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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Starting at University - What to Expect




Starting at university can be a daunting experience for students. With your school days just behind you, university may seem like a huge jump into the scary life that lives outside the school walls. While university is different to school in almost every way, there is nothing to be worried about - you are sure to have the time of your life!



Here are our top tips to keep in mind when starting at university:

    • The move from secondary school to college is one of the biggest transitions you’ll ever make. Don’t worry if you haven't adjusted to it right away. It will take time to get to grips with your new surroundings and way of life, but soon you’ll be loving your new and exciting student lifestyle.

    • Remember that you will be faced with new teaching and learning styles at university. While it may seem great to have no one breathing down your neck, grilling you about your work and assignments, you’ll soon realise that it is up to you to discipline yourself… which often proves to be a challenge to many!

    • Independent learning is key at college. Your lecturers and professors will provide you with a framework of information and skills from which you are expected to explore your academic subject in greater detail. Remember, its not time to head to the pub just yet after your lecturer has packed up - you have to put the work in outside of lectures if you want to receive good grades at the end of the year.

    • While making friends and meeting new people may be your main worry, rest assured this wont be a problem. Everyone is in the same boat and so you will find most people you meet to be friendly, chatty and interested in getting to know new people.

    • Most universities hold ‘fresher’s week’ a week before classes begin. While its not compulsory to attend, it may be one of the most worthwhile weeks in the college calendar. With lots of events set up to encourage meeting new people, you’ll be sure to pick up a few new friends along the way. As well as this, colleges usually set up tours and information meetings to answer any questions you may have. Most importantly, fresher’s weeks are normally jam packed with parties and nights out.

    • College life is all about maintaining a balance between study and having fun. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself work wise, once you keep up with lecture material and assignments you won’t have a problem when it comes to passing your exams.

    • While tutorials may seem like a bore, they may well be the most helpful hours of your college week. Tutors tend to hold exam focused sessions, providing you with excellent information that will most definitely come in handy when it comes to exam time. If there is one thing you take from this article, this should be it - Go to your tutorials!!

    • You will soon find that your university will always be trying to help you out. If you are unable to have an assignment completed by its due date (and have a valid reason, of course) your lecturers and tutors will work with you to come up with an alternative due date or solution.

    • Remember that there are student services available at college to help you out with any problems you may have. Whether you are having trouble with finances or fitting in with your new lifestyle, there will be someone there to help.





Your college years will most likely be one of the best times in your life. Savour your time there and enjoy the freedom and new experiences that you will encounter along the way.