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First Years

Registering at ATU Donegal - what you need to know

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First year students – Life at ATU Donegal begins here

Welcome to your first year at ATU Donegal. Starting college is an exciting, exhilarating time, but it also can be quite daunting too. Third level is a whole new learning environment – new campus, new people, new subjects. For some it will be their first time living away from home as well. That’s a lot of ‘firsts’ to get your head around. This section aims to offer some practical advice to studying at ATU Donegal to help make this year an enjoyable and successful one.

First YearsSo, the first piece of advice is that you are not alone, likelihood is, your fellow students are in the same boat. Here at ATU Donegal there are plenty of people you can talk to help find your feet, about your course, study planning, academic writing or if you feel you’re out of your depth. There are a number of links within the Student Hub which will provide detail on topics such as Student Support Services, Health & Wellbeing and Sports & Recreation.

During your time at ATU Donegal you will have the chance to develop academically, professionally and personally. ATU Donegal offers numerous activities to help you along this journey.   Choose to engage in campus life, join a club or society, explore and become familiar with the superb facilities on campus, like the gym at An Dánlann, playing fields, extensive library, computer suites, The Curve and incubation centre CoLab.

Here are some tips, which can help you to adjust to student life at ATU Donegal.  Remember everyone at ATU Donegal wants you to succeed and to enjoy your time here. So get in touch with the relevant department any time. 

Top tips for first year students

  • Become familiar with your timetable and key dates to note, e.g. exams, assignments. Sounds obvious but this will give you focus and help to plan your study. It will also allow you to factor in social and free time too.
  • Plan ahead, schedule your study over the semester to meet these deadlines. This can help take away the stress of cramming and last minute deadlines and invariably will likely lead to better results.  It will also help you to become familiar with the subject and what’s involved so that you can allocate the right amount of study time. Be realistic. 
  • Attend all lectures. Lectures are an essential part of any course which is backed up by further study outside class time. Why put more pressure on yourself to catch up? It’s a chance to ask questions too and get to know lecturers.
  • It’s not all about study.  Join a club or society or volunteer. This is a great way to meet new people and combine it with your interest. There are loads to choose from, click here for information. 
  • Get to know your classmates. Chances are most people won’t know anyone, so speak to other students each day, ask them how they’re getting on? Why they chose this course? Where to get the best coffee? They’ll appreciate your effort. 
  • If you’re unsure about anything, ask questions, in class, email, Blackboard or one to one.  Other students, lecturers, Department Heads and ATU Donegal support staff are resources to tap into. 
  • Exercise 3 times a week, there’s a fully equipped gym on campus or go for a walk/run. Even better join one of the sports club at ATU Donegal and meet some likeminded people.  
  • Eat well it fuels the brain for study and enjoyment. 
  • Do one kind deed every day for someone. Think positive.
  • Balance study and social time. Life at ATU Donegal can help you fulfil your potential but it’s also about having fun along the way.

Induction for full-time students

ATU Donegal offers an Extended Induction Programme ‘Connect for Success’, this induction programme is aimed at supporting your transition to third level. Click here to read more about the ‘Connect for Success’ programme. When commencing your studies at ATU Donegal, it is important that you complete the online induction to ensure you are familiar with the various support services and resources available to you. Additionally, in week 1, your academic department will provide a programme induction.