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Essential apps for student living

App Store photo by Cristiano Betta on FlickrIt's the middle of September, which means that the leaves are starting to change colours, autumn is fast-approaching and the disruption caused by last week's NATO summit is but a distant memory. It also means that the team here at Capital Properties can look forward to what September is really about - the return of students to the city! We want to help you get the most out of your time at university, whether that’s advising you on what needs to be arranged before you move into your new accommodation, or helping you to walk in Doctor Who's footsteps, so in today's blog, we're turning our attention to smartphones, and how they can be essential tools for your student life.

These days we are well and truly living in a digital world, one where phones have moved beyond simply improving communication and can now provide a wealth of information and resources right from your pocket. As a nation, we already spend a considerable amount of time on our electronic gadgets, so why not use them to make our student lives just that little bit easier?

Making living alone stress-free

It can be a rude awakening to find yourself in student accommodation after living at home, no longer having your food cooked and your dishes cleaned and having to do everything by yourself: thankfully, smartphones are here to help! Not sure what to cook tonight? The All Recipes app has got you covered. It’s available across all devices and features an amazing collection of recipes, photos, ratings and reviews that will guide you through the steps to becoming a gourmet cook and expand your taste buds further than the student staple of spaghetti bolognese.

Another important aspect of student life is money, or rather how to budget your student loan to last you throughout each term. You can always supplement your income with a part-time job (or a visit to the Bank of Mum and Dad), but if you’re planning to cover food, living expenses and university equipment with your loan alone, it can be useful to keep track of how you’re spending that money, and crucially, how much you have left. The Level Money app is a simple tool that you can update with your purchases as you make them to give you a visual representation of your bank account in the palm of your hand so you don’t get any nasty surprises if you reach your overdraft limit.

What you go to school for

One of the trickiest things to get right at university is finding the right balance between your academic life and your social life. When you start your degree, you are introduced to a new eclectic mix of people and opportunities that you may not have otherwise experienced, and whilst this is the perfect time to go out and try new things or find a new hobby, it is also important to remember why you chose to go to university in the first place – to get a degree.

Smartphones can be invaluable in the studying experience; with a variety of apps ranging from Dropbox, which allows instant file uploading from any mobile device, to Pocket, which allows you to save Internet articles, videos and anything else you can think of to read offline later, the world of technology has really delivered when it comes to providing a series of apps designed to ease the stress of studying. If you do want to blow off some steam pre-essay research or post-exam however, you can’t go wrong with the After Dark app. You can filter events by location, so by downloading this app you can instantly review every event on in Cardiff over the next week, including everything from club nights to gigs.

Keeping in touch

Sometimes, it’s important to remind yourself that in spite of all the smartphone developments and improvements in recent years, a phone can also just be a phone. Moving to university can be an exciting, incredible and exhilarating time that we hope you’ll enjoy immensely, but it’s always nice to know that a loved one is just a phone call away if you need a little reminder of home at the touch of a button.

If you are moving back to Cardiff this September then don’t forget to take a look at our property list, and contact us with any queries or advice you have about living and renting in Cardiff, but in the meantime, we hope you settle into your new student home quickly. Welcome back!

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