University Survival Kit

Friday February 7th 2014

Since it’s the beginning of the New Year I’ve decided to try something new with my first blog of 2014! You’ve heard enough about my daily routines to date to last you all a lifetime, so this month I’ve decided to devise what you could describe as a ‘Student Survival Kit’ for all you prospective students, and hopefully those of you already at university or who have gone through it can relate to these!

1 Alarm clock snoozes are absolutely vital. If you’re anything like me you WILL NOT get up at your first alarm.

2 – Fast Food Take away numbers are arguably more important than emergency call numbers.

3 – If, like me, you’re born and raised in the country, Belfast lingo takes a longgggg time to wrap your head around. Yes, I’ve actually met people who use the phrase ‘Norn Irn’ whole heartedly. It was not just a stereotype. It really happens.

4 – Your body temperature controls are put to the ultimate test between five days of arctic weather conditions followed by two days of what can only be described as a sauna in comparison. As a result, I’ve had more sore throats in the last 4 months than I’ve had in the last 4 years.

5 – You will find yourself in a constant state of needing toilet roll. Think about it, have you ever run out of toilet roll at home? I mean completely out……..not just a ‘shouting for someone to bring you more’ situation. You will literally have NONE left in the entire house. And yes, I’m regretfully speaking from experience here.

6 -You will be ready to start a petition to wear a uniform to Uni after about four months. Deciding what to wear every morning is REALLY not as much fun as you may have first thought.

7– Making time for breakfast proves to be quite the challenge. It takes a lot longer to whip up a Weetabix than you might imagine in a cold kitchen.

8 – A succinct timetabled schedule to help you to get ready to ‘go out’ after having class until five is essential.

9 – You will develop serious biceps from hauling an over packed kit bag up and down the road every weekend.

10 – Getting on the bus alone and realising you’ve forgotten your earphones is pain similar to genuine heartbreak.

11 – Getting ready to go out in 20 minutes flat will be one of your greatest life achievements to date.

12 – If you live in a house, your next door neighbours will sound like they‘re living under your roof.  Also, if you’re in the Holylands, there’s a 90% chance they are from somewhere in the Tyrone region.

13– The bin is ALWAYS full. And when emptying this bin involves a trek out to the creepy dark back alley in the cold and wet, this task becomes quite insurmountable.

14 – There is never ANY hot water. Any dishes that are actually done tend to be done in cold water. Mammy, if you’re reading this I’m so sorry. I know you raised me better than that but we really have no choice. We can’t afford to heat the house AND heat water. Student loans weren’t designed to budget for such luxuries.

15 Food packages from home on Sunday nights are vital. I take odd pride in the fact my food bag is bigger than my clothes bag. Priorities and all that…

16 – It’s okay that we were warned not to put posters on the wall but my Daddy drilled right into ours to hang a holy water font!

17Sausage baps for £1 are the world’s best bargain.

18 – You can’t dry two rather heavy mats on just a radiator alone. Clotheslines have been taken much for granted.

19 – When you leave one room, you turn the light OFF. I now can finally empathise with my Daddy when he shouts at us to turn lights off when we’re not using them.

20 – I owe my life to McAtamney’s lasagne’s and cottage pies. Otherwise I would have starved to death by now.

21 – Tea is 80p for one cup at St. Mary’s, but a cup of boiling water is free. AND YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN TEA BAGS!

22 – Ripe Bananas can be fluffy. Yes, fluffy. Don’t ask?

23Three hours of class in a row is up there with one of the most difficult tasks of the week.

24 – You will spend more time in the library in the first few months than you ever have in all your years combined. (No matter how much you try to avoid it).

25 – Houses in the city are much closer together than houses in Glenullin. It is not acceptable to get dressed in front of a window here. Again, I’m speaking from an embarrassing experience.

Teaching Practice now begins in the next few weeks so university at the minute is currently a mad hustle and bustle of handing in assignments and pretending like I genuinely understand what a Scheme of Work is… I suppose I’ll soon find out though!

Until next month,

God Bless,

Eiméar