Money en-us catherined at cosmopolitan dot co dot za Copyright 2009 The Ultimate Back to Varsity To-Do List Girls all day. Here are a few things that will make your slide into second semester a little bit easier.

RELATED: The Five Essentials To Take On Your Next Long Distance Bus Ride

1. Get new stationery 

Face it: the thrill of a brand new pen is something that we all secretly carry with us from our schooldays. It’s like Plato once said: A new book is symbolic of a new beginning. Or something. Untouched books and pens will definitely start your semester out on a great note(book).

2. Treat yourself to a mini-makeover

Being back on campus may not always feel great, but you can remedy that by looking great. Book an appointment before the semester starts to get a mani, an eyebrow wax or a new hairstyle. Knowing you look fabulous (and seeing all the cute Commerce guys checking you out) will make varsity a bit more bearable.

3. Update your CV

Don’t forget to pay some attention to your CVs – each semester takes you one step closer to the day you’ll be sending it off to anyone (anyone!) who will read it. Save yourself a ton of trouble now by making sure all your latest achievements and extra-curriculars are included.

4. Clean out your cupboard

Don’t spend an hour each morning sifting through shelves of old tops and food-stained shorts you haven’t touched in years. Consider donating everything you don’t wear anymore and make a list of the items you still need for your back-to-varsity wardrobe.

5. Keep track of your cash

Holidays can often spell disaster for your bank balance. Not only do you spend like crazy, but you aren’t exactly checking your balance with every card swipe. Make sure that those nights out buying drinks for your friends didn’t affect your funds too badly – there’s nothing quite as embarrassing as a card being declined.

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Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:00 +0200
The Five Essentials To Take On Your Next Long Distance Bus Ride plane rides all the time. And when it comes to the times when you have to take the crummy bus to get home, at least get comfortable. It's going to be a loooong way there. These are the essentials!

RELATED: Travel Safely

1. Earphones
Fact: there will be some loud, snotty children on your ride home. These are your secret weapon to deal. Listening to Lorde is waaaay better than the sound of children tears.

2. iPad
This is the time to catch up on all those Game Of Thrones episodes. Stock up your tablet and get ready for some series binge-watching to take your travel woes out your mind. And if you don't have a tablet, try your laptop. 

3. Blanket
Trust, the bus will be freezing! So get yourself a warm blankie or extra thick jacket for the ride. 

4. Books
Magazines or kindle...depends on your personal concentration span really. Some reading material is a great way to take your mind off things. 

5. Snacks
How better to enjoy your series binge-watch?

RELATED: 10 Of The Very Best Grilled Cheeses Your Mouth Will Ever Meet

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Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:00 +0200
The Surprising Lessons I Learnt When Moving Back Home After Graduation Third Culture Kid (TCK) has always meant that people from all over the world have surrounded me. Therefore when I moved from Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, South Africa for my undergrad I had no problems settling down and fitting in. The problems began when it came time to leave Cape Town after I graduated. I remember moving back into my mother’s house in Nairobi and feeling excited about being back home. However within a few weeks I fell into a slight depression because I just didn’t fit in. I came home to a city I didn’t recognize and no friends due to the fact that my educational years were spent in international schools and everyone I knew was well, somwher else. It took some time but I finally got back on my feet and now, a year later, I finally feel like I’m home. Here are some of the things I found handy when I had to move to my 'new' environment.

RELATED: WATCH: Jim Carrey Give An Inspiring Speech About Going For Your Dreams 

1. Embrace the Place and Explore!
When I first got home I wasn’t exactly looking forward to leaving everyone and everything I knew. I had spent three years building a support system in Cape Town and I loved the life I had there. Also, now that I had graduated there was the pressure to find a job, which quite frankly is quite difficult to achieve when everyone wants at least a year of experience before they can even consider hiring you. Combine distaste for your environment with constant career rejection and things can spiral downwards rapidly. So I started driving around town, at first because I had the time on my hands but also because I needed to become familiar with my environment. With time I found new places to hang out and I met a few people.

2. Put Yourself Out There.
You’re not going to meet people and make friends or even career contacts if you aren’t approachable and you can end up isolating yourself. This happened to me and a few months later I found out that I was actually pushing people away because I came off as snobby and uptight; I am anything but.
Being approachable can open numerous doors for you and sometimes all it takes is a smile. Go to new places, speak to new people, and especially listen to new people. You never know, one of the random people you speak to at the supermarket may be the contact you need for that new job you can’t seem to lock down.

RELATED: Guilt-Free Friendship Amnesty 

3. Don’t Give Up
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall as long as you keep getting up. For me it took a while but I finally started meeting people, even people from my high school who it turns out were now back in Kenya after their own graduations. Most of these people I wasn’t friends with in high school was high school, but now that we’re all grown up and we find that we have a lot more in common.

It was a difficult start but now I’m happy with where I am. I know if a few years wanderlust will get the best of me and I’ll probably move somewhere new but until then I couldn’t be happier.

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Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Of The Very Best Grilled Cheeses Your Mouth Will Ever Meet
RELATED: Study Snacks

RELATED: 10 Mistakes We Make In Our Twenties 

1. The Chilli-popper and Cheese
I know what you're thinking, 'A chilli popper in a sandwhich?? Genius!' It's so genius in fact that I wish I had thought of this sooner. Laurie Mcnamara is the brainchild behind it. 

Here's the RECIPE
Picture source: Simply Scratch

2. The Margherita Pizza 
The best way to curb your pizza craving during your broke days. 

Here's the RECIPE
Picture source: BS in the Kitchen

3. French Onion Soup Grilled Sandwich
When you're done with this recipe, you can make some onion soup too. 

Find the RECIPE
Picture Source: Taste spotting 

4. Grilled Jalapeno and Avo 
Since that chilli popper-cheese sandwhich you'll have all this extra chilli lying around anway...

Find the RECIPE
Picture source: The Partial Ingedients 

5. Broccoli & Cheddar Soup 
Just cause you're broke doesn't mean you can't still get your nutrients. Eat your veggies...with cheese of course. 

Find the RECIPE
Picture source: BS in the kitchen 

6. The Dark Chocolate, Raspberry and Brie 
You're already letting your sandwich maker melt cheese, why not let it melt chocolate??!

Here's the RECIPE
Picture source: Ambitious Kitchen

7. The Bacon, Egg and Hashbrown
Helloooo breakfast! Helloooo Breakfast for dinner!

Find the RECIPE
Picture Source: Brown-eyed Baker

8. The Spinach & Feta
The Spinach and Feta cheese combo is one that was made in heaven!

Here's the RECIPE
Picture source: Kitchen Daily 

9. Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese
The best part? You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen right now!

Here's the RECIPE
Picture source: Espresso & Cream

10. Monterey Chicken
It might sound fancy. But truthfully, it's quite easy to make. 

Now go out and SANDWICH!!!!!

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00 +0200
WATCH: Jim Carrey Give An Inspiring Speech About Going For Your Dreams film called Dumb and Dumber To but Jim Carrey himself is anything but. In this inspiring speech, Carrey talks to the 2014 graduating class from Maharshi University about being brave enough to reach for exactly what you want because, as he puts it, 'You can fail at what you don't want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you LOVE'.

RELATED: Surprising Truths About Varsity

It starts to get really interesing from about 10:12 when Carrey talks about how we allow fear to control us far too much.
'So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.'
No doubt a lot can relate to that! Ever hear the saying, 'Fortune favours the bold'? Sign up for that Salsa Class! Get that promotion at work! Ask that cute guy out today! Nothing will happen if you shy away. 

So go out there and be bold COSMO Girl!

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Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:00 +0200
College Scams
1. It is not accredited. It must say “accredited”; “licensed”, “approved” or “verifiable” are not good enough. And, they must be accredited by a recognised authority, like the Department of Education.

2. It has very low or no admission criteria. “Life experience” or “work experience” is not a valid criteria.

3. There is no bricks and mortar establishment: always place a call to a landline to verify the physical existence of the college before paying any money.

Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Get Your Free COSMO On Campus NOW! COSMO On Campus

So what is COSMO On Campus? It's a free, bite-sized version of COSMO, and it will be available at some of South Africa's biggest university campuses.

We know that money can be tight for students, so we've produced a free version that gives a taste of the advice, entertainment and inspiration offered in COSMO every month. COSMO On Campus is the ultimate guide for students who are stepping out into the real world to become fun, fearless females.

Find COSMO On Campus at your university:

SUN (Stellenbosch) - Rooiplein 10 Oct

UJ B - Student Centre 14 Oct

UJ A – Outside SRC 15 Oct

NMMU – South campus canteen – 15 Oct

UKZN W Quad - 17 Oct

UKZN H Quad - 18 Oct

TUT Fountain area - 22 Oct

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Study Snacks 1. Whole-grains

Been low-carbing? It’s time to stop right now. To stay mentally alert your brain needs the glucose which comes from carbohydrates, and to be able to concentrate and focus for long periods of time you must give your body the right kind of fuel. But this is not the time to binge on hot chips and sugary cereals, either; you want to choose foods with a low GI – in other words, things that provide you with a slow, steady supply of energy such as wheat-bran with yoghurt; whole-wheat toast with scrambled egg or brown rice with meat and veggies. Mixing your carbs with a bit of protein and fat slows down their absorption which means you stay full and energised for longer.

2. Broccoli

This superfood is a great source of vitamin K which is known to improve brain power and enhance cognitive function. Make a big pot of soup to snack on throughout the day, or fry a couple of florets in olive oil and add it to your salad or pasta.

3. Oily Fish

Essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the things we eat. The most effective omega-3 fats (called EPA and DHA) are found naturally in oily fish, and are brilliant for healthy brain function, heart health, happy joints and an overall wellbeing. Low levels of DHA have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss – which tells you it’s pretty important. Good sources are salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. The perfect exam breakfast would be wholewheat toast with butter and sardines or, kick off an afternoon study session with a lunch of whole-grain pasta, pilchards and cheese.

4. Blueberries

Referred to as ‘brainberries’, researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Studies indicate that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved the learning capacity of ageing rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. Eat them fresh as a snack, add dried ones to your cereal or salad, or buy the frozen kind and have it with yoghurt or in a smoothie. During exam time aim for about half a cup a day.

5. Nuts and Seeds

Studies suggest that a good intake of vitamin E could help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in older people. Which tells you it’s probably pretty good for your brain. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, as are seeds, olives, brown rice, asparagus and eggs. Zinc is also a great brain food which enhances memory and thinking skills, and pumpkin seeds are an easy way to get your daily quota. Choose pumpkin-seed loaf, or keep a packet of pumpkin seeds in your bag to nibble on when you’re feeling peckish.

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Res Room Chic: 8 Ways To Pimp Up Your Room For Under R80
*Cape Town
Mabu Vinyl, 2 Rheede Street, Gardens
Tel: 021 423 7653

Awesome Record Store, 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein
Tel:083 300 2196

Ajmeri Record King, 2 Ajmer Arcade, Durban Central
Tel: 031 306 3343

2. Bold décor pieces, such as a distressed glaze candleholder, R49, at Mr Price Home, make a great focal point without taking up too much space.

3. Repurpose: The latest trend in décor circles involves turning something old, like a wood crate, into something new by spraying it gold and using it as a magazine holder, or using your old school case to display your CD collection. Markets like the Vintage experience held at 36 Buitenkant Street in Cape Town and the African Craft Market at the Mall of Rosebank in Johannesburg, have goodies for all budgets.

4. Vases and pressed bottles make windowsills double as displays. Prices range from R9 to R69, 99 at Mr Price Home.

5. A variety of picture frames at Sheet Street, from R29 to R39.

6. Themed scatter cushions, R69, 99 at Ackermans Home Ware.

7. Delaware lamp and shade, R69 at Mr Price Home.

8. Affordable artistic photographs of cities and famous landscapes are available at, which offers a wide variety of posters, art prints, canvas art and other unique items at prices that start at R70.

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
What Your Lecturer Thinks About Where You Sit
Several studies indicate that where you sit can have an effect on your marks, and make a difference to how your lecturer perceives you. This is because sitting closer to your lecturer makes it easier to establish eye contact with her or him, leading to a greater sense of rapport. There is also a better chance than that you will be spoken to when you sit upfront – which, of course, is why some students prefer the back row.

Stuck in the middle

But the problem with the middle row, as researchers have discovered, is that lecturers tend to look at the front and the back rows, which means the middle-row students become invisible, in a sense. This means they are less likely to be asked questions and called on to participate, both of which increase student-lecturer engagement and help facilitate learning.

In addition, research (published by Brown, 1988, and Kierwa, 2000) shows that, in all subject areas, the majority of test questions on university exams come from the professor’s lectures, and that students who take better class notes get better grades. Naturally, if you sit upfront you can see and hear better, and are less inclined to allow your attention to drift. All of this contributes to the fact that students who sit in the front and centre of the class get higher- than-average exam scores.

Rebel, rebel

That said, while your undergrad teacher might look more favourably on the students he/she can easily see and talk to, this might not necessarily be the case for post-graduate studies. Dr Justin Fox who teaches creative writing to masters students at UCT, says, ‘I don’t attribute diligence to students who sit in the front, certainly not at masters level. I suppose the keen beans are up front, but that’s not diligence. And those currying favour are up =front. The independent thinkers and rebels are at the back.’

But, until you get to that level, it’s probably a wiser tactic to be in a place where your view of the whiteboard is good, you can easily ask questions and where your lecturer is able to see and talk to you. The people who sit upfront do tend to fare better as students because, while it won’t break your academic performance, where you choose to sit does have an effect on your level of engagement. So, leave that middle seat and go make yourself known in the front. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the year.
Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Digsmate Drama
1. Do stuff separately

Heard of the expression ‘familiarity breeds contempt’? Convenient as it is hanging out at the beach, shopping and then hitting a club before going home to your shared space, being in each other’s company all the time is going to put strain on your friendship. To avoid getting on each other’s nerves, make sure you have other friends and things you do separately. If there’s a chance she might be hurt when you head off alone, it might be worth sitting down and having a chat about it first. If you emphasise how much you want to preserve your friendship she’s sure to understand.

2. Exercise respect

Yes, she is practically your sister, but that doesn’t mean you can sneak into her cupboard and borrow her favourite dress without asking. The same principle applies to things like using the last of the milk, helping yourself to her leftover pizza or leaving the place wrecked after you host a party. Always ask yourself how you would feel in the same situation. Not thrilled to find your new leather jacket’s gone AWOL on a Friday night? Neither would she be. Don’t do it.

3. It’s not a backpacker’s lodge

Of course it’s okay to have friends stay over sometimes, and boyfriend sleepovers are par for the course, but remember that this is her home, too. She might not want to wake up to the DJ from last night’s club making toast in her kitchen or feel like she’s living with two people instead of one. If you’re inviting guests home for the night (including your guy), always check with her beforehand – even if she’s supercool about this kind of thing.

4. Manage the money

This is a biggie. While rent and bills are easy as they’re split down the middle, little things like groceries and loo paper can become a problem with one person spending more and the other and feeling resentful about it. It’s a good idea to have a house account that covers the essentials. Decide how much you’re each going to contribute per month, and put the money in a kitty. Then, whoever’s heading out to the store can use it to buy what’s required.

5. Rotate chores

Often, one (the neat freak) ends up doing more housework than the other, and this can lead to problems. In order to avoid butting heads over this issue, it’s a good idea to work out a system where you each take turns cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, etc. And then have some kind of rule, eg. whomever cooks doesn’t have to wash up and vice versa. Put it up somewhere where you can both easily see it so that there can be no confusion as to whose turn it is next.

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO On Campus
We know that money can be tight for students, so we've produced a free version that gives a taste of the advice, entertainment and inspiration offered in COSMO every month. COSMO On Campus is the ultimate guide for students who are stepping out into the real world to become fun, fearless females.

Find COSMO On Campus at your university:

Look out for us on your campus from 11am - 3pm on the dates below.

Stellenbosch University: 27 September (Inside the Neelsie)

University of Cape Town: 28 September (Jammie Stairs)

University of KwaZulu Natal Howard Campus: 3 October (The SU Quad)

University of KwaZulu Natal Westville Campus: 5 October (The Quad)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the transport strikes, we are unable to deliver COSMO Campus to UJ RAU, UJ Bunting Road, Wits University and Vaal University of Technology. All dates are postponed until further notice.

Exclusive COSMO On Campus Offer: COSMO For Only R20 Per Issue

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This offer ends on 30 June 2012 so make sure you subscribe or renew your subscription today!


Every month, COSMOPOLITAN is available in digital format to read on your iPad, laptop or computer. It's the same content and the same design - the only difference is that you get it delivered immediately to your device. Save on the cover price and download the current issue for just R23.96, or order a 12-month digital subscription for only R215.25 (a saving of more than R90). To subscribe, click here.

Don't forget to enter the COSMO On Campus competitions - there are loads of amazing prizes up for grabs! Click on the pics below, enter and you could be a winner.


Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:00 +0200
How To Be a Great Intern

Whether you've been asked to make coffee for the entire office or photocopy reams of documents, accept the task with a ready smile. Everybody knows they are crappy jobs, but letting them know you think you're above this will not win you any favours. By displaying a willingness to do whatever is asked of you you're much more likely to be given a chance to perform the more challenging tasks that you can actually learn from - and, the reason why you are there in the first place.

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:00 +0200
Surprising Truths About Varsity

If you're smart and pay attention in class, you can cruise through high school with minimum effort. This is not the case at varsity. If you don't put in the effort, you're pretty much destined to fail. And the other thing is, at school you could get away with learning stuff by rote. At varsity, different skills are required and you have to learn to think for yourself, be critical and formulate your own opinions. And before you can have an opinion you will have to have done a silly amount of reading. Unfortunately being a bright spark ain't gonna cut it here.

Mon, 14 May 2012 12:00 +0200
Balanced Meals On a Budget

Living on government loaf? The humble peanut is bursting with nutrition, and is a great source of healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin and manganese. Choose a brand that's low in salt and sugar, and your sarmie becomes brain food.

Mon, 14 May 2012 12:00 +0200
The 10 Commandments Of Digs
1. Thou shalt not (even when drunk/hungover/comfort eating/all of the above) empty the fridge when nothing in there belongs to you.

2. Thou shalt not let your cousin, Fanie, crash in your housemate's bed, particularly when he has recently drunk a bottle and a half of rum.

3. Thou shalt not leave one square of loo paper on the roll (you're studying engineering - they are not that hard to replace).

4. Thou shalt not leave ones dirty undies/socks/jocks on the floor of any room if you don't want them used as Blitz at the next bring-and-braai.

5. Thou shalt not assault the ears of thine housemates by playing '80s Monster Ballads, ABBA or any version of Video Killed The Radio Star at any time of the day or night.

6. Thou shalt not leave crusty plates, dirty mugs or empty Steers boxes in thine room where rodents and cockroaches will gather and be festive. Just because you pay rent doesn't mean you can turn your room into a cesspit.

7. Thou shalt not dump above dishes in the sink, either, hoping that the washing-up fairies will sneak into the kitchen overnight and make it all go away.

8. Thou shalt not spend thine rent money on thigh-high leather boots unless the hourly rate for waitressing has gone up big time.

9. Thou shalt not leave anything behind you in the bathroom. This include rings of scum, superfluous body hair, toothpaste in the sink and (it's gotta be said) skidmarks in the loo.

Thou shalt remember that, even when you're finding your housemates super annoying, chances are they have issues with you, too. It's all about give and take and open lines of communication. Hold house meetings often when you each get to vent. Then, make a point of enjoying these diverse people who are crossing your path for the briefest moment in time.

To personalise your digs' house rules, download our template and come up with your own house rules for happy cohabitation.

Mon, 14 May 2012 12:00 +0200
College Crisis you really miss your mom. Starting varsity or tech is an exciting, challenging and pretty terrifying time. Here, Birgit Schreiber, psychologist and director of the Centre for Student Support Services at the University of the Western Cape gives some tips on how to cope.

Am I Doing The Right Course? Maybe, maybe not. It's next to impossible knowing, definitively, at age 19 whether you are on the right career path. Some people don't know at 45 and, as the Baz Luhrman, song, Sunscreen, goes, some of the most interesting people never know. The good news is that nothing is carved in stone, and most tertiary institutions are really accommodating when it comes to changing courses. And just because you got the grades to get in to a particular course (and your dad really wants you to be a surgeon/actuary/advocate) does not necessarily mean you should be there.

Says Birgit, 'Insecurity is a common concern. Most students take four or five years to complete a degree because they change subjects and majors. This is normal, and we encourage students to find a good "fit" with their courses and programmes. This good fit sometimes changes as the student develops personally and gets shaped by his/her experiences and learning at the institution.' If you think you're on the wrong track, speak to a university counsellor who will be able to advise you and help you make the right decision. Your dad will get over it.
Was Res The Right Option?
This Workload Is Insane – How Am I Going To Cope?
Am I Going To Be Able To Stick To My Budget?
I Don't Know Anybody Here – How Am I Going To Make Friends?

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
Intern Your Way To The Top
I have one year left of my 'New Media and Communications' degree, and then that's me, done - out into the real world of trying to bag that job that 2 000 other wannabe journalists want.

Nervous? Yes. Excited? Yes. Scared? Nah.... not so much.

Being 'The Intern' I was warned by all my friends that by being 'the intern' my job would be errand-runner and coffee/tea maker. But, I can assure you, the only cups of tea I have made have been for myself, and I haven't been asked to do a single boring or unpleasant job. Instead, my interning experience has opened my eyes to the way things work in the workplace and allowed me to meet some fun, amazing and talented people. Plus, it's totally confirmed my future career aspirations. I now feel much more at ease about graduating next year, as I can apply for job positions that list 'prior experience' as a requirement.

Ashley Swanepoel, managing director of recruitment agency Talentdesk, says, 'Experience will allow for an easier transition into the working world, giving you an edge on other candidates who may not have had any work experience.' With approximately 50.5 million people in South Africa (let alone the world) and a limited amount of top jobs, we are talking about serious competition, so why not get a head start?

'Internships are increasingly being recognised as positive career moves by both graduates and companies, and are being adopted in the hopes of up-skilling, training and retaining top talent - as well as assisting our youth to find gainful employment,' says Swanepoel.
Seek Out Your Internship
Be The Best You Can Be
A Win-Win Situation

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200