A-Z for First Year Students

A-Z for First Year Students



Arrival – You’ve made it!     


A big welcome

A very big welcome to DIT



Allow yourself time to settle into college life – It is a time of major change in your life, and it takes time to adjust so be patient with yourself during the transition to third level.


Attend lectures

I know it sounds obvious, but many DIT courses are more classroom intensive than most Universities.  The very fact that you attend them means you are absorbing information unbeknownst to yourself.  Some first years find some of the course hard to understand, even irrelevant; don’t worry, by the time to work your way through the course you will find that it all comes together.










The most important meal of the day!  Most canteens have a great breakfast available. It will help keep you going for the day!



As best you can, work towards finding a balance between study, hobbies, part-time work, socialising and time for yourself.   


Be present 

Be present.  Enjoy your time at college and don't wish it away.



Make sure you put your bicycle in one of the College bicycle sheds. Every year thieves prey on first years who think their bike will be ok locked to a pole on the street. 



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Always feel free to drop in ...  No question is too silly ... we are happy to help, or just pop in to say hello! Find your local chaplain



Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice if you feel you need some support.  The DIT Campus Life office has a webpage that has the contact numbers for a wide range of student support services.



Have some confidence!       



Canteen.  There's one on every campus!

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Dublin ‌

For some, this is their first time in the city.  Some find if exciting, others find it difficult to see the homelessness and begging on the streets on a daily basis. Most students love Dublin, they find it friendly and relaxed.  When you are thinking of heading to college think also of the broader setting that you are going to be a part of and prepare yourself for it.  



If you think that you need to withdraw from your programme, you can decide to leave the course or change to a different programme within DIT up until October 31st without incurring fee charges for semester one. 



Download your timetable.    



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Exercise is good for us and helps our sense of wellbeing and can greatly benefit energy levels and help with concentration for study.  



Make the effort getting into college every day, even the 9am lectures!



Everyone is in the same boat. Whether you are straight out of school or whether you are a mature student no one has an advantage.  



Encourage friendship by showing some!         


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First year 

There are plenty of supports in place for first years ... everyone knows it can be difficult and they want to hold onto you. Check out the Campus Life website for some of these supports or, better still, always ask someone.  



There are many fun events organised for Freshers during the first two weeks of college.  Check out your local Clubs and Societies office and your local DITSU office for details. 



Find your classrooms and Labs in advance of lectures/laboratories.    


Finding your Feet 

Finding your feet.  The first few weeks will be fast and intense.



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Getting a good grade requires more than giving back information. At third level a student needs to develop an Academic Writing style. You can get tutorial in this style and this is to be recommended especially if you are hovering around a grade that you are not happy with and want to achieve more. This article tells how some universities can predicts final grades ... it’s your job to surprise them!




It can be helpful to set goals for the first semester, for example

“By the end of semester one I would like to have achieved the following …”   





Get your student leap card.          


Grumpy Mule 

Grumpy Mule; our resident coffee providers!

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Please, please don’t let problems build-up ... attend to them early by talking to a member of staff, support services, students union or the chaplains.  If there is a problem at home or with the family, anything that is affecting your ability to perform to your potential, please seek assistance. Remember this maybe a first for you but those working in the college face new challenges every year and assist the students as they deal with them.  





It can be helpful after a few weeks in college to look back over one week to see how you spend your hours - this can help to give you an insight into how you may be able to better organise your daily schedule - for example if you discover that you have no hours for relaxation/socialising, you may need to find an time for that.    



Hold a conversation with someone new.         



Health Centre.  It’s FREE for students!

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You’ll hear this word a lot ... on your first day you’ll have an induction with lots of information.  Don’t worry, we all know that induction takes a lot longer … it takes a while to get to know the place and feel at home.  I was chatting with a number of final year students this year and I asked them ‘when did you feel that you settled into college’ without hesitation they said, ‘second year’.  Don’t be putting pressure on yourself ... it takes a while ... enjoy the journey.  


International students 

If you are an international student the DIT Chaplaincy Service runs a programme to assist you in settling into life in DIT.  Check out the DIT Chaplaincy Website for more details.



Include others at your table/in your group.     



Individual. You are your own person. Be ok with that!

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Many students travel extraordinary distances to get to college on a daily basis especially in first year ... it takes its tolls on you so make sure you organise definite down time at weekends to recover ... as the years move on many students often prefer to live closer to college due to project work etc.  



Juggling - One of over 80 societies in DIT.  Keep an eye out for the societies’ sign up days in September.    



Join a club or society.         



Jump into college life.  It will go by really fast.  Enjoy it, push yourself to try new things!





The majority of people in DIT are very kind ... if you have a genuine problem they’ll give you all the help and understanding you need ... when you find it give a bit back ... what makes the world go around.  



A little kindness goes a long way in dealing with staff and fellow students.   



Knowledge – gaining it is part of the reason you’re here. Don’t forget to study from the start!        



Knowledge. You will learn more than you think and in more ways than you expected.

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Long Days

Yes the days are long ... make sure you take your beaks ... find places to go for a walk or have a nap ... not the library though ... snoring disturbs those who are trying to study!  



Lockers – Lockers are available to all students on each side – a handy place to store books etc.  



Listen to what others have to say!         



Learn from your Lecturers and go to lectures!

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Mass is at 1:05pm every Wednesday in DIT Bolton Street (Room 246), and at 1:05pm every Thursday in St. Laurence’s, DIT Grangegorman.



It is challenging to manage finances while in college.  Students experiencing serious financial struggle can avail of support through the DIT Financial Aid office.  



Mingle – don’t isolate yourself.      



If you are struggling financially there is financial aid.

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Take good ones and at the end of each class take an extra note ... answer questions like ... what was the main point of that class?    What do I not understand fully? What do I need to ask at the beginning of the next class?  



Lecturers often make their lecture notes available online, check out webcourses - also your own notes taken during class will be helpful at exam time.  



Never say never – but try not to turn down the opportunity to meet and mix with others in the early days of college.    


Never underestimate 

Never underestimate your ability.

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It may be tough at times but education opens doors ... those doors may not even relate to the course you are presently studying but when you look back over your life you’ll realise what education has done for you.  



Your opinion about your programme or any other aspect of college life can be given to your class rep who passes that opinion to staff in DIT and to your Students Union.       



Observe – inside and outside the lecture hall.         



There might be a lot of information and change in the first few weeks. Do not panic. It will all make sense soon.

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It’s not secondary school.  Once you are over eighteen staff cannot talk to parents about your performance without your permission even though they may be paying your fees so it’s up to you ... but remember people always have a way of finding out things ... you’d be surprised how many parents we meet on corridors looking for classrooms ...  



Play – Finding time to enjoy relaxing activities that take your mind off the serious side of things.      



Persist – even when the going gets tough.      



Porters can help you out and are located at the entrances of all campuses.

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You can’t quantify the best things that happen in college especially the friendships you make and the confidence you acquire ... don’t even try to measure it ... just enjoy.  


Quiet Space 

Quiet spaces are available in each of DIT’s main sites – a space where you can go to get a breather from the business of college life.      



Questions asked bring answers – don’t be afraid to ask.  



DIT students can park in some of the Q-Park car parks for a reduced daily rate.

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If you are travelling on the bus or cycling go over the day in your head and try to remember the one important thing in each class or lab or tutorial ... it’s amazing how helpful this is ... if you can’t remember well then that’s another day's work.  



Rugby – One of over 40 Sports clubs in DIT – A great way to meet new people and have fun!  


Repeat revise 

Repeat revise – going over lecture notes soon after reaps rewards.  



You need to make sure you have good rest both mentally and physically, especially in the first semester and before exams.

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If your spirituality is important to you the chaplains are always happy to support you. Over the last number of years DIT has endeavoured to set aside areas that can be used for prayer, mediation and relaxation. If you are visiting Dublin for the first time and need to connect with your specific faith community in the city, the chaplains will be happy to assist you. We also have a range of services on offer.  



Spirituality – An important part of our human make-up.  In college there are opportunities through the chaplaincy service to engage in activities that respond to spiritual needs such as mindfulness, meditation, day trips and retreats.       




Sleep sensibly – eight hours at night, activity during the day!    



Study. Don't wait till the last minute to do it!

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Seriously, don’t try to carry it on your own.  



You can get a student travel discount card for use on public transport and also a student LEAP card for discounted travel on DART, Luas and Dublin Bus. 



Try your best – you can do no more!    


Try Out

Try out different clubs and societies.

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Every college has a Students Union College Officer ... they are great people and you will find them very helpful ... you don’t have to be hanging out of the Students Union to seek their assistance ... drop into them anytime.  



Union – Your Students Union is there to support you and uphold your rights as a student.  There is a Students Union officer on each of the main sites.      



Unwind – it’s important to keep the balance!  



Utilise all the student services in DIT! That’s what they're there for!

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The college has a free medical service ... if you are sick just drop into the medical centres and make an appointment to see a doctor or consult a nurse.  



There are many opportunities for doing voluntary work in DIT.  Check out the DIT Chaplaincy, Clubs and Societies and DITSU for more information.      



Volunteer for something – see your local chaplain!  



Very. This word might come in front of many different words in first year!

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Keep the balance ... if things are out of balance in your life your performance in college is affected ... trust us, we know from experience.  



Welcome! You may be in college now for a week or so but again it is important to repeat that you are very welcome to DIT as you begin your programme of study. 



Watch out for others in your class. Best way to get friends is by being one!         



Worry - DON'T! DIT have so many services you can use to talk through anything.

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A fear of what is foreign or strange ... there’s lots of it in first year.  You’ll feel like a stranger at times but don’t let it get the upper hand ... honestly, everyone in college wants to make you feel a part of the place ... don’t be afraid to step forward and make an effort be it in societies ... DITSU ... volunteering ...  sports ...   



X-Ray – hopefully you won’t need one during your time in DIT! 



Xtra amounts of Calm; Courage; Confidence!          



X-Men ... you may not be one but you will be great in your own way!

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Y (nearly there) 

The last ten percent is the most difficult and most important part of any assignment ... finish well ... don’t give up.  



The initiative in getting the most out of college needs to come from you, and yet there is support there from lecturing staff, support services, and fellow students should you need it.    



Yoga – or some form of exercise to keep the balance right!      



You. "Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer that You".                 Dr. Seuss.

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Zozimus was an old Dublin story teller who walked many of the streets you will walk in the early part of the 19th century ... he was blind but developed an amazing memory for song and story ... so don’t focus on your limitations ... focus on your skills ...  

Alan’s tip


Zeal – some of this will get you through your first year in college – enjoy!

Finbarr's tip


Zoom in on what’s happening in your college.         

Fionnuala’s tip


Zero. Try not to get this number in assignments!

Susie's tip


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