Monday 23 October 2017

Maximise your spare time at college with these useful tips

In the first of our entries in an Irish Independent student journalist competition, in association with, LIAM KEEGAN takes a wry look at killing time between lectures.

TO help you cope with the changes when starting college, welcome guides pack loads of useful information that you should really sink your teeth into... when you get around to reading it in November.

It’s full of all the important stuff, you know: organising your study timetable, join some societies, being active. All that craic.

Speaking as an experienced “what the hell do I do for the next two hours” college student, with plenty of breaks between class, I’m going to write an article I would have found fairly useful about four years ago. How I wish I could take those mundane thumb-twiddling, watch-people-drink-coffee hours of my life back…. (I exaggerate, it’s not all that bad).

1. Socialise.

Your college should have some sort of social area marginally better than a rural community centre, for you and your new college friends to chill in. Play a bit of pool, have a sandwich, help each other out with work! I should leave a caveat with this suggestion: social areas are prime gathering spots for animals known as “procrastinators”. You’ve been warned.

2. Study

Between class is actually a great time to get college work out of the way, so you can ensure molehills remain molehills, and not self-made mountains. And that’s not the good kind of self-made either. You could even get this done with friends. Just don’t be talking too loud in the library about the fresher’s night in Dicey’s. There’s an allocated time and place for that. During lectures.

3. Clubs and Socs

It may sound like the gear you need if you want to have a serious game of cricket, but clubs and socs are actually great places to meet people outside of your class, as well doing creative and fun things with your time. Get involved, and get the hoodie!

4. Attend unassigned lectures

This is really a way to maximise both your education, and your college registration fee. Got 15 hours a week? That lecture on innovation looks mighty interesting! And there’s loads of really hot… eh actually, never mind. Sure you can hardly get in trouble for over-attendance, can you? It’s just an insatiable hunger for learning.

5. The pub

Now I’m not condoning it, but there’s no point ignoring it. It’s Thursday afternoon, and you’ve a late start on Friday ... sure why not? Again a caveat: strong breeding ground for procrastinaholics. That is, procrastinators who have become alcoholics as a result. Pubs serve food too, you know. Just saying.

6. And finally….

Actually that’s it; the comprehensive list. Throw a comment this way if you know some useful/crafty ways to spend those in-between hours, to make this list not just comprehensive, but definitive.

* If you’re a student who can write concise, topical stories and is deeply engaged in student life, join the Contributors’ Competition and your stories could be published on Ireland’s most popular news website,, this semester.

See for more details.

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