You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone will be demolished this can be incredibly fun and liberating at times and terrifyingly cringy at times. Not only will you academically be challenged but you’re being introduced to so many new opportunities and social situations. In my first week in college I didn’t know anyone, I had just moved in and classes hadn’t even begun yet so I got ready and put on my big girl pants and went to the student bar all by myself. To this day it’s still unbelievable to me that I did that but it was amazing I made so many new friends that night.
However sometimes challenging yourself can be synonymous with embarrassing yourself. My friend dragged me along to audition for a play in first year and it was pretty horrendous I was so uncomfortable acting out a scene in front of complete strangers. After the acting segment I had to perform a song, I was so embarrassed at this point so instead of singing I asked if I could just leave and not be in the play, after the students who were judging encouraged me, I sang happy birthday and left. I was cringing so hard and praying that I never saw those judges again, however I saw them again when I got a minor part in the play and it turned out to be so much fun.
Check your emails daily!
It’s so important. When you’re in secondary school you don’t have many responsibilities, but when you go to college your emails are so important. You have to keep up with your accommodation host and make sure your rent is paid on time, you have to keep up with assignments which your lectures often email you along with guidelines and deadlines, you get informed about club and society events as well as other opportunities, the list goes on so make sure your on top of things. If your current email address is full of junk such as facebook notifications and promotions from Dunnes, Brown Thomas, beauty bay, YouTube etc it might be a good idea to set up a new email to filter out the junk and keep all your important emails in the one place.
Before going to college you have a regular routine, with people around you motivating you making sure you go to school and come home and do your homework etc. In college it’s all up to you. If you go out with your friends at night it can be so easy to just stay in bed the next day and skip class and go shopping instead, no one’s going to come after you and make sure you go to class and that your on top of your work, if you fall behind its on you and no one really cares, sounds harsh but now your aware of it you can organise yourself from the beginning make sure your on top of your assignment and go to class, that you allocate time for friends and fun, fitness, work, hobbies and of course make time for yourself.
Before going to college set things in place to make your transition easier:
-Set up a bank account if you don’t already have one and make sure you have a debit card and preferably keep some money on it in case of emergency; check if your college has a certain bank branch on campus or nearby to make things easier.
-Get a leap card (if applicable to where you will be going to college) and figure out what bus routes will take you to where you want to go.
-Play around with Microsoft word, power point, Google docs and drive, get familiar with them if you’re not already. It’s likely that you will have to use these for your assignments. -Download useful apps such as ‘my taxi’, ‘Gmail’, ‘Dublin Bus’ as well as your bank app so you can keep track of your money and budget.
Be independent and try new things.
If you want to join a new club or society and none of your friends want to, join by yourself you’ll make some new friends and with such a variety of clubs and socs NOW is the time to try as many new things as you want put yourself forward and get involved. If you’ve moved to a new place go explore, nearby parks, shops etc.
Good luck on your new adventure .
You can find me on Instagram @sarahphoenix1
You can read more about my leaving certificate/college experience here: