Dealing with Drama in University

By Roisin O’Donoghue

Drama. It can happen anytime, anywhere. Some people hate it while others thrive on it. Needless to say, when you’re in university you’ve got bigger priorities than getting caught up in a silly feud or argument especially if it does not involve you. It can be stressful enough either way and the older you get the less time you have for it. It’s a part of life because if you interact and have relationships with other people so chances are you will at some point experience drama.

You may already have a sure-fire way on dealing with it and if it works for you then great! If not, then I can share some of my own methods on dealing with drama.

  • The first thing is to remain calm and not lose your temper. Don’t scream or call the other person names either. You might say something you can’t take back and doing this will only make the situation worse.
  • If you are directly involved in the conflict try and understand what part you played in creating it. Did you say something insulting? Did you do something that caused stress to the other person? If so you must explain your reasons for doing so and apologise.
  • When apologising, don’t be passive aggressive, like “I’m sorry you feel hurt”. That’s not an apology because you’re still deflecting the blame. The right thing to say would be “I’m sorry for hurting you”. No one likes to admit they’re wrong but if you are at fault for something then you must swallow that bitter pill called pride and say sorry.
  • If the drama is between two other people and you’re not directly involved try to remain so. You can be there to advise the others if necessary but getting too involved may complicate the situation especially if you take sides.
  • Don’t immediately assume that the other person is being dramatic. Sometimes genuine problems arise that need to be addressed and it’s important that you do so. Avoiding these situations because you don’t want the hassle could lead to bigger problems later on.
  • If all else fails, walk away. You can only do so much to right a wrong and if the other person isn’t responding positively to it then it might be time to call it quits. If this is the case then don’t feel too bad or obsess over it. Thinking things like “if only I’d apologised more then maybe we could still be friends” will only make you feel helpless. If you share the same classes or live in the same place as the person you’ve fallen out with then try and be civil to them until the end of semester.

Remember some people are drama queens and attention seekers. If the person you’re having the trouble with is like this then you should move on for your own sake. You’re not obligated to help someone who won’t help themselves.

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How to prepare to go on Erasmus

By Elle Walsh, 3rd year Applied Languages student at the University of Limerick

It can seem daunting trying to get ready for a semester abroad if you’ve never lived outside of Ireland before. Knowing what to pack, what to leave behind and most importantly, what to expect can be a real challenge. That’s why I’ve decided to make a quick checklist of what I believe is essential.

Clothes

If you’re only going for one semester like most University of Limerick students do, it’s important to not bring too much stuff as you won’t need it all and it will just be a pain dragging stuff that you barely wore back home again. If you’re going for the first semester you will most likely be arriving to warm summer like conditions, DO NOT be tempted to bring heaps of summer clothes and the weather will change quickly and you’ll be left feeling cold.

I think it’s a good idea to bring one of everything and try make sure that most of the things you bring match the other stuff, so you can create new outfits which will stop you getting bored of your clothes.  In most mainland European countries except for Spain girls don’t get as dressed up as we do at home, my advice is to leave the heels behind and bring some nice boots that you feel comfortable in to wear out at night.

Remember that you will most likely always want to buy something new as well when you’re over there so don’t over do it. Packing lightly is not my strong suit and it is something that I regret!

Documents

Before I left UL in December 2016 to start my year abroad someone told me to scan everything important to you and put it on a memory stick and save it to a cloud that you use. This was the best advise that anyone has given me. I also made copies of my passport, driving licence, birth cert and E111 card as well as a letter from UL saying that I was in fact still a student there. In Germany especially, I needed these things to register, get a train ticket and for my job.

In April while on Coop I lost my purse with most of these things inside, luckily, I had copies, so I still had proof of identity while I waited for my new things to arrive. I would recommend doing this, it only takes a few minutes of your time before you leave and saves so much time over there.

 

Skin Care and Medicines

If you have super sensitive skin and have your skin care routine nailed down, I would advise bringing at least two month’s worth of supplies so that you have time to find the stuff you use in your new country or at worst have it sent over to you!

Similarly, with prescription medicine or stuff that you need every day, bring enough with you to last until you will next get to see a doctor at home again, even with the pill. It can be really complicated going to doctors in other countries and this is a stress saving method of staying healthy!

 

Must haves

These are just some random things that I think are so important to bring with you.

  • Obviously, an adapter for the plugs, what I usually do, is bring one or two adaptors and then an extension cord so that I can use everything I want to when I want and if there isn’t a plug close to your bed you don’t have to rearrange your whole room (your welcome).
  • A swimming costume, even if you’re not going to somewhere near a beach you never know when you will want to get away for the weekend.
  • Plasters, paracetamol, cold and flu tablets etc. It’s something I always forget to buy until I need them by bringing them with you, you can avoid having to go to the shops when you are at your worst.
  • Something from home, it’s so important to bring something that brings you comfort when your upset. For me it’s my dressing gown and my favourite slippers, I have them with me whenever I move away and it’s nice to have something that reminds you of home when you get a bit lonely or stressed out with assignments.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten somethings, but I hope this was helpful for you while you are packing to leave on your adventure. I’m so jealous, I wish I could be back starting mine all over again, best of luck!

ellewalsh

Elle Walsh is a 3rd year Applied Languages student studying French, German and Politics at the University of Limerick. In 2016, Elle took a gap year to improve her language skills and travel around Europe. 

5 New Years Resolutions For A Successful Semester

By Sarah Talty, 4th year Journalism and New Media

 

  1. Set Realistic Goals

We all tell ourselves lies at the beginning and ends of semesters. We tell ourselves that we’re gong to be in the library every day studying and we’ll only go out once every two weeks and we won’t get any more takeaways. These are all unrealistic goals. If you’re going to set goals at least make them things you will stick to and then you are more likely to accomplish them. While it may be unrealistic to say you’re going to the library every day, two days a week might be more manageable.

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2. Spend More Time In The Library

 This is probably something everyone promised themselves at the end of the last semester. Consult your timetable when you get back and put aside two or three days when you have some free time during the days or in the evenings to go to the library for a few hours. Don’t leave all your study until the last few weeks when the library will be incredibly crowded and people will be fighting for seats. Do smarter study instead of more study.

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 3. Take Up A New Hobby

 It’s never too late to start a new hobby or join a club or society! Challenge yourself to do something different this year whatever it may be. You could start reading more or take up pottery, wall climbing, writing, painting or learn a new language, the options are endless! If you’re doing a course where you don’t have many hours and you’re not in final year you could really benefit from teaching yourself something new instead of spending all of your spare hours binging on Netflix.

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 4. Save Money

This is something that everyone probably needs to do more of. Most people gain financial maturity in college simply because they have to, you suddenly have to manage all of your expenses and this includes cutting out expenses you just don’t need (like your third takeaway in a week). You can save money easily by keeping track of all of your regular college expenses for a week. Studying this record can quickly help you identify where you could gain from scaling some expenses back. Maybe you could save yourself €10 by eating food at home rather than getting food on a night out? Or you could save €5 by bringing a packed lunch to the library instead of always resorting to the café?

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5. Move More

 Get those happy endorphins flowing. We only have one month of winter left when we return to UL so you can’t use the cold weather as an excuse. Take advantage of UL’s wonderful swimming pool and gym facilities or get a few friends together and go for a walk.

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Tips and advice for new students at UL

By Nadine Kimak

Sometimes your life can be a lot easier if you get a tip or advice from someone. Especially as a new student at UL. That’s why I thought about a couple of tips and advice and maybe I can help you solve a problem or answer a question.

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  1. Just ask!

If you are not sure where to go, where your room is located, where the next restaurant is or anything else. Just ask!

People at UL are mostly really nice and helpful. They will tell you where to go or help you use the printer. If you just ask a student or person you see on campus, they will probably help you. And most of the time there will always be someone around campus. So don’t be shy.

  1. Look at the website

If you have specific question you can try the UL website or the website for the Students Union.

On these websites you will find details about your studies, Clubs & Societies and so much more. Just open the website and have a look. It might be really helpful.

  1. Join a Club or Society

You are new on campus and you want to find some other students with similar interests?

Just join a Club or Society. There are over 70 active Clubs & Societies at UL such as Athletics, Basketball, Krav Maga, Rowing, WindSports, Anime and Manga, Dance UL, Games, International Society and many more.

When you join a Club or Society it is guaranteed that you will meet new people and have a lot of fun.

  1. Find your balance

I know that your studies always have priority and that’s right. But in my opinion a good balance between studying and having fun is important, too. Enjoy your life as a student at UL. Go out, meet friends or join a club or society. It is important to sometimes get you mind off of your studies and assignments. This balance will get you a good break and afterwards you can focus even more. But always take a break.

  1. Don’t be frustrated.

I know that UL has a big campus and a lot of different buildings. And especially at the beginning it takes a little bit of time to get used to it. But don’t be too frustrated. With a little bit of practice or guidance in the first couple of weeks you will get the hang of it. Also in the orientation week you will get a campus tour and they tell you about the structure and systems of the buildings.

 

All in all, just enjoy the time at UL. And somehow you will figure everything, with some help or without, doesn’t matter.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

Tips on organising assignments and mid-term stress

By Nadine Kimak

During your study period at the University of Limerick you will have to do several assignments, presentations, tests and exams. They are all spread out during your semester. In my case I have to write blogs every second week, three group projects and some essays and exams. Unfortunately a lot of these assignments were scheduled in the mid-term. Last week. That means a lot of stress because you have to go to your lectures, meet with your groups and then work on your essays. But don’t worry, somehow you make everything work.

So I have some tips and advice, which helped me organizing my assignments and getting everything ready on time.

  1. Start early enough.

I know that’s hard and I always have to remind me on that. But it will make your life so much easier. If you have a break between lectures and you don’t know what to do, just sit down and start researching for some assignments.

  1. nadineWrite an assignment plan.

For example, the plan to the left. You can see in which week you have to submit an assignment. The best thing about this plan is that you can cross out the things you already finished. So little by little there will be less assignments on your plan.

  1. Ask for help.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. The lecturers don’t expect you to be perfect and know everything. If you are not sure just ask them. You don’t want to ask them in person? Nor problem, just write an email.

And you can also talk to other students in your module or study program.

  1. Get out of your room.

I know that when you start writing an essay the time flies by and you sit on your laptop for hours. Get out of your room. Walk around your neighborhood, do some sports or just do anything. Because your brain sometimes needs a little break.

 

Ok I don’t want to scare you. It sometimes just sounds a lot. If you start early and take your time, you will not have any stress with your assignments. Just believe in yourself and not put so much pressure on yourself. I had a rough week but I did it. And when I submitted my essays today, I was really proud of myself. And you can do that, too.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

How to make the most of those 50 minutes!

By Ciarán O’Sullivan, 1st year Economics & Sociology at UL.

Sometimes I find it quite challenging to fully concentrate in lectures. In some I will be completely clued in to what my lecturer is talking about. Then in other lectures I will entirely zone out because they may be speaking in a monotone voice or I just can’t focus. I have thought long and hard about what I can do to make the most of my lectures. Here’s a few tips:

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  1. Stay hydrated

    We always hear the slogan “drink plenty of water” but do we really know what for? You might have heard before that over 70% of our bodies consist of water and that our brain is approximately 85% water. Water is essential for our existence for a variety of reasons but I’m just going to talk about why it can help us stay awake in lectures. Our brains have no way of storing water. If you are losing more water than you are replacing because you are not drinking enough then you will become dehydrated. This will affect your brain productivity. Water provides our brains the electrical energy for all its brain functions such as thought and memory processes. You will be more focused and think faster when your brain is operating on a full reserve of water. Water is also vitally important for not only delivering nutrients to the brain but for removing toxins as well. This will all run more efficiently if you are fully hydrated resulting in better concentration and mental alertness.

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  2. Spotlight your lecturer

    There’s a term that has been drilled into me a number of times in the past and it’s called ‘human spotlighting’. Basically what this means is that you have to think of yourself as a spotlight and your lecturer is the human who you have to spotlight. I know you might think it’s a bit of a stupid idea but if you find yourself getting distracted by people who are arriving in late to a lecture. Or you can’t help but stealing a glance at some people who are having a chat behind you, remind yourself quickly that you are spotlighting the lecturer. That way it will bring your focus back to what’s important. Give it a go, it helps me a lot but you have to continuously remind yourself.

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  3. Put your phone away

    This is one thing I struggle with the most. I am an absolute divil for whipping out my phone and seeing if I’m after getting an ole text or email. Once you whip out that phone and start scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, you might have missed something valuable that was said. It’s only 50 minutes, the phone will still be there at the end of it, those notifications aren’t going anywhere!

    hqdefault4. Sit close to the front

    I say this because you will be more likely to engage with what your lecturer is saying, not because you won’t be cool if you sit in the back row! Some of the lecture halls are massive and if you’re sitting in the back rows you will just about be able to make out your lecturers facial expressions. If you’re in close proximity to them you will be more inclined to fully focus on them and take in what they are saying. Also I’ve found that in some of the larger lecture halls if the mic isn’t properly fixed to the lecturer’s top it can be hard to make out what they’re saying. So if you are sitting up the front you will more likely be able to hear everything that’s being said rather than straining your ears to listen to them if you are way up the back.

    hush02235. Get some sleep

    Right lads so we are in college and we are here to learn just as much as we are here to have a good time and enjoy ourselves. I love a good session, I’m always up for a few drinks and a good night out. Saying that, if I have to be up at 8 o clock in the morning for a lecture at 9 I will probably not go out because personally I don’t think it’s worth it. The American National Sleep Foundation recommends for 18-25 year olds to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
    Why is it important to get a good nights sleep? Lack of sleep affects you in so many different ways. It slows down your thought processes, impairs your memory and makes learning difficult. It’s more difficult to concentrate, focus and make decisions when you are sleep deprived. Therefore you won’t be able to take in new information and cannot learn efficiently. Going to a lecture absolutely wrecked tired will probably be of no benefit to you what so ever as the probability of you learning anything is very low.

    These are my five reminders to make the most out of my fifty minute lectures. If you’re struggling to concentrate in your lectures I hope some of what I’ve talked about will help you too.

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Ciarán O’Sullivan is a first year undergraduate student studying for his BA in Arts of Economics and Sociology at the University of Limerick. He is 20 years old and is a proud Cork man. You can follow him on Instagram.

Erasmus and Coop tips

By Tom Wright

I am writing from the perspective of going to Erasmus. I hear lots of fantastic stories about Erasmus and how life-changing and great it is. On the other hand one hears nothing about actually getting there and what is involved in organizing Erasmus and Coop. I would like to use this blog to give some tips and reflect on my experience so far.

So far my experience has been a mixed bag. The overall message is that you get out what you put in. The people at the Coop of office and Erasmus office are very helpful and it is definitely worth approaching them with ANY questions you might have. The more informed you are, the better your choice will be. That’s the first tip. Inform yourself well in advance of the deadline.

Once I started researching possible universities and jobs for Coop I noticed that the amount of documentation required is dauntingly tall. Its not something to be afraid of as its all explained at some stage through emails or meetings. My second tip is to attend all the meetings. It goes back to tip, the more informed you are the easier it will be for you.