College by numbers: what the stats say is ahead conducted the National Student Survey 2012 – here’s a taste of what they discovered about the trends and habits of thrid-level students

AFTER AN awesome summer and hopefully lots of celebrating about results and college places, the class of 2012 is about to be thrust into that exciting time when the future could hold just about anything. The possibilities are exciting and the unknown is maybe just a little bit daunting.

If college is in your immediate future, then the National Student Survey 2012 conducted by website Campus.iemight give you an idea about what to expect over the next three or four years of your life.

More than half of students live away from home, and 56 per cent hold down a job to fund themselves through college. Be careful though: more than a third of those students have found the job eats into their lecture or study time.

If you have a car, you’re in a lucky minority. 28 per cent of students drive to college. Most use public transport (36 per cent) while the rest walk or cycle.

Expect your social life to reach new heights. 80 per cent of students go out at least once a week according to the campus.iesurvey. However, most are fairly clean living with the vast majority (71 per cent) stating that they’re non-smokers. As far as illegal substances go, again, students are more sensible than they’re given credit for. 49 per cent have never taken illegal drugs. Out of the 51 per cent that have, 99 per cent admit to indulging in marijuana. Other drugs are much further down the list. 30 per cent have taken ecstasy, 20 per cent cocaine and fewer still have tried other drugs including ketamine. A horrendously misguided and idiotic one in a hundred have tried heroin.

You’d better find out where your local takeaways are as 70 per cent of students eat takeout at least once a week. It’s well known that most people gain weight in college, batter burgers washed down with a rake of pints on a regular basis could well be the reason.

Social networking is obviously massively important. The fact that 96 per cent of students check their Facebook page every day simply begs the question, what are the remaining four per cent doing?

Now obviously college isn’t all plain sailing and a sizeable number of students find themselves in the wrong course. 44 per cent of students surveyed said they would change their CAO application if they were filling it out again. Worryingly for those who did their course research, almost a third of students said that their course prospectus wasn’t an accurate representation of their current course.

Unsurprisingly, 38 per cent of students felt that their school experience didn’t prepare them for college and over a third of students have considered dropping out of college due to stress. More than half of students have felt depressed due to college pressure.

The thing to remember is that if this happens to you and you start feeling overwhelmed, these figures are proof that you’re not the only one.

Colleges are accustomed to students in difficulty and they have all sorts of supports and help in place for you. Just be sensible and talk to someone if it’s all getting on top of you.

But for now, there’s a world of possibility ahead. The class of 2012 can congratulate themselves on a job well done and, like Conor, Jennifer, Sergey and Laura, make the most of the rest of the summer.

Campus.ieare running a short one- minute survey on going to college, just for incoming 1st year students, with a €4,500 prize for one of those who take it! Take the survey at