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Take My Advice - get the best out of student life.

We asked all TCD students to let us know what advice or knowledge they would have liked to have been given as a first year student. And this is what they said……

Many thanks to Trintiy's Student Union for contacting students, and a special thanks to all the students who took the time to respond.

Advice from lecturers

'Your tutor (pastoral) is your go-to person. Meet him or her in first week and never ever be afraid to ask for what you need' (School of English).

'Hand in all continual assessment takes pressure off at end of year exams!' (School of Biochemistry and Immunology).

'Ask, do not be shy etc., and keep on asking until you are sure, whatever your question is about' (School of History).

Advice from Students:


Halls is great for first year, but if you didn't get a place, privately rented accommodation works out pretty well, as long as you keep a few things in mind. In Ireland it's not mandatory for a landlord or letting agent to conduct an inventory of all furniture and appliances on the property, but it's definitely worth your while to do this, with photos (dated, if your camera has that function). On this inventory you should also note any damage to furniture, etc. that was present when you moved in. This caught my flatmates and I out big-time when we moved out of our flat. (To read more on the story please click this link)

Sadhbh, 3rd year Psychology, TCD

Trinity has a very useful website called TCD Life and it is well worth exploring the information for new students and the TCD Student Union has produced an excellent guide to living in Dublin

Asking for help

I found the first few months of college extremely difficult when everyone around me seemed to breeze the way through it. I felt like I didn't belong and was finding the work very hard. I wanted to dropped out of my course and move back home. I did not enjoy where I was living at the time. My course, Nursing, demanded so much from me, both academically and psychologically. I was mentally drained and fed up. I contacted my Tutor who recommended me to speak to the people at the Student Counselling service as she did not want me to make a rash decision and drop out (To read more on the story please click this link)

Rebecca, 1st year Nursing, TCD

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Assignments, coursework and exams

I cannot specify enough how important it is to just even know what is required of you in order to pass the year. I ended up not being aware of certain requirements such as mandatory attendance classes, important assignments, etc. My advice is to attend everything in the first few weeks to get an idea of what you will need to do throughout the year so as you don't fall behind without even knowing. (To read more on the story please click this link)

2nd year Management science and information systems studies (MSISS), TCD

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Books, libraries and resources

English obviously involves a lot of reading. It would be a bit expensive to have to buy everything, so when you get your reading list, check what's easily available in the library, and what's online. As well as that, check out Amazon - books are usually cheap, and if you spend over £25, you get free shipping to Ireland. (To read more on the story please click this link)

1st year English, TCD

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Careers advice

I'm from a specialised course. I knew this is what I was going to be doing for 4 years. Nobody ever talked to us about what comes after. Internships are key to succeeding these days in the jobs market. Experience is required everywhere. Why, they even require experience for the next course that I plan on doing. Now, if I had been told all this in first year, I would've started hunting right away. (To read more on the story please click this link)

4th year Human Genetics, TCD

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Living independently

Get a routine at some point. Even if you never know what you're doing next, get transport and food options sorted in your own head early on and all the rest follows on easily! (To read more on the story please click this link)

3rd year, TCD

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Money and budgeting

Try to pack a lunch every day and had breakfast every morning, nothing eats into your money more than spending about €10+ per day on food! Also, coffee is very expensive so try have one before you leave your house or buy a travel mug and bring it with you!

Caoimhe, 2nd year Nursing, TCD

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Look up where all the different buildings are and the opening times for each (Student Records, etc). Also ask your course co-ordinator in the orientation meeting any questions you have, even if they aren't specific to your course, they will often be more helpful than your assigned College Tutor. (To read more on the story please click this link)

Beth, 4th year European Studies, TCD

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Professional courses

If you're choosing to study nursing (or midwifery) you need to understand that your course and college life will be very, very different to those of your peers. You are in a full-time, professional course. You will have to attend lectures from 9 to 5, these are not optional. You will have to complete a ten week clinical placement after Christmas, this means working a 40 hour week for free, and you really will be working, hard. (To read more on the story please click this link)

Grace, 1st year Nursing, TCD

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Student services

Also, take advantage of all the great services the college and the Students Union provide for you. If you need to chat to people about education issues or welfare issues just go in and as it is what they are there for. (To read more on the story please click this link)

3rd year Irish Studies, TCD

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For a very useful general guide on all of these topics visit Trinity Life -

What is a college tutor?

senior tutors office website

Trinity assigns a tutor to each undergraduate student. Tutors are academic staff members who look after the welfare and development of a student in relation to their academic progress.

They can advise on such matters as choosing courses, assessments and exams and act as an advocate in dealing with the university.

She/he will be a source of help and guidance throughout your time as a student.

Tutors are a first point of contact and a source of support, both on arrival in Trinity and at any time during your time in Trinity. They provide confidential help and advice on personal as well as academic issues or on anything that has an impact on your life. They will also, if necessary, support and defend your point of view in your relations with the Trinity.

For example, you would contact your Tutor for help and advice on issues such as:

  • course choices
  • exam results
  • family conflicts
  • bereavement
  • financial difficulties
  • taking a year out

For more information please click on this link:


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Last updated 26 October 2016 (Email).