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Welsh Government

Top tips to making the most out of college

Two students posing for selfies with icons of hand, lightbulb, tablet and cog

When you start your first year of college, you’re likely to be busy with settling into your course, meeting new people and taking part in college events. There’s a lot to think about and you might be feeling both excited and nervous.

Alice Bird and Ashley Horobin have recently finished their first years at Coleg Sir Gâr and share their top tips with you for making the most out of college.

Top Tips

Be yourself

It’s a new place, a clean slate. You will meet new people and experience new things. Trusting in yourself and your personality will come out in your work and the people you’re around.”


Stay open-minded and try new things

There are so many different sports and extra-curricular activities to get involved with. Have a look at the activities on offer and sign up for some introductory sessions. Try everything you’re interested in and see what you like most.”


Take it step by step

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry about things far ahead of you. Concentrate on what’s in front of you, deal with each task or action as you go and then move on. You can think about the bigger things when you’re feeling ready.”


Connect with as many people as you can

College is very diverse and inclusive and you’ll meet people from all different backgrounds and cultures. I was really nervous when I started as many of my friends from school went to a different college. But very quickly I settled in, made the effort to chat with different classmates and met new people.”


Remember to slow down and enjoy the experience

It’s not just about the classes and work – try and make time to have a laugh with your friends. Friends will help make the days easier. Mates are the best.”


Stay on top of things

College work can build up quickly. Make sure you stay on top of homework and assignments as you get them. Plan and prioritise your work to save yourself more stress and work in the future.”


Check in on your mental health

I was very nervous when I started college, because I was bullied at school. My mental health had been low at times and I had little confidence. But I started getting the support I needed and I was able to increase my confidence and make friends. If you’re feeling anxious or low, remember the wellbeing team is there to support you.”


Keep future choices in mind

Use this first year to get a sense of what you’re enjoying, what you’re not so interested in and what sort of area you might want to look at in the future. So many of the small things can relate to your future career, so keeping this in mind will help you with future decisions.”


Explore your career ideas