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Reading is a fundamental skill that enriches our lives in numerous ways. Reading stimulates your mind, reduces stress, improves knowledge, enhances vocabulary, strengthens analytical thinking, improves focus and concentration, and provides a means of escape and relaxation. You really can’t go wrong with a good book! Here’s a list of the best books for students to read, categorized by their potential impact and subject.

  • Escape with fiction

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Set in the racially charged American South, this novel explores themes of justice, morality, and human dignity through the eyes of a young girl. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding in a complex world.

  • Personal development

“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck

Dweck’s research on fixed versus growth mindsets has revolutionized the way we think about learning and intelligence. This book is a must-read for students aiming to improve resilience, embrace challenges, and achieve their full potential.

  • Academic Intelligence

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman takes readers on a groundbreaking tour of the mind, explaining the two systems that drive our thoughts. This book is essential for students who want to understand the cognitive processes behind decision-making and the biases that affect our thinking.

  • Science and innovation

“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking

In this accessible guide to the universe, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking explores fundamental questions about the nature of the cosmos. It’s an inspiring read for students with an interest in physics, astronomy, and the mysteries of existence.

  • Classic Literacy

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Austen’s witty and romantic novel offers a critical look at the British class system and the societal expectations of the 19th century. Its themes of love, reputation, and individuality continue to resonate with readers today

  • Motivational

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

This enchanting novel tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who embarks on a journey to find his personal legend. Its timeless message about following one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart has inspired millions of readers worldwide.

Conclusion

Books aren’t just about getting information; they are tools for growth, empathy, and transformation. The books listed above offer learning, personal growth, cultural understanding, and fun. Reading them can open your mind, inspire new ways of thinking, and give you the skills to handle life’s challenges. Happy reading! 😊

Choosing the right university course is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a student. It can shape your future career, influence your personal development, and impact your overall happiness and success in university. Here’s a guide to help you make that important choice!

1. Assess Your Interests and Passions

Follow Your Passion: Start by considering what subjects or activities you are passionate about. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Which classes do you look forward to the most? Your genuine interests can guide you toward a course that you’ll find fulfilling and engaging.

Explore Your Strengths: Identify the subjects you excel in. Are you good at math, science, languages, or the arts? Choosing a course that aligns with your strengths can increase your chances of success and enjoyment.

2. Research Career Prospects

Future Job Market: Look into the job market trends for the careers associated with the courses you are considering. Are these fields growing? What are the employment rates for graduates in these areas?

Salary Expectations: Consider the potential earnings in your chosen field. While money shouldn’t be the sole factor, it’s practical to think about how your future career will support your lifestyle and goals.

Opportunities for Advancement: Investigate the career progression in your chosen field. Are there clear pathways for advancement and development? This can influence your long-term satisfaction and success.

3. Consider Course Content and Structure

Course Modules: Look at the specific modules offered in the courses you are interested in. Do they cover topics you find exciting and relevant? Ensure the curriculum matches your interests and career goals.

Assessment Methods: Different courses use various assessment methods, such as exams, coursework, and practical. Consider which assessment style suits you best and aligns with your strengths.

Flexibility and Options: Some courses offer elective modules or the option to study abroad. These opportunities can enrich your learning experience and make your course more enjoyable.

4. Evaluate the University and Its Facilities

University Reputation: Research the reputation of the universities you are considering. Rankings and reviews can give you an idea of the quality of education and student satisfaction.

Facilities: Consider the facilities available on campus, such as libraries, laboratories, and sports facilities. A well-equipped university can enhance your learning experience and overall well-being.

Support Services: Investigate the student support services offered, including academic advising, career counselling, and mental health support. These resources can be crucial for your success and well-being.

5. Seek Advice and Gather Information

Talk to Current Students: Reach out to current students of the courses you are interested in. They can provide valuable insights into the course content, teaching quality, and overall experience.

Attend Open Days and Fairs: Visit universities during open days or education fairs to get a feel for the campus environment and ask questions directly to faculty and current students.

Consult with Teachers: Your teachers can offer guidance based on your academic performance and interests. They can help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision.

6. Reflect on Your Long-Term Goals

Personal Fulfilment: Think about what will make you happy and fulfilled in the long run. A course that aligns with your values and interests is more likely to lead to a satisfying career.

Work-Life Balance: Consider the lifestyle associated with your potential career. Some professions may require long hours or frequent travel, while others offer more stability and work-life balance.

Conclusion

Choosing the right university course is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and research. By assessing your interests, researching career prospects, evaluating course content and university facilities, seeking advice, and reflecting on your long-term goals, you can make an informed choice that sets you on the path to success and fulfilment. Remember, this is your journey—choose a course that excites you and aligns with your aspirations. Good luck!

As the 2024 UK General Election approaches on Thursday, July 4th, 2024, it’s crucial for eligible voters to ensure they’re registered at their relevant address by the deadline of Tuesday, June 18th, 2024.

You have the option to register to vote at both your out-of-term time address (such as your parent or carer’s home) and your student term-time address. However, you can only vote from one registered location, so you have the freedom to choose which one you prefer.

It’s essential to remember to register your term-time address as the address where you’ll be living on July 4th, as this may differ from your current address.

Why your vote matters

Voting is the foundation of democracy. It allows people to participate directly in the decision-making process and choose their representatives who will make policies affecting every aspect of life.

Your Vote, Your Future: The outcome of the general election will directly impact the future of our country. From healthcare and education to the economy and the environment, the policies implemented by the government will shape the landscape of our nation for years to come. By voting, you have a say in shaping the future you want to see for yourself, your family, and your community.

You can register to vote if:

  • You are a British citizen, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth country with leave to remain in the UK.
  • You are 18 or over on the day of the election.
  • You are a resident at an address in the UK or a UK citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years.

To register to vote, head to the Government website – it only takes 5 minutes. It is important to remember to register your term-time address as the place you will be living on 4th July – this may be different to your current address.

You will also be required to provide a valid photo ID to be able to vote in the general election. If you do not have a valid photo ID you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate that can be used instead of photo ID.

As exams approach, it’s natural to feel a mix of anticipation and stress. The pressure to perform well can sometimes be overwhelming, but with the right strategies and support, you can manage exam stress effectively. We’re here to help!

1. Create a Study Schedule

One of the best ways to manage exam stress is to stay organized. Create a study schedule that breaks down your revision into manageable chunks. Allocate specific times for each subject and stick to your plan. This helps ensure that you’re covering all necessary material without cramming at the last minute.

2. Take Regular Breaks

While it might seem counteractive, taking regular breaks can improve your productivity and focus. Study in blocks of 45-60 minutes, followed by a 10–15-minute break. Use this time to stretch, take a short walk, or simply relax.

3. Stay Active

Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and help you feel more relaxed. Even a short daily walk or a quick workout can make a big difference.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating well is crucial for maintaining your energy levels and concentration. Avoid too much caffeine and sugar, which can lead to energy crashes. Instead, opt for balanced meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for cognitive function and memory retention. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Avoid late-night cramming sessions that can disrupt your sleep pattern.

6. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine. These practices can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.

7. Stay Connected

Don’t isolate yourself during exam season. Stay connected with friends and family, who can offer support and encouragement. Sometimes, talking about your stress can help alleviate it.

8. Seek Professional Help When Needed

If you find that stress is becoming unmanageable, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Here at Graysons, we offer our own well-being consultant who you can book an appointment with through our app. Our consultant can provide personalized strategies and support to help you cope with exam stress.

9. Stay Positive

Maintain a positive mindset and remind yourself of your strengths and achievements. Visualize your success and focus on what you can control. Positive thinking can significantly impact your performance and overall well-being.

10. Prepare Mentally for the Exam Day

Finally, prepare yourself mentally for the exam day. Ensure you know the exam logistics, have all necessary materials ready, and plan your journey to the exam venue to avoid last-minute stress.

Exams are challenging, but with the right preparation and support, you can handle the pressure effectively. Remember, it’s not just about studying hard, but also about taking care of your mental and physical health. At Graysons, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Good luck! 🙂

Welcome to Sunderland, a city brimming with student-friendly vibes and more importantly, affordable food! As a student, balancing your budget is crucial, and finding spots that offer tasty, budget-friendly meals can make all the difference. Here’s a guide to some of the best cheap food spots in Sunderland that will satisfy your taste buds without breaking the bank.

The Wolsey

Located at Millum Terrace, The Wolsey is a gem for students looking for hearty meals at affordable prices. This pub offers a variety of classic British dishes and comfort food, perfect for those cold Sunderland evenings. Their meal deals, especially during lunchtime, are excellent bargains.

Asiana Fusion Restaurant

For those who love Asian cuisine, Asiana Fusion on West Sunniside is the place to go. Offering a mix of Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian dishes, this restaurant provides a variety of options at reasonable prices. Their lunch specials are particularly great for students looking for a quick, affordable bite.

Street Eats

For a quick and budget-friendly meal, Street Eats on Chester Road is a fantastic choice. This spot offers a variety of street food-inspired dishes from around the world, perfect for grabbing a quick lunch between classes. Their prices are student-friendly, and the food is always fresh and delicious.

Love Lily

For a delightful brunch or a sweet treat, head over to Love Lily at Marine Walk. This café is known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious menu items, including pancakes, waffles, and sandwiches. While it’s slightly more indulgent, their prices are still student-friendly, especially considering the quality and portion sizes.

Tosca

If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, Tosca on Derwent Street is a must-visit. This cozy Italian restaurant offers delicious pizzas, pastas, and risottos at very reasonable prices. They often have special offers, especially for students, making it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends without splurging.

Tips for Dining Out

  • Student Discounts: Always ask if there are student discounts available. Many restaurants offer special deals for students, so it’s worth checking.
  • Happy Hours: Take advantage of happy hour deals, which often include discounted food and drinks.
  • Early Bird Specials: Take advantage of early bird specials, which can significantly cut down on costs if you dine out a bit earlier than usual.

Sunderland’s diverse food scene ensures that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for affordability. With this guide, you can enjoy a variety of delicious meals that fit perfectly into a student budget. Happy eating! 🙂

Newcastle upon Tyne is not only known for its vibrant nightlife and historical landmarks but also for its diverse and affordable dining options. As a student, balancing your budget while enjoying delicious meals can be a challenge. Luckily, Newcastle offers a variety of cheap eateries that cater to your taste buds without breaking the bank. Here’s a guide to some of the best budget-friendly restaurants in the city.

Alfie’s

Located in the heart of Newcastle’s student village, you can expect new & old disco vibes in their retro yet modern twist on a traditional bar. Daily entertainment, food & drink deals, student offers & special events. Their signature Alfie’s fried chicken doesn’t miss! Daily walk ins, & bookings welcome.

Zapatista Burrito Bar

For a quick, tasty, and affordable meal, head to Zapatista. This burrito bar offers a variety of Mexican delights, from burritos and tacos to nachos, all at student-friendly prices.

Dabbawal

If you’re craving Indian street food, Dabbawal is the place to go. Offering a range of delicious and affordable dishes, this restaurant is ideal for those who want to experience authentic Indian flavours without breaking the bank.

Grainger Market

Grainger Market is a food lover’s paradise, packed with a variety of food stalls offering everything from traditional British bites to international cuisines. Don’t miss “Pet Lamb Patisserie” for a sweet treat or “Slice” for the best pizza slices you can find. The market’s bustling atmosphere and low prices make it a favourite among students.

Brack Burger

If you’re a lover of burgers, then you need to try Brack Burger. With 4 different sites, Jesmond, Gosforth, Tynemouth & Seaburn you can find yourself craving a Brack burger whatever the occasion! Brack burger is a student’s favourite across the northeast. 

Tips for Dining Out

  • Student Discounts: Always ask if there are student discounts available. Many restaurants offer special deals for students, so it’s worth checking.
  • Happy Hours: Take advantage of happy hour deals, which often include discounted food and drinks.
  • Early Bird Specials: Take advantage of early bird specials, which can significantly cut down on costs if you dine out a bit earlier than usual.

Newcastle’s diverse food scene ensures that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for affordability. With this guide, you can enjoy a variety of delicious meals that fit perfectly into a student budget. Happy eating! 🙂

Are you a tenant in the UK looking to secure your dream rental property? Or perhaps you’re a landlord seeking assurance that your tenants will meet their rental obligations? In either case, understanding the concept of UK homeowner guarantors can be pivotal. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what UK homeowner guarantors are, their responsibilities, requirements, and why they’re essential for both students and professionals alike.

What is a UK Homeowner Guarantor?

A UK homeowner guarantor is an individual who agrees to take on financial responsibility for a tenant’s rental obligations if the tenant fails to meet them. Typically, this individual must own property in the UK and have a good credit history. Landlords often require guarantors as a form of security, especially when tenants have limited credit history or are deemed high-risk.

Responsibilities of UK Homeowner Guarantors

Financial Obligations: The primary responsibility of a UK homeowner guarantor is to cover any rent arrears or damages incurred by the tenant that are not covered by the security deposit.

Legal Obligations: Guarantors may also be required to adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement and may be liable for any breaches committed by the tenant.

Requirements for UK Homeowner Guarantors

Homeownership: As the name suggests, guarantors must own property in the UK, providing landlords with the confidence that they have assets against which they can claim in case of default.

Good Credit History: Guarantors are typically required to have a good credit score, demonstrating their ability to manage financial responsibilities effectively.

Legal Age: Guarantors must be of legal age, usually 18 or over, to enter into a legally binding agreement.

Employment: Guarantors should have stable employment to demonstrate their ability to meet financial commitments.

How Students and Professionals Can Obtain a UK Homeowner Guarantor

Family Members: Many students rely on their parents, close relatives or family friends who own property in the UK to act as guarantors.

Professional Guarantor Services: Some companies specialize in providing guarantor services for a fee, catering to individuals who may not have a suitable Guarantor able to fulfil this role. However, it’s essential to note that specific landlords or letting agencies may have preferences or partnerships with guarantor services. For instance, Graysons Properties exclusively accepts Housing Hand as their designated professional guarantor service provider. This partnership ensures seamless and efficient rental transactions for tenants seeking accommodation through Graysons Properties. Therefore, if you’re considering renting a property managed by Graysons Properties, Housing Hand is the preferred choice for securing a professional guarantor.

The Importance of a UK Homeowner Guarantor

Access to Rental Properties: For tenants with limited credit history or income, having a guarantor can significantly increase their chances of securing a rental property. Additionally, having a UK homeowner guarantor may also affect the payment structure of your rent. Without a guarantor, you might be required to pay your rent in fewer instalments and pay 5 weeks rent deposit. However, with a UK homeowner guarantor, you can potentially enjoy more favorable terms.

With a guarantor in place, you may be eligible for a reduced deposit, typically ranging from £250, subject to the property and your guarantor passing reference checks. Moreover, you may have the flexibility to spread your rental payments over a more extended period. Depending on whether you’re a student or a professional, you could pay your yearly rent in up to 10-12 instalments. This option not only provides financial flexibility but also makes budgeting more manageable for tenants.

Peace of Mind for Landlords: Landlords can rest assured that they have recourse in case of tenant default, minimizing financial risk and potential disputes. Moreover, with the presence of a UK homeowner guarantor, landlords may be more inclined to offer favorable rental terms, knowing that they have additional security in place.

In conclusion, UK homeowner guarantors play a vital role in the rental market, offering both tenants and landlords peace of mind and financial security. Whether you’re a student embarking on your first rental experience or a seasoned professional seeking a new home, understanding the role of guarantors can be key to a successful tenancy. With a guarantor, tenants not only increase their chances of securing rental accommodation but also gain access to more flexible payment options, making the rental process more accessible and manageable.

 Co-living, also known as communal living or shared living, is a living concept where residents live in a shared residence and share common amenities. Co-living has evolved significantly over the years and can now appear in many forms.


In the past, people chose to live together mainly due to financial constraints or lack of available housing. These motivations still exist today, but co-living is now more often a choice for those seeking to belong in a community. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of purposefully-built co-living spaces, which offer shared amenities and private apartments for rent.

These living spaces are typically targeted toward young professionals and students. Overall, the evolution of co-living has been driven by a combination of economic factors, the desire for community and connection and the preferences of younger generations. As the cost of housing continues to rise, it is likely that we will see an increase in the popularity of co-living.


The benefits of Co-living?

A defining characteristic of living together is that people can split their living space and therefore, their living costs – like for energy consumption from the laundry facility or internet use. This creates affordable co-living homes with an overall lower cost of rent, utilities, and other expenses.

Saving money is one of the main reasons residents choose shared living spaces.

Co-living communities of like-minded people are an important reason to choose a co-living space, as it provides a social connection that cannot be found in traditional rentals.

Sharing a home and attending events with people with similar interests can help reduce social isolation and loneliness among residents.

Lastly, co-living is often convenient because it provides modern homes with fully furnished rooms and all necessary amenities. Furthermore, operators offer the flexibility of short-term contracts but also the stability of long-term contracts. For remote workers this is especially ideal.


What are the risks for an investor?

Living with others can increase the risk of conflicts between peers. Conflicts can arise from different issues, such as noise, cleanliness, and personal boundaries. Open communication and being respectful of others needs and preferences are key. Compared to private areas, shared spaces can be more vulnerable to damage because they are used by multiple people. This can include shared areas such as kitchens as well as shared items such as furniture and appliances.

However, most co-living spaces offer extra cleaning services for the communal areas and/or provide cleaning supplies for members.

Residents can then reach agreements among each other to keep the spaces they share clean and reduce potential damage.


Could repurposing some of the student PBSA, to Co-Living accommodation, in cities struggling with occupancies be a solution to improving their occupancy rates? Graysons Properties have over 10 years experience in managing co-living spaces. Please contact us if you are interested in re-purposing your assets. You can contact our CEO on akash@graysonsproperties.co.uk

At Graysons Properties, we view student property as a pivotal aspect of the real estate market, encompassing buying, selling, and letting activities. It presents a lucrative investment opportunity for landlords and investors, with promising yields.

In recent years, the broader property market has seen significant transformations, prompting the need to evaluate the trajectory of the student property sector.
Demand Trends: The consistent increase in student enrolment at UK universities is a notable trend, expected to persist due to the growing population of 18-year-olds. Government forecasts indicate a 7% rise in student loan demand by 2027/28, suggesting a corresponding increase in the need for student accommodation.

Supply Landscape: Student accommodation enters the rental market through various avenues, including university-provided halls, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments, and private student house shares. While PBSA supply has grown substantially, concerns linger regarding its ability to keep up with rising student numbers. Challenges such as cost uncertainties, labour shortages, and regulatory changes may impede future supply.

Additionally, there’s a noticeable tightening of supply in the private student accommodation sector, influenced by regulatory changes and alterations in tax incentives, prompting some landlords to divest their properties.

Current Market Conditions: Reports highlight a shortage of student accommodation, with students encountering difficulties in finding suitable housing. Instances of universities resorting to temporary accommodation or deferral suggestions for students underscore the severity of the shortage.

Recent assessments by StuRents reveal significant shortfalls in student beds across various towns and cities, with projections indicating a widening gap in accommodation availability by 2025. Areas like Durham, Glasgow, York, and Manchester are notably affected.

However, not all student-centric cities have experienced increased demand. For example, places like Coventry and Sheffield are grappling with an oversupply of accommodation. If you’re an investor in a city with surplus housing, Graysons Properties is prepared to meet with you to explore strategies for diversifying your assets and improving occupancy rates.
Future Outlook: The evolving landscape suggests a paradigm shift in the student property market, potentially transitioning from historical equilibrium or surplus to a shortage scenario. Anticipated growth in demand coupled with constrained supply could lead to a student housing crisis.

Implications: Stakeholders in the student property market may need to make strategic adjustments. Students may have to plan ahead and budget for higher rents amid increased demand and rising costs. Agents may experience greater demand but may also need to exert more effort in finding available properties.

Landlords and investors, however, may find opportunities for higher yields, potentially sparking renewed interest in the student property market.

In essence, the changing dynamics signal a significant shift in the student property market, requiring proactive measures from all involved parties to navigate the evolving landscape successfully.

Our team at Graysons Properties is eager to assist investors like you in understanding these shifts in property demand and ensuring that your investments continue to generate the desired returns. Please feel free to reach out to our CEO, Akash, at akash@graysonsproperties.co.uk if you’d like to discuss your assets further.