It’s that time of year again where everyone is nearing the end of the school or college year. People are cramming for exams, finishing off final assignments, or spending hours on Netflix when they should be studying. When I was in secondary school I used to dream about the last day before our summer holidays, it was always such a delight. I wasn’t the biggest fan of school, especially in my final years of secondary. I couldn’t wait to leave. During my final year I skipped school as much as I could, I’m pretty sure I missed at least twenty days in that one school year, if not more. I did make some amazing memories in school and I met some of my best friends there, but by the end of sixth year I was itching to leave.
I felt so negative about school, so once the college offers rolled around I was both excited and terrified! I started a course at IADT in September. I was studying English, Media and Cultural Studies. I didn’t feel right at the college, I couldn’t commit to the long journey there and back every day. I spent more time on buses than I did in class. It just wasn’t for me, so before the new year I left the course and started working in the post office. I was out of education for eight months. I was so unsure about what I wanted to study or if I even wanted to go back to college.
Thankfully I stumbled across a Creative Writing course in ICFE that was perfect for me and I sent in my application form. I received my acceptance letter in April and I started studying in September. I could not be any happier with the course I chose. This course has had the most amazing impact on me. I’m a better writer, I know so much more about the writing industry, I have a better idea about my career, I have a new found love for theatre and I’ve produced some work that I am truly proud of. Most importantly I have met some of the nicest friends ever and I feel so lucky that I got to spend the past year with them. It’s so nice spending everyday surrounded by people that make you feel so welcome and wanted.
I believe college can either change you for better or for worse. It’s so different to the way school is. It’s a lot more relaxed and you have a lot more freedom. You are treated like an adult and with respect, you aren’t talked down to like you were in school. You are studying something that you are passionate about, something you are interested in, something you want to learn more about. The work may be draining and overwhelming at times, but it’s worth it because it’s a subject that you love and enjoy studying. I think it’s important to balance college work and the lifestyle that comes with college. Yes, you should work hard on that Shakespeare essay, but at the same time going out on adventures to the Phoenix Park with your college friends is just as important- trust me, I know from experience. College can help you grow as a person, I’ve found that I have really changed for the better. Unfortunately, college also has a negative side. As I said before, college can either have a positive or negative impact on you. A lot of people get wrapped up in the party lifestyle; the cheap drink, the parties, the drugs. Don’t get me wrong I do love the cheap student cocktails from Captain America’s and hanging out in the pub after college, but never ever let it take over and change you in a bad way.
A lot of people let the alcohol, the drugs and the partying rule their lives and it can have a heavy impact on both them personally and their work. College is hard work. It’s a lot more challenging than school ever was. Nobody is going to hold your hand and write the essays for you. The lecturers aren’t going to chase you around the campus looking for your assignments. Nobody is going to force you to attend your two hour lectures. Heavy drinking and partying can effect your grades, your teachers opinions of you, your health and your reputation. Nobody wants to sit beside the guy in the lecture hall that looks like he hasn’t slept in a month and that smells like he swam in a pool of cheap cider from Aldi. I’m not saying spend your entire time in college wrapped up in your work, you need to have fun too! Go out with your new friends, dress up in the dress you bought in the ASOS sale, skip down Grafton Street with a paper crown on your head (trust me, it’s very fun) make the most of those cheap student drink offers, sit in McDonald’s at 6am after the best night out in the city, but remember that you need to have balance and you need to be safe.
Going to college is one of the best things that I’ve done so far in my life. It’s going to be such a bittersweet ending when I finish this course in two weeks. It has been such a blast. It has had the most positive impact on my life. I’ve met some incredible friends and I have learned so much. I am going to miss it so much. I am so sad that it’s ending, but I am so proud of myself for completing the year. I’m so excited to graduate alongside all my friends and to start my next course in September.