Few Tips for Starting College

It’s that time of the year again when everyone is after getting their Leaving Cert results and have received their college offers! Surrounded by excited, upcoming freshers, I have a few tips and advice just before all the chaos that college brings!

 1.  Take a deep breath!

  •  During orientation and registration, you will be surrounded by so many people and so many new things that it can feel quite overwhelming. It is often quite a chaotic week to say the least and you will be in positions that may be uncomfortable for you. So take a deep breath and take a moment to process everything that’s going on around you! Exhale through all the nervous jitters and learn to enjoy the first few days of college! 

2.   Take the first step!      

  • Take a chance by saying hi to the girl sitting right beside you in orientation or that cute fella you bump into at one of your lectures! Even if they are with someone, take a chance to say hello and introduce yourself! Remember that most of these people are most likely feeling anxious and nervous like you! All of you are in the same boat, all new to the campus and are likely to not know anyone in your course! Saying hi won’t hurt you or the person you said it to! You probably will end up making you and that person feel better because someone introduced themselves to them, and you because you know you’ve managed to put yourself forward! Despite this, give yourself time to make friends and to feel at home! Everything doesn’t have to happen in the first week!

3.   Try Everything

  • College is your chance to try out things you’ve always wanted to do or continue to do! Universities and colleges often offer a multitude of clubs and societies that offer something different and do countless activities throughout the year! I remember that in my first year I joined about 9 clubs and societies (though some I joined cos of the free pizza and society cards)! But out of those 9, I found things I really enjoyed and found people I could share my love for music or sports with! Some of my best friends have come from the friendships I’ve made from joining the music society or from running for class rep! So don’t shy away from events and open yourself up to enjoy the opportunities that college brings!

Of course, not everyone will be going straight into college or PLCs and you know what? That is perfectly fine! Each and everyone of us have different goals in life and you shouldn’t compare yourself to everybody else! The Leaving Cert is honestly not the end of the world and I am a testament to that! There are so many opportunities and pathways that someone could take, so always explore your options and see where those can take you! 

—Keziah Manuel