Darragh's tips after completing her first year of college...
College is one of life's greatest adventures, and like any adventure it helps to have a few "roadmaps" on hand. Here are a few tips that got me through my freshman year with great success.
Don't Rush into Commitments: College life offers numerous fun opportunities to get involved. However, if you're not careful, you could end up completely stressed. Just give yourself some time to figure out the ropes and then decide what activities you want to add.
Be Friendly: You're not the only new person and building friendships early on will help get you through all sorts of things. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself. Plus, it never hurts to have some awesome study partners.
Stay Organized and Ahead: As the year progresses, the more crazy everything gets. All of your classes will have more homework, the social butterfly in you will have bloomed, and chances are, you might not be as motivated as you once were. If you can get ahead on schoolwork early on and keep it all organized, I promise, you'll be saving yourself from all sorts of panic attacks.
Find Your Sanctuary: For those times of homesickness, extreme stress, "I really need to cry" and "ahhh, why do all the people have to be here?!" you're gonna need your own special place. It could just be a path you like to walk, or under your covers, but find it!
Be Healthy: Okay, I know college kids are broke and junk food is cheap, but that's no excuse. It's extremely difficult to focus in classes or do the best you can, if your body hates you. Get sleep (even if it means naps.) Be active. And eat some fruit.
Set Goals: For me it meant lists. Be realistic and productive.
Love Your Roommates: They are going to be your family. They are the last person you see before you sleep and the first when you wake up. Learn to compromise and work together. They could end up being the friends you keep for life.
Be Smart: One of my Professors always says "you will be what you are now becoming". Some of the choices you make in college will stay with you forever. Learn to say "no". Remember you're there for your classes. So grab some coffee and get to studying!
Dance: No, seriously, it helps. Some of my worst moments...when all I wanted to do was scream...I just burst into dance.
Have fun!: No matter what you have going on, learn to enjoy yourself. Make up silly songs to help you memorize definitions and dates. College doesn't last forever, and it goes by fast.