home Features The rookie’s guide to Cork

The rookie’s guide to Cork

Laura Flaherty

First off, welcome to UCC – congratulations on getting this far! Now that you’re here, here are a few need to know things about life in Cork City.

Those used to finer dining are best off adjusting their palettes or emptying their bank balance.

Firstly, living the student lifestyle means saving as much money as possible for Thursday night excursions, so learning to shop around for deals is a must. Tesco and Aldi are your saviours when it comes to food and drink.

Local pound shops can also be quite useful, especially for the (infrequent, right?) house party when you’re quite frankly better off buying the plastic cups; there’s always someone who breaks everything, as you will come to learn.

When it comes to eating out, it’s hard to beat the traditional McDonalds and Burger King for value. The likes of Captain America’s and Rockin’ Joes are also quite popular, with students offered varying deals on selected days of the week.

Those used to finer dining are best off adjusting their palettes or emptying their bank balance.

On the clothes front, there is of a course a Penneys on Patrick Street. However I’d encourage visits to the nearby charity shops, most of which are located on North Main Street. You’d be surprised what you can find in there, and most of the time the stuff is top brands in pretty good nick.

The best thing about Cork City is that almost everything is within five minutes of each other, making life a lot easier.

And now for the fun stuff; the post-lecture, recreational activities… After the predictable Tesco Value vodka fuelled house party, you’ll most likely be heading to the Savoy, one of the most popular venues for UCC students. Other clubs that may be of interest are the Washington Inn, the Bailey, Chambers and, my personal favourite, the Old Oak.

Inevitably you will end up in the Bróg on a damp Wednesday evening, although an attempt to class itself up it means it now claims to be 21s.

Beyond partying Cork has much more to offer, from the skate park on Mardyke Walk, to the Lee Fields for the nature and photography inclined. The Crawford Gallery is a must-see for anyone interested in art and design, as is UCC’s own Glucksman. The Gate Cinema offers great student deals; five euro for any movie at particular times.

On the topic of student cards: use and abuse it. Being such a student orientated city, pretty much every store in Cork offers student discounts. Make sure to avail of student discounts when traveling home; Irish Rail and Bus Éireann tend to be kind to us.

While everything in the city is centrally located, getting there may not be that simple. If you don’t fancy the 30-minute walk from the likes of Victoria Lodge and Farranlea, make sure to know your bus routes. These are life savers in winter when it’s raining too.

The most important thing to know about Cork City is that it is an open door. Enjoy your first few weeks before the essay deadlines and exams start to creep in. Get up early, go for a walk and explore the city you’ll be calling home for the next few years.

Do something wonderful in this wonderful city, after all, as any Corkonian will be eager to tell you: ‘tis the greatest city in the world.