Survival Guide

Diary of a final year: 20 things i’ve learned in 4 years of university

  1. The semicolon is a way of joining two clauses of equal importance to each other; it links ideas together. It’s not to be confused with a comma, a full stop or a colon (This was the first lesson in my Creative Writing class, and I believe it can take you places).
  1. Water is the essence of beauty, drink all of the water.
  1. Pasta is extremely diverse – one can survive on pasta for up to six days a week. (Well, I’m still here, aren’t I?!)
  1. Procrastination has its pros. (I’m pretty much the queen of all-nighters when it comes to assignments and study. Over the years I have tried to change my work style and writing, but I’ve finally accepted that my best work is produced under pressure. And that’s okay).
  1. Shut up complaining! I don’t know about you, but I like to complain. I whinge about the weather, about assignments, I say I have “writer’s block”, about the cost of a purple snack bar… but sometimes this can take over, and become a complete distraction from the opportunities we are all surrounded by. We are so lucky. There is no excuse for needless complaining.
  1. Landlords aren’t always the best of helps…
  1. Four cups of coffee in a row is too many cups of coffee.
  1. Buy a bra that actually fits. Game changer.
  1. It’s okay not to know what you’re going to do after college. I wasted a lot of this academic year worrying about what I’m going to do afterwards. I researched Masters, loans to do the Masters, Graduate Visas, Sugar Daddies (lol, jk!)… but then I woke up one morning, and had a good chat with myself over a cup of coffee. “You’re only 22 years old. The years after you graduate are so open and filled with opportunity. Write, travel, learn, take risks, stop worrying”.
  1. That tiny coffee shop in the IT building does the best coffee on campus.
  1. “I’m a student/I’m in college” is a justification for almost anything. Drinking at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon? Have a messy bedroom? Need to get a taxi for a few euro less? Stayed up till 6am watching Disney movies? Haven’t eaten anything but cereal in 2 days? Accidentally killed somebody? Most of these can be justified by your student status… most.
  1. Leaving your teens behind does not mean leaving spotty skin behind. Adult acne is a thing too.
  1. You don’t need to drink to have fun. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of nights out… but it turns out that being sober can be just as much craic. In fact, so much craic that I probably should have put this as number one on the list.
  1. Two cups of green tea isn’t going to cleanse you of the night out. Nor is two days of healthy eating going to turn you into an Instagram babe.
  1. Reread 13 & 14.
  1. You can iron your clothes with your hair straightener.
  1. Return your library books. It’s not that hard.
  1. You don’t have to read all of the books. You don’t even have to buy half of the books. But remember – you get out what you put in.
  1. Don’t eat in the library, PC suite, lectures, or while you are walking. Just take 15 minutes for yourself and go eat somewhere appropriate (This is more a plea to the masses than a lesson I have learnt. Please).
  1. Save some of your cash money dolla bills. Don’t rush into Penney’s the minute you get paid. Seriously, you don’t need three candles, fluffy socks and a pair of shoes you haven’t even tried on.

Image from Krystiano Olszanski on Flickr.

Courtesy of Student Independent News, NUI Galway.