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Tips For College Life

Here are things that you might not know about going to college (but you should)...

You are in charge of yourself. 

At college it is your responsibility to make sure you get there, you get the work done and you succeed. Sure, there is plenty of help available to you from the many different services in CIT but nobody will be chasing you down to make sure you avail of them. So be proactive and choose to take charge of yourself; go to your classes, listen to your lecturers, take notes and study. It will be worth it in the end.

Attend all of your classes.

One class missed is the start of a risky and bad habit. Lecturers and Tutors cover alot of material very quickly in college, missing one class could mean you miss the topic that is examined at the end of the semester. In some of your classes your attendance will count towards your final grade, attendance and success are strongly related so showing up is entirely worth it.

Learning at third level is different to school.

Lecturers and tutors cover large amount of content in each class, no longer is content delivered in short sharp bursts but in long, content rich, thought out arguments. You will have to change your learning techniques and your note taking techniques to suit. You will also have to adjust your attention span to take in large amounts of information in short periods of time. 

Everyone wants good grades.

In college it's not cool to get bad results, did you know that your future employers or if you apply for further education can request to see your grades throughout college, even back as far as first year! So knuckle down as early as possible, everything you cover at college will be relevant to your future career. Set your sights high.

You have to do alot of work outside of class.

Going to class is only the beginning of what you have to do. Extra reading, homework, preparing for assessments and exams all take up quite a bit of time. Be sure to allocate time throughout the week to break down what you have to do into manageable chunks. Also most of the time when you do extra reading what you learn is really interesting so it is easier to remember. Get stuck in.

Understanding is more than just learning what the book says.

In college you will be asked to analyse, argue a point or organise what your learned in a new way.. not to just repeat what you have memorised. In college you will learn to think, it is a process and it is probably quite different to what you are used to in school.

The lecturers and tutors want to help you.

Your lecturers want to help you to do well and be the best you can be. What you take away from their module is a reflection on their teaching so they want you to do well. Make contact, ask questions, when you don’t understand something ask for guidance and advice. They are not trying to trick you, to catch you out or anything like that, they want you to succeed.

Use your computer.

Use your myCIT e-mail and check it regularly - this is how CIT (your lecturers, student services and the student union) will contact you. It is no use in saying you didn't see your emails, that is not a vaild excuse, remember you are in charge of yourself now. Use Blackboard and learn how to get the most out of it, set up email alerts to your myCIT email so you know exactly when your lecturers add new content. Use the Internet for additional online learning resources, tutorial help and research but make sure you learn from reputable and reliable resources.

It is the exam/assignment/handup that counts.

In college it is the product that counts, that is the exam paper you completed, the assignment that you handed up, the presentation you made, the final product. Sure it will take alot of effort to prepare but it is not the effort that is graded. There is lots of help available to help you become "good" at exam taking, presentation making or assignment completing. Just look to Academic Success Coaching or the Academic Learning Centre for help.

Head Up, Shoulders Back & Look the World in the Eye

Making the trainsition to college is a big deal and you may feel stressed, under pressure and anxious about it. Luckily 'Mental Health' support has progressed enormously in Ireland and the world in the past decade. We are now more open than ever before to discuss, diverge, disclose and share our difficulties. Thanks to the many campaigns and brave people who have spoken about their experiences, we now realise that we are not alone in feeling like under pressure, and that there are ways and means of overcoming trialling periods in our lives.

The Good Start Team want to ensure that you are equipped with the skills and knowledge of how to manage poor mental health should it befall you or your friends. We want the population of CIT to be AWARE and know that there are support services available in CIT to help you such as The Counselling Service or the Medical centre.

We want you to be able to look out for early signs in yourself and your peers so that an early intervention can be made possible and that a swift recovery may follow. Don’t hesitate to contact the services that are available to you in CIT if you need them, these services are run by trained professionals who are willing and ready to help you.