College can be a daunting time in your life. Let's not forget that you only get one shot on the CAO so you've got to choose correctly and wisely. But aside from all that boring stuff - sorry - important stuff, there's a good few things that aren't covered by your middle-aged guidance counsellor. So what did we do for you? A wonderful service, that's what. We've laid out for you the five most important things to remember in college that are guaranteed to take you all the way from that fitful first day on campus to when you fly out of the place and off to start the rest of your life. Pull up a chair and have a gander...
5. YOUR FRIENDS AREN'T IMPORTANT ANYMORE
No, that's mean. Let's look at it like this. You've probably had friends of yours from school that you've known all your life, right? We've all had them. What college will teach you, more than anything, is that there's more people in the world. No, really. This might sound cheesy as hell, but there are far more people out there. It's not just about that one closed-off circle of people you started off with in 1st Year. Colleges are huge. And many of the folk there are in your exact same position - they probably don't know anybody, they definitely don't know the lay of the land and you're all struggling to survive in what may seem like a post-apocalyptic wasteland of Fresher's Balls and Society sign-ups. You band together, you look out for one another and the friends you had in Secondary - if they matter - will stick with you. The friends you make in college will stick with you just the same. So don't worry if your friends are going off to wherever. You'll make new ones! Better ones! Ones that don't know about that time you shifted your man / your wan and Mr. Sheridan caught you rotten and threatened to suspend you when you kept going.
4. ARE YOU INTO WEIRD STUFF? WELCOME!
Are you into Harry Potter? Like, really into Harry Potter? Do you know what a Horcrux is? Can you name all seven? Then you're in luck. Because most colleges nowadays have Harry Potter societies. What's a society, you ask? Are you into something? Do you know others who are into it? Do you want to participate in said thing with other students? That's a society. The sheer range of topics on offer in colleges is insane. You've got politics, LGBT and activism, canoeing, rugby, science-fiction, comic books - anything and everything you can think. And if there's something you really like that isn't on offer? Start your own!
"You mean there's a Jurassic Park society in this place?"
3. YOUR HORIZONS WILL BE BROADENED
If, like us, you grew up in the back of beyonds where weirdness of any kind wasn't exactly fermented or tolerated, don't worry. College is a time and place in your life where your horizons and your world-view will be expanded and broadened beyond what you could ever possibly think of. We mentioned gaining new friends in college. You'll also have completely new ideas and opinions on things, new ways of looking at the world - everything. Your brain will not be able to cope with it, and you'll likely roam around campus with a similar expression to this here dog.
2. DON'T GET OVERWHELMED
College is a huge and massive step in your life. It can be daunting. We get that. You are truly on your way to becoming a real person with real things like debit cards and an idea of what a tracker mortgage is. So if you're unsure of yourself or what you're even doing, don't worry. Take a step back, breathe and relax. There are guidance counsellors, Student Union advisors, teachers, professors, support staff - literally hundreds of people who can help you go through all of this.
1. TAKE EVERYTHING IN
It's been said many times, but it's undeniably true. College is the last time in your life where you have as few responsibilities. Think of it like this - in college, you can start your life over. Or even start the rest of it. What we mean is that you can grow, change and do more in college than anywhere else. You're setting yourself up for life, not just for work or a job. It's about broadening your mind and allowing experiences to happen to you. And that's what college is, really. An experience. So enjoy it!
We recommend starting your search with our pals over at UCD. More info here. UCD. Welcome to the world.