Indian Student Ambassador Deborah Mary Matthew tells you how to have fun without spending all your money
Everyone is in some sort of routine on a daily basis, whether it’s morning exercise, watering plants or having a shower at a specific time of the day. Doing these things can sometimes lead us into a mundane routine until one day you stop and see that you aren’t really making the most of what you can do with your life.
As a student I fell into this cycle of home and college being the only two things that consumed my every day. I didn’t really notice this as I was so focused on school and it led me to think that I didn’t necessarily need a social life.
However, it didn’t last long though, as I soon realised that I took coming to study in Ireland a bit too literally. I was raised to be very family-oriented and so when I was away from them it seemed like the only right thing to do was to be totally focused on my studies.
My parents were clear that my studies should be a priority but never restricted me to be caged by the four walls of my dormitory room. Once I realised that it was okay to do so, I began my journey to being a very broke eighteen year old (I’m kidding, I was well funded).
But I began to say yes to my friends when they went out for lunch or when we went bowling or watched a movie. And it was fun to have something to occupy my six hours after school apart from my laptop and sketchbook even if my bank account wasn’t looking fun.
And that was my scary realization: Ireland can be expensive if you’re eating out every second day and you say yes to almost everything; unfortunately, I could never have the heart to say ‘no’.
So, what I took away from my first few months of being a social butterfly was that firstly, you can say no. I learnt that you don’t have to go to have a fun life; instead I did other activities like join societies and have social gatherings indoors, like movies and pizza or game nights or having a potluck with some of my close friends.
However, that didn’t mean I never went out. I just made sure that I prioritised what’s worth spending money on and balancing it out on a weekly basis.
It’s normal as a first year student to spend comparatively higher as you’re just getting used to the place and the first three months can feel like you’ve spent a fortune, but trust me it’s all part of the learning process and you get better and wiser over time.
So, now that you aware of spending wisely, here are some fun things to spice up your student life in Limerick:
There are quite a few restaurants in Limerick at which I think I got my money’s worth and which have the best deals for days when you want to treat yourself without having to feel guilty spending too.
There are lots of fun things to do in Limerick including playing pool and snooker and going bowling. Bowling is a good way to unwind relax but while also sharpening your skills.
Music and dancing
Limerick has lots of traditional Irish dance and music show on almost everyday and they are so lively and a definite must-see.
Join societies because every year our International Society at LIT holds New Year celebrations for our Malaysian and Chinese students and it’s always a fun time with lion dancing, instrumental music and loads of food!
Apart from that, our society goes out for trips like our recent surfing trip and organizes social gatherings that really make us feel at home. They are a place to make friends and connect with a bunch of students who are away from theirs too.
Couple of festivals to look out for in Limerick – when life gets back to normal – would be St Patrick’s Day with its parade and green sold everywhere; Riverfest with a mini carnival with rides and food and the panoramic ferris wheel; and Light-up Limerick, when the whole city comes out on the street just to watch the Christmas lights light up all around town and fireworks show as well.
I hope you find this helpful … and just remember: whatever you do decide to add to your student life, always remember to make most of your time here. Enjoy your course, make friends, grow and learn because you make choices every day and they define who you are and how you would want to make most of you time in Ireland.