Starting college is an exciting, but daunting time. It’s so different to the very structured education you’ve had for the past 14 years, especially if you’re doing Arts. But all the new experiences are exciting. Here’s some sage advice to think about if you’re just about to start college…
Join all the societies for the goodie bags during Fresher’s Week, but do pick something random and something you are interested in pursuing. And then stick with it. Joining groups is the best way to make new friends. It’s also a great way to get to know people outside of your course. And believe us, it’s good to have friends outside of your course.
Be friendly to everyone, don’t make enemies in your first week. You will have to be around each other constantly for the next 3 or 4 years. Be open to everyone and don’t rush to judge someone. You never know who you might end up being friends with in the long term. More often than not it can be the person you least expect.
You are about to find out it really is a very small world and an even smaller island of Ireland. Everyone will know someone who knows someone you know. Just keep that in mind if you don’t want to be the talk of the parish.
Don’t cling to those you already know. It’s easy to latch on to someone that you already know, but try to be social butterfly even if you’re not.
Be weary of the people who say they haven’t studied or started that assignment yet. Don’t be fooled, they totally have. In fact they’re probably already finished it.
Mind yourself. If you’re living away from home this is probably the first time in your life that you have the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. No one is saying don’t enjoy yourself, but just be careful. Always know how you’re going to get home after a night out and always keep some extra money on you incase of an emergency.
For goodness sake go to class. Once you break out of the chains of secondary school the notion of not having to be in class is intoxicating, but remember you are actually kinda there to get your degree. You need to go to class to stay on-top of your work. Everyone has an urban legend about some friend who became a hermit and watched all the series ever on Netflix and never went to a class or tutorial for the whole semester. Don’t listen.
Make sure you’re doing the right course for the right reason. We all get nervous and unsure, but if you really feel like you might have made the wrong choice admit it sooner rather than later. If you leave it too late you might not be able to avail of Free Fees again if you go back the following year for a new course. Your college will have someone for you to talk to about it, so if you’re unsure avail of that help. Most colleges have a deadline of the end of October to defer or transfer.
It’s a lie when people say school is the best time of you’re life. It’s not, college is. Make sure you make the most of it. It goes by in the blink of an eye. And enjoy!
Are you starting college this year?