Advice I'd give a Freshman!09:00:00
So it's coming close to the end of August, and some of you are heading out into the world of third level education in college or university. Having finished my first year in UCD, I thought I might be able to give some advice to those of you who are starting in September!
1. Join in : I went to college essentially on my own. There were people who were in my school who opted for UCD also, but they weren't my best buddies or anything. I was basically alone at the start and what scared me most about attending Ireland's second largest University campus and largest student population was making friends. I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn't make friends. I was a little slow initially when it came to making friends in UCD, it felt as though there was something holding me back. Martin, who is a great friend of mine now, asked me way back in September if I would attend the National Ploughing Championships with him and some of the people in our course. In the end I didn't go. I felt that because I didn't know anybody that it would be awkward. My advice to you would be to join in in any activity you can, join clubs, societies, go on trips and meet new people. It is the only way you'll make new friends.
2. Don't bring too much stuff: I will always remember the amount of unnecessary utensils and crockery that was in our apartment last year when there was really no need for it. I would advise you to take the minimum in terms of kitchenware, especially if it's a shared area. Once you meet your housemates you can arrange to bring up items. I think most people are open to sharing things like frying pans and stuff so there is no need to worry if you forget them!
3. Don't slack: Although half my exam results were A grades this year, I do believe I slacked a good bit. I kind of wish I'd worked a bit harder on some of my subjects! Most people can get away with it in first year and pass, but each year is going to get more tough so you may as well get used to keeping on top of your assignments!
4. Attend Lectures : You wouldn't believe the amount of people who are in my course who I have never seen in my life because they don't go to lectures. There is a direct correlation between attending lectures and performance in exams, and most people care about their grades!
5. Don't put too much pressure on yourself : In school, you may have been top of the class and aced all your assignments. This does not necessarily mean that you're going to shine as brightly in Uni. When you go to college, you are in with another kettle of fish from different parts of the country, the most probable thing is that there is going to be a lot of people smarter than you! Don't put too much pressure on yourself to get a perfect GPA, just do your best and that's all anybody can ask of you!
6. Go out and Have fun : All work needs to be balanced with some free time! Go out for a few drinks with friends, go clubbing or have a movie night. These are supposed to be the best days of your life so make the most of it!
Are you going to Uni this year?