How to get the most out of college

You’re not in school any more – this is the start of your independent adult life and on the way you’ll find out who you are but also make countless mistakes. How can you maximise your time at third level?

Starting college is a momentous change, marking the first real years of adult life and independence. It is a daunting and exciting time in which, if all goes well, you should learn a lot about who you are and what you want, adopt political positions that profoundly embarrass you in later years, get drunk and learn to cook an egg.

This guide to college life has notions. It is not just intended to get you through the first year, but to an end goal decades down the line. Here, you’ll be a well-rounded, copped on, smart and happy person on a good career path.

Well, that’s the idea anyway. On the way to this place, you’ll make countless mistakes. Maybe you’ll drink too much or take the wrong drugs; break up with the right person in order to go out with the wrong person; fail an exam or two; deeply regret both your brief flirtation with the individualist philosophies of Ayn Rand and that time you said that North Korea is a socialist state with fine ideals.

Maybe you hated your school because it was a narrow and petty environment based on tiny notions of conformity and not being yourself. If so, welcome to third level: here, you can be anyone you want and if some people don’t like you for that, you can be damned sure there’s another bunch of people who will think you’re great. It’s a good time to explore your identity and play with different interests and personas.

Excruciating as they are, those mistakes will make you a better and more interesting person. However, you don’t want to be cleaning up a mess every day throughout college. Let us ease your passage.