NCI Blog

First Week Back: How Are You Feeling?

Posted by Teresa Murray on 05 October 2020

Student Busy Poll blues

National College of Ireland is known for its small classes and friendly atmosphere. The College takes a ‘whole person’ approach to education, and your wellbeing is as important as your academic success, in helping you achieve the career path you’re aiming for. We regularly blog useful information – not just about where your course might take you in the future, but also giving you helpful hints as to how to get the most of out of college life, and where to find support if you need it.

“How are you feeling?”

For most people, last week was the first week back – for some, the very first week at College!

We asked some lecturers to talk to their students and ask them how they feel, especially in light of returning to or starting College at a time of COVID-19, learning remotely rather than on campus.

We’ve made a word cloud (see above), so you can see the strongest feelings and most pressing concerns of those who responded to the polls.

“Sure, I’m grand.”

While it’s lovely to see the word ‘grand’ front and centre in a starring role, we all know that in Ireland, ‘grand’ can mean many things, and only half the time is that ‘things are going okay thank you very much’. Sometimes people say ‘grand’ when they don’t quite know what to say, or if they think there’s no point in talking about something they have no direct control over.

Looking at the other words in the cloud, it’s clear that some people are okay with what’s going on, even happy and excited about the year ahead, and that is very good news. Others are more philosophical about the whole thing, accepting that we’re all living through a unique situation at the moment, or admitting that they feel uncertain or have mixed feelings. And a third group admit to feeling dread, to being scared, to feeling unprepared and to being worried and anxious about the year ahead. All these feelings are valid. At NCI, there is no reason to feel isolated and there is always someone you can talk to about anything that is affecting you negatively

Access the support you need

How to cope with the transition to College this September is a post with practical advice, and also links through to student supports and counselling services.

Other words that came up: ‘moneysaver’ and ‘timesaver’. Yes, it’s true that not having the temptation of buying a fancy coffee or a smoothie with your lunch will save you money, and not having to commute will definitely mean not being stuck on a bus or train unable to get anything done – but you will only benefit if you are wise about how you spend the time you’ve saved.

Establish a routine that works for you

Tips for studying while social distancing gives you some simple strategies for staying organised and motivated while studying from home. This blog post should also be useful to those who answered ‘unprepared’ in the polls.

Get connected, stay in touch

And while avoiding the fancy coffee saves you money, it does rob you of the chance to socialise with your new classmates. It is really important that you connect with your classmates. The fifth point from these 5 ways to prepare for distance learning lists very doable actions you can take to make and maintain friendships, so that you don’t feel so ‘isolated’ any more.

Making Teams work for teamwork

For some students, the only thing on their minds last week was coming to grips with Teams! Here is a handy video that should help:

One-stop-shop for tools and resources

Finally, this Toolkit for NCI students acts like a directory of all the services and supports on offer to you in the College: a one-stop-shop to connect you to the person who can most efficiently address your current concerns.

Be assured, NCI is ready, willing and able to support you through college life. Remember to keep in touch with us throughout the semester and contact the relevant service when you need them!

Topics: Student Life, Advice, NCI