit and you won’t believe how beneficial it is later in life.

Find your study space

Everyone has a place where they are able to sit down with a textbook that hasn’t been opened all semester and immediately absorb the information. For me this is in bed, with a bag of Jelly Beans and reruns of Gilmore Girls on in the background. For others, it is Starbucks. Everyone is different. Find your place and make it a routine. This will become your new home come exam period.

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Don’t forget to go outside once and a while

There is such a thing as too much reading. Remember to take a break once in a while and do something different. Go to the gym, join that yoga class or just go for a walk through the park. It’s amazing what fresh air can do to your productivity levels. The work will still be there when you get back but clearing your mind for an hour or so will have a positive effect. And writing notes is much easier whilst the endorphins are still pumping through your body after that spin class.

Check out the BeActive Halls timetable for their upcoming classes.

Stay positive

Don’t let the study get you down. Just remember that there are thousands of students going through the same issues. We have a number of services available to help you handle the stress of study. These services have been specifically designed to assist King’s College students and any questions you may have around studying and life in general.

For a complete list of King’s Support service click here.

Make time for yourself

Do what makes you happy. If you are reading and your brain is not taking in the information, it is less likely it will come back to you later on. Don’t stop doing the things you like to do. Take time out of your reading schedule to do things like going to coffee with friends, Netflix, wine and cheese night and cooking.

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Connect with others

Chances are there are other people in your residence studying the same things as you. Put the call out via your Facebook group. There are people looking for learning groups and study partners. This is also a great way to make friends and enjoy the aforementioned wine and cheese night.

Don’t forget that life is about new experiences and learning is one of those experiences. Look at the support around you and remember that Winter Break is only 45 days away.

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Wellbeing Week 2016

Next week is Wellbeing Week. It’s time to take a break and attend our events, planned specifically to nurture your mind, body and soul.
Your social life and workload can easily get in the way of keeping healthy, but it’s important to take the time out to think about your wellbeing. Click here for some handy tips from the King’s Wellbeing Team.
 Here’s what’s happening this week:

Smoothie Bikes
Make your own healthy smoothie and work out at the same time! Choose from a wide range of healthy ingredients and use your own manpower to blend it all into a tasty treat. Guaranteed to give you a boost and improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

 Your Happy Space

This fun, interactive session will discuss the importance of creating a space full of wellbeing around you. *Spoiler alert!* Crafting may be required.

Mindfulness Walks

Join King’s Wellbeing Coordinator, Julia Haas, on a mindfulness walk around your neighbourhood. Julia will talk you through the importance of being aware of your surroundings and keeping your physical and mental health on track.

Hula Hoop Competitions
When’s the last time you took to a Hula Hoop? Show us your skills at the Wellbeing Week Hula Hoop competition.  Join your BeActivators and compete to win prizes.

Inflatable Bubble Football and 5-aside League Sign up
Have you attended 5-aside league on Saturdays? Grab your team and head to the Astro Turf near Moonraker point for the official sign up.  Why not try Inflatable Bubble Football while you’re there!

Film night: He Named me Malala

We’ll be concluding Wellbeing Week with an open film night at Stamford Street Apartments Lecture Theatre. Join us for popcorn and a screening of He Named me Malala, an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. Open to all residents, but make sure you reserve your ticket ASAP as numbers are limited.

RA Events

Your RAs and Wardens are planning their own Wellbeing themed events in your residence. Join your Facebook group for more information, or ask them about their event when you pass them in the hall.

Make sure you also check out the BeActive Timetable, these sessions are free and on your doorstep! There’s no need to spend money on a fancy gym membership when you’re BeActivators are nearby.

Don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook and remember to tag your Wellbeing Week photos and videos with #kingsresilife and #wellbeingweek.

A warm welcome from the Sustainability Team at King’s

The Sustainability Team at King’s works to reduce our carbon footprint, extending our recycling provision and pushing for sustainable education and careers.

One of our most important roles, and what we enjoy most, is to engage students in the exciting global conversation about sustainability. As well as sharing tips on how to reduce your impact on the planet, we also encourage discussion on pressing sustainability issues. We often come together over tea and nibbles to discuss eclectic subjects ranging from aquaponics to energy security in the EU.

The 3rd of October will see the inaugural launch of Sustainability Week in halls which will feature a series of sustainability-themed events and the launch of the energy saving campaign Student Switch-Off. Prizes include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and NUS Extra Cards. Save some energy, win some ice-cream – what’s not to like?

King’s Student groups such as EcoSoc, Fossil Free and Enactus also host events, put on socials and run campaigns throughout the year. Check out their websites and get involved!

Now it’s time for our top sustainability tips:

Transport
London is a super city to explore by bike. Cycling is cheaper, will get you from A to B a lot quicker and will also keep you fit.

Food and drink
Eating less meat, hitting up your local farmers market and buying organic are all super ways to reduce your environmental impact.

Energy
Switching off appliances that you are not using is a no brainer for the planet and will reduce the College’s bills.

(Thrift) Shopping
London charity shops and your local freecycling group are treasure troves of pre-loved stuff.

Occasionally we miss stuff, so please report any egregious non-environmentally friendly things (e.g. dripping taps, left on lights) you see on campus or in halls to ask@kcl.ac.uk.

You can get in touch with us by emailing sustainability@kcl.ac.uk and also through Facebook or Twitter. Keep up with the latest updates by reading our blog and subscribe to our mailing list by clicking here.

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