Fiche Bliain ag Fás – Twenty years a growing

twenty 

Fiche bliain ag fás… halfway to forty…there’s endless ways to phrase it. But essentially, I am twenty now. My teenage years are behind me and I now face the rest of my days as…dare I say it…an adult.

Which, needless to say, is pretty terrifying, but teenage pregnancy is out of the question at least, so it’s not all bad really.

Turning twenty being the landmark event that it is, I made a point of doing a bit of a smaoineamh siar to see if any God-given miracle had occurred along the way which might have left me with a bit of wisdom – and surprisingly enough, I did manage to scrape together just a few.

So seo chugaibh, a few life lessons, haphazardly plucked from my déagóir days.

Some things are better left unsaid.

shouldnt have said.gif

This one, like most on the list, came from a long-lived habit of learning from my mistakes and from an unfortunate tendency not to think before speaking. Words once said can’t be taken back, and it can often take longer than expected to dig your way out of a hole that you’ve talked yourself into. So alas, ár máithreacha and múinteoirí had it right all along; If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

Don’t be afraid of the “L” word.

heart

Tóg go bog é now a chairde. To clarify, no – I do not mean to every Tom, Dick or Harry who might cross your path of a night out on the town (or if we go way far back, at the youth club disco). I mean to the people who actually matter, like your mother, your father, your siblings, your grandparents. Because you never know what life might have around the corner and I don’t know about you, but I’d rather a few minutes of supreme awkwardness in the wake of emotion (as we Irish do so well) to waking up some day and realising that I mightn’t get the chance again. In the battle between holding on to pride and showing someone important that you care, there should be no question.

But by all means, feel free to cringe if you so wish.

Boys are stupid, but girls are psychos.

boy girl.jpg

I make a bold statement here, but alas, I only speak from my own experience. Boys can be smelly, stupid and sometimes even a little bit mean at times, but we mná are a whole other kettle of fish. No matter how hard we try or how much we yearn to be cool, calm and collected – it’s just not in our DNA. Our inner psycho is always waiting for her moment to pounce.

Sin ráite however…no person or group can be painted with the same brush. People change and have many different sides and always deserve a chance.

(And sometimes even a second one.)

The most important lessons come from the toughest challenges.

silver lining

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a nice one to hold on to when things get little bit tricky in life. Be it pushing yourself to almost-breaking point to learn the importance of taking a rest, applying yourself to discover that when you give something your all you can do wonderful things or even making a holy-go and show of yourself, just to learn that sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Every challenge has a silver lining, even if you have to squint to see it.

And of course,

“Ní thagann ciall roimh aois”

Because at the end of the day, I’m still young and I’ll have to make many more mistakes to learn from before I could ever dream of really calling myself an adult, so I may as well make the most of it.

live while young.jpg

 

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The Talker, the Eternal Teen and the Old Dear: The population of public transport

Waiitng stop

Consisting of pensioners, poor students and other people without a lovely pink license, we travellers of public transport have quite a few stories to tell.

Falling into the poor student category, I’ve spent my fair share of time racing for trains, ag fanacht at rainy bus stops and staring out of windows and over the years, I’ve started to notice a few familiar characters cropping up arís is arís. No matter where you’re from or where you’re going, these ambassadors of our reliably unreliable public transport system are inevitable and thus, I have decided to celebrate them in blog form.

old lady

First and foremost comes the Old Dear. Wielding her bus pass and a bag of Werther’s Originals, the Old Dear is a sure sight on any bus or train. Possibly the most pleasant of people to meet ar an mbus, befriending the wonderful white haired ladies is nearly always a great experience and often carries the potential of a free milseán, their whole life story and even in particularly lucky circumstances, a free trip on the bus pass.

Ag Uimhir a Dó, we come across the eternal “Fifteen-Year-Old”. Typically aged between seventeen and twenty-one, said “Fifteen-Year-Old” has been blessed with a baby face and uses it to their full advantage to get that oh-so-sweet child’s ticket. Often heard arguing with the bus driver, common catchphrases include “Do you want ID or something? Sure what would I have ID for? I’m only fifteen!” and “It’s not my fault puberty came early”.

smirking teen

As in all things, of course we do come across some unsavoury characters on our travels from time to time and sadly but surely, there will always be the Smelly Stranger. Be it a pooey-shoe or just a bad dose of BO, there’s faic le déanamh but to hold your srón and bear it.

bad smell gif

We’re lucky enough in a way here in Ireland, in that as a nation we’re all quite fond of our spás pearsanta and because of that we all accept the general rule that you do not sit beside someone else on public transport unless a) you know the person well enough to commit to conversation for the entire journey or b) you have absolutely no other option.

In the miserable event that you do in fact have no other option, most people will be sound enough to begrudgingly shuffle over and move their strategically placed belongings enough for you to suigh síos. However as the saying goes, there’s always one. That one person who really, really, really, REALLY does not want you to sit beside them, but alas, you’re stuck. Said individual will then proceed to sprawl themselves across the seat to leave you with barely an arsecheek’s worth of space and will sulk for the duration of the journey – letting out a loud exasperated sigh every couple of minutes as well, just to drive the message home.

Liz-lemon-eye-roll

But alas dear pals, as bad as that sounds, it could be níos measa fós believe you me, because nothing, NOTHING, is as bad as the Talker. Generally a chirpy, well-meaning, harmless soul…the Talker is to be avoided at all costs. This warning comes from those of us that have learned the hard way.

You see, what may seem like a simple “So where are you headed?” is actually a trap. A very dangerous trap that will see you locked into an inescapable conversation beginning with your destination and rapidly becoming the Talker’s life story, potentially including (and not limited to) the names and background details of each of their pets, a detailed description of the birth of their child, the story of how they overcame a harrowing drug addiction, how they eventually found peace with the help and love of the Jehovah’s Witness community and would-you-like-to-join.

All during which you begin to get a series of Leaving Cert Gaeilge flashbacks and come to the conclusion that Catherine from Cáca Milis was a very misunderstood character who deserved more sympathy.

cáca milis

Much better off not to engage except perhaps to give the occasional nod and smile.

The best option of all in fact, in my personal experience, is to pop in your ear phones, shut your eyes, drown out the world and find yourself fulfilling the last role on the list…

Bill-asleep-on-bus

The Snorer.

An Irishwoman Abroad – Doing the stereotype proud…

summer-holiday

“You can take the girl out of Éire but you can’t take the Éire out of the girl”

So I learned after leaving my beautiful Emerald Isle behind me for a week and whizzed away for my first ever sun holiday, where I came to some firm conclusions about we Irishpeople as a nation…

As patriotic as we are all year round, there’s nothing that brings out our inner Irishness quite as much as a trip thar lear, as countless of us Irish natives have re-discovered this Summer.

Despite the fact that we spend all year counting down the days until spreading our wings and flying away to not-so-much-greener-but-definitely-sunnier pastures, it would seem the further away we get from home, the more it catches up with us…

vitamin-d-sunlight-21366503

After the initial wild excitement of stepping off the plane and being greeted by a mysterious yellow object in the sky (not to mention the rush of adrenaline we get in knowing that we’ve travelled halfway across the world and left the raincoat at home), few of us could anticipate ever wanting for much more.

Give us just a few days though, and the cracks of Irishness will start to appear, and we find ourselves slipping further and further into the stereotypes we never thought we’d become.

We begin to pine for the little things, our home comforts, if you will. These pinings begin simply enough, with just a few outbreaks of “Jays’ I’d love a…

Daecent Cupán Tae, mar shampla. 

MrsDoyleTea

For the humble tea-drinker, being taken abroad is always a little stressful. Now obviously it’s not too bad to begin with (seeing as we stashed that box of Barry’s in the suitcase). But there’s only so much of the dodgy bainne we can take before we’re left craving the real stuff. Because everyone who’s anyone knows, UHT is just shite.

Second to the cupán tae, the craving for the potato is very real indeed. To be fair though, it’s in our nature. Being away from the spud invokes an ancestral fear in all of us that we’d rather live without. No more famine for us thank you – we don’t want no Trevelyn’s corn.

Sweet-potato

After a hard night of living up to the thirsty trait of our national stereotype, a wicked hangover abroad is sure to have us longing for the most precious of Irish delicacies…

The modest, but marvellous chicken fillet roll.

roll

The mouth-watering thought of which is enough to send us into a tummy-rumbling daydream, with a musical soundtrack of “butter or mayo…plain or spicy…cut in half…”.

We’re a gas bunch really, there’s no denying it.

We’re just not built for the heat! As is clearly evident when you spot Poor Pale Paddy scorching himself by the pool in nothing but his GAA shorts…

Dougal

And when you hear him the next day burnt red raw and whinging, “Jays’ I’d love a pot of Sudocream…”

For the most part the madness stops there, and we Irish learn to adapt to our surroundings; we learn to live without the dairy, we get our fill of spud from an obliging restaurant somewhere along the way and we ship Poor Pale Paddy off to the Pharmacy for some Aloe Vera and factor 50+.

However, there’s always one…

One who cracks, and finds themselves one step away from full blown leprechaun.

They spend their days singing Sinne Finne Fáil and their nights singing Christy Moore, the sound of a church bell reminds them of the Angelus and sends them into a tear-stricken pang of longing for the Six-One News and in extreme scenarios they have even been known to have full blown hallucinations – chasing Ryan Tubridy lookalikes down back alleys and begging for autographs etc.

Once stuck with this extreme patriotism, there’s no going back, there is no cure.

All that’s left to do is embrace it! Devote your time to spreading the native Irish language among the natives (starting with the crucial Ciúnas Bóthar Cailín Bainne of course) and set up camp in the nearest Irish Pub and blare Beidh Aonach Amárach from dawn till dusk.

Because let’s face it, you can travel the world and back, but níl aon tíntéan mar do thíntéan féin

nil-aon-tintean-mar-do-thintean-fein

Roadtrips, Rainy Days and Absolute Wreck – The Irish Páiste in Summer.

sunshine

Aaaahh…An Samhradh.

There’s nothing quite like it is there? Especially not in the eyes of the Irish páiste.

After being filled with promises of two months of freedom, sunshine ag spalpadh na gcloch and visions of 99s for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s no wonder we come tearing out of those Primary School gates like the hounds of hell.

Unfortunately however, the hopes of sunshine tend to disappear fairly lively after the unmerciful shower that left you drowned to the bone after the walk home…

rain child

And as for the dreams of 99s, after enough fruitless geallúintí of “After your dinner!!!”, we’re forced to wave goodbye to those too.

The freedom however, is one beauty that we do get to hold on to, and make use of in only the most Irish of ways; starting with…

The Road Trip.

are we there yet

Our tuismitheoirí are no fools – they know a recipe for disaster when they see one. (Something similar to two long months at home with too many children and too much time to kill).

So into the car we go! On an “adventure” – we’re told.

Thus begins the excitement. The violent choruses of “ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?“, “I NEED TO PEEEEEEE” and the worst of the worst…

Maaaammmy…I don’t feel well…”.

vomit gif

It’s all good fun really, and a few hours peace can normally be bought with a game or two of Eye-Spy, 20 Questions or if you have particularly ingenious parents – a chant of “Silence in the courtroom, silence in the street, the biggest fool in Ireland is just about to speak…”

The Road Trip as a key element of the Irish Summer mind you, is nothing but a stepping stone to an even bigger part of the holidays…

An Trá, of course!

beach babies

Ag tosnú with Mammy frantically racing around the kitchen; making enough ham and cheese sandwiches to feed a small army and dictating the list of things not to forget:

Togs…suncream…and the raincoats! – Just in case.”

Then it’s sandals on (with the stylish addition of woolly socks in Dad’s case) and ar aghaigh leat!

socks-and-sandals

 Always a great day out – the beach never lets us down. Sandcastles, body-surfing and a few pucks are standard classics, and fatal calamities such as jellyfish stings or some rogue child stealing your ball are generally kept to a minimum.

Yes, we páistí love the beach. Even if we do wail about having sand in our shoes all the way home.

But of course, it wouldn’t be a true Summer anseo in Éirinn without the inevitable and insufferable…

The Rainy Day.

rain gif

Luckily, about a million years of a miserable climate has prepared us for this particular dampener so that we can prepare for the unavoidable downpours.

Jigsaws, board-games, packs of cards, paint-by-numbers…you name it, we’ve got it.

gametime

And that’s not even getting started on Blind Man’s Bluff or Hide-and-Seek.

Ach, in spite of all our efforts and years of practise, there’s no hiding from the hard truth…

“Ní hea lá na báistí lá na páistí”

I.e. No matter how hard you try, cabin fever will eventually take over and the rainy day will end in tears, tantrums, and more often than not – a lifelong ban on Monopoly.

monopoly

But not to fear, the tears will eventually cease and someone will finally have the sense to play the “It’s time for bed” card and ship you away with a fluffy blanket, some hot chocolate to ease the pain and a promise that the sun would come out again the following day…

And to be fair, sometimes it did.

You can’t ask for much more than that now can you?

children jumping

The Mystery of the Knicker Drawer – Unravelled and explained.

pretty-underwear-on-a-clothesline

We women are strange creatures, that’s no great mystery to anyone.

We can be beautiful, funny, and even normal at times! But nevertheless, there are very few people out there could explain the wild ramblings of a girl’s mind.

Now her knicker drawer on the other hand – that one’s much easier to read!

You see, a chara, those vital undergarments that we throw on gach maidin actually reveal quite a lot about the cailín inside of them. It’s our very first decision each day, and one which we give notable consideration to.

knicker drawer

 When it comes to such a crucial part of our daily lives, is it any wonder that we have oh so many types for each and every occasion?

Seven to be exact, so seo é…

A comprehensive guide to women’s knickers:

Uimhir a hAon, The Magic Knickers.

magic knickers

First introduced to the greater public by our dear friend Bridget Jones, the Magic Knickers are a miracle worker on a night-out and a must-have in the knicker drawer of any woman. Not only do they effortlessly hide our shameful lumps and bumps, but they also hold us together – not unlike an elasticated embrace. Sent to us from heaven these champions can be found in the Granny section of any department store.

Uimhir a Dó, The Lucky Knickers.

Job Interview? First day of College? Scrúdú? These bad boys have your back. These luckiest of knickers are known for their supernatural powers and tendency to attract good fortune when worn. To be treasured, appreciated and whipped out on the only the most momentous of occasions (due to an inherent fear that over-washing may reduce their  wonderful effects).

Uimhir a Trí, The My-Pants-Are-Too-Tight-For-Real-Knickers Knickers.

thong meme

For those of us who are a bit míchompordach with the whole “commando” notion, the thong is the only answer. Otherwise known as the G-string, these are our undergarment of choice when we’re showing off our bootay in our tightest jeans. No VPL here thank you very much…not much of anything really…

Uimhir a Ceathair, The Sexy Knickers.

black lacy knickers

For any buachaill reading, you may have once believed that these are the only knickers we possess. Sorry to crush your dreams honey, but similarly to our luckies, these lacy numbers come out for one reason and one reason only. Teamed with the magic push-up bra, these babies go for gold and seldom fail. Often costly, but always worth it, a trusty pair is always an investment.

Uimhir a Cúig, The Period Knickers.

period joke

Yes I’m saying it. The Voldemort (think “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named“) of all female functions. The period.

Well I couldn’t beat around the bush forever now could I?

*Insert cringe for risky pun here*

Due to the horror potentially inflicted by the previous pun, I’ll skip the details on this one. Because ladies, you already know, and boys, you just don’t want to…

Uimhir a Sé, The Hangover Knickers.

hangover knickers

Like your favourite fat-man pants, your PJs or your oversized hoody, the Hangover Knickers are a complete necessity when we’re shook. Typically enormous and often decorated with some sort of cartoon character, these are the comfiest knickers of the bunch and regularly give us strength the day after a wild night out…even after tequila!

Uimhir a Seacht, The No-Other-Clean-Knickers-Left Knickers.

old knickers

The most undesirable and unattractive on the list, these knickers can spend years untouched in the back of the drawer. There they hide, forgotten and unnoticed until our hour of absolute need when there’s just nothing else available. More often than not, these particular panties are some mank form of grey after fading in years of washing and may or may not have holes and stretched elastic (from falling of the line and being eaten by the dog, mar shampla). Disgusting as they are, they reappear from time to time, in only the most desperate of rushes.

So much choice, so little time…

So choose wisely ladies, but don’t go getting your knickers in a twist.

The Snapper, The Lycra Model and the Shameless Creeper – Where’s Wally, gym-style…

summer is coming

So the sun has finally made an appearance, we’ve made the brave decision to go out of doors without a winter coat (at least twice), and we’ve had our first 99 of the year.

Tá an Samhradh ag teacht lads , and we all know what that means.

It’s “beach body” time.

Immediately, we regret the 99 and longingly dream of rock-hard abs, calves of steel, and arms that don’t jiggle when we wave at people.

flabby arms gif

Panic sets in and the decision is made.

Ar aghaidh linn! To the gym!

Even by merely putting on those lycra jogging pants, we begin to feel that we’ve achieved something (probably because of the magical effect they have on our arse) and after the sports bra goes on it’s níos fearr fós!

Earphones packed, snazzy new buidéal uisce at the ready, our wallpaper changed to some cheesy motivational fitness quote, agus táimíd réidh!

excuses calories

Or so we think…

Once we set foot through that revolving door however, it’s a different kettle of fish.

The place is plódaithe. There’s the other newbies like ourselves of course, gaping open-mouthed at the machines (that look more like contraptions of torture than fitness equipment), we bee-line for the treadmill (because at least we know how that works, “Sure haven’t we seen it on the telly loads?”).

confused at gym

From this vantage point, we get to tóg go bog é a little. We’ve got all the way here and we’re finally doing something! Now, we can properly take in our surroundings, and it doesn’t take long to discern the different characters mórthimpeall orainn.

The Lycra Model, mar shampla.

These cailíní are one of the first things we noticed when we strolled through the door, for the plain reason that they are stunning.

lycra model

Also known as the Gym Bunny, these particular gym–goers are a wonder to behold. Perfect make-up, straightened hair, but strong enough to break you with their little finger.

We hate them, but we want to be them, all ag an am céanna.

We’ve also got Grandad, who’s doctor shipped him here “for his health”. God bless the poor lad, he’s probably got sky-rocketing cholesterol and chronic arthritis but he’s working those wrinkly guns.

Maith thú Grandad, we’re proud of you (and only a little bit embarrassed that you’re doing better work than we are).

grandad

The Snapper is a common, modern-day presence sa sportlann. Unfortunately, they have nothing to do with the Barrytown Trilogy and everything to do with the art of the selfie.

Commonly found on the training bikes, these selfie queens will snap to their heart’s content and make sure everyone on snapchat knows they’re there (naturally, their five-minutes of rothaíocht will be broadcast as the next Tour de France, but they’re a harmless crowd really).

gym selfie

The Body Builders are probably the most intimidating buachaillí in the building.

Clad in wife-beater vests and very, very tight pants (so that nothing is left to the imagination), these boyos are probably lovely gentle souls, but because of their resemblance to the Incredible Hulk and the way their veins pop out when they lift the mammoth weights, we tend to give them a wide berth.

boldybuilder

The Shameless Creeper is the slipperiest of the bunch, and the trickiest one to spot.

Normally drawn by the lure of the Lycra Model, these slippery snakes lurk in the corners to get a bird’s eye view of the ladies in action.

gym creeper

So bígí cúramach girls, and watch where you squat.

If in doubt of a creeper, implement the Harry Potter tactic and get checking the mirrors for any suspicious snakes lurking sa chúlra.

It’s almost like a real-life Where’s Wally, with bonus points for the County Player, the Marathon Runner and the Operation Transformation-er.

So keep your peepers peeled for next-time, my fellow gym-newbies, and enjoy.

 say hello to summer

Save a baby from a burning building…Or just smile, maybe?

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The dreaded study week is upon us once more, leading students to move in their droves towards the leabharlann.

The vast majority of students will probably camp here for the week, stressed out about scrúdaithe, panicked about deadlines and penniless after squandering all of our worldly wealth on coffee in the café síos staighre.

stress cartoon

Bhuel, that’s what I’ve been doing anyway.

It’s uafásach really, having to frantically plough through weeks and weeks of half-arsed lecture notes, as well as having to tear around the place looking for even more information (after realising that the notes you took yourself are more or less useless), resulting in nothing but hardship and flashbacks of the…dare I even mention it…

LEAVING CERT.

*Insert shudder here*

shudder

No one enjoys study week. But despite all the nastiness, it can make us appreciate the little things an awful lot more.

This occurred to me the other day as I trudged down the stairs to spend my last pingin rua on coffee to help me power through the dregs of an essay. Needless to say I was not at my most cheery. Truth be told, I probably looked like more like a zombie with insomnia and an attitude problem than my regular scoláire self, but I returned upstairs with a smile on my face.

When you’re feeling a little bit down, the tiniest of things can change your whole day.

KindnessNinja

For me, it was the lovely lady at the till who, despite having clearly been toiling behind the counter for the whole day, gave me a huge smile and asked “Well darling, what can I get for you?” soon followed by a “There you go now pet”.

Without getting into an iomarca of the gooey details, just that small bit of kindness made me feel so much better, and almost (but not quite ready to go back and face my aiste).

So, thosaigh mé ag smaoineamh about the other little things that can make a huge difference.

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Things like the mental health campaign on campus, with colourful messages scattered timpeall na hollscoile saying “You’re Beautiful” and telling us to “Smile” and “Bee Happy” (naturally accompanied with a crude, but admittedly cute) drawing of a bee.

IMAG0433

It’s the simplest things that make the biggest impact.

On the Luas in Dublin, mar shampla, the #BeSound campaign is everywhere. It reminds us how even something as straightforward as offering up your suíochán for someone can not only make their  a little easier, but also inspire someone else to do the same.

be sound

Now ná bí buartha , I’m not about to go all Gandhi on you and beg you to go help old women cross the road or save a baby from a burning building.

baby-thrown-multiple-stories

Ach, it might be no harm to give a random act of kindness a go, for anyone who’s a bit under the weather, or for anyone for no reason at all.

You’d be surprised how big a difference a smile can make.

 random-act-of-kindness-11

 So whether you offer your pal a cupán tae, let someone skip you in the queue in Aldi, or chat that young wan on Tinder to tell her you think she’s “unrale“…

Give it a go, and spread a little joy.

 kind

“Níl Aon Tínteán Mar Do Thinteán Féin” – When beans on toast becomes too much…

home sweet home

Yes of course, college life is unreal and the advantages are endless.

We all adore the craic, the freedom and the endless potential for causing wreck that exists at the heart of saol na hollscoile. So much so, that we’re perfectly happy to put up with the mouldy bread (“Sure it’s grand if you toast it”), the endless supply of gone-off milk (because “once it’s in the tea you can barely notice it” ) and even the sinister pile of putrid tea towels that never gets washed and just keeps growing.

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Yes indeed, college life is thar barr, but every so often there comes a time when the little things become just too much and the prospect of beans on toast for the fifth day in a row sends us over the edge.

Sometimes we just need to go home.

Tar éis cúpla seachtaine of living with the constant stench of manky tea-towel, we begin to envision home as the lap of luxury. Only now do we fully appreciate how well we have it sa bhaile and how much we have missed our simple home comforts.

The fridge, mar shampla.

love is an open door

The fact that at home, we can open the cuisneoir without being assaulted by the horrifying smell of someone’s three-week old chicken curry or the crippling realisation that there is in fact, no food, seems unnatural to us, and is embraced as nothing less than a miracle.

want to eat you baby

We had completely forgotten that there are a whole world of dinners out there. Ones that aren’t scrambled eggs, bland pasta or the aforementioned and accursed beans on toast.

We are normally reminded of this wonderful truth by our most beloved one and only…

MAMAÍ.

supermom

The weeks of malnutrition have gotten to us, and she invariably becomes our hero as she hands us our dinnéar, which we swear would put Gordon Ramsay himself to shame.

As we horse into our third helping of Shepherd’s Pie, we promise ourselves that we’ll get her a really, “like really really” good bronntanas for Mother’s Day next year and we strongly consider getting one of those “I ❤ Mom” tattoos.

hungry gif

After we’ve sufficiently stuffed ourselves , we retreat to the couch where we flop for the evening os comhair na teilifíse and rejoice in the vast quantity of telly channels. This particular home comfort comes as an especially pleasant luxury, and we are shocked at the level of choice, having forgotten that Judge JudyJeremy Kyle and the Big Bang Theory are not the only programs in existence.

chubby watching telly

We even finding ourselves feeling warm and fuzzy after fighting over the remote/washing machine/dishwasher with our siblings, who are another vital aspect of home living. These little argóintí take us back to our childhood and also make the list of our favourite home comforts…whether we admit it out loud or not.

sibling gif

Faoi dheireadh, after couch-potatoing for a significant amount of time, comes arguably the most precious of all home comforts…

Our own bed.

love bed

There’s nothing we want more at the end of a long day than our very own leaba, and returning to it after a long time apart is like Christmas morning and your breithlá all in one.

There’s no doubt that our days in college are some of the best of our lives, but ag deireadh an lae , we all have to admit…

There’s no place quite like home. ❤

YOLO – A way of life, and an unreal excuse to do just about anything…

As college students, we have all uttered the phrase…

We have all screamed it at the top of our voices on countless nights out and we have all used it at least once, as a fine leithscéal to cover our arses and to hide our embarrassment when we look back on some of our most shameful moments.

hashtag-yolo

Níl ach saol amháin agat”.

It might not be the oldest of seanfhocail, but it’s certainly got a ring to it.

You see, what started out as a really irritating catchphrase, overused by young wans and Beliebers alike, has now morphed into a way of life.

yolo beach

For us daoine óga who have the pleasure of partying our way through our days here in college, I’m sure we can all relate to a few common YOLO moments.

These consist of the best, the stupidest and the most reckless of all our third level stories and more often than not, are the ones we love to tell arís is arís.

One of my personal favourites occurs about once or twice a year, on those rare days when we catch a glimpse of that elusive fiery ball in the sky, and all hell breaks loose.

sun

It’s “Goodbye lectures!”, “Slán go fóill assignments!”  and “Hello YOLO!”

Then away we go to whip out our bristí gearr, squander our money on 99’s and race to the nearest pub to have a pint amuigh faoin ngrian.

sin to waste meme

YOLO moment uimhir a dó is another classic, and often goes hand-in-hand with the sunny day.

THE SPONTANEOUS ROAD TRIP.

yolo gif

Nothing beats it. The windows down, the spéaclaí gréine on and the radio absolutely blaring.

“Ná bac leis an obair! Sure won’t we tell our grandchildren about this in years to come?”

Uimhir a trí is a much more regular occurrance however, and can be witnessed on most nights out.

After numerous painful hangovers, we’ve sworn off this particular brand of YOLO many a time, but we can never resist for long, can we?

TEQUILA.

tequila gif

It’s the stuff of hopes and dreams, and the creator of many poor decisions.

These regrettable tequila shots can often be held responsible for a sizeable chunk of YOLO category uimhir a ceathair.

This grúpa could be described as the things you really, really shouldn’t do…but do anyway.

Agus ar ndóigh, by “things” I mean people, and by “do” I mean shift.

These are undoubtedly some of the trickiest types of YOLO, and often the most regrettable – as we realise when we pull away from the ex-boyfriend/current housemate/cara is fearr/absolute minger that we’ve just locked lips with.

regret

Often stemming from the same source, YOLO group number five typically appears an mhaidin dár gcoinn, and is known far and wide as…

THE WALK OF SHAME.

This beauty is a clear indication of some YOLO-related tomfoolery the oíche roimh ré and can be a great source of entertainment for anyone creeping from the safety of their kitchen window, as they catch a glimpse of some poor créatúr legging it home in their buachaill’s hoodie, tracksuit bottoms, and of course, last night’s heels.

Walk-of-shame---meme

Ironically, it’s in situations like this, when a bitín YOLO can come in awful handy.

After reaching rock bottom, you realise that the only way to go is up! Thus leading to a magical transformation from walk of shame into the Stride of Pride.

It-was-a-walk-of-awesome-GIF

Tar éis sin, we realise that there’s nothing to be done except to suck it up, to laugh it off and give all our gang a giggle as you recount your tale of woe.

And soon enough, we find ourselves right back where we started, because “Ah sure who cares?”

“You only live once”.

regret nothing gif 

The Procrastination Station – Acknowledging an essay and ignoring it anyway.

We all know the feeling.

The initial denial. The deep dread. The inevitable tears of frustration.

The cursed aiste is upon us once more, and there’s no escaping it, as much as we’d like to.

Yes yes, the same aiste we found out about three months ago. Yes yes, the same one that we swore we’d do “super early this time”, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer through the same pain and hardship that left us sleep-deprived and croíbhriste after the last one. Back when deadline madness corrupted our brains and turned us into red-eyed zombies, slumping over computer screens until the early hours and feeling oh so sorry for ourselves.

study stress

You’d think that we’d learn from our previous naivety wouldn’t you? That we’d recognise our mistakes and come back with a brand new, oh-so-mature and hard-working approach?

Bhuel a chara, you’d be wrong.

Because you see, as much as we’d love to morph into these fabulously mature, capable and intelligent scoláirí, who we promised ourselves we would become, there are about a million other things that require our utmost attention before we could even dream of opening Microsoft Word.

Ar dtús, we have the mandatory check of Facebook. Because, what if someone wants us? What if someone has been desperately trying to reach us but can’t get us on our phones? What if something has happened and we’re the last to know?

THE HORROR!

Now, more often than not, we’ll log on and find out that we’ve got one measly notification, from one long-forgotten “friend” who doesn’t even really miss you – they just sent you an invite to play some useless game that you’ve never wanted to play and never will.

 game requests

After that, comes the moment that you realise you’re surrounded by an array of empty pints glasses, mouldy mugs of tae, dirty socks and that dodgy mystery stain in the carpet, which is looking a lot more sinister all of a sudden…

Sure of course, you “couldn’t possibly work in such filth“.

Thus leading to an hour or two of in-depth cleaning, to such a standard that even your Mamaí would be proud. Even if, dare I say, visitors were calling over.

cleaning gif

So finally, faoi dheireadh, the stain has been scrubbed, the cups are clean, the bed has been made and your seomra is spotless.

Now is the point when it generally hits us that we were never going to work in the room anyway, and that there’s only one solution to our procrastination problem…

The library.

library meme

Little do we know, this will just open a whole other can of worms.

In we stroll, with hope in our hearts, grabbing any book that might even be the slightest bit relevant, convinced that today…today will be the day that we’ll tackle the accursed thing and come out alive.

Then, we sit down, organise our desk, take out our study plan (the beauty and colour-coordination of which, would rival the Sistine Chapel itself) and open Microsoft Word.

study timetable

In with the title, in with your name and in with your student uimhir for good measure.

Sure that’s nearly 50 words right there! Thus, we reward ourselves with a 30 minute creep trín bhfuinneog.

Peeping through the window blinds with binoculars

After a few hours of this rotation between creeping out the window, regular trips to the toilet, sneaky snapchats of the Greek God sitting beside us and occasionally jotting down a cúpla focal, we start to feel pretty good about ourselves.

proud gif

Therefore, when the fón póca beeps and we cast our eyes over those five beautiful, beautiful words, sent from procrastination heaven or productivity hell…

“Will we go for pints?” 

We tell ourselves,”You’ve been here for hours, you deserve a break”. 

Spurring the famous last words…

Sure I can finish this in the morning!” 

throwing books gif

And that’s the end of that until the maidin ina dhiaidh , when you wake up with a mouth as dry as Gandhi’s sandal, a pounding headache and some vague memories of having “great craic” before falling into bed at some ungodly hour.

never drinking again

With the spriocdháta getting ever closer, there’s nothing to do but crawl to the laptop screen to finish the fecking thing once and for all.

Except that instead of finding all your work from the night before, you’re greeted by a frozen laptop screen and the feeling of your blood turning cold as you watch your essay disappear before you eyes.

Queue the inevitable tears here.

bad things good people

Time is running out. We know we’ll have to start the excruciating process all over again, because if we use the “family problems” excuse for an extension uair amháin eile, they’ll either smell a rat or call social services.

So we sit down to the dreaded task once more, there’s no time for distractions, nothing can tear us away from it this time…

Until perhaps…we get the sudden burst of inspiration to blog about it…