Rookie mistakes: 10 things you’re bound to get wrong in your first year of college

The freedom of being a fresher, compared to the servitude of the Leaving Cert, can go to your head . . . watch out for these 10 pitfalls


1 Dropping off the face of the planet. It’s common for freshers who are living at home to regard the folks’ gaff as a venue of last resort. If you leave for your 9am lecture on Monday and don’t return for a week, living in the bar and couchsurfing your way through various student flats, don’t be surprised if your parents are less-than-forthcoming when you come back on Sunday looking for a hot meal and more money.

At the very least call your mother each day and tell her (roughly) where you are.

2 You may not be taking a degree in maths but you should be able to figure out that if you spend all of your month’s allowance in the first week, the party will end rather suddenly.

3 Unless you’re taking a course in acting or film production, think twice before you film your fresher escapades. Also be aware that others may be filming. Think KPMG girl. You’ll be in college for a while and it would be preferable not to kick it off with a humiliating viral clip of you skinny dipping in the canal.

4 Cheating in exams is all the rage right now – all the best students are at it. That probably means the Man’s on the lookout so stay legit. There’s clever software about now so try writing original essays.

5 Don’t end up in a Garda station In the company of a taxi driver whose back seat you have just baptised with three pints of regurgitated Jaegerbomb.

6 Don’t put up details of your first college relationship on Facebook. Don’t change your relationship status to “in love” after a single encounter in the student bar. Stay cool.

7 Consider your use of headphones. No one wants a tinny feed of Mumford and Sons from the neighbouring cubicle in the library. Also, if you wander around late at night wearing enormous pink Dr Dre’s at full volume you’re asking to get mugged.

8 If you’re moving away from home try and learn a few domestic basics before you go. Not knowing the difference between bio and non-bio won’t kill you (could give you itchy nethers though), but eating raw chicken might cut short your academic career.

9 Before you move into your new houseshare do a stocktake on your personal belongings. Your Justin Bieber singing toothbrush could be due for retirement.

10 If you have moved out of home, don’t let your guard down entirely. Mothers have a habit of dropping in unannounced, and if they find you holed up in a sunless, smokey flop house with nothing in the fridge but a can of cider you could find your rent stopped and your style cramped.