Starting College! My top tips from the top

The last post I made left me with 8 invitations to join the headspace app from my mum (hi mum) so I thought I’d focus on something a little less angry this time. I am repeating my first year of college due to illness and I thought I would help all you people out who are going into their first year because I am THAT NICE.

Seriously though, repeating first year is the best thing I’ve done. having had the experience of going through it a first time I can actually enjoy it, especially the start because I know what to expect, what to do to make it slightly easier and small traumas, like emptying the bins and having to buy my own toilet paper have faded away. I’ve been buying my own toilet paper for 1 year now. It’s ok.

This post is not going to be one that says talk to people, or make a budget. Obviously, these are important things but come on, everyone knows this and if you don’t it’s probably in your student welcome pack or something. These are the specific things I have learned that nobody told me. So yeah, they might not be life changing but they will help!

My first tip is this- get a boots card and a tesco club card. if you like coffee, get a costa card. For so many years of my life I was completely against signing up for any of these but you get points for money you are already spending, there is literally nothing to lose. In a year I have got €12 on my boots card and a free large chai latte in costa, 3 free burritos (just got my fourth today) and a bottle of wine (yes wine! A FREE BOTTLE OF WINE!!!) in tesco just for giving someone a card. I don’t even have to do anything. Its in my purse already. its kind of like extreme coupling for the lazy person, with no effort. 

Eason give a student discount of like 10% or something. When I was getting stationary nobody seemed to realise this but it is a thing. So many places don’t advertise their student discount which is sneaky so always check or ask. You are a broke student after all. It’s not embarrassing.

Evernote is the best for note taking on your laptop/ipad. It divides notes into notebooks, is really easy to use, is free, you can clip in pictures/links/document photos of handouts you are given and it syncs with everything. The only thing I ever use. It is great. Use it. 

If you are a trinity student in the arts block, don’t use the toilets downstairs that everybody uses. Go upstairs. There is never anyone in the 4th floor toilets so it’s actually quicker to go up than it is to queue with everybody else.

Topshop off grafton street has terrible sales. The ones in liffey valley/blanchardstown are much, much, MUCH better. 

Everyone is kind of shy, even if they are being really loud and obnoxious. So you are definitely not alone. Stop pretending to check your phone and talk to someone. They are going to be so grateful. Nobody minds someone talking to them, and if they do they are a dick and it’s been useful to find out, anyway.

There is always a little section of the fridge in supermarkets with discounted fresh food that is about to go past it’s sell by date. This is your friend. You can get fancy, freshly prepared home meals for like €2, usually more than 1/2 price. 

You don’t have to a trend the library tour- all the information is on the website and it is a complete waste of time.

If you are struggling to look up sources for an essay, wiki the topic and look at the sources as a general guide. Obviously you need to read these articles/books and reference them properly. Oh, and reference them. If you don’t it’s plagiarism. Which is something you never ever want to do.

Take notes in all your lectures. I have been in so many lectures where nobody has been taking any notes and you are going to be in so much trouble when it comes to exams. In trinity exams are half a year away from the first term. There is no way in hell you are going to remember what was said. Even to just give you a general guide on what the lecturer was talking about so you have an idea of what you need to study and how much depth they went in to. Not all lectures put a lot on blackboard. 

If you are ever really really broke, buy pasta sauce in lidl for 48c and spaghetti for 50 c and you can live off that for a surprisingly long time. Also porridge is really filling and really cheap. Lidl and aldi do wine for under €5, go early and get cheaplist and walk there and back if you need a super cheap night out. 

The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink a pint of water before bed and wear anti-travel sickness bands. You might laugh, but anti-travel sickness bands are the number one cure. if they can cure morning sickness, they can cure a hangover. 

Keep an umbrella in your bag at all times. yes, they take up tonnes of space and you will never think you need it. But ireland is rainy and horrible and an umbrella can make a miserable day slightly less miserable. Or at the very least, stop rain running down your back. 

If you are ever supremely desperate, you can steal toilet paper from a cafe/pub/college if they aren’t locked into a dispenser. An industrial roll will last you over 4 months. It can be hard to find one though, so don’t be too desperate.

I hope some of these helped. I am aware that this hasn’t been the most exciting blog post ever or anywhere near the best, and I apologise for that, Anyone have any more top tips, please share them with me!

till next time.

One thought on “Starting College! My top tips from the top

  1. Geraldine says:

    I am laughing out loud and the people who are sitting beside me are looking very jealous . I am horrified to learn that industrial toilet rolls only last four months these days … My flat mate and I can stretch ( no pun intended) for at least six months !!! Why don't you shadow me for twelve months and produce ten tips to survive as a lecturer … I feel I could learn so much !!!


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