You’ve finished school, received your CAO offers and now you’ve had your orientations. Some of you may have even begun attending your lectures.
But now what? The years fly by and you’ll be amazed by how suddenly graduation might creep up on you. 
How do you make the most of your college experience? Having already spent a year in university, I think I have the perfect guide to making the most of your time in college.
Join a society
Every college has societies. These are basically social groups that are based on shared interests. There is a society out there for everyone, from film appreciation, to learning a new skill like knitting. 
Societies are a great way to mingle with people that have similar interests to you! It’s an easy way to make friends, especially if you don’t know anyone in your college yet. 
It helps you get out of the house by attending events, which can be a great way to de-stress and cheer yourself up on a bad day. 
Some societies will even help you develop a new skill. Plus, it looks great on a CV to show that you took part in a society. They’re great craic and well worth putting some time into! 
Join a club
If you’re into sports, or maybe you want to try something new and obscure, clubs are the way to go! 
There is an incredible amount of sports that previously would have been harder to get into, let alone if your school even offered it. Archery, horse riding, soccer, hurling... you name it, there’s probably a club for it! 
Exercise has been proven to be good for your mental health and can help you forget about the stress of exams, assignments etc. 
Although college is about working hard, you have to remember to take those all-important breaks. 
Clubs can be the way to do that! It’ll help you make friends, develop communication skills from team sports and you’ll get fit while you’re at it! 
Start saving 
Every student has money woes while they’re in college, but it doesn’t have to be that way, nor does it have to be so stressful. 
Opening a student bank account is a great way to keep track of your funds and AIB have great offers for students. 
They have a dedicated student hub with plenty of friendly and helpful advisers. Don’t hesitate to give them a call if there’s any sort of issue, big or small. 
They can give you tips on saving up for books, fees, or even just a rainy day fund for that class trip or party. 
They’re definitely worth signing up with and will help take the weight of financial stress off your shoulders, so you can focus on enjoying college and getting those good grades. For more information, please click here.
Find balance
Study is important, but stress can do damage to your mental health. Taking breaks are important and saving some money can help fund that. 
A fun night out with classmates, a trip with a society, or even just an evening in the cinema can make a huge difference. 
Keeping your study and personal life balanced is a skill you’ll carry for life, when you’re out working, raising a family or who knows what else! Work hard, but also play hard. The world is your oyster! 
Try to be positive
Don’t beat yourself up over the little things. A bad grade can always be improved upon. Financial issues can be a big bother, but they can be solved. 
Remember to talk about your problems, be it with your friends, family or even the Welfare Officer of your Students’ Union. 
Small problems can become big ones if we let them. It’s important to always try to smile, do something you like with people you love and care about. 
Remember, you’re never alone, there is always someone out there to talk to and help you get through any issues you might have during college. 
College can be the greatest time of your life, but you have to make the most of it. Following these steps can help you make the most of your time in college. 
It’s supposed to be an enjoyable few years, studying what you love and meeting some wonderful people that you’ll be friends with for life.
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