Back to college? QUICK! 7 Tips for surviving the year…

October 16th 2015

Back to college? QUICK! 7 Tips for surviving the year…

College can be daunting, whether you're just starting first year or getting down to business in your final year. So here’s some tips to help make your year a little less stressful and hopefully more enjoyable:

Attend your lectures: I know this may sound obvious, but don’t underestimate its importance. College life is great when you’re turning off your 9am alarm instead of going into a lecture, but a few days later when the rest of your class has moved on and you’re struggling to keep up, you’ll regret this decision.

Join clubs and societies: Always try and make use of the wide variety of clubs and societies in your college; you’re bound to meet likeminded people who share your interests and opinions so it’s a great place to meet new friends. And if all else fails, you are almost guaranteed to be given free food at meetings…

Keep organised: I can’t emphasize this enough, as the old saying goes 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail'. Buy yourself a little academic diary or even an academic wall calendar, where you can write down all your assignments, practicals and anything else you need to remember. This will help avoid the stress of realizing you forget about a test or essay that’s due in the very next day.

Don't leave your assignments until the night before: No matter how tempting a night out sounds, you’ll soon be regretting it when you’re sleep-deprived in the library while all your classmates are relaxing. Trust me, your grades will thank you for it later.

Eat healthy: No matter how American the phrase ‘freshman fifteen’ sounds, it is unfortunately true. Most students find it hard to adjust to living away from home and having to cook for themselves. So instead of picking up a 10 cent packet of noodles, check out SpunOut’s ‘Healthy Eating’ Blog for some great and simple tips. Also, put the spare time between your lectures to good use and go for a short walk around campus or even pop into the college gym for a quick workout. After all, you can’t expect your brain to keep healthy if your body is not.

Create a ‘de- stress' activities list: Create a list full of your favourite things to do that you know will cheer you up when you’re knee-deep in assignments or just in need of ‘me’ time. These can be anything from going for a run, meeting up with some friends, re-watching your favourite Friends episode, or even baking. Then next time you’re feeling a bit stressed, you can pull out this list and feel de-stressed in no time.

Look after your mental health: This is probably one of the most important points, which is unfortunately often overlooked. Try and practice Mindfulness for a few minutes everyday, as this will give your brain its well-deserved time to relax and repair. And remember; if you do need to talk to someone don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your college counselor or chaplain will always be there to lend a listening ear and don’t forget, Jigsaw provides a friendly support service to all young people between the ages of 12-25, so find your nearest hub and drop in for a chat. And finally, enjoy it! For some, college will be one of the best experiences you may have; independent and free for the first time. It is the perfect time to make memories which you can look back on forever and be proud of. However, college isn’t necessarily for everyone. So if things aren’t going your way then don’t stress out – there are plenty of ways to get to where you want to be and achieve your dreams

Aoife Malone, Jigsaw Dublin 15 Youth Advisory Panel Member. This blog has been written by a member of our Jigsaw Dublin 15 Youth Advisory Panel. The involvement and contribution of young people is central to our work at Headstrong, so if you are aged between 17 and 25 years, and would like to find out more about what we do, please contact Find out more about the how Jigsaw Dublin 15 can help you.