With the academic year drawing to a close, and exams just around the corner, it’s time for a look back on 2012/2013 from a fresher’s perspective. A lot has changed since us fresh-faced first years entered the hallowed halls of UCC in September, brimming with enthusiasm and oblivion. Here are just a few of the things that have been learned from a year in college.
You don’t have to actually do any work
No one cares. Not a single person cares if you avoid every assignment you have ever been given. That sounds just fabulous, but when you fail the year it becomes a lot less attractive. In a way it makes you miss those threats teachers in secondary school used to come out with. You might have had to deal with a nagging voice seven hours a day, but it’s better than the assault to the ears your parents will dish out when you tell them you have to repeat the year.
Freshers’ Week is the only week of genuine freedom
This is something that can’t be fully appreciated until after Freshers’ Week. It is only then that you realise all of your other favourite drinking occasions will be marred by an assignment of some sort. R&G week will be filled with deadlines and exams, so Freshers’ Week is really the only time you can go out every night of the week without facing the consequence of 2000 words due the next day.
Education can actually be enjoyable
Long gone are the days in school where the expressions on students’ faces are as blank as the four walls around them. Instead, we can actually study something we enjoy (kind of). As well as that, most days in college feel anything but educational. The ability to move with ease from a bar to a lecture is the beauty of third level learning.
Uniforms are pretty handy
Yes, uniforms are nasty. Their colours range from musty to vomit. The fabric is almost definitely some by-product of sand paper. But at least you could mindlessly crawl out of bed and throw it on, as opposed to putting on the first thing you find in your wardrobe and coming to the grave discovery that you are wearing a dress and jeans at the same time. Moral of the story: uniforms are ugly, but dressing yourself at eight in the morning can be even more catastrophic.
Leaving things till study month should be avoided, yet is inevitable
What was the most-used phrase this year? ‘Ah it’ll be grand, leave it for study month.’ And so we did. It is only when you reach study month do you realise it was an epic mistake. As we kick our past selves for being so stupid, sadly, our future selves are almost certain to do it to us again.
Prime creeping spots
Be it creeping on the opposite sex or the same sex, there are many places in UCC where a spot of creeping won’t land you a restraining order. These include the library, lecture halls and, a personal favourite, by the windows of the student centre. May the creeping forever continue.
The steps of the ORB are very slippery when it rains
I learned this the hard way. No matter how late you are, don’t rush up the steps of the orb when they are wet, unless you want a bruise and some casual humiliation.
The weather has more impact than before
The Arctic conditions we have had recently have probably been the main reason this is mentioned, but between walking to college and between lectures, dressing appropriately has never been more… well, appropriate. You could very well become a victim of frostbite, or just a bad hair day if you don’t dress properly. A general rule of thumb: your Mum is usually right when she tells you to take a coat. Don’t let her make that smug expression as you return home shivering and a slight shade of blue.
The year flies
The September version of yourself would not agree, but before you know it you have just attended your last lecture and another year has passed. Unless you plan to follow in the footsteps of Van Wilder, your college course isn’t going to last very long. Let’s enjoy it while we can and save adulthood for when the diploma arrives.
And so, that’s the first year of college done and dusted. Here’s to a summer of freedom and hopefully void of repeats. See you in second year!