Saturday, August 20, 2016

College Survival Guide

This Monday the fate of over 81,000 prospective students will be determined as the first round of CAO offers are released. According to the Irish Times over 46,000 applicants are Leaving Certificate students who received their results last Wednesday. Isn't is fascinating to reflect on how the rest of this figure comprises mature, repeat, change of mind applicants and students from abroad? This proves that education is an exciting opportunity  available to all regardless of age or life circumstance. With three years of college experience to my name Grace With Love Blog is sharing my top tips for anyone hoping to make the most of their college experience this year! 

 1. Find your voice and use it

College is an incredibly life-changing experience, one that inspires you to think differently about the world around you. You will meet new people, be encouraged to think outside of the box and develop as a rounded citizen. From the offset, I would encourage you to voice your opinions and to always stand up for what you believe in. Not only will this increase your confidence, you will learn much more than you ever could imagine! 

2. Get Involved!

Firstly, if you are a fresher it is strongly advisable to attend your orientation. You will be given a guided tour of the campus and introduced to the vital facilities and support services available to you. Join clubs, attend events, mix and mingle! If you love sport check out the sport facilities, if drama or music is your thing sign up, if you have a grĂ¡ for Gaeilge there is the Cumann Gaelach or debating team! The possibilities and opportunities are endless and a lot of interests are now catered for at various colleges around Ireland.

3. Stay Organised!

A little bit of organisation can go an extremely long way and save you a lot of hassle coming up to stressful times such as placement or exams. Use sticky notes to write down important  reminders and a study schedule for yourself and stick them EVERYWHERE! The cream decor of my college room ended up looking a sinister shade of yellow at the end of each semester due to my obsession with sticky- notes!

4. Go to Lectures

We are all human and sometimes may feel like skipping a lecture here and there to indulge in a Netflix or Jeremy Kyle binge (guilty!). Trust me you will only end up kicking yourself at the end of the semester when assignments and exams roll around and your workload is harder to handle than a Kim K tantrum!  


5. Find your motivation!

Staying motivated all the time can be challenging. My best advice is to find something quirky that motivates you and use it when you are happy with the progress you have made or reached a certain target. Try to avoid using junk food as a motivator! Promise yourself a gift you've had your eye on and work towards your goal until you have earned your reward.

6. Support Networks

The Student's Union is there for a reason, to support you with any assistance you ever may need. Use them! They are a friendly approachable asset to always keep in the back of your mind if you are stuck in a rut academically or simply need some advice. The majority of colleges and universities also provide counselling and chaplaincy services. You will see from reading The Story Behind Grace With Love Blog that my college journey has not always been 100% smooth and that is completely ok! The people you meet in college will become friends for life and you will be amazed to meet so many people with common interests! Look after one another, stay safe and have fun. The best days of your life are ahead and you deserve to enjoy this experience to the best of your ability. Also remember to stay in touch with your parents and family at home as this may be a completely new experience for them also and they just want to make sure their loved one is safe and most importantly happy!

Above all else, remember Ryan has always got your back :)

I hope your college year is full of fun, laughter and new experiences!

Thanks for reading!

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