Ah freshers. The first batch of college offers is less than a week away, so college life is surely going to be on the brain over the next few days.
You’ll be told lots of things during the coming weeks. You’ll be told that the next three/four years will be the best of your life; you’ll be told that you’ll NEVER have to do exams as stressful as the Leaving Cert; you’ll be told that college is life-changing. You’ll be told lots of things.
But let’s cut out the clichés and get to some REAL advice that might actually be useful.
Here are 10 pieces of sound advice for freshers.First year is actually a lot more work than you think
Sorry for bumming you all out so soon, but one of the biggest shocks for so many freshers is that college isn’t the complete doss it’s cracked up to be. In fact, you’ll have some classes and exams that will give you nightmares on a Leaving Cert magnitude.
But of course you’ll do your utmost to avoid any moments of last-minute panic so much better because you’re much more mature and your days of procrastination are behind you…aren’t they?Your days of procrastination are not behind you
No, they’re not. You’ll probably think that now that you have progressed onto third-level you’ll manage your time much better and leave your excessive Facebooking in the past. Wrong – just like with the dreaded essays in school, you’ll leave your assignments to the last feckin’ minute and spend your study time watching reruns of Friends. It’s inevitable.You should get a real email address
Unless your name actually begins with “Xxx” or ends with “xoxo”, then it’s time to move on from the days of Bebo and get yourself a real email address. It will save you an awful lot of embarrassment when you are networking or signing up for clubs.You should learn how to manage your money
This is one of the trickiest skills to learn during your college years (unless you’re the sort that’s managed to hang on to their Communion money).
I still have yet to fully master this one (I’m often reduced to scraping five cents from the very depths of my wallet when I’m buying a coffee at the end of the month). So learn how to manage your money. Hannah Popham will help you out.At least try to get a job
I know, I know. There is nothing more disheartening than doing a completely pointless CV splash. But it is worth your time to at least attempt to look for a job. There are even opportunities on Campus.ie.Actually read
Believe it or not, it is actually worth your time to read the books on your reading list instead of skimming through them a week before the exams. So many students skip through their college years with a Leaving Cert mentality and never really learn anything. There’s a difference between passing an exam and actually gaining knowledge.Don’t get so hung up about post-college life
Don’t spend your first year freaking about what the hell you’re going to do after you graduate. You’ll have lots of surprising opportunities and meet lots of people throughout the coming years who could help you get your foot in the door of whatever career you pursue.Back up your files
Self-explanatory – there is nothing more horrific than discovering that your 7,000 word essay has just disappeared off the face of the earth.Go to your classes
Come on – most of you will hardly have to spend much time in there anyway. Engage with your modules as best you can – it’ll help open your mind and expand your interests. Nothing wrong with that.Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way
Try as many things as possible. Now is the best time. Don't just look at that mountain, climb it.