Josephine Gallagher on making the transition from rural life to the 'Big Shmoke'

Moving from countryside to the big shmoke or any city for that matter is always a huge transition, whether it’s your first time or not.

Instead of waking up to the sound of sheep ‘baaaaing’, you’ll hear a lot more ambulance sirens, car alarms along with the ole city hustle and bustle. Leaving home for the first time and experiencing that first taste of freedom tinged with apprehension and excitement is unforgettable.

First things first

Lads sort out your accommodation as soon as possible!! There is nothing worse than that sickly feeling of not knowing where you are going to live for the next year. “For me what’s really daunting is trying to find accommodation. NCAD is city central and doesn't have campus so I'm stressed to the max trying to find somewhere nearby and that doesn't cost a fortune, said Kris Cannon, from Donegal.

Mr/Ms Independent

Waking up in new bed will undoubtedly take some getting used to but after a few weeks you’ll learn to adapt to your new home and housemates. It’s normal for students to feel homesick in the first few months of living away from home but eventually you’ll settle into your new environment. Skypeing and keeping in contact your family members will help make this big change easier adjust to.

With independence comes responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, paying bills, rent, food shopping and even sorting bins (an important college gaff necessity, trust me). “Some of the hardest aspects of moving was getting used to cooking, cleaning and shopping for myself,” said Aidan Dundass from Galway. Besides all the household errands and choirs, there are endless benefits to your new freedom, for instance COLLEGE PARTIES!!

'You've got a friend in me'

For those countryside freshers, the thought of venturing into a new course, living in a new house and making new friends may seem very overwhelming. But remember, every other first year is going through the exact same experience as you. As you meet new people you’ll immediately begin to notice all the diverse accents from all over the country, some you might understand right away, others not so much.  A small tip for those who haven’t a clue what a ‘naggin or a ‘shoulder’ is (and there are people), they refer to a quarter and a half bottle.  Learning new slang words and meeting new people are just some of the exciting aspects of the college experience

“I think one of the best ways to make friends is to join loads of societies, take part in college activities and try talking to people because if they see you making the effort they tend to open up,” said Stephen Cannon, from Donegal.

'Its our party - we can do what we want'    

Now there’s no proper college experience unless you’ve been to your fair share of house parties. So all you country folk can fully reap the benefits of your new gaff by organising your own parties along with your new college mates (it would be rude not to). Convenient public transport will make your life so much easier in the city and soon Dublin bus or Bus Eireann will become your best friend when attending these sessions and nights out.

Booze and nights out

Living in a big city gives you the freedom to pick between an endless number of nightclubs, opposed to just the aul local club, which lets face it is just a room with lights and speakers. For some moving to the city you’ll soon learn one essential item you can’t be without is your ID at the door. Rules and regulations you’ll find are also far stricter than in your local back home. The law states off licences mustn’t sell drink before 10am or after 10pm. This may come as news to you as it’s loosely enforced out in the sticks but it’s a student reality in city.

Shops, shops and more shops

Undoubtedly, there are tons of shops and activities to choose from in a big city, whether it be a short walk or quick bus journey away. This surely beats having to walk a few miles to the closest post office or supermarket in the countryside, so take full advantage of this luxury my friend.

“I can’t stress enough how the country side needs a better transport system and the access to so many different activities. Whereas there’s so much more things to do in the city,” said Lisa Cannon, from Donegal.

Be careful at ALL TIMES

Being new to a big city can sometimes make people somewhat vulnerable or naïve to the possible dangers of a more largely populated area. So at all times be aware!!! Remember you’re in a new environment, so try not to get too polluted on nights out, always, always get a taxi with friends or even text someone when you get home. Taking chances isn’t worth it.

“Although I lived in a city as a child (London) doing it on your own for the first time is a very daunting experience. From figuring out the trains to having change for the buses and being alone in Dublin at night is still the most daunting thing and I still avoid it if I can,” said Lisa Cannon.

But remember: have the craic!

These are going to be some of the best years of your life so enjoy them while you can. Also remember you have the best of both worlds by being brought up in the countryside and then spending your party years in the big city.