same storm different boat

Tips for propelling your future, even amidst a global pandemic

By Mental Health, Studentdigz Cares No Comments

same storm different boatChances are to get to where you are; there was most likely some sort of plan. Perhaps, you had anticipated that you would be at such and such a point by now to advance your prospective career forward. Your plan may have involved giving up student life activities to get a new skill, signing up for societies of interest in tertiary and around your digz, volunteering to get some much needed practical experience or giving back by doing community work. Whatever your strategy was in propelling your future to move forward, with a global pandemic upon us, it cannot be business as usual. With that said, you need not throw in the towel, but instead adjust your sails.

Be kind to yourself

It’s not easy to suddenly evacuate from your digz and be restricted by a national lockdown, whatever the level. Change is never easy, particularly of this magnitude. Your studies may have been disrupted along with your plans for work vacations and other student jobs you may have liked to pursue. Perhaps you were hoping to populate your CV and do more.

Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. Remember, students across the world are also finding themselves “in the same storm, but not in the same boat” situation, and employers will understand that this was not an ordinary year.

Do more to understand yourself

While it is easy to get carried away by staying fixated on social media updates, giving to others and trying to do your bit to uplift your community; spare a thought for yourself each day. Take time to get to know yourself better. Take a good look at how you handle yourself in times of a crisis. Are you hopeless? Are you fixated on dreadful stats or can you see the silver lining? Are you able to identify prominent leaders that stay calm and think of innovative solutions? How are you feeling?

Confirmation upon confirmation

What disciplines are captivating your interests? In a crisis, everyone tries to come together for the sake of moving forward. Think of the journalists who report the news, the medical practitioners and experts who put themselves on the frontline, the caregivers who look after the elderly, the IT gurus who come up with innovative apps, and entertainers who dare to keep our spirits high even at such a time.

The options go on and on. Then think of your chosen line of study and prospective work. Is it something that you would love to do someday? If not, what steps can you take to think of a way forward? This is the time to reflect and find confirmation, even if only within you, that you are where you ought to be. Don’t just think about it, act. One way can be by updating your LinkedIn CV.

Career advancements may have taken a totally different shape, but that’s just life. Sometimes we need to adjust and learn to be resilient. Your future need not be dampened by a storm – come what may. Realign your posture. Get back in line and think of innovative ways to spread some light, even now. This is not the time to buckle in and die. Soldiers are made for battle. Start to engage in the battle for your future. It is not the end. We believe in you! You’ve got it in you to arise no matter the adversity. Dig deep and get back into formation.

The consequences of breaking lockdown – do you get a criminal record

By Studentdigz Cares No Comments

There’s been a lot of talk regarding South Africa’s lockdown regulations. Some people think they make sense and are adhering strictly and staying at home when they can, while others are blatantly breaking lockdown.

Whether you agree with the varying lockdown level regulations or not, you should know that there are some pretty serious consequences for not complying – and yes, you can get a criminal record for breaking lockdown.

Admission of guilt fine for breaking lockdown

If you are caught breaking any of South Africa’s lockdown rules, you have the option of paying an admission of guilt fine to avoid having to appear in court. If you pay this fine, you automatically have a criminal record (which can take 10 years to expunge!)

There have been talks to change the system, so that admission of guilt for minor crimes doesn’t result in a criminal record. However, don’t bank on this happening any time soon. It’s a lengthy process that involves changing legislature. In addition, the government is unlikely to address the issue while Covid-19 is still a concern, as getting a criminal record is a further deterrent to breaking lockdown regulations.

Consequences of breaking lockdown – fines you can expect to pay

Parties, drinks with friends, clubbing, certain sports – these are just a few activities that are part of ‘normal’ life but are either restricted or not allowed during lockdown. Here are a few fines as of 11 May 2020 that you could expect to pay for breaking lockdown – click here.

Many of these “illegal” activities have since been removed from the list as we move from one level of lockdown to another; For example, exercise restrictions have now been removed, you can buy alcohol, shop at most stores kids can go back to school and most industries can return to work, but there are still constraints.

Visit premises or places closed to the public – R1 000

Going to the beach during lockdown is prohibited, as is visiting any place that is closed to the public.

Illegally moving between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts – R1 000

Without a permit, you still may not travel between provinces, cities, and in some cases even suburbs.

Sell tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products – R1 000

Including private sales to friends and neighbours – and note that vaping products are also included in the ban.

Convening of a gathering – R3 000

Having friends over for a party during lockdown could land you with a very heavy fine if you’re caught.

If you are caught breaking lockdown and don’t want a criminal record, the best thing is not to pay the fine and rather wait for a court hearing. Better yet, just sit tight and adhere to all lockdown regulations. It really is for your own safety!

*Please note, all information contained in this article is correct at the time of writing.

All day Pj's

Guilt Free – All day PJs!

By Blogs & Events, Studentdigz Cares No Comments

All day Pj'sHands up if you’re spending all day in your PJs? No judgement – same here! There’s a lot of talk going around about how we should use the forced downtime of lockdown to be productive, and that living in your PJs is kind of at odds to this.

Here at Student Digz we think a little differently. We believe that you can totally be busy, get stuff done, and stay virtually connected to the world, and STILL enjoy the most comfortable clothing for lockdown.

So, if pyjamas are 2020’s new fashion trend, you need to up your game. Toss out those ratty old sweatpants, and invest in some new sleepwear that is both cute and comfy!

Here are our fave trends:

Silky satin

There’s nothing like satin PJs to make you feel like a vintage movie star while you lounge around the house. Satin feels so good against your skin, and many beauty experts swear by silky sleepwear as it apparently reduces wrinkles. Bonus – in winter many stores offer brushed satin pyjama sets to keep you warm.

Good old flannel

Flannel is so cosy, it’s like sleeping in a warm hug. Go full flannel top and bottom, or just wear flannel pants with a long-sleeved T for a cute tomboy look.

Snazzy sweatpants sets

Sweatpants totally count as PJs, so get yourself a few new pairs with hoodies to match. Athleisure is a big trend, especially now during lockdown. Look for interesting colours and textures to glam up your downtime style – we love the idea of pink velvet sweatpants!

Onesie anyone?

Onsies came onto the scene a few years back, and they haven’t left. Granted, wearing a onesie is a little annoying when you need the bathroom… but the cuteness and comfort factor 100% outweighs any convenience. Opt for pretty prints, or even an animal-themed onesie that turns you into your favourite furry critter.

A snuggly bathrobe

A soft, cuddly robe is the ultimate lockdown accessory for chilly winter nights, plus it’s an essential item to add authenticity to your stay-at-home spa days.

Good news is, that clothing shops are now open for in-store shopping as well as online deliveries. Mr P and Woolies have some lovely PJs in stock – so go on, and treat yourself to some fab new PJ threads!

learning in lockdown

Learning in Lockdown: Using Timeout to Access Free Resources

By Studentdigz Cares, Technology, Uncategorized No Comments

learning in lockdownLearning does not need to come to a complete standstill as South Africa moves through the various lockdown levels. Why not strive to make use of this downtime to learn new skills and hone already-existing ones? Or to focus on replenishing your health and wellbeing? Or both?

The great news is that there is a broad array of incredible resources out there, many of which don’t cost a thing. Here is a list of such free resources that you will definitely want to explore.

Guided yoga and meditation

The United Nations has provided free access to a number of MP3 files which will help you to learn how to meditate and begin your yogic journey. This includes guides to breath awareness meditation, sitting meditation, slow standing and sitting yoga, and standing yoga.

Resources for mental health

Lockdown is taking its toll on everyone. However, those struggling with mental health problems will be finding it especially difficult. Here is a list of helpful resources to turn to if you need help:

Massive Open Online Courses

One of the best places to enrol to take MOOCs is Coursera. You can register to take courses and degrees in a few easy steps. The wonderful thing is that many of these are free. Class Central is a similar option and offers free online courses in a multitude of different subjects, such as business, computer science, humanities, personal development, design, and more.

Diversify your digital skills

If you want to boost your digital skills specifically, you can’t go wrong with the Google Digital Skills for Africa portal. You can hand-pick the lessons that you would like to take and work through them at your own pace. Once you complete your lessons, you will receive a certification that you can use to enhance your CV.

Take a (virtual) tour of a museum, or 3 500

Visit Google Arts and Culture for access to over 3 500 virtual museum tours from around the globe. Be careful – this amazing collection of knowledge and visual spectacles is truly addictive.

Do you know of any other excellent, free resources out there? Share them with us on our Facebook page using the hashtag #FreeResources.

learning new life skills

Varsity is out but there are still life skills to be learnt

By Featured, Money Matters, Studentdigz Cares No Comments

potted herbs life skillsWith universities across South Africa shut down to stop the spread of Covid-19, chances are you have a lot of extra time on your hands. Sure, you probably have a few assignments to do for varsity during lockdown, but without the other distractions of college life like friends, lectures and extramural activities, there’s only so much academic learning that can fill up your days.

So, instead of binging on Netflix and eating yourself into a stupor, why not learn some new life skills during lockdown? This is a great time to ask your parents and other family members to teach you some basic skills that you won’t learn at varsity, but will nevertheless be valuable in your daily life as an adult.

If you’re feeling bored and frustrated, here are a few things to do under lockdown:

Budgeting meals

Exactly how much does it cost to eat? Ask your parents to include you in their meal planning and budgeting. Take a look at till slips from a recent trip to the supermarket, and calculate the cost of a single meal. Compare this cost to what you would normally spend ordering take out or eating out. Educating yourself on the cost of living will really help you to budget and manage your money more wisely.

Learn to cook

If you’re hopeless in the kitchen and live on frozen food and take-outs, now is the time to learn to cook some simple meals. Get out the family recipe book, and master the art of prepping and cooking a few favourite dishes. Ask for help if you need it, and when you’re ready, offer to cook a meal for the family. Learning to cook ensures that you can eat more healthily, and save money spent on expensive takeaways!

Vehicle maintenance

Do you know how to change the oil in your car? Or how to change a tyre? There are a lot of really simple vehicle maintenance tasks that you can actually do yourself without calling an expert. If you have a vehicle savvy family member around, ask them to teach you about basic vehicle maintenance so that you can learn to take care of your car.

Gardening

Time to get stuck into the garden! Not only is gardening a great way of getting exercise, it’s also so rewarding to nurture a plant and watch it grow and flourish. You can ask your mom and dad for help, or just do some Googling – there are plenty of gardening blogs and vlogs to learn from. Learn how to prune trees and bushes, weed and mow the lawn, plant a veggie garden… if you don’t have a garden, you can still have fun with planters and pot plants on the balcony or kitchen windowsill.

Housekeeping

Ugh… housekeeping. Boring right? Yes, it is. But you can learn to do it in the most efficient way to reduce the hassle. Things like the best way to do laundry (don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine overnight!) and how to clean the bathroom so that it is properly sanitised are skills that will definitely come in handy later on in life. Ask your mom or gran for their favourite housekeeping tips and tricks!

Lockdown is a time when you may be feeling frustrated and trapped. Instead of thinking that you’re ‘stuck’ at home, remind yourself that you’re actually SAFE at home – and you have the opportunity to learn a bunch of new skills that you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.

beuaty blender sponges

The Beauty Blender: Why it’s THE Number One Makeup Essential

By Articles, Studentdigz Cares No Comments

beuaty blender spongesLooking for that air-brushed makeup effect without having to spend hours standing in front of the mirror each morning? All that you have to do is splurge on one special makeup essential: the Beauty Blender.

What is the Beauty Blender?

A Beauty Blender is a makeup sponge shaped like a teardrop that is used to apply primer, foundation, and powder. Its pointed end allows you to apply makeup in the smaller ‘nooks’ of the face, such as around the nose and eyes, while the larger side is ideal for applying makeup all over.

The term ‘Beauty Blender’ is actually a registered name of a specific branded product, but as with most beauty trends, there are many other brands available that look and work the same as the original (and are usually more cost-effective).

How do I use a Beauty Blender?

Before you do anything, it is essential that you wet your Beauty Blender by placing it under the tap. This is because it will simply soak up all of your product if you try to use it when it is dry. Once it is thoroughly wet, squeeze it out inside a paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture. It should be damp, but not soaking wet, before you apply your makeup.

Use your fingers to dot your makeup all over your face and then use the Beauty Blender to blend it in. Move it around in a bouncing motion – do not rub or smudge. The result is a smoother, more even application.

How do I take care of my Beauty Blender?

Ideally, you should wash your Beauty Blender using fragrance-free soap or baby shampoo after every use. Leave it out to dry, preferably with the help of a bit of sunlight, before packing it away again. Regular cleansing of this makeup essential is a must because it can make for the perfect breeding ground for bacteria if neglected – definitely not good news for acne-prone skin!

How long will my Beauty Blender last?

It depends on how well you look after it but, in general, it should last for up to six months. However, if you notice any nicks in its surface, or it is starting to smell less than fresh, then you know it is time for a new one.

Here’s to perfect, streak-free makeup every single time.

fake news

Coronavirus Causing Panic on Social Media: How to Steer Clear of Fake News

By Featured, Studentdigz Cares, Technology No Comments

fake newsIt seems as though the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is all that anybody can speak about these days. This is obvious any time you scroll through your social media newsfeed. The global pandemic is a very serious situation and has got many people panicking about what’s to come, particularly in South Africa where our local healthcare system has already been struggling to keep up, long before Coronavirus made its dreaded appearance.

The reality is that the hysteria around the spread of the virus has led to the spread of something just as dangerous: fake news. Fake news only works to fan the flames of public panic and aside from the lockdown imposed from 27 March 2020, is the reason behind the panic buying that has been taking place at local supermarkets. The question is, how can you steer clear of fake news and hold onto your sense of calm and perseverance to fight back against this relentless virus? Here are some tips.

Only believe the facts you read from reliable sources

If you simply can’t avoid browsing your social media platforms and google, some of the best sources from which to get your Coronavirus-related news include the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) and the WHO (World Health Organisation. Locally, you can trust the Department of Health (follow the Department on twitter @HealthZA), the sacoronavirus.co.za web page which is consistently updated with relevant press releases and notices, and the official Whatsapp National Department of Health Covid-19 support service. To access the latter, simply send ‘HI’ to 0600 123456 via Whatsapp.

Know what to watch out for

There are often obvious signs that a specific piece of ‘information’ is fake news. If the piece in question is obviously upsetting or geared towards triggering anxiety, there’s a good chance it’s fake. Another sure-fire signal that the ‘news’ is untrustworthy is the inclusion of spelling mistakes and the article boasting an unusual number of likes or shares.

Don’t share any ‘news’ unless you’re sure it’s legit

Don’t contribute further to the state of panic by spreading sensationalised or fake news on social media. Always double-check that the relevant sources are reputable before hitting that ‘share’ button or speaking to friends and family about the information you read.

It’s so important to hold onto our sense of calm and rationality as we power through these uncertain times. Don’t let fake news unsettle you and, most importantly, don’t be someone who accidentally contributes to the problem!

Stay well and focused on protecting yourself and others.

social distancing

Social Distancing amid a Lockdown: What it Means and How to Do It

By Featured, Studentdigz Cares, Uncategorized, Your Neighbourhood No Comments

social distancingOn Monday 24 March 2020, after several weeks of social distancing, President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would go into lockdown at midnight on Thursday 26 March. This was a decisive and not unexpected move from our President to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, now known as Covid-19. Sadly, the social distancing measures enforced on March 18, did not have the impact that the country had hoped to see on the spread of the novel virus.

Unless you’ve been cooped up in your student digz with no internet you will likely have heard this one term repeated over and over again since the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa: ‘social distancing’. The question is, what exactly is social distancing? And how do you do it amid a lockdown when you need to buy food or medicines.? Here’s what you need to know.

What does social distancing mean?

Social distancing means precisely that – distancing yourself from social situations, and people in general unless it is unavoidable. This translates into cancelling parties and social gatherings for the next three to four weeks, not inviting friends round to share a meal, and essentially staying at home unless you have no other choice but to go out, such as to shop for groceries or to buy toilet paper (good luck with that).

Why is social distancing important?

Social distancing is important as it can help limit the spread of the virus. Covid-19 is spread mainly through person-to-person contact from droplets. The reality, however, is that a person can be a carrier of the virus and be contagious without necessarily showing symptoms or coming across as ‘sick’. This is why it is imperative that everyone practices strict social distancing, even if they are young and feel healthy.

A how-to guide to social distancing

The long and short of it is to STAY AT HOME. Say ‘no’ to any social contact with friends or family who do not currently live with you, and only venture outdoors if you truly have to. In the event that you need to go to the shops, the pharmacy etc. there are a few precautions that you should take to ensure your safety and that of others:

  • Try to avoid going out at ‘peak’ times, such as Saturday afternoons or between 4pm – 7pm during the week.
  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your flexed elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you everywhere you go and use it regularly in between hand-washing sessions.
  • Try to keep a minimum of a one – to two-meter distance between you and anyone with whom you come into contact.
  • Get the things you need to do done quickly and return home without delay.

Distance is key

Lockdown and social distancing might seem like extreme measures, but it is imperative that all South Africans take it seriously to help ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread. Without it, the virus will continue its reign of terror for months upon months and wreak havoc on our already struggling healthcare system. Keep well, everybody. This too shall pass.

admission

Understanding Admission Requirements

By Studentdigz Cares, Uncategorized No Comments

admissionWe’re well into 2020, and all across South Africa, students have been heading off to begin studying at university or college. If you have your ducks in a row, you should have already applied in 2019 as most institutions are now closed for applications (although there are a few colleges that accept late applications and applications throughout the year). But maybe you’re just waiting for final acceptance – or maybe you’re applying to study in 2021.

Whatever the case, it’s important to understand admission requirements and how they affect your chances of getting accepted into your college or course of choice.

What are admission requirements?

Colleges and universities receive thousands of applications each year, and sometimes there are limited spaces for study. Admission requirements are a set of minimum standards that are used to filter out applications that don’t make the grade. If you meet the admission requirements for the college you are applying for, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a spot but it does make it more likely you will be accepted.

Admission requirements are usually based on your Matric result average, as well as your marks for specific subjects pertaining to the course you want to study.

Requirements differ between institutions and courses

The basic requirements for studying a bachelor degree in South Africa are as follows:

A minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching
A minimum of 40% in the home language of the student
Achieving 50-59% in four recognised 20-credit NSC subjects (excluding Life Orientation and languages)
Achieving 30% or higher for two other recognised 20-credit NSC subjects (excluding Life Orientation)

However, many institutions will have additional requirements that need to be met. For example, one university may require a 70% average to study commerce, while another requires 65%. There may be an additional prerequisite to have passed pure mathematics.

The more specialised the course you want to study, the more specific the admission requirements will be. University application for a bachelor of arts is generally easier than science or commerce. Applying to study at a vocational college will also have less strict requirements to meet.

Know the exact requirements that you need

If you have your heart set on a specific course at a specific institution, it’s vital that you research what admission requirements you need, to avoid disappointment. This enables you to work towards a goal of marks that you need to attain or review your options if you realise that the admission requirements are out of your reach.

working tables

Working tables – learning to serve and how not to react

By Conflict Resolution, Rights and Responsibilities, Studentdigz Cares, Uncategorized No Comments

working tablesEver heard the term that “there’s more to what meets the eyes”? Well, in this case, it’s all true. In as much as varsity students can opt for temporary student jobs in-between classes to pass the time and make moolah on holiday; here’s how to get being a waitress or waiter right, what to do and what not to do, under any circumstance.

What they don’t tell you…

Like any job, working tables comes with a lot of rights and responsibilities. Unlike other jobs, what you may not know about working tables is that a shift can entail being on your feet and running around non-stop for up to 12 hours. Depending on where you are working, in exceptional cases, you may even be required to work double shifts for low base pay that is mainly founded on tips.

The pressure to suck it up and carry on working

You WILL encounter rude, impatient, broke, and downright disorderly clients. Standing up for yourself becomes ever so tough when one works in a job that depends on tips.

Those who have been in the business for a while will tell you that drunk customers can be a problem and unlike in other professions, screaming, blatant sexual harassment, belittlement and over prejudice often comes with the package – and so does the pressure to overlook and forgive – all in the hopes of getting that 10% tip.

What it all boils down to…

In the end, perhaps working tables teaches you about Self and the impact of our actions. It shows how much impact our actions can have on others and that while we cannot directly control the actions of others, we can – and should – take ownership of our thoughts and actions.

No matter the norms on social media or the popularly accepted behaviours; such jobs teach us that everyone is on a journey and worthy of the highest respect. In working tables, you will be challenged with your values, the call to quit, finding your limit and even confronted to stand up for yourself. If the time comes to act accordingly, when it comes, may you please stand up and act on the side of that which is right, and humanity.