Alex's Answer

Going off to college

Your Question

Hi I’m seventeen eighteen in two weeks. I’m going off to college and I dunno what to do. I have no idea how to pay my bills, pay rent, pay college fees etc. what do I do cause mam never taught me any of this

Answer

Hi there,  

Thank you for your question. So, you’re going off to college soon and you don’t know what to do about paying bills, paying rent and paying college fees.  

It’s understandable that you would be concerned about heading to college for the first time and all the firsts that come with it such as moving out, having to cook for yourself, being in control of your own schedule, paying rent, etc. It can be a lot to think about, but you do have time.  

You mentioned that your mam never taught you any of the above. Is there another trusted adult in your life who you can chat about this with and who might be able to help you with the transition into college? Or even your school’s guidance counsellor?  

There are grants and financial supports available when attending college in Ireland. SpunOut have created a list of those available and you can access the link here spunout.ie/education/finance/financial-supports-college/. It might help to take a look through this list with your parent or guardian and/or your guidance counsellor to find out which grant or financial support option might be more suitable.

Financial pressure can create a lot of stress for young people and their families, but there are supports and grants available to help ease that pressure. Sometimes your course fees can be covered with these grants, and they will be paid for directly.  

Paying rent and bills will depend on where you are staying. Are you hoping to live in student accommodation? Some places require rent to be paid in two instalments and can include utility bills. Or are you planning to stay in a house or apartment? How you pay the rent, and bills will depend on the landlord. Some will want to be paid monthly. Bills may or may not be included.

There is time to think through what option might be best for you, and if you have friends going to college in the same area as you, it might be possible to look for places to live together. Whatever you decide on, college will be a great chance to have some independence and could be some of the best years of your life.  

There are some additional resources available on SpunOut, such as advice for people attending college for the first time and advice on how you can save money on your bills. We’ve included them here spunout.ie/voices/experiences/top-tips-for-college-newbies/, and spunout.ie/life/money/save-money-monthly-bills/.  

If you would like to talk about this some more, our Childline Team are here to help and support you too. We do not judge, and we can explore your options with you. You can contact us any time of the day or night. The Childline Listening service never closes, we are here for you 24/7/365. Our free phone service is 1800 66 66 66 or chat with us through our webchat service, by clicking on the purple Messenger circle at www.childline.ie. 

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope you found this information helpful.   

Take care of yourself, and well done for getting yourself prepared for college,

Alex 

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