10 Things I've Learned in College
This time last year I couldn't stop writing about the leaving cert - and now I can't stop writing about college. I guess it makes sense, one only wants to write about what one knows. But, considering the opening question when I meet people now is always 'how is college?', I thought this might be interesting.
I've been there 3 months now, so you may be hoping that I have learned more than just 10 solitary things; but hey, these have been the stand out nuggets of knowledge that I have to share.
1. You will sign up to 105 different societies within the first week; and you may never attend a single meeting or event. Just accept that the 3 euro you spent in registration may be lost forever, or if you show up, it may be the best 3 euro you have ever spent.
2. Coffee is vital. You had one two many last night and need to attend a lecture; a Venti Latte from Starbucks. Need a place to hide from the rain; run into a coffee shop. And the best thing about college is that you will probably never be alone on these little coffee runs; leaving the potential to make some life long friends.
3. You will not attend every lecture. I scoffed at the thought when this 'absurd' notion was first presented to me... But it will happen. It's college. It's part of it.
4. This may not seem college related and I promise I will include something academic, but please do not mix your drinks. It will not be pretty.
5. Chat to everyone. I have seriously improved my small talk abilities by just attending college for a few short months. I can chat away to people that I have never met for hours on end if the need may arise; and I used to be known for my awkwardness socially. No one is going to hurt you, or think that you're weird - it's college, everyone is in the same boat.
6. If you are going to a college where you do not know a single soul, don't make it a bad thing. This is your opportunity for your fresh start - take it.
7. Whether you're a college student or not; it is never a bad thing to have to call your Mom. She's been there and she will still be able to help you out.
8. Budget. I am one of the rare few who don't have to worry too much about this (living at home does have one or two perks) but I still have to make the extra effort not to spend my entire life savings on coffee. (This is an even bigger problem if you are an Arts student - you never see us without a coffee cup in our hands...)
9. I guess this applies to every period of your life; but document it. Take pictures, selfies, group shots - the lot. College is meant to be one of the best times of your life (before all the responsibilities kick in) and it would be a shame not to capture it. One thing that I've also gotten into the habit of doing is making an album on FB and slowly adding to it as the year goes on; nice to have one spot to look back on all the memories.
10. Balance. Everyone has accepted that (for the first two years at least) college is not all about the academia. Have fun, make memories but not having to email your tutors apologies all the time might be helpful too. Trust me, they don't care whether or not you're dog ate your assignment. It's all on you.
For now, those are my jumble of thoughts from my first term of college. There's still a whole learning curve to go - and maybe next time I can drop in a few more philosophical ideas to keep you thinking... Who knows?