Freshers Week

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Freshers’ week is supposedly there to ease you tenderly into the swing of college life, but it often descends into an orgy of lost wallets, dinners and innocence. Drinking from unusual receptacles – yard glasses, bellybuttons – usually forms a large part of the week. Fun though this may be, it is an idea to make sure that you get through the week without giving your new classmates something to blackmail you with for the next three years. For example, if you are pulled up by campus security for dancing with a fire extinguisher, then you may find yourself jammed into a pair of blue dungarees, weeding the playing fields for the next 6 months. And that’s getting off lightly. There have been cases of first-years being asked to leave the hallowed halls permanently. Expulsion puts a dampener on the most promising of college careers and you will also have to pretend to your parents that you transferring your degree to Burger King College.

Clubs and societies will be on the look out for new members throughout Freshers’ week. You should choose carefully before handing over €7 to that persuasive little Atomic Kitten or Enrique Iglesias. Are you really going to go to the Young Anarchists meetings? Their timetable seems so rigid. Doesn’t that Film Society chairperson seem a little too eager to take your money? Are you sure he isn’t going to pop to the off-licence? Uncharitable musings, perhaps, but better safe than broke and feeling foolish. However, a good club can be a worthwhile investment. Not only do you learn to draw/whistle/square dance but the friends you make there can prove to be invaluable. For example, you may find that you are stuck in a dud class. In this case, your chosen club will provide you with your only social outlet.

Starting college is a time to accumulate freebies. All the major manufacturers will be out in force, giving you goodie bags and trying to get you hooked on pot noodles for the rest of your natural. Banks will also be prostituting themselves for your business, offering you everything from USIT cards to mobile phones. Choose carefully – remember it’s no use getting an account with all the extras if the nearest branch is 60 miles away. Alternatively, say yes to all of them and accumulate a stash of goodies. After all, you can never have too many pass cards.

If you encounter problems during your time at university, then remember that the student union does more than dodgy deals with the Heineken rep. The unions provide advice on a wide range of welfare and educational issues, such as financial support, housing, childcare and grants. Advice is also available from the big guns – the Union of Students in Ireland. Once you are a third-level student, you will get a huge number of begrudgers telling you that you are on the pig’s back, that you don’t know you’re born and that you are bleeding them dry. But everyone knows what to do with begrudgers. That’s right, ignore them.

Going to college is your chance to acquire pub anecdotes for many years to come, as well as giving yourself a healthy head start in the jobs market. Be sure you make the most of it. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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