The Reality Of College Life: First Year VS Final Year

Ah college, the best days of our lives. When else do we get to spend our days hanging out with our friends, drinking pints, pretending to go to lectures and watching Netflix - all without guilt. Here are a couple of changes that happen between your first year and your final year in college.



First Year - You get up an hour early to wash your hair and put on a full face of makeup. You spend forever trying to choose an outfit that you'll look good in AND that you won't freeze in. You start to carry around powder and lipstick to top up in college throughout the day. You take pride in your appearance.


Final Year - You roll out of bed and put on the first item of clothing that you step on. Dry shampoo is your best friend and makeup is saved for special occasions. (That stuff is expensive, I'm not wasting it on a 2 hour lecture.)


Being Late


First Year - If you sleep in for something and you realise you're going to be late, you hop out of bed and run at the highest speed possible to the bus stop. You feel really bad for being late and hope that they don't give out to you.


Final Year - You wake up, check the time, see that you're going to be like 5 minutes late, say 'f*ck it, I'll go next time,' and snuggle back into your sheets and into wonderful dream land.




First Year - You make an effort to talk to loads of people. 'I have so many friends this is great.' You're super nice to everyone and you go to social events you don't even want to go to just to bond with all of your 168 new friends. Friends are plentiful in first year.


Final Year - You have a much smaller group of friends. Scratch that, you have about 3 people that you regularly hang out with, and enjoy being around. Big group events don't appeal to you as much, staying in with those 3 people and watching Netflix is life goals atm.




First Year - You sign up for loads of societies and fully intend on getting as involved as possible. But drinking turns out to be more fun than any of that soooo.....


Final Year - I still haven't gone to one rock climbing meeting in my 3 years here. Ah well. Pints?


Nights Out


First Year - Every night of the week, all dolled up, excited to go to the club, drinking as much as you can handle, hangover's aren't really a thing yet and you actually go to the effort of gluing individual hairs to your eyelashes.


Final Year - Every night out is an effort. The club seems so much further away than it used to be. Heels? No thanks. Pre-drinks consist of conversations about essay deadlines and nothing else. Pre-drinks also sometimes end up being the end of the night because you're too tired to haul yourself to the club. And hangovers are extreeeemely REAL. Isn't life grand?




First Year - This is a difficult one. Going on my own personal experience, at the start of first year you try very hard to go to as many lectures as possible and as the year goes on, your attendance begins to dwindle. Suddenly you're not going at all and you're spending all of your time either eating or drinking pints in the college bar.


Final Year - 3/4 years later... and you're still in the college bar.




First Year - No need to explain this one really. Noodles, pasta, frozen pizzas yada yada yada..


Final Year - Not much of a change, but you learned that pasta bake is nicer than plain pasta, and that freezing dinners is the greatest invention of all time. Thank you microwave, I salute you.




First Year - Living with randomers is great. At the time you believe that you're all going to be best friends, but in a few months, you probably won't even say hi to them in the hallways. Grim, but true.


Final Year - You've moved in with your best friends! This is amazing. You all love each other so much. Why is college ending? Why? WHY?


Life Goals


First Year - "I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, but nobody does so it's all good. We'll figure it out together! Friendship, huzzah."


Final Year - A short 3/4 years later and suddenly we're supposed to know what we're doing. WHO MAKES UP THE RULES OF LIFE? Everyone is just kind of walking around bumping into each other trying to figure out what they want from life. Ah well, pints?

Áine O'Donnell

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