Carrick-on-Suir student leader’s advice for everyone starting college

Dylan White


Dylan White

A Students’ Union Welfare Officer says “it’s completely normal to feel nervous and anxious for the first few weeks” starting off in college.

A Students’ Union Welfare Officer says “it’s completely normal to feel nervous and anxious for the first few weeks” starting off in college.

Carrick-on-Suir’s Katie Quinlan was elected to the position in University College Cork for the 2015/16 academic year.

More than 52,000 students received a CAO offer recently, with half of Level 8 applicants being offered a place on their first preference course and almost 40,000 applicants accepting a third-level place from the first round of offers. A second round of offers will be made today, Thursday 27th August.

And the 21 year old has advised new students “to just go with the flow” and enjoy the experience. She tells South Tipp Today: “Don’t try and over prepare, pack all your stuff, get some nice little bits for your room and make sure you have all your times and dates right for orientation. Check out what the college wants you to submit during orientation and make sure you stay for the whole day; they’ll be doing tours and workshops that’ll do you the world of good”.

Katie says the step up from secondary school to college is “significant” and students can expect “not settle straight away”. She explains: “It’s completely normal to feel nervous and anxious for the first few weeks. In the first week, you’ll be overwhelmed, excited and itching to just start into everything. Make sure you talk to everyone, all the people there have just started like you and they feel all the same emotions you’re feeling.

“I’ve been harping on about the transition for years. There if a significant difference between college and secondary education. College is where you will really find yourself and who you are. You’ll learn to think independently of books and scholars, and you’ll learn how to be your own person. But don’t expect that to happen in two weeks. Allow yourself time to transition”.

The MBS in Government student urges students not to over think moving away and advises parents to “let go and don’t allow your son/daughter see your emotions”. She continues: “Don’t over think moving away. You’ll probably still come home on weekends, you’ll probably have parents/guardians/siblings visit you and you’ll definitely enjoy the freedom of living away from home. Pick some dishes you love to eat and make sure you have those ingredients, decorate your room to your own taste and make it homely and get to know your roomies. I can guarantee at least one of them will become your friend for the rest of your time in college.

“My mom was so upset when I left but she didn’t tell me this until a few years later when I was settled and happy. Parents should get to know your college life and not to expect you to always come home –they can always visit you. Make a rule as to how much communication you both want to have and stick to it, whether that’s one call a week and or a text a day”.

The past Comeragh College student also says it’s important to be yourself starting off on this new adventure and encourages students to seek advice off their college’s Students’ Union Welfare Officer if in need.

“Don’t try and be someone you’re not. There’s a place for everyone in college and you will find yours. Do take every opportunity, join societies and clubs, or run for class rep. It’ll make your time in college ten times more enjoyable.

“Your Union Welfare Officer is always there for you. They should be your first stop and they’ll be able to refer you to whatever service is applicable to whatever is going on,” she adds.