Friday, 24 June 2016

Things to do in Dublin city

A lot of the students in college in Dublin are either from the country or from abroad so I made a list of a few fun things to do in the first few weeks.

The zoo

What is better than looking at cute animals and their babies. Dublin zoo is iconic in Ireland. And since they actively participate in the European breading programme there are always some cute little babies to coo over. They also do student discounts.

Guinness store house / jameson/ teeling

This is in the top 3 best tourist attractions in EUROPE, yep that’s right Europe. So clearly its somewhere to visit when your in Dublin. But if you don’t like following main steam trends and crowds why not try the Teeling whiskey store house. Set up by two Irish brothers in 2015, they have some of the worlds best whiskey and you get to try some too. They also do student discounts.

Temple bar 

Its impossible not to visit temple bar when you come to Dublin for over 18’s you will have the best craic and they have the best Guinness pints in the world. If your under 18 there are food stalls,vintage shops,music and street art.

Kilmainham gaol

As seen in the movie Michael Collins. This tour is a true experience.

Visit one of the many vintage shops.

Dublin city is full of fantastic vintage shops. Try south William street for the best ones.

Do the 1916 tour

Visit all the main sites involved in the iconic 1916 rising and have some craic.

Visit Stepehens green

Situated in the heart of the city. Why not get an ice-cream while you walk along the lake.

Disclosure: credit to kilmnhaim gaol, 1916 tour bus, guiness store house and dublin zoo for the photos. I did not take any of the pictures so thank you to whoever did.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Stationary Shopping for College

We may not jump for joy when back to school starts but there is one step of the process that everyone loves….. stationary shopping !!

And I’m sure we all make the mistake of getting overwhelmed in the shop and buying unnecessary items that we never use. I am going to list out what I use each year for college that are the main things every first year needs in college.

  • A good sized handbag/ bag pack 
  • A calculator ( for science and business students)
  • High lighters 
  • Multicolour pens
  • A stapler
  • A ring binder for each class you have. ( I have 5 modules per semester so I need 5 ring binders)
  • Folder dividers 
  • At least 4 A4 notepads.( This means you only need one notebook, your bag will be a lot lighter)
  • Lots of poly pockets 

Some other stuff you should keep in your bag

  • Hair ties/clips
  • Hair brush
  • Gum
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer ( especially for science students)

Comment down below to let us know if there’s anything I forgot. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram … secretlife_of_an_irish_student

Monday, 20 June 2016

Why you should join a society ?

Making friends

It’s a fun way to make friends especially if you are a first year student.
Let’s be honest not making friends is everyone’s biggest fear. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 32. Joining a society is the easiest way to make friends in college, and you get to meet people in other class groups and years.

Discount cards
Okay so let’s be honest a lot of us choose societies we join based on the discount cards they offer. These cards are valid even if you never attend any of the societies meetings. Discounts include various offers on student essentials such as food, alcohol, clothing, discounts into clubs. Each society offers something new.

There is something  for  everyone

There honestly is something for everyone. They include a variety of interests from athletics to fashion to your course choice such as the engineering or business society. And if you don’t find something to suit you why not create a society.

It looks great on the old Cv

Employers like people who are team players and involved in extracurricular activities. Also there are lots of great societies on offer to help you gain skills such as learning another language or choosing a group based on your course such as science, which can help you gain connections and extra knowledge.    

Sunday, 12 June 2016

6 tips for if your failing

Number 1

Study your syllabus. This has a list of all topics covered for that module. As you study tick off what you have covered on the list.

Number 2

Do your own research. You’re in college now not school it is up to you to do most of the work. This means reading books or watching youtube videos on the subject to help build your knowledge. I find watching youtube videos helps me study a lot they are offend thought by other lecturers who may explain things more simply and clearly for you.

Number 3

Joining a study group is a great way to get extra help. You can ask your peers about anything you don’t understand. Asking each other questions about the topic is a great way to study as you have to be able to firstly understand the question to ask it and secondly to answer it.

Number 4

A lot of colleges offer extra classes to help students especially in first year. My college has extra chemistry classes for first year students called ‘peer assisted learning’ it is thought by second year students to first year students. It helps students with any areas they may struggle with especially if you have never done the subject before.

Number 5

Talk to your lecturers or email them if you are shy. Explain that you are struggling. Lecturers are there to help students learn often they can direct you to a website or book which could help you catch up or even put you in touch with a second year that can help.

Number 6

The most important thing you can do if you are failing is to read past exam papers. As I have said before lecturers keep to the same basic structure each year so if you can do the past exam papers you will pass the exams. It’s also a great way to find the gaps in your knowledge.

How to take good notes

Making your own notes is the most important thing you can do in college. Even if your lecture hands out notes in class you should make your own version of the notes for yourself.
Here’s why making your own notes is so important, 1 writing down information is like reading  it 10 times and 2, you need to understand what your reading to know what is needed in your own notes.

A lot of lectures give more information than is needed on their notes this is to provide students with a background knowledge of the subject. Therefore when you make your own notes you will notice they are shorter.

Taking notes

Don’t put too much information on one page. Your brain can only focus on a certain amount of information at a time so less is more.
I recommend using a refill pad and that way you can place each lecture in a poly pocket of the folder so when you want to revise you can go lecture by lecture.

How my notes look

Use different colour pens, but don’t use more than three colours because your brain won’t be able to focus.

It can help to put definitions and other important information in bubbles or coloured boxes.

If it’s possible use diagrams or drawings your brain is more likely to remember a picture than a page of notes. I study science so for experiments I use detailed diagrams, my lecturers will accept this just as they would a page of notes.

Having mind maps can be a big help as well.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Makeup on a Budget


Catrice has been around for a while now, but lately it seems to be everywhere. If you’ve watched Xpose in the last 3 months you will definitely recognise this brand. They great advantage to Catrice is its everywhere, you can get it in virtually all pharmacys and penneys nation wide.

Catrice is extremely affordable. They do really good concealers , my favourite would be the palette of five shown in the picture below. I also love the lipstick products.


Okay so let’s be honest MAC is expensive for students but there are reasons as a student I choose MAC. I wear MAC foundation it’s the only foundation that works for my skin, I have very dry skin. I found that all MAC products only need to be applied once and will last all day therefore you are saving a lot of product and you only need to use a very small amount. My foundation would usually last me 6 months. At 30 euro that’s a pretty good deal.

Also most people do not really know about MAC’s voucher deals. If you buy a voucher for 40 euro you get your makeup done for free and get the 40 euro to spend in store. If you get a voucher for 60 euro you get a free hour and a half makeup lesson and the 60 euro to spend in store. I usually get vouchers for Christmas and birthdays and get my foundation from that.

Another get deal MAC has is if you bring in 6 empty MAC products you get a free lipstick of your choosing.


The primark or penneys products are fast becoming a favourite in the beauty world. They include a lot of dupe products of more expensive brands. They offer a range of colours in lip liners, lipsticks and lip glosses.

Primarks new product  foundation primers is causing a lot of hype in the beauty industry. They offer three different primers each costing 5 euro which compared to rimmels primers which retail around 8 euro is very cheap.


Rimmel has been an Irish favourite for many years they offer affordable products which could rival any name brand product. My favourites are rimmels foundation primer and their black gel eyeliner. I use both these products everyday religiously. Considering the standard of product you are getting they are very affordable for students.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Tips for choosing a college

Let’s be honest trying to pick the right college can seem like a nightmare. You already have study, homework and exams but hopefully these tips make the process easier.
The first thing you need to do is choose the right subject for you , it could be business, science or law whatever appeals to you. So once you choose the right subject for you, you then look at what college suits your needs.

Open days

Every college and university will have an open day. This is when the college opens up for one day to prospective students. The college sets up a booth for every course they offer run by present students and lecturers. This gives students an opportunity to ask questions and get a tour of the campus.


Every college has a prospectus book, this lists all the information you need to know about each course. The points needed, how many places are on offer, what modules are taught and more.
Most colleges teach the same course eg. Chemistry but the names and modules of the course differ slightly. So make sure to read each prospectus carefully. The prospectous will also tell you if your chosen course has an Erasmus or work placement involved.


Each college has its own area of expertise, if you are looking for a practical experience I suggest  an institute, such as Dublin Institute of Technology they prepare students for an active role in the work place.

Social networking

Most colleges will have a facebook or social network page run by students who can help you with questions you may have. Such as science at DIT