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5 Top Tips for new college students

It’s that time of year again when everyone is going back to school and college or transitioning from one to the other which can seem an increasingly stressful and daunting time for some. What better time to take the plunge and move onto the next chapter than by living independently as the longer you leave it the more intimidating it can become not to mention the annual scramble for student accommodation due to the dreadful housing shortage. It’s a financial struggle even at the best of times and 2019 is no different especially in the major cities where rental costs are at an all-time high. 

That’s why we’ve put together our 5 top tips to help make the transition of moving away from the family home seem less daunting and to aid the entire process. 


1. Location, location, location

When it comes to independent living sometimes getting up for early morning lectures can pose as a problem especially the further away from campus that you are the greater the struggle due to the notoriously bad weather that is ongoing in Ireland. That said, your proximity to campus is a crucial factor when considering where to live. The closer the better for easy access to amenities such as restaurants, cafes, laundrettes, common rooms and in particular public transport so that you can return home anytime to see family and friends. Living on campus means having 24-hour security and reception staff to deal with any queries that you may have as well as purpose-built facilities for students and a sense of community for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make the most of it by immersing yourself in campus life and living with other students that are in the same situation as you. It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends for life. If you are still unsure about what type of accommodation would be most suitable for you click here to read more. 


2. Budget

Whether it’s student accommodation in Trinity College Dublin, Griffith College, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, or Mary Immaculate College you need to consider what is affordable for you and within your budget constraints. Unbudgeted expenses always surface so initially try to incorporate these additional costs. For many, college is the first time you’ve had to buy groceries and cook for yourself, pay bills and essentially gain independence from your parents. For your first year, until you pave your way, student accommodation is advisable as usually bills are included and facilities are accessible on-campus for basic necessities as well as other like-minded students starting off. This option eases certain pressures and considering the close proximity to campus it is easy to go home to cook meals on breaks between lectures. This way you will find yourself less likely to impulse buy, to eat healthier and to have more money for socialising, perhaps! 


3. Make your new house a home

Most people like to put their own personal touch on their new place, in particular, their bedroom. This can still be achieved on a shoestring budget so fear not! A good idea is to bring some things from your old room which is more than likely overflowing with things that you like. By doing it this way is a win-win as you aren’t overspending unnecessary amounts of money but yet able to create a comfortable and homely space to live.


4. Look after yourself

This is a must-do. It is the most important piece of advice to remember especially considering the constant assistance given by your parents previously. Now it’s your time to take control and mind yourself. College days tend to be long and exhausting in particular around assignment deadlines and exams. It is important to continue to eat healthily and see a doctor if necessary instead of ignoring the situation. All colleges have a doctor on-site and supply support services. If any difficulties arise; you are feeling homesick or just not feeling like yourself these support networks are available and on hand for a chat and advice when required. You are never alone.


5. Enjoy

Don’t overthink it. It’s the start of a new exciting journey and without doubt, you’ve come from an intense year filled with study and exam pressures. What you study is vitally important but so is the life you have outside of lectures, where you spend your free time. Start off on the right foot by attending orientation and from there sign up for college notices, join clubs, societies and online forums. By following these guidelines you won’t miss out on any opportunity or event of interest. 

Life doesn’t always run smoothly or go completely to plan, there will always be bumps along the road. Living away from home not only helps you to become independent, share your space, manage your budget and make friends but may help you realise how valuable your family are and the support network that you have around you. You will not only gain knowledge in your chosen discipline but benefit and grow in so many different areas. It’s one big adventure with blank pages, you write the story as you go.