Well, it’s been a mere three weeks since I’ve last checked in and it has truly been a whirlwind of a time.
Since arriving on a delightfully sunny day last month, I have settled into my dorm, registered for all my classes, gone to all of my classes (I haven’t skipped one yet, mom!) and done some exploring all arout the island and Dublin.
I’ve joined the intermediate volleyball team, which is the student team. It’ll be nice to play for a few hours every week. I’ll try to keep my nasty competitive side buried deep within my psyche so I don’t piss off an entire team of potential friends.
I’ve also started writing for two student publications. The College Tribune is UCD’s independent paper and is more of an as-you-go type operation that seems extremely casual and slow-paced, but my day trips piece was fun to write and was published so I’m happy to just be writing. The University Observer is the more editorial-leaning publication that has so many sections and topics to write on it’s almost overwhelming, but my first piece on a local food blogging duo was fun to research and write.
Other than getting involved in societies and clubs like the well-rounded, “no-limits” student that Cocky taught me to be, I’ve been getting to know Dublin and the surrounding country.
Trips to Howth, Glendalough, County Kerry, and Dingle have filled up my weekends and shown me the beautifully rugged Irish landscape. I spent last weekend in Northern Ireland with Ellen and her family. We went to culture night in Belfast, which is a lovely cultural festival celebrating all the peoples that make Northern Ireland great, and then after 9pm all the culture gave way to forfeited open container laws and utter chaos as thousands of drunk people and tired children roamed the streets late into the night. It was amazing.
Although I’ve done and seen a lot in my time here, discovering Dublin has been my favorite. The bus system has made finding new neighborhoods and going to back to favorites extremely easy. The walkability of the city once you’re in the city centre makes t easy to explore. Last Saturday I went with a friend to Smithfield, a neighborhood anchored by the Jameson Distillery near the River Liffey. In Smithfield we found many a hipster coffee shop, great vintage stores filled with adidas track pants and fur coats, and a quaint Italian grocery store that made me crave the entire menu from an Italian restaurant.
My classes are great, the workload has yet to make me question my sanity, and the vibrancy of Dublin has kept me entertained and busy enough to not entirely keep up with what our President is tweeting.
Until next time,