Every year, thousands of Irish teenagers go through the process of college applications, the CAO, the open days, and of course, the Leaving Cert.
With the Leaving Cert finished and the CAO deadline looming, how do you decide which college is right for you? It isn’t as hard as it looks, it just takes a lot of research. Here’s some tips to help you make the right choices.
This might be one of the harder questions, or one of the easiest ones – it all depends on the person. One piece of advice, get the “Oh, but my friend is going here” mentality and put it in the bin. It may in fact hinder you when making the right choice for you. What if that college doesn’t offer the course you want, or isn’t as good as other courses? You will be affecting your future, and all so you can see that person most days of the week. Take a look at the facilities the college offer to students, how good the lecturers are, things that will benefit you in the long run.
Who knows the college and the course the best? The students! If you get a chance to visit the college you plan on attending in Autumn, ask loads of questions. What are the lecturers like, are the hours hard, is it a big class? One important question a lot of people seem to miss out on is “What is the drop out rate like?” Drop out rates may give an indicator of the difficulty of the course. If you can’t get to the college itself, try talking to people you know who are in the college. Or, if you want, go to the Edu section on boards.ie – each college has a sub-board for asking questions in. This can also be a great help for getting to know people before you even get into the college!
Don’t Fear the Unknown
Going to college is a massive step, and some people consider it to be one of the biggest changes you experience in your life. But don’t fear it! In first year, everyone is even in the same boat. Don’t forget, you’re going to be in a new class that you will (hopefully) enjoy, and meet loads of people with similar interests. Everyone makes new friends in college, and some of them are genuinely friends that you will keep for life.
Picture Credit to ActiVisionÂ®…~ on Flickr.