By now, you’re all settling into college, whether that be for the first time or not. Studying (or not studying), seshing (or not), and most importantly meeting new people to bounce off, to learn and grow with. Some of the people you meet might even influence your whole life, friends will drift in and out, and others you’ll meet once in the smoking area of the Roost and then never see again. The number of people you will meet in your time at Maynooth will probably outnumber the amount you ever knew before. Or that might just be a culchie thing.
This number of people can be fantastic, if a little frantic sometimes. You can learn so much from so many people, all with interests and opinions both similar and different to your own, and maybe you’ll even realise that you love something you would never have realised you would. But knowing so many people means that bullying can become a much bigger threat than you would realise. And being bullied as an adult is a whole different experience, so it’s best to be ready for it, just in case! While being bullied as an adult isn’t something that is often talked about, people are awful, and sometimes as adults we don’t expect to feel the feelings we thought we left behind come rushing back. But trust me, it will be okay.
From sexual harassment, online and off, to people who disagree with your basic morals and want to fight about that (the worst people), to those who simply just don’t like you, you’d be surprised how many people might end up wanting to cause you harm, or just do it anyway. There’s snakes everywhere lads, and you need to take care of yourselves, look after your mental health, and learn how best to confront someone if that’s what it comes too and if makes you feel safest.
Over the course of a year I’ve seen it all. Going to college means meeting one of the largest, most diverse groups of people some of you will have ever seen; and your version of good may not be someone else’s. Hostilities are always high, especially in first year, when everyone is scared and everyone is a stranger. Just try your best to keep yourself safe, use Maynooth Services (go to a doctor if you’re feeling too stressed out! I have them listed at the bottom of the article!), and spot those mean ones whenever they start to show themselves. If you’re feeling in danger, or that someone else is in danger, report it to the University, and stay safe. Trust me, it’s for the best to turn away from your new friend who makes you uncomfortable, rather than settle down for a really, really, long time of feeling unsafe.
Just always remember:
- Treat yourself with respect
- Look after your health
- Banish the snakes from Ireland
SuMU Counselling: (01) 708 3554
Niteline: 1800 793 793 (free to call!)
Welfare Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic Advisory: (01) 708 3368 / email@example.com
You can also make appointments with the on-campus doctor: (01) 708 3878
And you can drop into the nurses 9-am and 2-3pm in the Maynooth Services Centre.