NCI Blog

5 Tips To Get You Through Your First Year at College

Posted by Gerard McQuillan on 18 September 2017


Starting college can be an exciting but daunting prospect. New friends, new places and a new approach to learning, college can be the beginning of a great journey. However with this promise also comes a new level of independence and responsibility. So we here at National College of Ireland have put together some useful tips to help make your transition as easy as possible.

1. Show up for class

While this one may sound obvious, many people fail to adhere to this and just see college as one big party. While the party aspect of this is true to a certain extent, college life is also about getting an education. Make sure you balance your studies with your social life and maximize your investment by attending class. This will ensure you won’t miss out on valuable information that will impact not only on your final grade but your overall future too. 

2. Learn to cook

Whether or not you plan on moving away from home for college, learning to cook is a skill you really should acquire. Being a dab hand in the kitchen will not only save you money in the long run, but it also means a healthier intake of food. And with hundreds of websites offering tasty and cheap recipes you really have no excuse not to indulge.


3. Budget

For most of us, college is the first time we essentially gain independence from our families. With this independence comes the responsibility of managing our own finances. Sure, when your first grant payment comes in it might seem like lots of money. But when you factor in your accommodation, transport and general day to day living costs it really isn't that much and is usually just enough to get you by. With this in mind, you should start budgeting from day one. This will ensure you'll never go hungry and you'll always have enough money for class trips and big nights out.

4. Back up your files

Whether you decide to take notes on a laptop or by hand, it’s always a good idea to back them up. It only takes a few minutes to make a copy of your notes and this can save you untold pressure if your laptop decides to stop working or you misplace your folder. So, if you decide to take notes by hand, photocopy them. If you’re using a laptop, back your files up to a cloud or USB.

5. Have fun and ask for help if you need it

College is about having fun. If you find yourself feeling down, missing class or encounter issues with your roommates, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about your problems. NCI has a wide range of free support services on campus, so don’t hesitate to use them. You won’t be the only one to do so.

Remember, there are loads of support services available at NCI to ensure our students get any help they might need. For more information on the support services available at NCI, take a look at our website:

Support Services at NCI

This blog was originally published in September 2017 and was updated in August 2019.