By Stevie Buckley
Dear past me,
There are a lot of things I’d say I need to tell you about your future, and I’d like to tell you some of them now.
Speak to people who are doing the courses you want to do. I can tell you right now that you are going to hate what you think you’re going to love, and love what you think you’ll hate. This is all based on an Open Day, where lecturers gave you a misinterpretation of what the course would be like, so you’d be better off talking to students. You’re going to switch courses within a month of starting and be unhappy again by the end of semester one in second year, so give some consideration to what you really want to do.
Don’t stress out too much if you’re sick for a few days at a time over the course of the Leaving Cert cycle. Things will sort themselves out towards the end of sixth year and you will get better results than you ever anticipated, even if it wasn’t the (frankly unachievable for someone in your situation) figure you had in your head.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that on-campus accommodation will be the best thing for you solely because you don’t like crowds and it won’t be far to walk to college. You’re going to get the crowds that your housemates bring in anyway, and it’s not fun when they’re being drunk and disorderly while you’re trying to sleep.
You aren’t going to suddenly turn into a social butterfly on the first day of orientation, despite what you hoped. You will find it hard to make friends, but you will. There are more societies than you anticipated, and you will find at least one friend in each of the ones you go to. You may also drift away from some friends that you thought you’d keep forever during your time in university but that’s natural and your new friends will more than make up for that.
Campus is absolutely nothing like school, the size alone is enough to daunt you. It’s spread over a huge area and it’s hard to get from place to place in ten minutes. Just a piece of advice, if you want to make it between the Cairnes Building and the Arts Millennium Building in ten minutes, you’ll need to practice your running skills and get a good pair of running shoes.
Instead of having a class of about twenty, you can have up to 200 in a lecture in university. This is good because it means that you are extremely unlikely to be singled out, but horrible because you have to multiply that annoying person eating crisps behind you in English class by ten. Oh the horrors!
I hope that this was useful to you and that you learned something new. Take some of these points into consideration, future you will thank you for that.