Aileen O’ Leary gives us her take on what living on campus accommodation is really like.
I'm on the halfway mark of my course, and looking back to first year when I lived in on campus accommodation, there were a lot of highs and lows. It was the best and worst place to live at the same time. So, here are the ups and downs of living on campus through my view.
As most NUIG students know, location is everything when it comes to getting accommodation for the year. The closer to college the better, as the campus is mainly contained in one area of the city, over the river Corrib. In first year I lived on campus, in Corrib Village. My walk to college was between five to ten minutes daily, and when I had lectures on the north side of campus, it was even easier. I could roll out of bed at ten to nine and still make it before class started at nine o’clock that morning.
2. Meeting New People:
Staying in Corrib meant that you were always meeting new people. Whether it was your neighbours across the hall or in your block there was always someone around. The apartments were usually five or four in some cases, so you do get to know a lot of people within the first few weeks and throughout the year. Also,there were movie nights organised in the lounge next to the shop, soccer tournaments, and events throughout the semester all within the accommodation itself.
In Corrib, we were quite lucky to have a laundrette, a shop, an all-purpose soccer pitch/cage, a rec room and security on patrol around the clock. For first year, it was the best option. It was safe, secure, close to college and had everything you could possibly need on your doorstep. My bus back to college would get in at about eight in the evening on most Sunday nights so it was a lot easier to just pop down to the shop on site and get whatever you need for the morning instead of trekking out to Tesco or Aldi which were about ten minutes away.
Like I said, Corrib is a safe and secure place. It’s basically a compound with railings around the perimeter, guards on the south gate who check your Corrib I.D almost religiously, especially during the first week of college, and a north gate that’s locked every night after eleven. So any hope of getting in after midnight means you’ll have to get out of your taxi at the gate and depending on what block you’re in, walk all the way back in all sorts of conditions. I’ve had to walk back in pouring rain to the middle of Corrib in heels without a jacket and get drenched like a sewer rat.
2. The Rules:
One thing that did get annoying after the first few weeks: the weekly inspection. Every Monday at nine, a member from the office would knock and then enter the apartment walk around for five minutes, then ask to check rooms and leave. The smoke detectors were frequently tested, which is a good thing, but if you’re trying to have a lie in it’s a nightmare. Also having to sign in overnight guests in advance was torture. Guests had to be signed in at security after you had a form filled and signed by all your housemates and handed into the office a week before hand.
3. The Noise:
The walls and floors in Corrib were paper thin. I had one exam left at Christmas and the night before, downstairs had just finished theirs and they were singing Mamma Mia at half two in the morning. While I can appreciate they’re finished and all, it wasn’t great for those who had exams left. Also, living in Block M, I became accustomed to hearing the bang of soccer balls against the cages from 8am to 8pm every day. Don’t even get me started on all the renovation work that went down; the worst case was study week when they were replacing the floors in the apartments with laminate.
Overall though, my experience living on campus was a good one. College was a five minute walk, everyone you knew was only a two minute walk across the block and it was a safe place to live. What more could you ask for?