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Things to keep in mind on your first day of college

Dealing with the nerve-wrecking first days of college


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education


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Everyone feels nervous on their first day at college. Even the people who appear supremely confident are bound to be feeling nervous too.

Things to keep in mind during the first days of college

This is an exciting new chapter in your life, but it's natural to feel nervous about this new step. You might not even feel certain that college is what you want, but this is your chance to give it a try. Whatever it is, here are some things to keep in mind during your first days of college.

You are not alone

Most people will be hoping to make new friends and this should make it easier to meet new people.

Big lecture halls aren't so bad

It may seem intimidating if there are hundreds of people all packed into one lecture hall. However, you can use this opportunity to start talking to the people sitting next to you, and you will get used to the size of the room eventually.

Tutorials will help you

Many modules will have a tutorial group you must take part in, especially modules with a high number of students. This allows you to go more in-depth on some of the topics and you can ask your tutor questions. This can also be a great opportunity to make new friends, as the tutorial groups are generally small.

You will settle into your workload

The first few days can be overwhelming when you start your lectures and find out about the assignments, exams and readings you'll have to do. It can take time to understand your subjects, but after a few lectures you will start to settle into the course. Most lecturers will ease you into assignments, as they know you're adjusting to college life.

You'll find your way around soon enough

During your first week or two, college may seem like a strange and alien place. However, you will quickly get into a routine and soon find the place is as familiar as the back of your hand.

Ask for directions

Don’t be afraid to ask people for directions to rooms, the library or cafeteria. Nobody will mind and people are used to the influx of new students every year.

Join some clubs or societies

Societies are great spots for new friends. This can range from clubs that focus on sport, such as karate, to groups that focus on knitting, reading, or drinking tea. There will be so many to choose from, you just need to find what's right for you.

Remember college doesn't have to be about drinking

Many people associate college students with alcohol and parties, but that's not how every student likes to spend their time. You don't have to drink if you don't want to, it's up to you to decide how you like to spend your time. If you're feeling nervous about going to a party but not drinking, read our advice here.

Get to know your housemates

If you're living in a house or in student accommodation, get to know your housemates and the people who live near you. It will make communicating easier, but you could also end up making some really great friends.

Step outside your comfort zone

This could mean chatting to someone you wouldn't normally chat with, going to a pub or club you don't really like, checking out a gig, or just sitting down to eat at a table with people you don't know. Good things can come from unexpected places!

Get involved with the student union

Volunteering or helping to fundraise for the student union can be another great way to meet people and to feel a part of your new community.

Talk to someone

Get some help if you're in a rough patch. Many third level institutions have mentoring programmes for first years. These programmes aim to help students get used to life at college. You can also go to the welfare officer in your students' union to talk about how you're settling in and look for advice on getting to know people.

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Published January 16th, 2013
Last updated August 15th, 2018
Tags college university education
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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