Week 2: College Life in Ireland

First, Irish students tend to think of college more like a day job than a lifestyle the way Americans take it. They go to school during the week, but once they finish their classes that week, they usually go home to their parents’ houses and stay there for the weekend; the campus is a ghost town over the weekend.

Often times, I’ll be coming back from my morning classes around 10 or 11am, and I’ll be walking past the campus bar and people are already drinking pints of beer. The drinking culture and the amount of beer you see here is real. Many students here are at the bar ordering pints and socializing with friends by noon.

Finally, since people are only in town with their friends on the weekdays, everyone wants to go out the nights that they are at school with their friends — specifically, Monday through Wednesday. On Tuesdays, the line getting into the campus bar is out the door and many people never even make it in. They start charging entry at 8pm, and they create a dance floor that gets way overcrowded with people. After the bar closes at midnight, many people go downtown afterwards and are out until 5am. I have yet to stay out that late, especially since they only do it on school nights, but I have seen people coming back from the bars while I was on my way to the airport to catch an early flight. Then on Friday and Saturday nights, the bar is empty — maybe a quarter of the seats are filled and it’s very quiet. It’s a crazy contrast given that Friday and Saturday nights are always the craziest in the states, and rarely do people go out on the early weekdays.

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