Friday, 1 September 2017

College Countdown

This blogpost is going to be the first in my two part college series as the countdown to college begins. I'm going to be sharing some of my college tips and advice that I learned in my first year. As some of ye know I'm going into second year of college in UCC here in Cork so I do live at home. These tips are especially for people who live at home, so they stay in college the whole day and don't go home inbetween lectures etc, and they would be completely different if you lived in college accommodation. These are all little things that I think are good to know and little things I've done that have helped me get through college days and of course they are all from my personal experience so you might have other things and if you do feel free to share them in the comments below. I hope this helps any freshers going into college or even if you are going back to college and never thought of these things they might give you a hand. You might think some of these things are common sense but I hope there is at least one thing you can take away from this post. 
College days can be long and if you won't be at home during the day make sure to bring a portable charger or even an actual charger if there are loads of sockets around your college. Always have some money with you if you need food or there are things going on around campus or for when you need some sugar to get you through a physics lab. I actually have a little 'emergency kit' in my bag with money, plasters, painkillers, deodorant and all that jazz because you don't want to be without these things when you need them and there are always unexpected plans after lectures or your labs so it's good to be prepared. I always tend to have some food on me at all times because being hangry is not fun, breakfast biscuits are my personal fave because I can just throw them into my bag instead of worrying about them going off or being in a big container or anything like that. 
You should definitely bring a little umbrella with you because you never know when it's going to lash out the heavens and also have your student ID with you all the time because that's how you get into the library in my college and you always seem to need it for something. If you are spending time in the library and bringing your laptop into college make sure to bring your charger because some day you'll think its charged and it's not, which is the most annoying thing to happen. 
Ok so they're the things I always have with me and I think are important to have with you if you're in college all day. The next things are just general tips and almost 'life hacks' that help me for college or just general tips. 
- Do your makeup in the car or on the bus to save time if you wear it every day so you can have more time in bed (you can read my tips about makeup on the go here). 
- Student discounts and deals are great so sign up to UniDays and keep an eye out in shops for student discounts, or even just asking when you're buying something do they have student deals. 
- Get involved, go on class nights out to meet people doing the same course as you because that's one of the only ways to get to know people. Join a club or society because you never know you might love it and meet some incredible friends because ye share the same hobby or pastime. 
- Be open minded about friends because you could be best friends at the end of the year with people you've been friends with on Facebook for ages but never knew them that well.
- Talk to everybody during the first week, especially during your orientation because you might actually get to know your real friends there and as weird as it might be add some people in your course on Facebook straight away it's a great idea so you have some way of contacting them and asking about lectures etc.
- Have your timetable and a campus map saved on your phone because you will more than likely need to look at it every ten seconds. Don't be afraid to ask someone where things are because you are bound to be lost and everyone is there to help you. 
- Download the Gmail app and put notifications on for your college email because this is how you'll find out if lectures are cancelled or relocated, or about upcoming exams. 
- Labs and tutorials don't usually start the first week but ask your lecturers instead of hanging around campus all day waiting for them and then nothing actually being on. 
- Remember to be completely yourself and do what you want to do. You don't have to follow a crowd because college is completely different to school, it's a huge place with loads of people and no one really cares what you do.
- Keep an open mind about things especially people and things happening. There are lots of spontaneous plans or college events and these can sometimes be the best times ever so don't be set on heading home at a certain time, if something happens to crop up then go for it. 
- You really don't need all that stationary that you plan on buying because almost everything is online. So invest in a laptop and use some refill pads to take notes on if you prefer doing it the old fashioned way. You will need some notebooks for labs, well I did anyway. 
- Don't feel pressured to go out or drink just because it is a huge part of college culture. I didn't at the start of first year and that's perfectly fine too. Do whatever you're comfortable with but do socialise in other ways like joining clubs or socs.
- Even if you do like going out and drinking you don't have to go out every single Thursday night, you won't miss anything much if you need sleep or have college work to do, put yourself and college work first. 
- If you have a day of lectures after a big night drink loads of water, eat something substantial and take off your makeup before you go to bed. Try and eat something when you get up and bring a big bottle of water to lectures with you. 
- Make sure to get people's phone numbers if you're going on a night out with them because you will lose someone. 
Although you're probably scared if you're starting college, you will be ok even though it is quite different form school. You'd never know you might have the best year of your life and meet the most incredible people. If you ever have any questions about college (particularly UCC) feel free to DM me on my social media or Snapchat me and I'll do my best to help you. Call back here next week for a college fashion post, 
Ailbhe x 


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