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New to College?

Undergraduate Students

Welcome to Trinty College and congratulations on getting your hard won place.

Starting college is an exciting time and a new chapter in your life. There is so much to experience. It's all very new and different to anything else you've done before. While we hope your transition into college will be smooth and problem free, it's good to know that many tranisiton students do face challenges in their first year in college.

There can be challenges around the academic culture; wondering what your lecturers expect, how to learn independently (what does that even mean?), how to write in an academic style, how to manage your workload or carry out research or think critically.

Navigating these challenges might require you to develop new learning skills. Even high achieving students can struggle and may need to use different learning strategies to those they used in school.

The great thing is that you can learn new skills and if you start using appropriate skills early on, they will stand you in good stead for your later years in college and help you maximise your potential. First year is a good time to find out what works for you, so take the opportunity to develop great learning skills now!

As a starting point, click here for a short animated film on some of the issues new students face, and the supports that can help.

Below you will find links to resources for some common issues and information regarding further support for any issues you have with your academic studies.

"What does the lecturer mean when they talk about critical thinking?"

Critical thinking is the ability to ask questions and analyse information objectively to form an opinion or make a decision. For further information check out:

"How do I structure and write an academic essay?"

Check out this video from Dr. Alan Tuffery who works with Student Learning Development and has many years' experience as a lecturer correcting students' assignments.

"How do I manage my time?"

Here is a 5 minute video in time management from Dr Tamara O'Connor from Student Learning Development.

"What does 'independent learner' mean?"

Further help

For further information check out our calendar for workshop programme and services and our Blackboard module Academic Skills for Successful Learning at or email us at

For all the other academic supports that we offer, please see the Undergraduate and Postgraduate pages. If there's something that you don't see, but think we might be able to help you with, drop us an email at

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Last updated 17 October 2017 by Student Learning Development (Email) .