College News

Different systems: different challenges

You might be a little concerned about making the first steps into the unknown as you prepare for college.
Will I make new friends? Will I fit in? Will I be academically able for my chosen course of study?
You may also be worried about moving away from home. Rest assured that most of your concerns will pass without too much complication and you will welcome a fresh start.
Some tips to help you settle in:
Believe in your own ability 
You have come this far, don’t stop now. Things will seem very strange at first -new structures, new people, new systems.  You are not alone. 
Take responsibility  
Find out what your academic day demands of you such as: lectures, tutorials, demonstrations, laboratory sessions, study sessions and so on. 
Read the handbook  
Every course has one. Find out key information which will include; deadlines, key dates and times, examination structures, rules and regulations and much more. 
Start as you intend to continue  
Attend registration, induction sessions, lectures, tutorials, demonstrations etc. and avail of any supports and services made available to you in the course of study. 
Develop a strong work ethic 
You need to develop a consistent approach to your study, learning how to manage your time in meeting many different and conflicting deadlines.
Be organised 
Date your lectures, take notes and 
rewrite your notes soon after. These are your personal guide to your work and should be filed in a systematic order. 
Back up your work 
Too many tears are shed over work lost and excuses are not tolerated at college. Store this information in different and accessible places.
Get to know yourself better 
Understand your strengths and weaknesses, know your friends, your confidants, know when you are comfortable in situations and when you feel threatened.  Remember there is help at college for all situations whether you get into social, personal or academic difficulty. 
Get involved  
Fresher’s week is an exciting and eventful week in which you will be introduced to college life, sports, clubs and societies.  These are great opportunities to retain your current interests but more importantly, to develop new ones.  
Make things happen 
Going to college is about becoming informed, taking control, ownership and responsibility.  Be your own driver.  Set your own goals, monitor your progress, seek feedback and reward yourself when the work is done.
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Catherine O’Connor, Trinity College Dublin, Education Consultant and Author of ‘Cracking the College Code’, a practical guide to making the most of the first year college experience.  Published by CJ Fallon Ltd and available at all bookshops and at: