As autumn rolls in almost 40,000 students will take up places in colleges around the country. You will be washing your own clothes, cooking your own meals and managing your own budget. It’s a big change from the comforts of home and it can be hard to get used to. So we’ve put together our top tips for students heading off to college:
At the beginning of the year a part-time job always seems like a great idea, but think about when it comes to exam time when deadlines are looming and you’ve mountains of study to do. If you do get a job make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Remember, college should be your main priority.
You can use your college ID to avail of student discounts, particularly in clothes shops. It’s a great way of saving 10% and 15% on your bill. Simply present your card at the checkout of any shop that offers the discount.
Travelling to and from college can make a massive dent in your budget, especially if you’re going across country. It’s well worth investing in a Student Travel Card; it costs just €12-€15 and it can get you great discounts on your travel tickets and in selected shops too. Check out studenttravelcard.ie.
Amid all the fun of the fi rst week or so, the shopping mammy sent you will run low and you’ll have to venture out to the supermarket yourself. First, make a list and stick to it. Secondly, see if your housemates want to pool resources and cook together. Thirdly, be realistic; don’t go buying enough fresh food for a month only to have it go off in a week.
Let’s face it, in college you’ll be going out – a lot. Budget for the night, take that amount of money out and do not go back to the ATM. In fact, leave your debit card at home. Yes, drink promotions are good but remember to pace yourself; there’s no bigger dent to the fi nances than a trip to casualty. Moral of the story: have fun but stay safe!