I’ve arrived in Limerick, bright eyed and terrified! I’m not afraid to say that the idea of starting university where I literally knew nobody was a really daunting experience for me. I’ve been here for 2 weeks now and I’m having a blast! The first week was designed to help us settling in and now I’ve just finished my first week of classes.
Story time, with Alanna:
The first day I got here nobody had moved into my apartment yet. There were welcome drinks at the student bar that night. I kind of felt like, “What am I going to do? I don’t know anyone, am I going to go and just hang out by myself?” I had about a half hour debate with myself about whether I would go or not. No really, I got dressed up and then just lay on my bed for 15 minuets just talking to myself. I convinced myself that I would force myself stay for exactly one hour. When I got there I recognised some people from the airport bus although I had barely spoken a word to them on the bus, I clung to them. Then an orientation week leader came over and made it her mission to introduce us to every group in the room, although we didn’t quite make it all the way round, I ended up meeting some really cool people. I’ve actually become good friends with the people I met on that night. I can’t imagine how different my university experience would have been if I didn’t bite the bullet, put my fear behind me and go out by myself that night. Here’s me not drinking Guinness because beer is gross.
News flash, culture shock is an actual thing… who knew? I think I just got really overwhelmed when I first arrived, I had so many things that I had to do and I didn’t know where to start. As well as having to go shopping and buy literally everything, I also had heaps of forms to sort out as well as my timetable, visas, gym membership, opening a bank account and trying to find my way around the huge campus. But slowly each of these problems was solved through the various workshops and campus tours. About 13% of Limerick’s students are international so the university really understands the concept of culture shock and the process of settling international students into their university. This means that we had heaps of workshops and busses into town in orientation week. It’s like every time I freaked out about something, the Uni was prepared with an answer. I am really grateful that Limerick has such an extensive international program. It helped me get through the initial shock of getting here and allowed me to have a really fun first week.
Here’s me enthused by life with a statue for a treasure hunt
Then on the Sunday after living by myself for a week, I finally got some housemates! I’m living with 5 Irish people in an apartment. It was a little intimidating at first that they all lived together last year, but they have been really welcoming and answered all my questions. So I ended up being really lucky that I have made friends with international students and Irish students. Also the view from my apartment is incredible!
So I’ve been at Limerick for two weeks and I’ve made friends and managed to find all my classes and I’m starting to feel really settled… more soon.