So I have been thinking to myself what's relevant in my life right now that I could start back with blogging and I'm coming to the end of week 2 in college so this is 100% the way to go. This could be considered a little lifestyle blog.
This is just my own personal experience on how to survive college whether you're in first year or final year. Now I've had an absolute roller coaster time in college full of ups and downs. It's made me a stronger person therefore the person I am today so things always have a way of working themselves out.
These are a few factors that I think contribute most to college from my own personal experience.
Lectures: Go. There will be some days when you just don't want to go at all or you feel you won't get anything out of it or its lashing but trust me head along. You might take a hundred things or one thing away but at least you're getting into good habits from the get go. At the end of the day the degree is for yourself.
Naps: you will literally want to nap between lectures or any free time during the day. Before college I might have taken a small 20 minute nap after school but now that has all changed since getting to college. I've had friends tell me they're heading home for a nap, I've said it myself. A nap isn't a want, it's a need these days and it's inevitable for some people.
Clubs and Soc: I know it's easier said than done to join clubs or societies as they are very time consuming but even trying out a few and finding one you like would be good. That's my goal this year is to join one and stick with it. If you're going alone there are so many people in the same boat and just sit near someone you think is there alone and start a little conversation.
Direction: if you're struggling with a module and you have an assignepment to do or just overall you don't understand something either say it to your lecturer after the class or apemail them and arrange to meet. So many lecturers want to help and they are more than happy to sit down and go through things. If you find yourself in a situation where you still don't full understand things don't be afraid to ask someone in the class for your own sake. Also another thing, if you're in a course whether it be the first week or second year and if you're so unhappy don't be afraid to change. The only thing is when you quit one course to start another you will be catch with full blown fees as there is a government tution of €2000 towards fees and you pay the remainder €3000 (at the moment it has gone up again), something that is not mentioned in schools. So if you're considering changing a course you're better off doing it in the first year as you don't want to be catch out. Just something to keep in mind.
Referencing: For most, this will become the baine of your life whilst doing assignments. I'd suggest googling reference sources or email your lecturer. After the amount of time I've been in college I still get confused by referencing and always have to go back and remind myself. So don't worry it definitely takes time to get used to it.
Money Costs: Books can be very expensive in colleges especially if you need 2 or 3 for each module so my suggestion is look online for second hand books or in the library. Also talk to the librarians if you ever need some help or you're lost as they are happy to help to go through anything with you. Another factor on money is when you're in college you're going to want to socialise obviously, so set yourself a goal of how much you can spend a week it will chop and change different weeks of course between: food shopping, eating in college, going out, taxis after a night out etc. it's easier said than done but keep a little diary or account. If you have money worries don't be afraid to confide in someone.
Chilling Out: meet up with someone for a chat or for lunch during lectures and just relax or even take a stroll into town or plan to do something in the evening like a movie night or dance class. It doesn't always have to be go go go.
Safely in numbers: this may seem like common sense to some but I know so many people who walk home alone or wander off from their group. Please please please never walk home alone or stray from your group. Always have some money left over for a taxi. Sadly in this day and age, you just can't be alone at night you just don't know what's around the corner. If you ever have a group of people you go out with and they've left you stranded on a night out then either have a back up plan or avoid them at all costs. It's your safety that matters most at the end of the day.
Finally, my most important one: Look after yourself - both physically and mentally. This is so important. College lifestyle can take a lot of you especially if you live away from home so look after yourself food wise and always get your rest because between assignment deadlines, exams, attending lecture and socialising you will need to 100% keep your energy up especially on the winter days and coming up to deadlines. Now I can't say how important looking after yourself mentally is. If you ever find yourself over whelmed by exams or college - talk to a lecture you like or drop into the students union and chill out with them or talk to someone you can trust. Also don't exhaust yourself with staying up until all hours studying, it might happen with an assignment here and there but don't do late nights with red bull or coffee as this will effect you badly and the information may not stick at all.
But another factor if you ever feel alone please don't suffer. If youre being bullied or youre finding it hard to make friends in a course as sadly many first year courses overall could have up to 1000 people in them so you may not see the same people you talked to the day before but nothing is too small to talk about. From personal experience don't ever feel like you have to keep it to yourself or struggle on alone. Someone will always be there to listen but it's the first step of actually saying I'm not okay or this has been on my mind for a long time. Don't be afraid. I just think college can be so overwhelming on a person at times that you might be stopped in your tracks over your mental or physical health which some many people have experienced. You don't have to be "Fine" it's perfectly okay NOT to be okay.
I hope you can take away some small aspect of this blog. I know it's a little bit deep at times but I find these the important things in college.
Thanks for reading - until next time,