Ask the agony aunt: an anonymous guide for all your college queries

What happens if I don’t like my course? Is it possible to choose a new course within the College or is my only option to drop out?

Often the courses we pick don’t always work out for us and, although disappointing, it’s not the end of the world and dropping out isn’t your only option. In order to transfer courses, you will need to meet with your tutor and fill out a transfer application before October. Transferring courses heavily depends upon the size of the course, entry qualifications, and the course timetable, so make sure you think upon your decision carefully!

I’m living in student accommodation and my housemates are really messy! How do I handle the situation without making it awkward – I’m tired of cleaning up their mess!

For anyone who chooses to live in student accommodation, this problem is bound to come up at least once during your college years and the best way to deal with it is to be upfront. Sharing a house or a flat is a dual responsibility and everyone needs to put in the same amount of effort. You and your housemates implement a cleaning rota in order to divide the work equally. That way, if one person is slacking, you can come together as a group to fix the problem, rather than you solely having to deal with the issue.

My lecture timetable is full of mistakes, and most of my lectures clash! How do I fix it?

Admin issues are common for most students. First, contact the head of your course and alert them to the problem. If the problem lingers, go to your tutor – they can email admin on your behalf. More often than not this is a problem you have to wait out – eventually the admin system fixes it!

As someone coming from far away to attend College, I’m worried my old friends are showing less and less interest in maintaining our friendship – are we bound to drift apart?

Coming to college can be a very big change for some people and it takes us all time to adjust. Some people get lost on the social currents from time to time but that doesn’t mean that they’re lost forever. I suggest you reach out to your friends and tell them how you feel and let them know you’re there for them too. But if this fails to put things in perspective, don’t dwell on it – move on with your life, make new friends, and keep thriving.

I’ve always been a bit shy, so coming to college without any of my friends from home is truly frightening- how do I make friends here, in such a large community?

Making friends in college is really all about being true to yourself, so you should join some societies that cater to your interests. Trinity has so many societies that cater to a wide variety of hobbies, interests, and passions, making it so much easier to make friends with others who share your love. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, everyone feels just as awkward as you do!

Leaving home is such a daunting prospect, especially because I’m an international student and I don’t really know Dublin that well. How do I handle my homesickness?

At some point during first year, homesickness tends to hit hard and it can be so much harder for those of us who only get to see our families during holidays. Sometimes a phone call just doesn’t cut it. I’ve found that doing something more personal like sending letters is a great cure, allowing you to write down exactly how you feel and met your loved ones know just how much you miss them. When homesickness hits, it’s perfectly okay to take some time to yourself – maybe cook your favorite family meal or watch a movie that reminds you of home. Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you can’t bring home with you!

I’m doing five different modules, how am I going to balance that?

It can be daunting to see all the labs or readings you have ahead of you but with time you will ease into it. The most important thing to remember is that it is more than okay to ask for help from professors, they’re only an email away, and to communicate with your classmates. Sharing notes and discussing topics can help you learn and understand topics. If you’re concerned about how to fit it all in, then purchase a planner or download an app that can help you designate times where you’ll have a study group or go to the library. Be realistic, don’t set yourself up for a 9am study session on a Saturday, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed reach out to your tutor, a classmate or one of Trinity’s student services that are there to help.

Mairéad McCarthy

Mairéad McCarthy is a former Deputy Life Editor for Trinity News.