Roath is the best student area in Cardiff

The area might not have the most fortunate of names, “Roath,” but any student that gets the chance to live in this area is certainly fortunate. It is one of the most popular student locations in Cardiff and is home to many of our houses. We shouldn’t be bias, but the homes on Malefant Street in Roath are our personal faves. If you are wanting to live basically next door to all of your other student mates, then Roath is the area for you. If you’re a fully fledged Cardiff student then you would have heard of it, so I’m not going to bore you on where it is, but what I am going to offer is an insight into the area and some hidden gems you might not have heard about.

Roath and all its delights

We all have those friends from home that go off to Uni in a big city and can’t imagine life existing outside the walls of Manchester! Well they’re wrong. Cardiff is a city full of culture, quirky cafes and numerous places where students can get a much-needed latte. You can find loads of these hidden gems in Roath, and what makes the area even better is most of the cafes and restaurants are independent.

Here are some cafes and restaurants in Roath that will help you prove to your friends there is more to Cardiff than sheep and rugby!

Stag Coffee

Good old David the owner of the Stag is on the same wave length as Cardiff students and prides himself on bringing people from all walks of life together. He knows that you are “craving something different,” so he brought something different to Roath. If you fancy the ultimate hangover breakfast and can’t be bothered to traipse round the streets of Roath to find anywhere, then look no further. They offer the best cooked breakfast, pancakes or a much needed sugar kick from there incredible milkshakes. To make this place even better they support the local community of Roath, sourcing ingredients from local businesses.

Stag CoffeeThe Hellenic Eatery

Searching for Mamma Mia vibes? Well you can have your own bit of Greece in Roath (minus the weather). This little gem offers an “alternative experience,” fancy eating some authentic Greek food while listening to some live Greek music? Basically like having Greece on your doorstep while living in Roath…win-win situation.

http://www.thehelleniceatery.co.uk/

Milgi

Yet another brilliant independent restaurant. Think wholesome foods without the food guilts. Although you can be eating a healthy meal, while drinking one of their lush cocktails…talk about having it all. You can even be extra healthy and walk here if you live in Roath. Will only take you 3 minutes if you live on Glenroy Street where we have some houses! Have a gander for yourself…

http://milgicardiff.com/

Milgi

Falafel Kitchen

You know sometimes you go into somewhere not expecting great things, but you come out absolutely amazed…well this is one of those places. It might be a cosy little place, but the food is insane. Bold statement, but the best falafel I’ve ever tasted. The menu is straight and to the point, no frills just food. A great find in Roath and to make it better its right next to our fave Malefant Street.

http://www.falafel-kitchen.co.uk/

Dominos (basic, but the best)

Late night munchies? Roath Dominos is open until 5am. Who doesn’t love dominos cookies for a 4am snack after a night our or all-nighter at the library.

Cheap shots and a good pint please!!

We all know what is top of most students list…Where is the nearest pub and where can I watch the football as we can’t afford Sky Sports?! Roath is not short of pubs or bars, so if you don’t want to venture into the main city centre and want to be able to stumble home at the end of the night then Roath is the place for you.

Varsity

Is it a pub or is it a sports bar, this ones a bit of both. Large screens, cheap drinks and fantastic selection of fresh pizzas. This pub/bar is a great addition to Roath and the best place for students to go to watch the football and have a drink. Follow their twitter page, they offer some deals that are an absolute steal…Skint Wednesdays “ Classic burger and selected drink £6.99”?!?!

https://twitter.com/VARSITYROATH?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

The Woodville PubWoodville

You can’t miss it if you go to Cardiff University, it is right on the corner, and will be on your route home if you lived in Roath. This pub is popular with students, offers cheap drinks, chilled vibes and there is even a beer garden for the summer. Straight up this is the pub to go to if you’re a student living in Roath. If you’re feeling lazy and you just can’t be bothered to cook then you can get something to eat at seriously low prices. “2 meals for £7.99” or “2 for 1 desserts,” absolute steal.

Roath Park

You can be shopping in the centre one minute and the next rowing a boat in Roath Park…what more do you want from life? Roath Park is a great place to go to run off that library stress or to run off a whole pack of Jaffa Cakes you ate unknowingly while writing an essay. Roath Park would be a great spot to have a picnic and a few ciders in the summer, post exams of course. Having a park like that right on your doorstep, add that to the ‘pros list’ of living in Roath.

Roath Lake

Sorry how close to the City Centre?!

Unlike many cities where it costs an arm and a leg to live anywhere near the city centre, if you’re a student in Cardiff then Roath is more affordable than many city centre location. It is only a 5 minute Uber ride into the centre of Cardiff. Just enough time for you to carry on the pre-drinks in the taxi, chant some ridiculous rugby song or to make a snapchat video of you all singing along to the radio, but not long enough to annoy your Uber driver.

If you’re feeling slightly energetic and start walking into the city centre, but get bored along the way, then you can the train from Cathay’s train station into the centre in 1 minute. Ultimate laziness, but we all have those days. Roath is certainly well connected.

So basically in short, if you’re a student then Roath is not only convenient, but you will never go hungry, never fail to find a well deserved pint (or 10) and most importantly not have to get 3 tains, 10 buses and have to walk miles to get into the city centre.

How To Be Most Productive

Being productive is hard, especially at Uni, given most of us don’t have more than around 20 hours of contact time a week! This leaves us with a lot of free time, which never really feels free due to the amount of independent work we “should” be doing. We’ve compiled some key areas you could focus on to be your most productive self, while still leaving time for having fun and being lazy (I mean we are still students…)

Your productive time

Working at the right times during the day is really important to be your most efficient. Most people already know if they’re a morning or an evening person, but it can be a bit more complex than that. A great way to figure out when your best hours for productivity are, is to pay attention to the way you’re working for the next week or so. When you’re having one of those moments where you’re whizzing through your workload effortlessly, take a moment and jot down the time of day and see if you can notice any patterns emerging. For example I work great in the mornings and evenings, but in the middle of the day I always notice my productivity dropping.

Work space

It may seem a bit obvious, but a clear space really does equal a clear mind. If you are struggling to push everything around to create a patch of space to sit on your bed with your laptop, this I’m sure will most likely not result in you bashing out that essay in record time. Try and keep a routine of keeping your desk (if you can’t face tidying your entire room) clear of mess, so you can always sit down and concentrate when you need to. Don’t use tidying your room an excuse not to do your essay though…we’ve all done it. Anything can be better than writing that dreaded 3000-word essay.

Exercise

The release of serotonin will reduce your stress levels, giving you a better mindset to work in. The increase of blood flow to your brain will also make you more alert and energised, ready to tackle that pile of reading you need to get through. It’s great to exercise first thing in the morning, but it’s even better when you’re feeling drained and stressed to perk you up again.

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Music

It’s been scientifically proven that listening to music increases productivity so if you don’t do it already, maybe you should try.

This list from the Telegraph of the best music for every kind of work is really handy: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/02/this-is-the-kind-of-music-you-should-listen-to-at-work/

However if you still find it distracting just don’t bother. I can only really listen to music when the work I’m doing requires minimal brain effort (which isn’t very often!)

Do the most boring stuff first so you don’t keep dreading it

Obviously you should always do the most urgent bits of work first, but if you’re struggling to prioritise your workload you should always start with the bits you want to do the least. If you keep putting them off it’ll seem harder and harder in your head until you end up with no time and a mega stressed student. (I think we can all relate to this…)

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Avoid your phone

Yes I know the group Whatsapp is blowing up and you need to stay involved, but having your phone next to you is a massive killer of productivity. Just move it to the other side of the room and only allow yourself to check it every half an hour. You’ll be amazed at how much quicker you’ll blast through your workload.

Get out

Some people swear they can only work in the library, but why not mix it up and try a local café or even a park if the weather’s nice. I personally hate the library, so when I’m feeling too stuffed up in my room I’ll head to a friend’s house to sit and work together. This is especially great if you’re on the same course, because you can work together, discuss ideas, and normally complete work a lot quicker. Divide and conquer!

Plan the night before

Ok this is a tough one for you spontaneous types, but just because it’s written down, it doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. If you make a list of the things you’ll like to do the next day before you go to sleep, you’ll be able to wake up and just jump into it. Don’t feel guilty if you only tick one thing off though, the fact that you wrote it down makes you conscious it needs doing, and the more you get into the habit, the better you’ll know how much you’ll realistically get done in a day.

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Do not disturb sign

If you find your housemates barging into your room at all hours of the day ruins your productive flow, just try a sign on your door to make sure they understand you need to be alone for a bit.

We love this cute one from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/275600414/do-not-disturb-signpersonaliseddoor?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=do%20not%20disturb%20sign&ref=sr_gallery_4

Don’t multitask

Multitasking is the killer of productivity. Pick one thing you’re going to do, such as reading a paper, and eliminate all other distractions. Switching between tasks will stop you getting into that great work zone, and it’ll take you twice as long to get everything done. This doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks, it just means you should use the breaks to relax, not start doing something else like your laundry.

Bribe yourself with a reward

If you’re doing some really hard questions for a tutorial and it’s taking forever, why not try to motivate yourself with a reward? I love doing this and it really works well, especially during revision season. For example I’ll say once I’ve finished 3 questions I’m allowed to watch another episode of Prison Break on Netflix for the 100th time. Then when I’ve done another 3 I can have a bit of chocolate. It motivates you to work quickly and efficiently, which is really key for ultimate productivity.

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Make time for doing what you enjoy the most

Being at Uni isn’t just about doing the work, so make sure you don’t forget that. By working productively you’ll give yourself more time to do the things you love. Go see your friends, go on a mental night out, or watch an episode or two of Netflix (guilty). Make sure to keep a good balance between Uni work and Uni life, you’ll stay engaged when you do need to bash out some coursework.

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Good luck!

Podcasts to suit every kind of student

Podcasts are absolutely perfect for listening to on the walk to lectures, sat at home with a cuppa or to have on in the background when it’s your turn to clean the bathroom. The amount of podcasts that are available can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to choose where to begin. See which of these stereotypes you fit into and hopefully you’ll find the perfect podcast for you!

The gym bunny

Ben Greenfield fitness 

More than qualified for the job, Ben can act as your own personal trainer and you don’t even need to enter a gym. He has a great list of credentials including completing the Ironman, and he has even got two masters! The best part is he makes complicated information about human biology easy to digest, so you can focus on reaching your fitness goals.

The Jillian Michaels Show A lot of fitness bunnies are partial to a Jillian Michaels workout DVD, with her tough love approach and deadly routines. However her podcast is not quite what you’d expect, she talks about everything from love, professional life, as well as throwing in the odd health and fitness tip.

Bulletproof radio 

This podcast is run by Dave Asprey, a self-styled ‘biohack’ expert. He’s sharing his secrets on biochemistry to make you the best version of you possible. This podcast is perfect for those of you who want to be on your top biological form. The girl’s girl

Call your Girlfriend 

Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are two best friends who essentially record their weekly catch-ups, which we get to listen in to. They speak frankly about anything and everything and it’s truly brilliant.

 Pandolly 

Two posh girls who write for the Sunday Times Style natter about current affairs, discussing everything from the Kardashians to facial hair. Really easy listening, and often very funny.

The creative soul

Longform 

Perfect for aspiring journalists, this podcast features the best non-fiction writers around speaking about their careers and their writing. Really inspiring and also great for when you have writers block.

99% Invisible 

If you’re a design geek this podcast is totally perfect for you. The episodes are short, only about 10 minutes, and each one goes into the design of a certain object. The show has featured everything from flags to pinball machines. Wacky, but cool.

Wear your dreams 

Perfect for creatives hoping to work in the fashion space, Alice interviews inspiring women and grills them on their career path and how they found their way into their dream job.

The one that wants to keep learning

 TED talks 

The podcasts are pretty much as good as the videos and much more convenient to consume anywhere and everywhere. The wide range of topics make this perfect for pretty much anyone…great for dipping your toes in the podcast world if you’re a newbie.

Stuff You Missed in History Class 

Great for when you’re feeling a little nerdy, this podcast rounds up some of the lesser-known moments in history, such as when the US tried to start a hippo farm to solve their meat crisis.

Radio lab 

One of the most popular podcasts in the world, it’s pitched as a “show about curiosity”. The best thing about it is you’re learning without actually feeling like you’re learning. If only all our lectures were as slick as this…

The music guru

Desert Island Discs 

A beautiful classic with hours and hours of podcasts you can listen to. Some of the best include: Jarvis Cocker, David Nott, Emma Thomspon and Bill Nye. David Beckham was even interviewed for its 75th anniversary.

Song Exploder  

This podcasts dissects songs with the musician, getting into the nitty gritty of how it was composed. Great for those of you who obsess over the minor details in songs.

The Sporkful 

“Not for foodies, it’s for eaters”. Dan Pashman brings great people on to the podcast to talk about small, yet interesting things about food. For example, in a recent podcast Pashman and L.V Anderson passionately ‘discussed’ the differences between hash browns and home fries. To be honest give me either and I’m happy.

Burnt Toast 

Hosted by Kenzi Wilbur, the managing editor of food blog Food52. The episodes usually involve some spirited debate about how to cook and eat properly, which is totally perfect for you opinionated foodies.

The one that wants a good lol

My Dad wrote a porno 

Totally hilarious and a must listen. Jamie Morton reads out chapters from an erotic book his 60-year-old dad wrote with his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. The best thing about it is his poor Dad having pretty much no basic understanding of the female anatomy.

 Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 

Kinda like Have I Got News for you, but in podcast form. This show is professionally produced, has a live audience and is always funny (and a bit educational…)

No Such Thing As A Fish 

Hosted by four of the researchers from QI, they unload their fact-packed brains of brilliant and hilarious factoids they’ve learned each week.

The sparky entrepreneur

 ASOS My Big Idea 

Each week an editor from ASOS speaks to a female entrepreneur who’s started her own business. The conversations are easy going and relatable, but still super inspirational, especially if you dream of running your own business one day.

Marketing School

Hosted by Neil Patel and Eric Su, they make marketing techniques that seem complicated and overwhelming super simple. The best thing is each episode is only 10-minutes long, so you can learn a little bit everyday without it taking up too much time.

Girlboss Radio

Although Sophia Amoruso lost her first company Nasty Gal, her new venture #GIRLBOSS is so much better. She interviews really amazing women every week and tries to extract key insights into their lives, finding out what has made them successful. Sometimes rather philosophical, but always motivating.  The #inspo hungry one

 The Time Ferriss Show

The author of The Four Hour Work Week talks about productivity and personal development with various guests on each show. On some shows it is just him talking about his own experiences, these are particularly great and certainly inspired me! It’s perfect for motivation on those days you’re feeling a bit down.

The Life Coach School

Brooke Castillo shares her knowledge on life lessons in everything from training your brain to weight loss. The podcast essentially teaches you how to be your own life coach, which is pretty cool and very useful.  http://thelifecoachschool.com/podcasts/

 School of greatness

Long interviews and inspiring guests who really open up to Lewis about the ups and downs in their lives. There’s loads of variety between the guests, so you’ll be sure to find a few you’ll love!  http://lewishowes.com/category/podcast/

House hunting around the exam period

We all know this time of year isn’t great. We’ve just had a nice break at home with our families, with loads of presents and sooo much food. Now we’re back to the reality of Uni life with all its ups and downs. Most of us have exams, which we probably didn’t revise for as much as we would’ve liked (blame the Christmas cheer). Looking for a house on top of this seems impossible, but fear not! Check out these handy tips to make January a breeze…

Work out who you want to live as soon as you can

This is often the hardest part of house hunting so working out the kinks and getting a solid group together early will save you so much stress.

Use any free time to discuss what’s important to everyone

Some people may be adamant they want to be a 10-minute walk from campus, whereas others might be super stubborn about having 2 fridges. Having these discussions over a group meal or a drink means everyone can have their voice heard, communication within your group is the key to smooth house hunting season.

Have a firm budget everyone agrees on

This is a tricky one, money can be a sensitive subject, but it’s arguably the most important thing to agree on. Try and do some research early on (i.e. before the late night cramming sessions start) so you have a good general idea of the prices that everyone is willing to pay. Remember to consider what you think is worth paying for, some people would pay extra for a dining table whereas others would pay for an extra bathroom, keeping this in mind while setting a budget will make the process of elimination a lot easier, we promise eventually you will find your perfect home.

Align everyone’s exam timetables in January

This may seem a bit extreme, but if you can work out slots when 2 or 3 of you are free for a day or an afternoon, you’ll make sure no one ends up wandering around looking at houses just before an exam. Organising yourselves well also means that it won’t be left to one person to do ALL your viewings, it’s a lot of pressure for one person and it’s important for everyone to be happy with the house before committing! A great time is just after an exam, for a bit of a break ( and a quick trip to the pub, because you know, you’ve been working so hard recently) before you get your head down for the next one.

Communication

The group chat is your friend even if the notifications do wake you up at ungodly hours every night for a month. If you’ve found a good house make sure you communicate all the key details like price and location and check that everyone’s happy before making any commitments to the landlord. Group chats are a great way to do this so everyone can communicate on the go. Don’t worry, you can turn off those notifications soon, only a few weeks of this madness left!

AAAAAnd relax

Once you’ve signed and sealed your house for next year and your exams are over, you can chill and enjoy the rest of the term without any stress, it’ll be back to hangovers every weekday and “ oh I don’t really need to go to that 9am” (Until that coursework deadline comes around…)

We’ve still got loads of stunning properties available in Leeds, Leicester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Exeter. If you’d like to book a viewing, or even just have a chat about how to house hunt visit our website now http://bit.ly/2j4csk4

Development

Skills To Learn Online Now

Although you’ll be absorbing a lot of new information during your time at University and at this time of year I’m sure your head feels like its going to explode with revision, but when you do have some free time why not expand your skill set further. This is great for both padding out your CV, as well as making you a more rounded and interesting individual and to stop yourself going out all the time?! You can learn to do pretty much anything online for free these days, but here’s a pick of some of our favourites.

Coding

An invaluable skill for the digital world that we now live in. Even if you’re not a computer geek, you can easily pick up some basics.

Codecademy https://www.codecademy.com/ is one of the most popular free online courses. Or if you still feel a little nervous try some coding games designed for kids, although nothing beats the good old days of gaming on Miniclip.

https://educators.brainpop.com/2014/09/26/6-free-games-teaching-computer-programming-kids/ How can it be scary when there’s a puppy involved?

Learn a Language

If you didn’t pick to study a language at school or university, but you are now regretting it, do not fear here is your chance!

Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/ is a free website and app that will make learning super fun. Just think how useful some Spanish could be when you’re interrailing or travelling around South America! Businesses also love it if you have a second language, gives you that edge.

Dapple in Philosophy

For fancy dinner table chat to make yourself sound a bit more intelligent, even if you don’t know what you’re on about.. check out Academic Earth where you can take a General Philosophy module from Oxford University for free. No lengthy UCAS applications necessary or all the hours of studying to even get into Oxford University.  http://academicearth.org/universities/university-of-oxford/

Product Design/UX

Google offer a great online course with contributions from some industry leaders. Definitely worth taking the time out to have a go at, you may end up building something incredible…you could become the next Steve Jobs

https://www.open2study.com/courses/writing-for-the-web

Also check out ‘How to Start a Start Up’ if you want to hone your entrepreneurial flair and make your millions http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

Stand Up Comedy

If you want to develop your comedic skills, John Roy offers a free course through his Tumblr blog, which includes YouTube videos and homework assignments. Comedy homework sounds a lot more enticing than additional reading!

http://johnroycomic.tumblr.com/post/42952190250/my-entirely-free-comedy-class-week-one

Social Media

Buffer offer a super neat free course that packs just 2 minutes of Social Media knowledge into a simple video directly to you every day for a week. An easy way to become educated in the basics of Social Media. Great for budding marketers or entrepreneurs as if you aren’t in the know about Social Media then you need to catch up!  https://buffer.com/email-courses/social-media-101

Write copy for the web

If you love to write and want to learn more about it, Open 2 Study have a course that is really great for refining your online writing skills, covering everything from SEO (search engine optimisation for those of you in the dark ages) to web design. https://www.open2study.com/courses/writing-for-the-web

If you’re still stuck for ideas have a browse through Coursera https://www.coursera.org/ who offer free online courses from leading Uni’s for everything from Photography to Data Science. Happy Learning!