Take a risk

Entering third level education is a big risk. It will oblige you to change a lot in your life, in particular your relationship with friends, family and with yourself. But it is a risk worth taking. The rewards include a boost in knowledge, self esteem, confidence and future study and job opportunities. 

This blog hope's to give you some helpful tips on negotiating your way through campus life. There will be serious stuff, funny stuff, and just stuff to start your day off in a good mood. The most important thing is not to be afraid of taking more risks. Here are a four risky suggestions to get you started:

Say hello to other students.  Remember, you are not the only one beginning this new life journey. You are surrounded by people who are attending third level education for the first time. They will welcome a smiling face. Ask how they are doing? What subjects are they interested in? Do they want to go for a coffee? What bus do they get in to town? 

 Look After Your Friends. If your friend seems out of sorts, don’t be afraid to ask them if they are okay. Just knowing that somebody cares enough to ask, can really help someone having an emotional time. The video below has some very handy tips:

Say No To Bullying You may find yourself in the company of people who use difference and diversity as the butt of cruel humour, exclusion and bullying. If so, take a risk and challenge your friends. If you feel comfortable, speak to them. It could be that there are others in the company that feel as you do. If you don’t feel comfortable talking then you can still challenge people by walking away and investing your friendship in more positive relationships. Remember prejudice causes real damage. It impacts on the mental health of those being subject to abuse; it creates the culture and justification for verbal, physical and sexual violence to happen.  Do not condone it.  

Resist Peer and Corporate Pressure. Be very wary of promotions from Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling or Dieting companies. These big industries wants to get a hold of your money.They have the power to subvert and overturn health programmes around the world. Not all your friends will have copped on to this and they will try to pressurise you into giving way to big business. 

Things to remember about corporate power: 

  • "Big tobacco can afford to hire the best lawyers and PR firms that money can buy. Big money can speak louder than any moral, ethical or public health argument and can trample even the most damning scientific evidence."  - World Health Organisation director-general Margaret Chan.
  • A third of smokers will attempt to sabotage other people's attempts to quit.
  • Evidence is mounting that third hand smoke  - the stuff that lingers as a smell in carpets, sofas, clothes and other materials - is a health hazard for infants and children.

  • Poker and card-game websites use aggressive marketing technigues, such as pop-up windows, inviting people to try them for free. What is advertised as fun can lead to debt and broken relationships. It is an addiction that impacts on women as much as men.