The Student Gym: Make the most of your membership

We’re already half way through the academic year and I’m betting there’s a lot of gym memberships feeling quite neglected and betrayed. The promises of a “New Year, New Me” are long gone and the whole “summer bodies are made in winter” just sounds like too much effort. So here’s how I keep myself motivated: gym classes. They’re led by professionals telling you exactly what to do, so you’re not left looking perplexed at what all those mystical machines do in the fitness suite. You’re surrounded by other wannabe beach babes just trying to get a little bit fitter so you’re not intimidated by the likes of the ‘weight room’ and best of all, they’re a lot of fun.

Here at Kent, our gym has a lot more to offer than just the fitness suite. And this year, there are 50 classes for the 50th anniversary, and whilst trying them out, I’ve found a few that I really enjoy. Me? Enjoy? The gym? Yeah, I know, it’s laughable, so you know they must be good.

Photo by healthylifect.com

Release your inner drummer! Photo by healthylifect.com

Drums Alive

This is a new one for our sports centre, and it’s certainly unique. Imagine a room filled with aerobics balls and 20 people hitting them and jumping around them with drumsticks; well that’s it. Maybe not the most strenuous class but it was created to test your mental ability and coordination as well as your fitness, so it’s great to keep those cogs turning when essays are scrambling your brain. Every time I finish the class, I come out feeling so stupidly happy. I love it and would definitely recommend it (but if you steal my place in next week’s class, I swear to God, I’ll find you).

Photo by gym24seven.co.uk

Photo by gym24seven.co.uk

Body Pump

The day after every class, my body feels like it’s been put through a mincer and then crushed by a truck. So at least I know it’s had an effect on my body! It’s lifting weights, targeted at different muscles, to music. It’s tough but I do enjoy it, because I actually see results with it. Plus, each of the instructors are incredibly well informed and great motivators, which is exactly what I need to stop me picturing the biscuit tin when I finish the class…

Ab Attack

It’s only half an hour and it simply focuses on strengthening and toning your core. Be aware, it hurts like hell to begin with it, but if you want that elusive summer body, a little pain here and there might be needed.

Legs, Bums and Tums

I mean, just look at that name, you know it’s going to be fun. It’s a bit like Zumba, but with more focus on those three typical ‘problem’ areas. It’s high energy and guaranteed to make you lovely and sweaty. If you fancy a bit of dancing (you don’t have to look good doing it), and you want to tone up those tums, I recommend this energetic workout.

See, no one looks attractive working out... Photo by spellmagazine.co.uk

See, no one looks attractive working out…
Photo by spellmagazine.co.uk

And then there’s Circuits

It’s the stuff of nightmares. I went once, long, long ago and walked (nay, crawled) out 15 minutes before the end. Enter at your own peril. You have been warned.

I need a dollar, dollar… How to make money at uni

Photo by ebony.com

Being a student is tough. No seriously, it is.

If you’ve had the trauma of accidentally putting your new favourite black jeans in the wash with your whites, or forgetting that 3000 word essay that’s actually due in tomorrow, then you’ll know what a treacherous and onerous life we students lead. Without mother dearest to guide me along the way, my life is a series of trial and error experiments.

But I know, for me, (aside from the washing debacle) dealing with and most importantly, not spending, my money, is the hardest task. There are always places I want to go, food I want to try and clothes I want to buy but even with a job (no, working in Essentials, Venners and Woodys isn’t enough for me), it’s still a struggle. So how about some creative ideas to earn a bit of dollar in Canterbury alongside your studies?

1. Sell your stuff. ALL OF ITdebt-2

Okay, not all of it, but if you haven’t used it, worn it or played with it in the last six months, or if you’re really brutal, the last month, then sell it on eBay. People will literally buy anything. Though saying that, I now just have an ever increasing  ‘eBay pile’ in the corner of my room, looking quite neglected and lost, wishing I would just send it to a new, loving home already.

I like to think I looked as cool as Colin Farrell when I had my brain test (I know for a fact I didn't)

I like to think I looked as cool as Colin Farrell when I had my brain test (I didn’t)

2. Be a lab rat

I’m not suggesting you sell your body parts, although I hear that pays very handsomely, but it turns out that there are a lot of psychology students on campus conducting experiments, who need guinea pigs to take part. And the best bit is, they pay you for it. JobShop at Kent often advertises these experiments and whilst I’ve given up my money making secret just for you, it really is the best and easiest way to earn on campus. £7 for 20 mins, yeah I’ll take that. And to be honest, every experiment I’ve done has been very interesting, from eye tracking to brain tests, they’re worth getting involved in.

3. Procrastination pays

You know those emails the university keeps sending you that you don’t even read and just automatically discard? Well, every now and again, those emails are handing you money on a plate. All they’re asking you to do is fill in a survey or questionnaire, give them some basic info about yourself and press a few buttons and… hello £10 Amazon voucher. NUS do it all the time too. No more than 20 minutes of procrastination, and you’ve earned yourself a tenner. Time to trawl through that trash folder.

flyering4. Humiliate yourself

Remember that guy you saw in town, dressed like a baguette or a slice of pizza and handed you a flier that you immediately threw into the nearest bin? Well haven’t you always wished you were him? Okay, maybe not, but flyering isn’t a bad money earner. Show your sense of humour and risk your reputation for the dollar. It’s a bit more creative and it might even be fun (for your friends when they show up and take photos and post them all over facebook).

5. Oh sugar sugar

Or if you’re really stuck for ideas, you may remember InQuire reported on the craze of ‘Sugar Daddies’ a while back. Sign up and find your own part mentor, part sponsor, part ‘friend’. I know what you’re thinking but hey, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it I guess. If it works for some people… Our very own University of Kent has the highest number of ‘sugar babies’ in the country, so you’re in good company if you want a more drastic way to earn some extra money.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck!