What to Expect During Your First Year of College

Obviously, your experience will be somewhat different, but, if you’re painfully awkward, a little sheltered and have no idea how to use a stove, your first year may bare some semblance to mine.

Day One: The first day of college will be terrifying. You will stress about things you did not think you could stress about. You will hear a million new names and forget all of them. At some point throughout the day, you’ll think everything is actually going to be okay, because some of the people you’ve met seem pretty darn nice. This false sense of security will quickly drift away when night time rolls around and you are alone in a strange bed. You will miss your family, your friends from back home and your dog, even though it’s only been a day. Don’t worry, this eventually passes! Everyone goes through this in some capacity and it’s totally normally.

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Week One: This is when you realize how great it is to not have your parents breathing down your neck because you can leave the house whenever you want and come back WHENEVER YOU WANT. You can also eat whatever you’d like, which is pretty cool, except you will also notice that your cooking skills are less than adequate. That’s what take-out is for though, right? You will notice that your legs and feet are sore from walking everywhere but you just think you’ll get stronger and it won’t bother you in the future (it will always bother you). You probably won’t have much course work yet either, which will make you think college is going to be a breeze. It will all catch up on you, just wait for it.

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Month One: Your housemates will start to annoy you. Your feelings towards them won’t be too intense, you’ll just wish Jack wouldn’t hoard ALL the forks in his room (why can’t he at least leave one?). Also, it would be great if you didn’t have to take out the trash every week. You’ll still like certain aspects of living without your parents though, this won’t change because independence is a wonderful thing. You will start having group projects due, this will be hellish because nobody else will want to do anything for them. You may feel helpless at times, just know you will eventually finish the project even though the animosity you have towards your group mates will probably never leave you. You will start to wonder how you managed to get up consistently before seven for the past eighteen years of your life because now, getting up for 9AM seems nearly impossible. Group projects aside, month one is a good one, enjoy it.

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Month Three: This is when you realize you kind of miss having your parents around. You have gotten sick by this point. Turns out, staying out late drinking and eating fried foods catches up on you. Damn. You want to eat healthier but fresh food goes off so quickly and it’s just not worth the twenty-minute trek to Aldi to keep your health in check. College will start to get tough. A seemingly endless stream of essays, assignments and tests will hit you all at once. Don’t worry, Christmas break is just around the corner, you’ve got this!!

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Semester Two: The mild disapproval of certain habits of your housemates will quickly evolve into hatred. Their strange habits are no longer vaguely amusing. You’ll tell yourself you’ve only got a few months left, but if you open the fridge and find that your Crème Eggs have been swiped from your shelf one more time, somebody is going to get hurt. Pizza might no longer be a treat, just cheap and easy. Getting up for that 9AM class only gets harder. Somehow, even though the glamour of student life has faded by this point, your semester two days will slip through your fingers like you’ve never experienced before. You will constantly find yourself wondering how it’s already week ten and how you already have one billion assignments to catch up on, when you only just got back from your Christmas holidays. The pressure of figuring out what you’re going to occupy yourself with over the summer will creep into your system as the weeks fly by. Final exams will reserve a permanent spot in your train of thought as break approaches. You’ll feel a mixture of dread and excitement and disbelief because soon enough, you’ll no longer consider yourself to be a first year, which is crazy.

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Thanks for reading 🙂

-Sinead

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Lies You Tell Your Parents When You’re at College (5 Lies in 5 Minutes)

Scene: It’s twelve o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, as you lie swaddled up in your duvet. The unforgiving sun creeps through your blinds lighting up the chaos that is your room. You realise that you are still wearing your clothes from the night before, the half empty Four Seasons pizza box haphazardly thrown on your floor provides evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that you did, in fact, go to Angel Lane last night and spend all your money on three for ten Jägerbombs and pizza.

You do what any self respecting, independent adult deemed intelligent enough to enter third level education does when they find themselves in a pickle – you call your mammy.

Lying ensues.

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1. “Hi mam, just calling to say hello. No, no, I don’t want anything. Can’t I just call for a chat? When did you become so cynical?”

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2. “Yes of course I know what time it is!” Looking at the clock you mumble “whoops” under your breath. Another day, another missed tutorial. “Nothing, I didn’t say anything. I have no lectures until this evening, so I’m taking a study break to call you now.”

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Just when you thought you had charmed your way out of the weekly tirade of questions, the dreaded “are you taking care of yourself?” rears its ugly head.

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3. “You worry too much! Of course I take care of myself, I even cooked for myself last night. Roast chicken, that’s right, yeah.”

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4. “Yes I’m sure that I didn’t call because I wanted something, but seeing as you keep mentioning it, I’m after spending all my money on booz…. books, so maybe I could do with an extra few bob after all.”

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5. “Thank you so much, you’re a lifesaver. Right, I can’t talk, I’m off to hit the booze, I mean books again (why do you keep doing that?!) Bye now!”

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At once, all seems right with the world again. You turn your phone off, not quite emotionally stable enough to check your social media from last night yet, and snuggle back into bed.

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– Jordan Lynch

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