The Alternative College Guide

Started from the bottom now he’s at the top, Pa  Dineen talks about why college life is evidently better than than the parish hall back home.

As a generation that grew up watching movies like Animal House, American Pie and Old School, our perception of college life was understandably shaped. But is college life really all that different to what we see in the movies? Is Hollywood responsible for creating the quest for the ever elusive house party? Or the alpha male “Steve Stiffler” who can pull without fail in Havanas on a Tuesday night, even in his drunken culchie state? What can an innocent 18 year old expect when they head to college?

Firstly, you will meet an abundance of legends that share your love for the “craic”. These people will make up your college family and they will primarily consist of your room-mates. You will spend many a night telling stories about how your local post-man gave you french grinds or how you woke up one morning with your tongue pierced. The scope of the chats can diverge from whether Crash Bandicoot is better than Fifa? to whether it is possible to fry an egg on an iron? The daily self promise of going to the Mardyke to achieve the Jersey Shore abs that would soon leave women weak at the knees is soon thrown out the filthy window when somebody offers to drive to KC’s for your weekly dose.

Your sleep pattern will alter for the better. Early morning starts are a thing of the past, 1pm becomes breakfast time, and the breakfast menu consists of left over Hillbilly’s or the succulent, mouth watering and cost effective hot chicken roll. The long dreary winter nights of getting Mammy to fill the hot water bottle and dipping your chocolate digestives into your lime coated tea is quickly replaced by nights filled with sing songs, (in which total eclipse of the heart is sang at least 4 times), nights filled with games of Fifa dominated by the Fifa addict (There will be one in every house),and nights filled with drinking games which accelerate the process of intoxication (getting scuttered faster, as if any acceleration was needed).For the majority of freshers Tuesday and Thursday nights are reserved for going out fully clothed and coming home with both shoes but no socks, a shirt which is not yours and a few traffic cones. Yes, college offers nightlife which no rural Kerry pub can offer and sure as hell beats watching the midweek movie with your grandmother and third cousins.

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You will spend many a night telling stories about how your local post-man gave you french grinds or how you woke up one morning with your tongue pierced.

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There will be a food pandemic, in that, you will rarely be hungry but will always be eating. There are two extremes of people, the first type are those that have had their parents monitor and dictate their diet for 18 years, from ensuring they get their 5 a day to ensuring they take their omega fish oil vitamins or whatever it is. These people will be the ones eating 14 packets of haribo sweets, a box of after eights and a silage trailer load of Minstrels and Skittles every day. The other type of people are those whom have had no regulation and these will end the year 5 stone heavier, on a first name basis with McDonalds employees and looking like the chubby boy that ate the cake in Matilda.

The Project X house parties are what every host aspires to achieve, however, and unfortunately for the party goers, things aren’t as lawless. The level of excitement is for the most part dictated by various factors, Is there any alcohol saturated man or woman willing to do something socially unexpected/frowned upon? This act is hindered by the possibility of the security man/warden/landlord entering the house while this act of social defiance is being performed, the stronger the possibility, the more endearing it is. Upon viewing the immediate aftermath of the session one would be forgiven for assuming that there had been some emaciated badgers scavenging for leftover KC’s (every badgers favourite cuisine). And after a trip to the library to research various eviction laws does not prove fruitful and Mommy and Daddy must pay to get the mattress out of the fridge and to remove the superglued shoes from the ceiling.

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Yes, college offers nightlife which no rural Kerry pub can offer and sure as hell beats watching the midweek movie with your grandmother and third cousins.

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The nightlife which Cork City has to offer is for the majority of freshers a big change from what they are used to. The nights of going out at 8.30pm wearing an airmax tracksuit, a hoodie and a Burberry cap, getting Daddy to drive you to the local community centre, and getting one of the boys to ask an innocent girl if she’ll “shift you?” while Basshunter sings about regret, is replaced with nights of raving like a mad scone on a dancefloor which does not double up to be an indoor basketball court. The variety of everything is the most notable difference between rural life and the vibrant Cork nightlife. The array of clubs, pubs, chippers and craic is the stuff of fantasies and is appreciated by the entire student body, and rightly so, we worked hard enough to get here and we’re deserve to live the American Pie/Old School lifestyle while we’re young and worry about becoming the next Anne Doyle or the next Ming Flanagan when we get that degree in our hand! Yes, college life is all that we see in the movies and more, and is an experience that will shape our future, an experience that will never be forgotten and an experience which we should make the most of!