Now that the long and nerve-wracking wait for results is over, and you know for definite that you’re going to the college of your dreams, it’s time for you to fly the nest!
College life will no doubt mark the start of a new adventure for you, and we all know how daunting that can be; tasks that you would normally take for granted can now feel unreasonably mammoth. But fret not; we’ve put together a list of five tips that will help you settle right into the university experience without a hitch!
1. Be Organised
You need to organise your college life ahead of time, before you even leave home. Everything you need for your room should be packed up and ready to go. The books and stationery you need for your course should be sitting comfortably in your backpack or briefcase, or on the reading list ready to borrow from the campus library. Doing these little things before arriving at your apartment will save you a lot of stress in the long run, and it’ll save you a lot of time so you can focus on getting settled in.
2. Make Friends with Everyone You Meet
In most cases, the first few friends you make at college will turn out to be friends for life. So say hello to everyone you meet, knock on the doors of your neighbours in your student residence, or leave your door open just a crack as an invitation for people to come in and chat.
If you’re not the outgoing type who can easily spark a conversation with people, you can use social media to find people on your course. Find like-minded people who you’re likely to get on with using uni groups on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. No, it’s not cyber-stalking – it’s called “doing your research”, and you’ll learn plenty about that in the next three or four years.
3. Familiarise Yourself with Your Surroundings
Unless you’re a homegrown Dubliner, you’ll need to learn where your nearest Luas stations, bus stops, supermarkets, and pubs are. Other than that, you should also take a good look around the campus – you’ll find that most colleges and unis in Dublin offer guided campus tours and potentially city tours to get you finding your bearings, so grab a (new) friend and explore the area with them. Find some places you really like going to; shops that stock your favourite magazines, parks and green spaces for studying in warm weather, and most importantly, restaurants and bars that offer the best student deals!
4. Bring Home-Comforts with You
Chances are this is your first time moving away from home, so it’s understandable that you might get a little homesick now and again, but don’t worry: there are little things that you can do to ease the transition.
To start, you should bring photos of friends and family to hang on your wall or sit on your desk – because studies have shown that you’re less likely to feel upset if you hang up pictures of loved ones in your room. Some people also like to bring posters, pillows, or decorations from their old room to make their new room feel more homely, so if you have a favourite stuffed toy you cannot sleep without – bring it.
5. Download Skype on Your Phone/Laptop/Desktop/Tablet
… and make it a habit. We’re not saying you should be that infamous Skyper we all know who skypes home every single day (because you’re at college to get away), but if you start to feel homesick or miss your friends back home, at least you know that the option is there to call them up and have a video chat – it’ll make you feel so much better afterwards too.
Remember, You Are Not Alone!
The team here at Uninest is always ready to help whenever you need it – whether it’s for directions to the nearest cinema or for getting over homesickness. So don’t hesitate to get in touch should you need our assistance or more information on college life in Dublin.