I would do one of those “Things I Wish I’d Been Told Before I’d Gone To College” blog posts but there’s a million and one of them and they all pretty much say the same thing. You’ve already been told the general stuff like to make use of college services and join clubs and societies (“and don’t forget about that condom in your freshers welcome pack WAHEY”) so I won’t waste your time. Instead I just decided to focus in on a very specific demographic.
To be honest I’m not very good at that kind of thing and much like Chandler from F·R·I·E·N·D·S I am terrible with advice because I’m afraid someone will take it and destroy their life. So I decided to compile just a little list of tips and tricks for people who are going to be calling the University of Limerick their home for the next few years. I could write a similar post that appeals to a wider audience but my general “guide to college” would purely consist of things like “don’t be that bastard that eats in his room and hoards all the dishes there” so I regret to say if you have no affiliation with UL, this post won’t make a lot of sense.
This is my list. Take from it with what you like.
1). Spar at the flagpoles does a five euro deal with a hot chicken roll + wedges + coke. This is your holy grail on Friday mornings. (This is Spar off campus now. There are two others, one in the courtyard beside the student’s union and one in Dromroe Village).
2). Aforementioned Spar often does Ben & Jerry’s for €3. As soon as you get wind of this, drop everything and go there ASAP to stock up. Those bad boys sell fast on sale.
3). Don’t even try to understand how the main building works. It’s a pure labyrinth and its architectural layout doesn’t make any fucking sense. Accept that you will get lost. Memorise the route to the print room, health centre and Subway and you should be fine. If you have many lectures there make sure you figure out the route well before the day of the lecture. I am not joking. I know people who have spent the entire duration of the lecture itself looking for the lecture room. I am sure that building is filled with the skeletons of fallen students who have never found their way out.
4). If you enjoy walking/jogging, the route alongside the Shannon is lovely. If you live in Thomond, Dromroe or Kilmurry it’s on your doorstep. And if you travel west along it for a while, it’ll land you nice and handy into the city. (Great if you want to cycle into the city instead of getting the bus). Also the pontoon by the boathouse is just lovely, especially at sunset. Some quality Instagram material right there.
5). The 307 bus goes into town and goes by all the student villages. The 304 just goes to the flagpoles (entrance) and the courtyard.
6). If you get the 304 into town, when you’re getting it back do not get the bus from where it dropped you off (outsides Debenhams usually). If you do it will take you on a very scenic but very long route of Limerick that reaches the university an hour later. When you’re going back to college, get the 304/307/308 from outside Centra on William’s Street. (Just a walk up directly from Debenhams).
7). Do not walk down the back of College Court at night. I have never been down the back of College Court at night, but I have been repeatedly warned not to walk down the back of College Court at night. I dunno maybe killer badgers or something.
8). If you play piano there’s one in Kilmurry Village Hall and it’s usually deserted.
9). If you’re thinking about signing up for the gym, do it. I really recommend doing the group fitness classes because they’re so good and the instructors are great. Richie’s Total Body Workout that’s on every weekday night at 6 and 7 is absolutely brilliant and Richie is pretty much Jesus in cycling shorts. Another one is Track Attack, which is circuit training that’s on at the same times and is also really good for varied exercise. Zumba is another one of my favourites because Zumba’s pretty much the best. And also the pool is brilliant so make use of that too.
10). The Plaza Cafe in the Library is the best value for money. And the women working there are the biggest sweethearts in the world. It may be because they give you food and call you hun but they will make you feel so special and loved. Stables also does very good food. The cafe in Kemmy does a fab panini.
11). Don’t let people try and convince you that Crush is good. It’s just not.
12). Top Pizza is your oasis on a night out.
13). The nearest ATM to the general clubs area is quite far away so when you’re going at night, bring someone with you. (It’s the Permanent TSB one on Upper William’s Street).
13). Sign up with Plassey Safe Cabs. You’ll have the chance to do this during orientation week. It’s this really good taxi service that if you’re stuck for money on a night out you can ring this crowd and they’ll bring you home and then you can pay your fare the next day at the student’s union. I know people who have done it so DO NOT WALK HOME FROM TOWN AFTER A NIGHT OUT.
14). Don’t be frightened of Limerick city though, it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.
15). You can get two student meals and free delivery for a tenner from the Pagoda Chinese in Milford. Chilli Kebabish does a 9″ pizza, chicken goujons and chips for a fiver. It tastes like shite but they deliver at 3am and if you’re ordering that much at that time it’s basically caviar.
16). Trad Night at Stables is more craic than you think it is.
17). Cheapest naggin in Fine Wines is Two Trees last time I checked. It tends to change so don’t quote me on that one. If your go-to drink is vodka though and you have low standards I would recommend just getting the 70cl of Tamova in Aldi. It’s €13 and let’s face it, of course you have low standards.
18). I’m 100% certain this wouldn’t happen to anyone else bar myself but if you want to go to Lidl just for the bakery, you turn left from the white gates entrance and take the first right that isn’t a housing estate. Then it’s the first exit on the roundabout. *Stares pointedly at 18 year old Nessa who walked 5 miles for a chocolate croissant* IF YOU’VE REACHED THE MOTORWAY YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR.
19). Also if you live in Kilmurry, Milford, Hazelwood, Oaklawns, Elm Park or just that general area, Lidl is your closest supermarket. For everyone else it’s Aldi.
20). Don’t let those bastards at the Kayaking Club lure you in with their microwave popcorn during the Recruitment Drive. Sure it may be my fault that I paid the registration fee and never went to a single session but still.
21). Bring your student card wherever you go, you’ll need it more often than you think. (Especially if you use the library a lot).
22). Plassey has the best sofas.
23). If you have lectures in CSG001, you can only get wifi if you sit in the back row.
24). Students Union does 3 condoms for a euro. Don’t forget that the health centre has contraception and STI services as well.
25). O’Mahony’s stationery shop on campus is a pure ripoff. If you need to do a shop for all that kinda stuff do it in town if you can.
26) I’ve a feeling they’ll be reading this if I tag UL in this post so get the most out of YOUR Student’s Union! They’re a great bunch of lads. Seriously.
Lastly if you’re already a UL student and have something of your own you’d like to suggest, let me know and I’ll add it on!
And most importantly, welcome to UL and to the best 4 years of your life. See ye in Stables lads.