It has begun. The college year has begun in earnest. Freshers' Week has concluded and you have managed to either suppress and internalise, or largely process, many of the more harrowing memories of the week's excesses. You have begun attending classes and lectures and have realised that, in the absence of doing any meaningful writing of any kind over the summer, your pen-holding muscles have atrophied to the point that your handwriting resembles the deranged scrawl of a sugar-buzzed infant. Your body has learned to subsist solely by metabolising various rehydrated tubs of noodles. You are, in short, in the throes of student life.
You may still be in that honeymoon period at the beginning of the college year where - despite lectures having officially begun - the workload is still relatively light. You presume that you will always have this much time available to stroll Galway's streets; to get increasingly frustrated at the sheer number of people willing to stop and coalesce into a vast, congested circle on William Street to hear a busker perform an excessively earnest version of Wonderwall; to stroll down Salthill promenade and grow ever-more baffled by the determination of some small coterie of hooligans to jump off the Blackrock diving boards in spite of weather conditions becoming ever-more Arctic. It will not always be thus. The college year is a long one and, to ensure you make it through, we've got some essential tips for you.
Dealing With Gap-Year People:
Isaac Newton's well-known third law of motion states that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction. This codifies in scientific terms a sort of karmic sense of 'balance' in the universe, for every ying, there's a yang. And so, while many of the people you meet during your time in college will be lovely, interesting and a joy to know, the flip-side of this is that you will also have to encounter some absolute buckets so hell-bent on crow-barring an anecdote about their 'gap-year' into every single conversation that it borders on the sociopathic. They will almost certainly still adorn themselves with some souvenir from their travels which they will attempt to utilise as a conversational prompt. A pedant from the Philippines; a beaded necklace from Kenya, an entirely inappropriate head-dress from South America - all of these emblems of gratuitous cultural appropriation will prove useful signals to identify and avoid these people through the year.
While you will see many contradictory sources online, each declaring a different venue as being Galway's foremost student night, in reality, there is only one true claimant to this title: Supermac's on Eyre Square. Sure, the Roisin Dubh may have a reputation for hosting some of Galway's most popular events. But I think we all know that, if given a choice between watching a local band perform some competent, if largely forgettable, self-penned songs, or the chance of witnessing somebody from your tutorial group endeavour to eat a box of taco fries with a straw as, in their dishevelled state, they presume it to be a fork, there's really no competition.
Learn How To Make Basic Foods:
Teaching yourself to cook will undoubtedly prove to be one of the most beneficial skills you can acquire during college. Expanding the scope of your diet to encompass vegetables - or even just foods that aren't exclusively prepared in a microwave - will help you to both save money, and ensure that you stand a better chance of hitting the national average life expectancy. Beyond this however, the ability to conjure forth something largely edible and ethnically coherent from a few simple ingredients will stand in your stand when it comes to dating. After all, there are few more traumatising experiences than taking someone up on their offer of a 'romantic Italian dinner' in their flat only to arrive and be greeted by the sight of two opened jars of frigid Bolognese sauce with a spoon plonked in each.
As the college year progresses and the workload you're facing begins to grow to truly biblical proportions, there is one thing above all that you should seek to focus on, and that is your own inability to work. Procrastination can often be a negative - in that you will end up realising that instead of using what little time you'd had to finish a project, you've alphabetised your DVD collection which, you were painfully aware even as you were completing the task, is an utterly obsolete medium. However, ensuring that you enjoy the time you do inevitably spend procrastinating can result in you ultimately being more productive. With Vodafone X's Student Deals you can avail of 25GBs of 4G data, Sky Sports or Spotify premium, so that you can enjoy your time shirking the responsibilities that hang over you.
Dealing With Deadlines:
That said, the single greatest motivation you can give yourself to get something done is to leave it until the last-minute so that you have literally no other option other than to finish it. Your own ineptitiude may ultimately be your greatest asset. Though it might not feel that way when it's 5am on the morning of the day your essay's due, you haven't slept and your arms are trembling from having consumed a medically inadvisable amount of supermarket-branded energy drinks. You will however, ultimately, get it over the line.