Starting college in UL this September? The Daily Shift’s Katy Quinn has all you need to know about Ireland’s sporting campus…
So you’ve heard how people call Limerick stab city and you’ve come here anyway? Good for you. Limerick is a fantastic city with a blown out of proportion reputation.
At the University of Limerick the administrators strive to make the experience as comfortable and as hassle free as possible. Okay, that is a downright lie. If you have chosen UL let’s get one thing straight; administration and organisation is really not their thing, be prepared.
So let me offer a few tips on how to make the experience smoother:
Orientation – Go to this. It is the best time to make friends. UL has a great orientation programme that runs for the frst seven weeks. Check out UL Orientation for New Students on facebook.
Accomodation – Try if you can to stay away from Plassey Village. While it is the cheapest on campus accommodation it is the case for a reason. Prepare for eight of you crammed into a house built for four with all the glories of peeling paint, filthy floors and bedrooms ideally suited as cupboards.
On campus accommodation is a great way to get to know new people however and can be a lot of fun so it is worth shelling out the extra for Kilmurry Village. Not only is it a lot cleaner and more ideally located but it’s just far nicer in general.
For those of you with extra funding, UL also offers accommodation in Dromroe, Cappavilla and Thomond village which are the elite in on campus accommodation (though beware, Thomond is the dullest village on campus).
Off campus accomodation is plentiful and cheap, but be warned, dodgy landlords will take no pity when it comes to deposits at the end of the year. Document EVERYTHING in the house and have a look at ULSU’s blacklist for houses to avoid.
There are a series of high quality apartments like Groody, Brookfield and others for budget prices. Their only downside: having to walk half an hour to get to college.
Night life - Night life has changed a lot over the past few years with several places having been shut down. But don’t despair there are still plenty of places worth exploring. Molly Malone’s, Flannery’s and Nancy Blake’s are all great late bars and if you are looking to move onto a nightclub, The Icon is not far away from any of them and they do a student night on a Tuesday.
If you want the ultimate UL experience, remember to visit The Lodge, The Stables and The Scholars (Java for us older graduates) for the best hot chocolate this side of the world.
Food - The lack of a Tesco near UL is very annoying. There is a Dunnes on the Childers Road if you fancy a bus ride or a very long walk. Otherwise your choices stand at; Superquinn who have not yet realised we are in a recession, or Lidl who thankfully do realise people don’t have any money but have never heard of brand names.
Try eat in The Paddocks once a week. It’s the closest you will get to a home cooked meal. The Stables have daily lunch deals as well as a mean hot chicken roll. Try their secret sauce. The Scholars, Sports bar and newly opened Pavilion all serve hot food at student prices.
In the main building you’ll find a subway, starbucks and a rather upscale restaurant called Eden. UL campus is littered with cafés so you are spoiled for choice.
UL is famous for the “Four Seasons Take Away” aka “Groody Pizza”. €5 for the greasiest, yet most unbelievably satisfying personal pizza and a can of coke with free delivery. Just be aware “20 minutes” actually means an hour.
After a night out in The Lodge, Superdine is the fast food joint of choice. The kind of food that would make you sick during the day somehow becomes irresistible at night. In town there is Kebabish who sell the mother of all donor’s and a mean carton of taco chips.
Hermitage Green – Getting tired of the club scene? Have no worry, Hermitage Green are one of Ireland finest live bands and they play for FREE in The Scholars every second tuesday. They are amazing.
Public transport - If you want to visit the city centre then make sure you aren’t in a rush. The only bus is the 308 and it never runs on time.
UL Arena – UL is Ireland’s sporting campus for a reason. Join the gym, it’s cheap and who knows, maybe you’ll actually go. It has Ireland’s only 50m swimming pool, an athletic track, astroturf and across the river, a brand new fully floodlit 3g sports park with 2 soccer pitches, 1 gaa pitch and 1 rugby pitch.
UL Wolves - This is the name of UL’s clubs and societies. Pretty cool, eh? UL has some of the best clubs in the country thanks to it’s amazing facilities. It also has some really cool societies. Join one, maybe two and make the most of it. You’ll regret not doing it.
Volunteer - UL have a ground breaking programme called the UL PVA award scheme. Go to their website ulpva.ie and you’re guaranteed to find some opportunity to give back to the community that tickles your fancy. Volunteering is a great way to make the most of your time at UL so don’t shy away. Plus it looks great on the CV.
UL RAG – Speaking of volunteering, if you’re a real goody two shoes UL RAG is a must for you. You can take the initiative in your own social projects with the society that gives a little back with a difference. From lantern launches and white collar boxing to talking to strangers on a bus and running around in your underwear, all for charity, UL’s newest society is one to look out for. Like UL RAG on facebook.
Radio – Fancy yourself as the next Ian Dempsey? UL FM is a new radio station that was set up last year. Be sure to like UL FM on facebook. They are looking for submissions for shows NOW so what are you waiting for? Huh?
Study, study, study – During study week be prepared. The library will be mobbed from week 12 on. Get there early or you’ll be spending the day in the 24hr cafe Red Raisins trying to block out the background noise. Avail of all the support. There is loads of support programmes in UL free for students. From help with maths to writing, there is no shame in getting the most out of your education. You pay enough for it.
UL40 – This year UL are celebrating their 40th year by giving out scholarships to those who get the highest points in entering their courses. If you did well enough you will have been entered automatically so no need to worry about applications. Contact UL for more information.
Bad rep – Don’t worry about Limerick’s reputation, after four years down there I’ve only seen a view disturbing incidents but never been on the receiving end thankfully. UL really is off the beaten track, roughly five kilometres from the centre and well away from the housing estates that are to be avoided at all costs so you won’t see much drama unless you go looking for it.
There you go, some UL knowledge for the newbie and as the Rubberbandits would say “That’s Limerick City, and if you don’t like it f**k off to Cork”.