The A-Z of college essentials
Is your Facebook profile the one you want to carry you through to third level? Can you cook yourself a decent dinner? This idiot-proof guide will set you up for your first days in college
Nobody will notice if you don’t show up. This starts as a novelty, fast becomes a habit and eventually turns into a necessity when you’re too scared to show your lesser-spotted face. College offers so many opportunities that it’s easy to forget why you’re actually there. Your degree matters at the end of the day and absenteeism just creates a spiral of anxiety best avoided by early and frequent attendance.
Will this be the year that the axe falls on free third level? How long do you think the picture of Quinn signing that “contract” will work as a deterrent? Everyone will be watching nervously although it’s not as if college is actually free. Registration fees, accommodation, bills and have you seen the cost of college books? Time to remortgage the house, Mums and Dads! Oh wait . . .
Retain coupon books. You’ll gather a good few during Freshers Week and probably leave them in the bar. However, the day will come when you only have €2 to feed yourself until the end of the week and one of those coupons might just save your life, or at least save you the indignity of going to your parents for money again. Cut out, keep and watch out for those expiration dates. While you’re at it, join a couple of the “deal of the day” websites. You’ll pick up surprising bargains for not much money at all.
Aka chutzpah, audacity, cheek. In your first few days of college you need to make new friends and this requires a bit of neck. Everyone feels the same way. People just react differently. Be one of the proactive ones. Don’t cower in the corner hoping someone will approach. Smile, make eye contact and introduce yourself to somebody. Believe it or not, they’re scared too.
You have been that soldier who missed the lecture when all the information about assignments was given out. On that serendipitous day that you happen to be the one who turned up, share the love. Seek out the empty seaters. It’s good karma.
What does your page say about you? Look at it critically, with the eye of a stranger. If you want to present a certain image to your college mates, make sure your social networking profiles match the persona. If you don’t want people to know that you spend all your free time playing fantasy games and that you “like” Justin Bieber’s fan page then get cracking and change that timeline before it’s too late. Make sure your Facebook identity doesn’t scupper your chances of making friends.
DIT is finally getting the all-in-one campus it wanted. This is a major development, 12 years in the planning. No longer will DIT students be a disjointed mismatched bunch. Have you seen the plans? It’ll be the envy of the third level scene. There will be modern facilities for over 17,000 students, accommodation, research labs, student services, the works. It will of course mean that the students are no longer in their city centre campuses. Dublin city pubs are in mourning.
Ridiculously attractive shop assistants, darkened stores, spotlit clothes so there’s a certain attraction there. But you don’t have to, you know.
I AM SORRY
If you are going to share a house or apartment with others and want to get away with living your life your way, be ready to say this as often as necessary. It is the only way to do things your way while managing to keep the peace. Practice in the mirror. Go-on. “Sorry I got fake tan on the dress I didn’t tell you I was borrowing.” “Sorry I woke you at 4am falling in the door with the Rag ball DJ.” “Sorry I told your new fella that you use athlete’s foot powder.”
If you have to get one, make sure it’s a job that lets you double job, as it were. You can read Voltaire while working as a security guard, but it’s not so easy if your job involves onions or sharp knives
Also Foucault, Bourdieu, Kant, Benjamin; all names that you can freely drop in the pub for the duration of your tenure at college. In fact you should make a conscious effort to do so while you’re a student because while it’s okay, even encouraged in the college bar, you can never, never discuss such things after you graduate.