When starting anything new, you are going to make mistakes. That is a
given and it’s not a bad thing as long as you learn from the mistakes you
make. I am making a list of mistakes that I have experienced myself and I
know other people have too but if you inevitably make one of these
mistakes, just know that you are not the first to do it and won’t be the last.
1. Getting Lost
UL is quite a large campus with many buildings and many lecture halls and
rooms inside those many buildings. So it is quite natural for new people to
get lost and don’t worry if you do because it may seem daunting at the start
but after a few weeks you will get the hang of where everything is on
campus. In the meantime, I would highly recommend the maps of the
campus and the main building that you can download from the UL website
as they are very detailed and easy to read.
2. Misreading Timetables
Timetables can be very difficult to read if you are not experienced with the
layout. It is very easy to mistakenly go to a lecture that isn’t actually on or to
miss a lecture or lab that you should have attended. It is very important that
when you are issued your timetable that you make sure that you know exactly
when and where you have your lectures and what weeks of the semester
they are on. If you find it too confusing, just ask someone to explain it to
you and in time you will get used to it.
3. Not Getting Involved
One of the biggest mistakes made by first years is not getting involved in
the UL community. What I mean by that is not joining any clubs or societies
or not volunteering for anything. One of the best aspects of UL is the sense
of community and togetherness. People look out for each other and there is
so much going on all around the campus. The massive amount of variety of
activities and experiences UL provides really leaves no excuse not to get
involved with a few of them. It is a great way to get to know more people
and to get to know the college better.
4. Not Asking For Help
I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask for help if you need it.
Majority of people think that they can figure things out for themselves and
are too proud to ask for help but if you are struggling then you 100% need
to ask for help. It doesn’t matter whether it is struggling with your studies,
with work, with your mental health. If you are struggling in any way at all
then it is perfectly alright to ask for help. It can be anyone; staff, lecturers,
other students or the F7W staff, we are all here to help.
5. Not Gradually Studying
Coming into college, the majority of people are used to the secondary
school style exams where you can doss for most of the term and then cram
for exams. This is a much less effective method in college. It is far easier if
you go over the material done in lectures gradually over the semester as
this will allow you to understand the lectures being taught better. It will also
serve you better when it comes to exam time as the less you have to
stress, the more likely you will have success ( or some stupid rhyme like
6. Not Making Time For Yourself
Making time for yourself is one of the most important things you should do
in life as a general rule. Making time for yourself is doing something that
you want to do purely because you enjoy doing it. That might be watching a
movie, playing sport, going for a walk. These things that you do just for you
will keep you motivated throughout the semester and will keep you in a
healthy state of mind. This is key for exam time because of the stress, it’s important that you have something to get you away from the study and the stress of it all even if only for a little while.
Sleep is one of the most vital parts of keeping us healthy and happy. Quite
a lot of college students are sleep deprived and this is because they
sacrifice sleep for a variety of different things. In an ideal world, sleep
should never be sacrificed for anything but that can’t always happen. That
is why it is extremely important to get good sleep when you can, and I’m
not talking about a couple of hours on your mates’ couch, I’m talking about
a solid 8 or 9 in a good bed. Without sleep it is very difficult to function as a
person, so please get some rest.
These mistakes will no doubt all be made again but if a few people can
learn from their predecessors’ mistakes, then my job here is complete!