The idea that sweets chocolates, biscuits and energy drinks keep our energy levels up is misleading. These high sugar foods cause a spike in energy, but the spike does not last long as it causes a tired slump, creating the craving for more sugar.
"You are what you eat" is an old saying that is apt for this blog edition. Our diet is the primary contributor to our nutrition, this is the fuel that affects our physical and mental performance. Brain fuel foods aid in keeping our energy levels constant, as well as maintain our concentration and brain power. In this blog edition, we list the food items that are aids during study time and elaborates on how these food items benefit us and our studies.
Mackerel, salmon and sardines in particular contain Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. These are known to increase concentration and cognitive performance, assisting in rebuilding damaged brain cells. This also helps produce the hormone that makes us happy, Serotonin. The body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acids on its own so we need nutrition to help us do so.
For vegetarians, these fatty acids are also found in linseed, soya beans and pumpkin seeds.
2. Green vegetables:
Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and B12 are essential for keeping optimum brain functionality and energy levels up. Spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage and Kale all contain these vitamins. These leafy vegetables also provide fibre, essential to your daily diet and natural antioxidants.
Good carbohydrates come in the form of wholegrain foods, set to sustain our body with constant energy level throughout the day. Wholegrains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice contain fibre and starch which take longer to digest, keeping your stomach fuller for longer and giving long lasting energy.
To cure the sugar craving, fresh fruit is the best way to go as they contain fructose (natural sugars), that give an energy boost. Fruit also provides fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed for the brain to perform at its best. Berries, for example, contain a large number of antioxidants that improve the brain's ability to remember facts, understand analytical tasks and improve decision making. Kiwi's contain Vitamin E that protects the body against viral and bacterial infections, keeping us fit and healthy during exam period.
Among the most convenient snack foods out there, nuts are packed with iron and fatty acid, helping us to maintain focus while studying. They have an added benefit of providing oxygen to our brain, helping us stay alert when putting in the late hours before an exam. A handful of almonds, cashews or salted peanuts will do the trick.
The peel of an apple includes a powerful antioxidant called Quercetin that enhances memory function. This common fruit is good for the body and the brain, improving information retention and academic performance.
As the academic programme is at a crucial stage with assessments, tests and exams pending for many of our students; their food intake will affect their academic outcomes. We at Westwood Lodge hope that this blog is informative and helpful to our student residents, resulting in them achieving their academic potential.
Technology has become part of our daily lives, providing convenience of use at our fingertips for many vices.
This blog feature identifies and profiles the top 10 student apps. These apps are for use inside and outside the classroom.
1. SoundNote (iOS):
This app brings the lecture to your mobile device. Used as a notepad or audio recorder, the app allows the user to store an entire lecture in both visual and audio format. To capture information from a whiteboard, OfficeLens allows the photography of a whiteboard, which is converted into pdf, Word or PowerPoint format. These files are stored via OneNote or OneDrive which can be accessed for revision purposes.
2. Load Shedding Notifier:
This app gives the user the convenience of being alerted of load shedding before the lights go off. The load shedding schedule informs the user in advance of load shedding in their areas. Being privy to this allows the user to be prepared in advance for the hours without power.
An interactive e-reader that enhances the readers reading and studying experience. This app allows users to add notes and sketches to specific sections of an e-book.
Stay within your budget by monitoring your expenditure and transactions, keeping your finances healthy. This app also allows the user the convenience of linking all their accounts; including cheque, savings, credit and store cards, rewards programmes, investments and loans so that you can keep all of this in one place. Using the same security and encryption as the banks, the user’s online transactions are kept safe from scams and phishing.
A security app that keeps you connected to friends and family at all times. The app allows users to signal family and/ or friends with 5km's of them if your safety is compromised. The app has five distinct functions namely; i) Crime, ii) Assistance, iii) Panic, iv) Track me, v) Track suspect.
6. SoundCloud and Spotify:
Stream your favourite music using these apps. With music and artists from all over the world; commercial, independent or alternative; these music streaming apps have got the beat that you are looking for. Download the app, create a profile and be serenaded by your favourite sounds.
Know the identity of your caller and messenger with this app. TrueCaller screens the identity of your caller, giving the user the discretion to answer or ignore. The app also allows the user to block calls and messages from unwanted parties.
8. Bolt (formerly Taxify) and Uber:
No car? No problem. Among the most popular apps on the market, these e-hailing apps take you from A to B in an affordable and convenient manner. Pin your pickup point and your destination, check the price, request and be on your way.
Have the capability of a scanner on your phone with CamScanner. Take a photo of a document with your phone's camera, convert it to a PDF document and use it as an official document.
A bibliography helper app that checks your assessments for plagiarism, grammar, and spelling errors. The app also collates your authors providing a qualified bibliography/ reference list at the end of your assignment.
Westwood Lodge provides high speed and secured WiFi to residents, ensuring accessibility to these convenient and helpful apps. Download and use these apps at your leisure, for school and entertainment purposes.
Now that the holiday cheer is over and you've said goodbye to your family, we can officially welcome you to your Home From Home.
The security, comfort and convenience offered on Westwood Lodge Student Estate, will ensure that you have peace of mind and are able to pursue and achieve your academic goals without worry. Settle into your house, make friends with your fellow residents and get familiar with your way around the estate.
What's on offer:
If you can't take the heat, get in the pool! The swimming pool deck is a favourite among Westwood Lodgers. Durban is famous for its tropical climate with hot and humid days being common. The pool is the place to keep cool... and look cool while doing it.
Fire is mankind's oldest common area, drawing people to gather around and socialise. The braai and entertainment facilities offered onsite are a place where many a memory are made. Gather friends for a braai, shoot some pool and keep it casual.
Assessments, assignments, tutorials, practicals and exams are the reality of university life. When its crunch time and the heat is on, the Study Lab is designed for you to get in the zone and study hard. It is a quiet area, free of disturbance and distraction. Your WiFi is also active in the Study Lab so take your laptop, tablet and/ or mobile phone for and continue to use those online tools at your convenience.
As a Student Estate, Westwood Lodge is a safe and secure student accommodation with dedicated onsite security. Emergency personnel is available around the clock for your medical emergencies.
Familiarise yourself with our contact details for any queries and further information that you may require. Our website, www.westwoodlodge.co.za , has all the information that you need to know. Like and follow our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter alike; these will keep you up to date with our competitions, promotions and events.
Due to increased Government and Private sector funding for Higher Education over the last decade, South Africa has experienced a subsequent spike in demand for student accommodation. The pressure of increased enrolment has produced a focus on the number of beds available, while the quality of the existing accommodation leaves much to be desired.
After visiting several institutions of learning, the National Department of Higher Education and Training compiled a report on the state of student accommodation around the country. The report listed standards and measures to look for in student accommodation. Also noteworthy was the link established between student housing and academic success; this will be discussed in detail in an upcoming blog. This blog highlights and discusses the Components of Quality, as per the Ministerial Committee Report, and link these with the features of Westwood Lodge.
Residential Learning Communities: Also known as "Residential colleges" or "Living-learning communities", Residential Learning Communities integrate the academic and accommodation experience. These communities tend to be premised on homogeneity, course or level of study. This accommodation type is touted as improving retention as students in such communities are reported to spend more time talking about their academics and studying outside the classroom.
As a Student Estate, Westwood Lodge is a residential learning community. The academic, lodging and social experiences are enjoyed simultaneously with student residents accommodated on an estate that is purpose built to cater to students' needs. Westwood Lodge has a broad students community with students from various institutions of learning, specialised, private and public, around Durban housed on the estate. This includes students at various levels of their studies, from undergraduate to Doctoral and research fellows. Homes and rooms are allocated according to field and level of study as this promotes continued academic discussion outside the classroom. Westwood Estate also offers a study lab which is a quiet study facility for students to continue their studies in a dedicated study facility.
1. Adequate space: Student accommodation needs to provide space for students to live, store possessions/ books and study. The recommended room size for single accommodation is 9m², 13,3m² for a double room. On inspection by the Department of Higher Education and Training, most student accommodation visited provided less than that with an average of 6 - 7m² accommodation quite common, inclusive of food preparation areas.
Each cluster home on Westwood Lodge has five bedrooms, with the option of single or sharing (double) rooms; and a studio option available to postgraduates and research fellows. All rooms are fully furnished and fitted for comfortable lodging, easy and safe storage. Each room is equipped with en-suite bathroom. Rooms are a standard 13m², whether single or sharing. The studios are fully furnished self-contained units which are also en-suite. Studio room size is 25,7m². These room sizes provide ample space for living, storage and studying.
2. Shared facilities: Access to shared facilities which includes laundries, bathrooms, sitting areas, TV and games rooms is another important feature for quality student accommodation. These facilities provide comfort and convenience of use for students to socialise, groom and maintain their belongings.
Our student estate provides fully furnished accommodation including en-suite bathrooms per room, laundry facilities per house, tv area, lounge area and kitchen per house. In addition to the laundry facilities provided, each house is equipped with a courtyard drying area for the residents of the house. The social spaces in the houses are the lounge and tv areas equipped with satellite tv channels; an open plan space for communal use. Westwood Lodge also has space for larger resident gatherings. These are in the form of a covered entertainment area, swimming pool deck and braai areas.
3. Students eating regular meals: Nutrition is a pivotal part of lifestyle. Student nutrition is essential to academic performance as this contributes to concentration levels and retention of information.
As a self-catering facility, Westwood Lodge provides the necessary catering equipment for students to prepare their meals and store their food items. This is in the form of built in stove and oven, a microwave oven, toaster and kettle; these are provided to each house. Houses are also equipped with fridges, a sink and lockable cupboards for food storage and preparation.
4. Safety and Security: Safety and security is a primary human need. This entails having relevant safety measures and features in place to ensure peace of mind. The traditional security guard at a gate has proven ineffective. Fortunately, technology has become a reliable aid with many technological appliances available as tools for security.
Our residents’ safety is paramount to us. Westwood Lodge is a secured estate with a dedicated security team that has permanent presence onsite. The estate is patrolled hourly ensuring vigilance and visibility of security personnel. Access to the estate is controlled by biometric system. This feature not only ensures that access is restricted to residents, it also keeps record of who is on the estate. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) also aides in keeping record of people and vehicles entering and exiting the estate; as well as record of any incidents of concern.
5. Well maintained built environment: The state of repair and time taken to attend to maintenance of facilities ensures that general functionality and aesthetic of facilities are in mint condition. First impressions contribute to decision-making and a well-maintained facility presents a good image of an institution.
Maintenance and upkeep of Westwood Estate and its facilities is attended to by a dedicated maintenance staff. The landscape, buildings, fittings, furnishing and infrastructure are inspected and monitored daily. Residents are also encouraged to report defects that they have identified, and these are attended to promptly.
6. Responsive Management: Availability and responsiveness of staff is pivotal to the overall student experience. Student life extends beyond academic and lodging matters.
Westwood Lodge has an approachable and professional staff complement managing student and estate matters. This includes a dedicated official located on the estate 24 hours a day for any potential eventualities and/ or emergencies.