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By: Ellen, Good Start Ambassador and Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology | Posted on: 09 Oct 2020

Belonging #GoodStart2020

I believe a sense of belonging is a human need, much like food and shelter. We are all searching to feel a connection with a group of people, a place, a new college course, a new hobby… the list goes on. You may think others ‘fit-in’ better or can make friends quicker but everyone struggles with finding that sense of belonging and connection.

Remember these top tips as you join CIT:

  1. Smile at new people ��
  2. Ask Questions if you don’t understand ��️‍♀️
  3. If you have a doubt, sort it as early as possible ��‍♀️
  4. Remember you’re doing a great job ��

As you begin your college journey, or return to your studies, it’s okay to be searching for the answers of ‘do I belong here?’, or ‘do I fit in here?’. There’s so many services and support in CIT which can help you figure these areas of doubt out. ��

A little bit about my experience with searching for a feeling of belonging in college: After my leaving cert I went to University of Limerick to study Environmental Science. I had a constant feeling that I didn’t fit in and struggled with loneliness most evenings. I found the idleness after college and the sometimes quiet evenings in student accommodation hard to get used to. To combat this, I joined the UL gym and that made such a difference for me. I attended an all ladies class and it gave me drive to get up and go every evening. Being active, whether that’s a stroll on the beach, or a work-out class, give you endorphins that really boost your mood and energy levels. I continued my studies in Limerick for a year and ended up deciding I just wasn’t happy enough to continue my studies there.

I transfered to CIT (something which I didn’t think was possible so now I tell everyone if you’re not happy in your current situation take action, anything is possible). I was able to sign up and join a similar course in CIT after getting the all clear from department heads and course directors. I feel much happier since making the switch. ��

Choosing a college and course is such a big decision. I feel I rushed the choice because although I really didn't know yet what I wanted to do... everyone else was moving out of home, going to college and figuring out what they wanted to do! To be honest, I still don’t know what I want to do as a career! ��‍♀️

I’m now going into my final year of Environmental Science & Sustainable Technology in CIT. ��‍�� Making that decision in UL and to say out loud, ‘I’m not happy here what can I do’, was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I hope that if someone is reading this and are having doubts (whether that be living away from home, did they pick the right college course, or is this college right for them) that they seek the right help and talk about it. All it takes is an email in some cases, or a chat to someone in the know! As a Good Start Ambassador, I can tell you that everyone has a story and very rarely is college a simple straight rode for everyone!

Try your best in college and if you do have doubts, about any aspect, that’s perfectly normal. You’re not alone in having these thoughts or worries. Ask a Good Start Ambassador about what services or people are available in CIT, or head straight to the careers services contact mentioned above. Take the time to talk to the right people in CIT to ensure that any decision you make is an informed one.

�� Top Tips and Contacts��

Contact the careers service in CIT. Book a one-to-one appointment with a careers advisor by email (careers@cit.ie) or by phone 021-4326232. (I visited the careers service myself, in person, last year while on campus and also emailed them during lockdown. I was freaking out about my placement being cancelled because of Covid-19 and they were so helpful. I highly recommend them to all my friends and now to you too!)

Book an online or phone session with the Academic Success Coaching by following the link, asc/book , or emailing academicsuccesscoach@cit.ie

Book a session with the CIT Student Counselling Service by emailing counselling.admin@cit.ie (P.S They are working remotely too, so there’s no excuse not to book!)

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