It can feel like you're waiting forever and then all of a sudden you're just thrown into college. And for some reason, you don't even know where you're going because you might not get your first choice on the CAO. So you could've thought you were going to Galway but you end up going to Waterford.
It's like you spent the whole of the past two years studying for a set of exams on which you pinned everything.
Then you couldn't wait for your debs and to have the summer off finally! But that whole time was just anxious wait to get your results for those exams that you spent forever studying for, all you wanted was that brown envelope and those numbers to see where you got in.
But now it feels like such a rush because in a handful of weeks you're going to college.
Am I right?
Well, don't worry we've got a few tips and a little advice to help you get started.
5 Things To Do After You Get Your Leaving Cert Results
Ok so some of the below may seem obvious, but just in case you forget we thought we'd list them anyway!
- Celebrate! Whether you did or didn't get the points you wanted, celebrate. You did it, it's over. That in itself is worth celebrating you earned your place alongside your classmates, go and celebrate with them or your family! Because the next step is College, Uni, Further Education or a Job. So while you can Party Hard! You've earned it.
- Accept Your Offer! It seems obvious, but once you've been offered a college place at College or University, make sure you accept it through the CAO.
- Spend Some Quality Time with the Fam! You may want to spend all your time packing and out socialising with your friends, but trust me when I tell you, carving out some time for a movie or two before you leave with your parents and siblings will be worth it. Because feeling homesick kicks in real quick!
- Organise Accomadation ASAP! With the housing crisis, the war in Ukraine and everything else the lack of new homes in Ireland, each year it gets more and more difficult for students to get accommodation for college, the moment you accept you're going to want to start looking for a place to stay. First-years usually stay on campus but places are limited, so don't waste time.
- Learn How to Budget! Students may get their money from their families, part-time work, government grants, or a combination of all three. But managing it is a whole other kettle of fish. A useful idea is to print out or download a template for a simple household budget. Insert your monthly income and first subtract the biggies, rent, bills and college expenses. Then your groceries ( always shop in more than one place Tesco might be cheaper for some things like pasta, rice and sauces whereas Aldi might be cheaper for meat and veg), finally allocate yourself some 'fun-mon' for socialising.
When You Get to College | Orientation and Freshers Week!
You’ve worked hard and you’re ready to embrace the college lifestyle you’ve dreamed of. You're dying to learn hard and party harder!
Or maybe you are a little apprehensive about moving away from home?
Whatever your feelings are about flying the nest, there are a few bits of advice that might just make life a little easier along the way.
Don't Skip Orientation!
Orientation days may seem pointless, given that it’s just someone showing you around college and technically people could do such a thing themselves. However, DO NOT take these days off.
They are added to the calendar for a reason. It’s a lot easier to get a quick tour of where your classes will be with someone who knows the place inside out.
Aside from that, all questions can be asked there and then and you’ll be getting the tour with your future classmates. Orientation is your first chance to meet these people and get to know each other before the year ahead.
You'll also get an opportunity to sign up for clubs and societies at orientation which is highly recommended! They aren’t just good for making friends, they’re also brilliant for keeping a person active. Many sports teams have gym access, which not only saves you the cost of heading in yourself, but more often than not you’ll get priority times on the machines. They’re also an excellent way to keep fit. They are for following a hobby or passion and tend to involve weekends away, trips, etc. that can be partially subsidised by the society itself. They’re great for keeping a person busy when the college might otherwise be dead at the weekend and they help to prevent a person from becoming bored and getting homesick.
Enjoy your first year at college. You’ve just finished your Leaving Cert and have come from a year of intense pressure and non-stop study. This is what you have spent your whole secondary school time working towards – now that you’re here, make the most of it.
What is Freshers Week?
Freshers week is a welcome period for new students starting out in College and Uni, it’s a chance to make friends, blow off steam, and learn more about your course and new classmates.
Your university will have several activities, workshops, taster sessions and things to do for you to meet new people, try out new things and generally get to know the area a bit more.
Plenty of the nightclubs, bars and restaurants in the local area will host fresher’s week events if people want to attend them as well.
Taking Care of Yourself at College
On a final note, before I finish. Look after yourself.
Eat regular meals, keep hydrated and for the love of God if you feel sick and need to see a doctor, don’t put it off because your mum isn’t there to hold your hand and take you herself. It may cut into your weekly budget, but the college doctors always charge a significantly reduced fee, if they charge one at all. Just go to the doctor, he/she won't bite. The chances are that whatever problem you have, whatever questions (no matter how embarrassing) they’ve almost definitely seen it before. It’s also one hundred per cent confidential, so really you’ve no excuse.
It's also important to look after your mental health and well-being. If you are feeling homesick or need someone to talk to, all colleges supply support for this too there are college chaplains and counsellors who are always on hand for a chat and advice when needs be. If you'd rather chat with someone online or via text why not try SpunOut.ie.
Please. Remember, someone is always here to listen, someone is going through what you are too, and lots of people care about you! If you need to chat or some guidance find a coach on Superprof.ie
The platform that connects tutors and students