First Year Survival Guide

We were all young and innocent Freshers once, and let’s face it – it is a pretty terrifying thing. Coming from secondary school into a third level institution is overwhelming. Your sixth year clique is split up and for the first time you are truly on your own. Sussing out the college campus, getting to grips with lectures and trying to make new friends is no easy feat, and there will probably be a few times you cry on the phone to your mum about how you “like, don’t ACTUALLY want to be a grown up anymore?”
But starting college is also the beginning of a new journey, it’s exciting and you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. And because we’re sound, The College View has put together some guidelines for those of you who have just started first year.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people.
Put yourself out there and make the first move. Everybody is as terrified as you are, and they will more than likely be relieved that somebody actually wants to talk them. Going to lectures is a lot less daunting if you have somebody to sit next to/quietly freak out with about how you have absolutely no idea what is going on.

Beware of ‘first day’ friends.
Obviously making friends is important, but don’t latch on to the first person that throws an introduction your way. BE WARY. They might seem super friendly at first, but you don’t want to be associated with a completely psychopathic/irritating/depressing twat for the rest of your college days. Keep your options open and your guard up, kid.

Going out.
Ahhh, yes, the fact that getting el locko during the week (and also occasionally during the day) is absolutely acceptable is possibly one of the best things about college life. But don’t overdo it. You don’t want to miss an obscene amount of lectures because you’re constantly ‘under the weather’ from the night before. Your bank account, health and grades will all suffer as a result.

Budgeting.
Aldi will most definitely be your mate, and noodles will most definitely be a staple food. Don’t try to fight it – embrace it. Budgeting your money is important when you’re out on your own. Make sure to put aside money for rent, bills, food and bus fare and then spend the rest on whatever the hell you like. Blowing your grant money on Boohoo.com from time to time won’t be frowned upon, but don’t make it a habit…

Join clubs and societies.
Get as involved with as many as you can. They are a fantastic resource for meeting people, learning new skills and appreciating new things. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a hard-core tea enthusiast, there will definitely be something there for you. Plus, the two for one Captain America offer you get with the membership cards is too good to refuse.

Learn to reference.
Seriously, learn how to reference your essays properly from the beginning. If you come across any seminars that’ll learn ya real good, GO TO THEM. You will not regret it. Don’t get into your final year still wondering what the Harvard referencing system is. It is not worth the unnecessary stress. On a side note, AVOID PLAGIARISM LIKE A LEPER WITH BAD BREATH. The ole’ ‘copy and paste’ job does not work in university. I know breakups are difficult, but you need to end that unhealthy relationship you have with Wikipedia…

Run for class rep.
What’s the worst that could happen? Putting yourself forward for class rep will get your name out there among your classmates, and if you are elected then you have the opportunity to have your voice and your class’ ideas heard at meetings. Cheesy as it is, little old you can make a difference. As Barrack Obama once said, “Is feidir linn.” (Yes, we can.)

Stay safe.
If you choose to live your college years in a promiscuous manner, please be sensible about it. You have been learning about sexual health since you were twelve, you really should have it imprinted on your mind by now that contraception is ALWAYS a very good idea. Being too scarlet to buy condoms is no longer a valid reason, as you can just pop up to the SU and grab a handful for free. Unplanned pregnancies and STIs are minus craic.
We wish you the best of luck with surviving the jungle that is third level education.

Jade O’Leary

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