The pros and cons of a college students life

College has its advantages and disadvantages, but you won’t discover most of them until you actually get here. So here I am, being a kind soul and passing on a bitta wisdom that I’ve learned (so far) from my college experience to try help people understand what they’re really getting themselves into.

PROS

  • Meeting new people: you get to come to college, clean slate and meet some other cool college kids. The best part about meeting all the new folk in college is reusing old jokes and stories your current friends are sick of hearing.
  • Freedom: No more uniform, no more teachers telling you what to do and when to do it for, no more being forced to go to classes. You get to decide what you do and when you do it (you can even go out on a Monday night if you wish it… I think for a lot of students this becomes a necessity mainly to help them cope with the rest of the week)
  • Bragging rights: You never have to do a Leaving Cert again.
  • New house, new family…of sorts: You get a break from the constant nagging to empty the dishwasher and from the younger siblings ridiculous arguments. Suuure, you might get unlucky and end up living with people worse than your family (almost seems unfathomable, I know) but at least no one’s judging you for not getting out of bed at 2 in the day.

CONS

  • Meeting new people: You have to start off with the whole “hi, how are you, where are you from, what are you studying” kind of conversations, and let’s face it, no one cares about that stuff. Everyone wants to get straight to the over emotional, weirdly deep 3am chats. And then you have to consistently question whether you’ve reached the point in the friendship where you’re allowed to insult one another and just be a weirdo without judgement. And you’ll miss your old friends. A lot.
  • Freedom: You might think teachers are a pain by constantly telling you to have an essay done for a certain day, or for nagging about your study, but when you show up to college and no one is telling you what to have done and when to have it done by, nothing is done. And sure, that sounds like a great life but come exam time, you’re going to question when you ever had to study certain topics and hate yourself for not keeping track of your work. And the no uniform thing is a bit of hassle too when you don’t know whether or not people are going to judge you for wearing the same shirt 2 days in a row.
  • No Mammy: Once you start being the person who gets you out of bed every morning and making your own food, you’ll appreciate your mother ten times more (you’ll just never tell her that). And you might think living away from home is going to be brilliant, but let me tell you, homesickness is the worst when it strikes. There’s nothing I miss more when I’m sitting in my college room than the regular 9 o clock argument with my dad over what film we should put on. Appreciate those stupid little things while you can cause college is lonely as fuck sometimes.
  • Money: Haha. Good luck with this aspect of college life.

A 9am lecture thought process

  • Good God, I think I’m going to die, only Satan himself could come up with something as cruel as a 9am lecture
  • Better not sit too close to the front, don’t want to draw attention to myself
  • Don’t wanna sit too far back either, my hearing isn’t great
  • Ah yes, middle of the lecture hall, perfect
  • Ok, concentrate, this is important
  • Wait, did I even bring a pen for this?
  • Oops
  • Ah sure, I’ll catch up…maybe
  • Hahaha look at the lecturer struggling with technology
  • Oh hello hot person 2 rows in front of me
  • Oh my god, will the person behind me please stop kicking my chair
  • Why did I come to college, I’m losing valuable sleep time
  • I’ll just rest my eyes for 2 minutes, that’s all
  • No oh god, wake up, Mammy isn’t paying thousands of euros for me to come here and sleep
  • I have no idea what this lecturer is talking about
  • Why are they saying this was discussed in the last lecture
  • No it wasn’t
  • Wait was I even at the last lecture?
  • Why is everyone writing, what are you all writing?!
  • I better go home and revise this myself, I need to understand it
  • Hahaha I’m not going to revise this myself
  • This probably isn’t that important, I don’t need to take it down
  • Oh my God, there’s so many split ends in my hair
  • P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
  • Why is that song stuck in my head?
  • I don’t even like that song
  • Focus!
  • I don’t need to take that down, I’ll remember it
  • Wait, what did they say again?
  • Did I really give up sleep for this?
  • Oh look, people are leaving early, maybe I should go too
  • No, too many people have left, this lecturer will say something to me if I get up to go now, better not chance it
  • So. Hungry.
  • Last 5 minutes? Better start putting my stuff away
  • Get me out of here
  • Oh my god, stop talkiiiiiing
  • FREEEEEDOMMMMMM
  • I think I might have known more coming into that lecture than I did leaving it
  • I’ll try harder to concentrate next time…maybe

How do I exams?

  1. Oh, you thought you wouldn’t have to work and college was just a babe parade for you to enjoy? Think again.
  2. The best way to deal with any exam stress is to ignore it.
  3. Never underestimate the soul healing power of chocolate.
  4. Never underestimate the soul healing power of a hot shower.
  5. One of the many things you’ll learn during study week is that you shouldn’t leave all your study til study week.
  6. Nobody likes empty promises, so don’t bother telling yourself you’ll try harder next semester to study in your spare time.
  7. You will learn things during study week you didn’t even know you were supposed to have learned about that semester.
  8. You’ll spend more time calculating your percentage in the module you’ve already gotten from previous assignments and essays.
  9. Colour coding your notes is all well and good until you realise you’re spending more time picking what colour to use next than actually learning what you’re writing.
  10. Your lowest point of study is when you haven’t showered in 2 days and start wishing you were back taking the Leaving Cert.
  11. The most annoying part about MCQs is that the right answer is literally staring at you, and you’re probably going to pick the wrong one anyway.
  12. Pray for no negative marking.
  13. All your study probably can’t be done the night before, but who doesn’t like a challenge?
  14. Accept that failing isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you.
  15. Start trying to convince your mother (in an extremely subtle manner) failing isn’t the worst thing that you could do.

What the college prospectus doesn’t tell you about UCD

  1. Sometimes the girls are really nice to each other anonymously via the bathroom stalls.Image
  2. Sometimes they’re not so nice.Image
  3. And sometimes, they’re just downright inspiring
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  4. This is the library before 9 in the morning
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  5. And this is the library any time after 9 in the morning (apologies for the bad quality, taking photos of people you don’t know isn’t exactly something I wanted to make a show of doing)
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  6. Arts kids aren’t expected to find their way around the building without the help of colours.Image
  7. And we’ve been assigned in and out doors (which for some reason people do not understand and insist on walking out the in door or in the out door…way to fight the Arts stereotype, guys!)
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  8. My favourite thing about campus is that we have a statue of an egg being fertilised for no apparent reason. Why, you ask? Why not, we say.
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What the college prospectus doesn’t tell you about English

  1. So much reading, so little time.
  2. Spark Notes is your new best friend.
  3. You’ll quickly learn that it’s possible to write an essay on a book you’ve never read.
  4. Oh, you thought you couldn’t understand Shakespeare? Wait til you meet Chaucer.
  5. If you’re still in Leaving Cert, take advantage of the fact that your teacher is analysing every detail of novels/poems etc for you.
  6. Your questioning of why you need to bother analysing certain things won’t stop in college, it’ll just get worse. (Especially if you have to do Alice In Wonderland because despite learning he was high when he wrote it, Lewis Carroll apparently left some deeper meaning in the book).
  7. Your personal opinion will never be allowed in an essay, so if you’re like me and giving opinions is all you’re good at, you’re screwed.
  8. Don’t mix up your and you’re. Just don’t do it.
  9. There’s a film adaptation of that book you’re meant to read? Hello popcorn and an evening in bed.
  10. The international students who aren’t fluent in English but are studying it are probably better at it than you.
  11. Oh, you’re a patriotic soul who has a strong dislike towards the English for those 800 years of oppression? Just do English in college and you’ll hate them for their language.
  12. Bluffing your way through essays becomes second nature.
  13. Just remember you’re not the only one sitting in the lecture hall hating English- I guarantee if you ask anyone sitting near you what they think of this English module, they’ll have the same dead eyes and lack of enthusiasm as you.
  14. You might think you enjoy reading enough to do English, but a book a week will soon become a chore.
  15. You will get about 25% of your reading list read, and will sit in class pretending you did the rest.
  16. Just don’t pick English in college, kids. Don’t do it.

How do I college? Part 2

  1. You’ll soon forget you have 9am lectures because you’ll just stop going to them.
  2. Is that assignment really more important than watching that film you’ve seen 6 times already? The correct answer is no.
  3. You’ll mostly use the college wifi to download films and many, many series of programmes.
  4. It’s ok to bring your own lunch sometimes. Food in college is expensive!
  5. Hello weight gain.
  6. You have never seen as many boys in chinos as you will in college.
  7. Hollister and Jack Wills jumpers are not a rare sight either.
  8. If you’re struggling to meet people, throw Harry Potter or Game Of Thrones into a conversation and let the bonding begin.
  9. Be prepared to be looked down on when you mention you’ve never seen Breaking Bad.
  10. Watch Breaking Bad.
  11. You’ll spend more time trying to connect to UCD’s wifi than you will actually using it.
  12. You’ll find yourself watching some of the worst shows on telly (and enjoying them) just to avoid work.
  13. Sleeping in lectures is all well and good until you remember how much money your parents are spending on your college education.
  14. Cancelled lectures are almost as good as Christmas morning.
  15. Class nights out are your opportunity to find out who you’re going to be avoiding for the next few years of your degree.
  16. Having a million tabs open with sites relevant to your assignment while you go on Facebook is almost the same as doing your assignment.
  17. You’ll find yourself getting angry with boys around college because they look better in skinny jeans than you do.
  18. The printer will never work when you’re in desperate need of it.
  19. You are never going to find a seat at lunch time, much less a seat near a plug socket where you can charge your laptop/phone.
  20. You’re going to the college library at 1 o clock to get that essay done? I hope you don’t mind sitting on the floor.
  21. For all you naive folk (like myself), not everyone in college is nice. I assumed that as soon as secondary school was finished, everyone was nice and the world was just rainbows and butterflies, but alas, this is not the case.
  22. But remember, for every mean person you meet, there’s about 40 really lovely people. Or at least I refuse to believe anything but this.

What a UCD gal learned on her adventure to Limerick

  1. For every friendly looking stranger you see, there’s about 4 dodgy looking ones.
  2. It costs 20 cent to go to the bathroom in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre and being the cheapie that I am I was not impressed, but it’s definitely worth it if you haven’t used the bathroom in over 8 hours.
  3. Lifestyle Sports in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre being robbed may or may not be a common occurrence- this is based off of the fact that when I arrived a lad ran from the shop, set the alarm off, and then a security man arrived about 10 minutes later muttering “jesus, not again”.
  4. Your Limerick friends probably know their way around the city just as much as you do, so if you get lost you’re pretty much fucked.
  5. You’ll soon learn that most people in Limerick are of the “sure if I get stabbed, I get stabbed” mindset.
  6. Despite being 18 and having much experience with it, you’ll forget how to cross a road simply because you’re in a new place.
  7. Flagging down buses apparently doesn’t exist in Limerick- they just stop.
  8. You don’t need to tell the bus drivers anything– they’ll just know.
  9. Don’t expect to get home from Limerick with money.
  10. Ashdown student accommodation security is top notch.
  11. Be careful in Mary I, it is absolutely WILD there.
  12. There is significantly less people wearing chinos in Limerick than in Dublin.
  13. If you’re a paranoid soul like me, you’ll find yourself checking your pockets for your phone and money every time a stranger walks by.
  14. The Limerick accent makes boys sound scarier than they are.
  15. Despite popular belief and its reputation, Limerick is filled with some really lovely folk- I saw a young lad helping an elderly stranger, this is all the proof you need.
    (Thanks to the cool Limerick gals Ellen, Aoife Del, Ciara, Shannon, Jane and my fellow Dublin friend Cool Artsy Niamh for making my little trip to Limerick as wonderful as possible :] Yay for fun college times!)