What the college prospectus doesn’t tell you about UCD

  1. Sometimes the girls are really nice to each other anonymously via the bathroom stalls.Image
  2. Sometimes they’re not so nice.Image
  3. And sometimes, they’re just downright inspiring
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  4. This is the library before 9 in the morning
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  5. And this is the library any time after 9 in the morning (apologies for the bad quality, taking photos of people you don’t know isn’t exactly something I wanted to make a show of doing)
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  6. Arts kids aren’t expected to find their way around the building without the help of colours.Image
  7. And we’ve been assigned in and out doors (which for some reason people do not understand and insist on walking out the in door or in the out door…way to fight the Arts stereotype, guys!)
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  8. My favourite thing about campus is that we have a statue of an egg being fertilised for no apparent reason. Why, you ask? Why not, we say.
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Life lessons from an 18 year old idiot

  1. Being controversial and being funny are not synonymous.
  2. Don’t dumb yourself down. For anyone. Ever.
  3. Your friends aren’t supposed to make you feel bad about yourself, so if yours do, you need new ones.
  4. There’s no shame in liking mainstream pop.
  5. Kindness costs nothing.
  6. No one else remembers that really embarrassing thing you did that still makes you blush when you think about it, so try not to get too worked up about those moments.
  7. Busted are the best band in the world and if anyone tries to tell you differently, they’re wrong.
  8. Don’t invalidate anyone’s feelings ever. Including your own.
  9. It’s ok to want to spend time alone.
  10. You don’t need to pretend to like something because it’s cool.
  11. Everyone is insecure about something so let’s all try be nice to one another every now and then.
  12. Be passionate about something. Whether it’s music, films, writing or whatever, find something that makes you light up when you talk about it because there’s nothing better than the look of joy on someone’s face when they talk about something they love.
  13. Don’t trust people who like Two and a Half Men or the Big Bang Theory.
  14. Avoiding secondary school drama is easier than people think.
  15. You don’t need to make excuses for not wanting to do something or go somewhere. You don’t have to do anything unless you want to.
  16. Don’t tone down the weird. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but people appreciate when you’re unapologetically you. Or at least the people worth keeping around do.

What the college prospectus doesn’t tell you about English

  1. So much reading, so little time.
  2. Spark Notes is your new best friend.
  3. You’ll quickly learn that it’s possible to write an essay on a book you’ve never read.
  4. Oh, you thought you couldn’t understand Shakespeare? Wait til you meet Chaucer.
  5. If you’re still in Leaving Cert, take advantage of the fact that your teacher is analysing every detail of novels/poems etc for you.
  6. Your questioning of why you need to bother analysing certain things won’t stop in college, it’ll just get worse. (Especially if you have to do Alice In Wonderland because despite learning he was high when he wrote it, Lewis Carroll apparently left some deeper meaning in the book).
  7. Your personal opinion will never be allowed in an essay, so if you’re like me and giving opinions is all you’re good at, you’re screwed.
  8. Don’t mix up your and you’re. Just don’t do it.
  9. There’s a film adaptation of that book you’re meant to read? Hello popcorn and an evening in bed.
  10. The international students who aren’t fluent in English but are studying it are probably better at it than you.
  11. Oh, you’re a patriotic soul who has a strong dislike towards the English for those 800 years of oppression? Just do English in college and you’ll hate them for their language.
  12. Bluffing your way through essays becomes second nature.
  13. Just remember you’re not the only one sitting in the lecture hall hating English- I guarantee if you ask anyone sitting near you what they think of this English module, they’ll have the same dead eyes and lack of enthusiasm as you.
  14. You might think you enjoy reading enough to do English, but a book a week will soon become a chore.
  15. You will get about 25% of your reading list read, and will sit in class pretending you did the rest.
  16. Just don’t pick English in college, kids. Don’t do it.

How do I college? Part 2

  1. You’ll soon forget you have 9am lectures because you’ll just stop going to them.
  2. Is that assignment really more important than watching that film you’ve seen 6 times already? The correct answer is no.
  3. You’ll mostly use the college wifi to download films and many, many series of programmes.
  4. It’s ok to bring your own lunch sometimes. Food in college is expensive!
  5. Hello weight gain.
  6. You have never seen as many boys in chinos as you will in college.
  7. Hollister and Jack Wills jumpers are not a rare sight either.
  8. If you’re struggling to meet people, throw Harry Potter or Game Of Thrones into a conversation and let the bonding begin.
  9. Be prepared to be looked down on when you mention you’ve never seen Breaking Bad.
  10. Watch Breaking Bad.
  11. You’ll spend more time trying to connect to UCD’s wifi than you will actually using it.
  12. You’ll find yourself watching some of the worst shows on telly (and enjoying them) just to avoid work.
  13. Sleeping in lectures is all well and good until you remember how much money your parents are spending on your college education.
  14. Cancelled lectures are almost as good as Christmas morning.
  15. Class nights out are your opportunity to find out who you’re going to be avoiding for the next few years of your degree.
  16. Having a million tabs open with sites relevant to your assignment while you go on Facebook is almost the same as doing your assignment.
  17. You’ll find yourself getting angry with boys around college because they look better in skinny jeans than you do.
  18. The printer will never work when you’re in desperate need of it.
  19. You are never going to find a seat at lunch time, much less a seat near a plug socket where you can charge your laptop/phone.
  20. You’re going to the college library at 1 o clock to get that essay done? I hope you don’t mind sitting on the floor.
  21. For all you naive folk (like myself), not everyone in college is nice. I assumed that as soon as secondary school was finished, everyone was nice and the world was just rainbows and butterflies, but alas, this is not the case.
  22. But remember, for every mean person you meet, there’s about 40 really lovely people. Or at least I refuse to believe anything but this.

How do I Leaving Cert?

  1. Be the cool kid who lies about how much study they’ve done, everyone loves that.
  2. No one, and I mean no one knows what the point of project maths actually is.
  3. If you listen closely, you can hear 6th years everywhere complaining about how unfair the Irish education system is.
  4. If someone is trying to tell you a certain subject is easy for the Leaving Cert, they probably didn’t do that subject in the Leaving Cert.
  5. The last few weeks of school are the most vital for revision, so it’s only fitting that you don’t go to the majority of your classes.
  6. Don’t trust people who work over the Christmas break.
  7. Guilt becomes a familiar emotion.
  8. When you’re not working but don’t feel guilty about it, you’ll feel guilty for not feeling guilty.
  9. The Leaving Cert Stone is kind to no one.
  10. You’ll go through a phase of doing literally nothing because you’re in 6th year and what’s the worst that can happen to you now, you have a Leaving Cert, surely that’s punishment enough. (Some of you will really struggle to escape this mindset).
  11. “I have a Leaving Cert to study for” is a common excuse you’ll use to get out of doing things.
  12. You will spend a lot of your time telling the 5th years to study now because you didn’t listen to the warnings last year and wished you did.
  13. You’ll quickly learn a comparative can be done in about 40 minutes. It’ll be done very badly, but it’ll be done nonetheless.
  14. The Sraith Pictiúrs will be the bane of your life.
  15. Despite having studied Irish for most of your life, you probably still don’t know if it’s spelt “pictúir” or “pictiúr”.
  16. The more tired you are, the louder the first years are.
  17. You’ll be more stressed about how you’re not stressing about exams while everyone else breaks down.
  18. The jam making course jokes are all well and good, but come CAO time, you will seriously consider putting it down.
  19. The stuff you’re learning every day, all the quotes and essays, that stuff is absolutely vital in the real world.
  20. I don’t think a single student has ever known all 5 poets going into their English exam.
  21. Some things are just never going to make sense to you, like the subjunctive tense or why you’re taking a Leaving Cert at all.

What a UCD gal learned on her adventure to Limerick

  1. For every friendly looking stranger you see, there’s about 4 dodgy looking ones.
  2. It costs 20 cent to go to the bathroom in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre and being the cheapie that I am I was not impressed, but it’s definitely worth it if you haven’t used the bathroom in over 8 hours.
  3. Lifestyle Sports in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre being robbed may or may not be a common occurrence- this is based off of the fact that when I arrived a lad ran from the shop, set the alarm off, and then a security man arrived about 10 minutes later muttering “jesus, not again”.
  4. Your Limerick friends probably know their way around the city just as much as you do, so if you get lost you’re pretty much fucked.
  5. You’ll soon learn that most people in Limerick are of the “sure if I get stabbed, I get stabbed” mindset.
  6. Despite being 18 and having much experience with it, you’ll forget how to cross a road simply because you’re in a new place.
  7. Flagging down buses apparently doesn’t exist in Limerick- they just stop.
  8. You don’t need to tell the bus drivers anything– they’ll just know.
  9. Don’t expect to get home from Limerick with money.
  10. Ashdown student accommodation security is top notch.
  11. Be careful in Mary I, it is absolutely WILD there.
  12. There is significantly less people wearing chinos in Limerick than in Dublin.
  13. If you’re a paranoid soul like me, you’ll find yourself checking your pockets for your phone and money every time a stranger walks by.
  14. The Limerick accent makes boys sound scarier than they are.
  15. Despite popular belief and its reputation, Limerick is filled with some really lovely folk- I saw a young lad helping an elderly stranger, this is all the proof you need.
    (Thanks to the cool Limerick gals Ellen, Aoife Del, Ciara, Shannon, Jane and my fellow Dublin friend Cool Artsy Niamh for making my little trip to Limerick as wonderful as possible :] Yay for fun college times!)

A How-To On Commuting

  1. The wifi is always going to suck.
  2. If you don’t want people to sit next to you unless they’re absolutely forced to, pretend to be asleep. Or keep your hood up and look angry. Works like a charm.
  3. Don’t sit beside a sleeping passenger or someone with their hood up and an angry face- they don’t want you there.
  4. If you’re going to listen to your music on full blast for everyone to hear through your headphones, try listen to something decent. (I will never apologise for playing Avril Lavigne loud enough for my whole bus to hear.)
  5. Don’t be the person who listens to music without headphones.
  6. You have never slept in a more awkward position than the position you sleep in when commuting.
  7. If you sleep on public transport, someone is probably snapchatting you to their friends.
  8. If you’re the person snapchatting a sleeping stranger, at least try and be discreet about it.
  9. Don’t fall asleep on a stranger’s shoulder- from my own personal experience, this is not going to be a rom-com kind of moment where you end up falling in love and living happily ever after.
  10. Don’t sing along to your ipod. You’re not as quiet as you think you are.
  11. Bus farters are the worst kind of people.
  12. You’ll never stop getting annoyed when people’s bags hit you as they walk by and they don’t apologise.
  13. Apologise to people if your bag hits them as you walk by.
  14. If you’re clumsy, you are going to have many bruises from hitting the side of chairs when the bus/train is stopping.
  15. Keep in mind that people can see the screen of your laptop, and are well aware of your Facebook creeping.
  16. Early morning commutes will feel like death, but I promise you they’re not. Early morning commutes when there’s a crying baby will be what kills you.
  17. A fun activity is making faces at people in buses that have stopped alongside you. Do it, go wild.
  18. Make it look like you always have something to do to avoid awkward conversation with the person next to you/opposite you.
  19. If you have food, please ensure you know how to eat. What this means is, keep your mouth closed when chewing.
  20. You are more than likely going to have a bad experience with a Dublin Bus driver. Beware the 145.
  21. If you’re commuting for the year, make friends with people on campus or who have a house of some sort. They’ll let you stay and you don’t have to pay rent, what more do you want? (But be a kind soul and bring nice food when they let you stay)