Áoise’s still loving life as a Fresher in Dublin

Friday November 8th 2013

It’s hard to believe that it is Halloween already!! I’m starting my 8th week of college now and the time is flying in. It’s strange to think that it has been nearly two months since I packed and moved down to Dublin and thankfully I’m still loving it!


Unfortunately, the work has started to come thick and fast. One thing I’ve learned is that no one ever tells you about the work and assignments that you have to do in college- all the stories you hear are about the craic, the nights out and the new friends. It was a bit of a shock to me when I realised that we actually had work to do. Like every fresher, I’m sure, my first assignment wasn’t exactly the best. Plagiarism was like a best friend to me for a few weeks because I still wasn’t sure how to avoid it! I soon realised though that the best thing to do was to ask one of my tutors or lecturers how to reference properly so as to avoid plagiarism. This turned out to be an unreal idea because I soon found out that plagiarism results in an immediate drop in grade, even if it is accidental. Your tutors and lecturers are excellent tools (in a good way!!) to help you with your work or any problems you have in regards to work. Use them!

Meeting deadlines is another thing that I had problems with, although I’ve handed all the work in on time so far, I never gave myself enough time to do it and I always seemed to be in a rush. Let me tell you, it is stressful. My advice to you, and me I suppose, is to get the work done as early as possible and when it’s done, it’s done. No more worrying over it.


Anyway, moving on to less depressing topics! My room mates and I are still getting on great and even though it has only been 2 months or so since we first met, I would consider them to be some of my closest friends. After hearing stories about the roommates of some of the other people I know and how they don’t get on or don’t really talk to each other, I know that I was very blessed to be put with my roommates- even if they are from Mayo.

We’ve been teaching each other different words used in our counties, just so we can hold a conversation properly without stopping to ask what they said or what they mean. Now, when I say that “we’ve” been teaching each other words used in our counties, I of course mean that I’ve been teaching them words that I use or how I pronounce words. ‘Aye’ was the biggest one, followed by ‘wee’. It is now common practice that whenever I say a sentence that is very ‘Donegal’, you hear it echoed in the house as they try to pronounce it like I do. All the while I’m praying that that is not the way I sound.


The accent is a big thing that I’ve found is a bit of a barrier. I’m studying Irish in college and people find it very hard to understand Gaeilge Dún na nGall. Thankfully there are 3 other people in my class that are from Donegal so we tend to rally together when someone doesn’t understand us. ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ as they say. Often enough our teachers would have to ask us what we mean or if we have another word that we use to better help us understand what they are saying. I find it difficult enough as well to understand what my class mates are talking about when they are speaking. Sometimes I think that I don’t know what they are saying or that I’m unfamiliar with a word but most of the time it’s simply because of the way they are saying it. They’ve told me many of times that they don’t understand me when I speak Irish but that they’re getting used to it so thankfully, we’re able to talk for longer without a break to say “Cad é faoi Dhia is a bhfuil tú a rá ?!”

The usual ice breaker of making friends by asking where they’re from doesn’t seem to be a problem for me as everyone usually just says “You’re from Donegal aren’t you ?”. When you reply with “Aye”, it’s usually followed up by “Ooo I love your accent, say something else?!” You of course have to follow this up with the witty joke “Something else”. Badum tshhh.


Slán go fóill,