As the shock of Leaving Cert results has settled down and students have confirmed where they’ll be plying their trade for the next three to four years, the far greater shock of actually moving to, and getting started in uni can hit. So here we have a list of top tips for freshers, to make the most of your first year!

Fresher’s week:
Freshers’ week is basically a week that coincides with your first week of lectures where there is an event on every night. In other words, everyone gets sloshed and sees if they can still go to their lectures the next morning. If you’re living with strangers in your first year, this is the perfect time to get to go know them! So go for it, know (or learn) your limits and enjoy!

Going out:
College life undoubtedly includes a night-life, so let us take note of the facts that your snapchat story will definitely make you cringe in the morning. Going out for ‘just one’ never really works, you’re going to have to stock up on the painkillers and probably accept that you’ve become a one-person embarrassment factory, (but hey, you’ll have stories to tell!!)

Book buying:
In your first few lectures, if your head isn’t too sore, you’ll hear your lecturers telling you what books you NEED to buy in order to do well in their module. Lies. Let me tell you first hand that you will regret buying some of these books and end up seeing that half of them are available for free on the internet anyway. A lot of books will only require you to read a few pages tops, so find someone who does your course in the year above you and see what books you’ll actually need, they’ll know! Or take the gamble and guess…

Student accommodation:
Living with strangers who you’ve never met before can be quite the daunting task. Or extremely exciting depending on how you look at it! But one things for sure, the dishes will pile up… My advice would be to bring your own plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon and maybe even saucepan. Some house-mates can get lazy and deny that anything dirty is belonging to them. Oh I’m overreacting you say? Ha. Take a look.

Freshers Week Sink

Ooh, I might add that if your bin isn’t being taken out a bin rota might be in order…

Also make sure to keep an eye on the used by dates of your food or you’ll end up with a mass of maggots in the fridge. (I won’t include that photo for the sake of your well-being.

Although the most talked about thing when the conversation of college is brought up is more on the subject of alcohol and nightclubs, studying has a pretty crucial part to play. Take notes in your lectures via pen and paper or your laptop; keep on top of your work and try not to leave assignments until the night before they’re due. (But if you do, stock up on coffee and red bull because let’s be honest here procrastination is real and impressively good at its job).

Managing money:
Look, I could say to you to be careful with what you spend your money on, budget well and all of that malarkey. But really, just don’t look at your bank balance. Just don’t do it. Ignorance is bliss. It’s better that way.

Don’t be an eejit:
Don’t insult other people’s likes and interests to make yourself seem better because all that you’ll end up with is resentment and sour faces. Especially during freshers, if you act too cool for school and obnoxiously then a lot of people won’t want to be around you and that’s shite craic so be nice to people and people will be nice back. (Words of wisdom that even rhymed).

Eat properly:
More nights out mean more take-away and junk food (you can’t beat a fiver deal or a spice bag, right?). But you should probably stock up on semi healthy foods at least. I’m talking soups, pastas, cereal… Maybe even a fruit or a vegetable if you’re feeling adventurous!! But seriously, try to keep your diet somewhat intact, your gut will thank you.

For the love of God, listen when you’re being taught how to reference properly (and let me know if you figure it out).

Talk to strangers:
*Que the gasps of thousands of horrified Irish Mammys* Well hey, how else are you supposed to make friends?! Strike up conversations with people in your apartment, in your course, in clubs and societies or wherever you are that gives you an urge to be more social than a hermit crab.

Don’t be nervous:
All freshers are in the same boat. You will find your classes. You will make friends. You will get the shift. (As if you weren’t thinking about that). Overall, you will settle in and be okay. Moving away from home is a big step but hey, one of the biggest pros of finishing the leaving cert and moving out of secondary school is you can literally go to the bathroom whenever you want and you don’t even have to put your hand up or say it in Irish. Score!

Have fun:
College is all about new experiences and finding yourself, so go with the flow and do what YOU want to do. Develop your own opinions, interests and beliefs and treasure the next few years. It’s like a fresh start, so look forward and make it what you want it to be.

Oh, and get the shift!

Emma Craven