The transition from secondary school to college can sometimes seem a daunting prospect, for most it’s an adventure. My year has been full of amazing new people and memories that I’ll hopefully always have. The bounds and regulations of school are long past behind you upon entering third level education, and I found a refreshing sense of independence in my own learning.
Of course, I also found a huge amount of new found free time and always made sure to make the most of it. Between exploring the riverside of UL campus to the nightlife the city had to offer, I was always keeping myself busy.
University of Limerick (UL) is located along the River Shannon, on a 137.5 hectares campus with 12,000 full time students just 5km outside Limerick City. The Shannon, once having been a highway of travel, is speckled with the ruins of old castles and abbeys along its banks.
Here, I often walked with friends and explored and traversed along them on slow early summer evenings. Cloaked in trees and the sounds of waterfowl, it wasn’t difficult to become immersed in nature. It’s fantastic to be within walking distance of both urban and natural environments, something which many of us here take for advantage.
The City was something I was always familiar with, coming from nearby Clare, but only truly opened its doors to me this year and showed a side to it I never knew. There’s a grit about Limerick, it can appear at first as uninviting or dormant, but give it a chance and it’ll open up to you. It won’t find you, so you’ve to be willing to explore. There’s a vibrant community spirit that’s been so lacking across the nation as of late and you’re sure to bump into a community action project or two as you traverse its streets. Locals, young and old, are beginning to reclaim the city and with it leave their mark. One such example of this is Thomas Street, where Limerick Tidy Towns and Wildroutes took a littered and rundown street corner and transformed into a lush corner park for locals and visitors alike.
Initiatives such as this aren’t few or far between and are breathing new life into Limerick’s streets and community offering new interactive artistic places of rest or leisure. They’re always in action on some corner street and are always looking for more volunteers or help! If you’d to learn more about or join Limerick Tidy Towns and Wildroutes, I have embedded a link to both their facebook pages in their names.
The nightlife of Limerick wasn’t something I’d ever have thought much of and before going to college in UL, I never had. How naive I was. Limerick offers an abundance of different scenes and throughout its many clubs and late night bars scattered across the city you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.
One place in particular that has stood out tome far over others, is DieNight Limerick. The Die stands for Dance, Indie and Electronica Music and it’s one of the few venues that’ll offer such a diverse plate of juicy tunes. The club is divided into 3 main floors, the centre stage (warehouse) plays electronica and deephouse, upstairs is reserved to the bands, typically indie music, and you’ll find dance and house music on the terrace. Clubbers are spoiled for choice and the quality of the lineups every fortnight is phenomenal. It’s the night of the month and is always met with great anticipatation by all who attend. The atmosphere is incredible and unmatched by any club I’ve yet to go to, it truly is a gem of the city.
In order to replicate the atmosphere and keep the night going, a group of close friends of mine came together to set up an after party to DIE which would become known as The Afterlife. The idea was to gather three DJs from DIE or other clubs and recreate the atmosphere of DIE in someone’s house. To do so, strobe lights, smoke machines and a
set of DJ decks were collected with people on security of the entrance, in case things got out of hand. Word would be spread through social media and within Die with cards and word of mouth. The result was more than anyone had hoped for, least of all Ciaran, the man behind the entire project. The house quickly became a sea of people and it went on well into the early hours of the morning. The Afterlife is still in its infancy, but with two incredibly successful nights under its belt, it’s sure to become a regular of the Limerick night scene.
While my first year in Limerick truly flew, the city is sure to have lots in store for me and everyone else in the coming years and is more than sure to surprise me along the way!
As always thanks for reading and I hope you’ll come again!