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Tips for a successful move to college

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Moving on to college is exciting, the first taste of real independence and a chance to really spread your wings.

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This year sees not only first years, but the majority of second years heading to campus for the first time. After 18 months of rolling lockdowns and extensive restrictions, freedom has never felt so good. Just as the move brings the excitement, it can also bring a certain level of worry about the unknown and even a sense overwhelm at adjusting to a very different system. All of that is completely normal, you are among thousands of others in the same boat. The first couple of weeks are really important as you become familiar with a new place and system, without the watchful eye of parents and teachers. Take time to find out as much as you can about your new surroundings and the many supports available to you, as you navigate this change.

Orientation

At this stage some of you will have attended your registration and orientation day. The biggest challenge at the beginning is finding your way around the campus and outside of it and reading a more complex timetable. It is worth spending a few days before lectures to start familiarising yourself with the various buildings that you will need to frequent. If the college have an App, download it as many have an interactive map. If not, ask directions at the main reception desk or from college security staff as they will know the place inside out. It’s not all about getting to lectures, you will also need to locate the closest shops and bus stops. Shops on campus can be expensive so make sure to find the nearest large supermarket to keep those shopping bills as low as possible. The student service office and Student’s Union is a great port of call if you have questions about anything, whatever the issue they will point you in the right direction.

Making friends

While you may have some school friends in the same course and college, making new friends is a vital part of settling in to college life. You will meet plenty of new people on your course and in student accommodation. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to meet new people. Joining some of the clubs and societies on offer in the college is a fantastic way to widen your circle of friends early in the college year - and of course take part in Freshers Week activities safely.

Budgeting

Surviving college involves having to live on a budget. While lots of college students work part-time, you want to make sure you strike the right balance and that means watching what you spend. Look at the cheaper tickets for public transport, organise to do a large shop as a college household once a fortnight, explore the options to get the books you need in the library as opposed to buying them, and cut out the expensive takeaway coffees!

Assessment & Grading

One of the biggest shocks that students get in college is realising that unlike school, assessment starts really early in the college term. Look at the detail of all your modules including when and how you will be assessed. You also need to learn about the grading system as it is very different to secondary school. All courses have a co-ordinator and many have tutors so ask them the specific questions, it will save disappointment later in the year. Referencing is a huge issue for first year students as it must be done correctly, follow the guidelines carefully from early on. Plagiarism is also something to be mindful of. Many colleges use a software package such as Turnitin to scan your work to ensure that it is authentic - so don’t risk it!

COVID-19 still casts a shadow on how we interact socially and even with high levels of vaccinations it is prevalent. Learning to take care of your physical, mental and sexual health as well as your personal safety is all part of becoming independent. Do everything you can to look after yourself and enjoy the very best that college life has to offer. And if you are struggling academically, personally, socially or financially, don’t bury your head in the sand, reach out to the various support services available in college and outside of it.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor - For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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