7 key foods to have in your cupboard to maintain a semi-normal lifestyle

 

1. Rice / Pasta / Potatoes (Carbohydrates)

These are actually super simple to cook, which means you do not have to live off takeaways or pot noodles for the duration of your 4 years in college, and they are versatile in the sense that you can join these carbohydrates with a variation of meats and vegetabless!

 

2. Chicken / Fish / Eggs (Protein)

Foods like chicken, fish and eggs are not only three of the most versatile foods ever, they are super healthy and manageable also! These can quickly crossover from lunch snacks, to a dinner with your carbs from above!

 

3. Cereal

Maybe in your new chapter in life you will become aware that breakfast is an important meal, and though you really might not be in the mood for it first thing in the morning, you will be thankful for it come at 11 or 12 o’clock after a couple of classes with scarce breaks!

 

4. Fruits

These make up an ideal snack for on the go. Not only are fruits so healthy, and make you feel a little bit better about yourself, they also contain fibre which fills you for longer than a chocolate bar!

 

5. Frozen Vegetables

From broccoli and cauliflower to mixed frozen peppers the choice is so broad! Not only are you getting one of your 5 a day with a side of veg on your plate during your dinner, but these are very cheap in Aldi and Lidl, last ages and frozen veg is so easy to manage. The bonus is that there is rarely any waste unlike with fresh vegetables.

 

6. Tea / Coffee

It is no secret that the typical student day is filled with mountains and mountains of coffee, it is a necessity. Make sure to have a big jar of coffee in your cupboard, readily available for those nights you will be up until all hours banging out that 2000 word assignment that is due for 9am the next morning. Or for those mornings you really feel like you will never tear yourself away from bed after that mad night out. Coffee can be one of your best friends!

 

7. Milk

A necessity! Though some people may like their coffee super strong, there is still the need of milk for your cereals in the morning!

7 Mistakes I made in My First Semester

 

1. Signing up for all the societies (and paying for them all)

My first mistake was paying the membership fee for multiple societies on recruitment day. Put your name down for the emails but do not make any commitments until you have looked at all the societies and have found out what day(s) they meet, how many hours they expect you to commit etc. I ended up joining (and paying membership for) three societies which all met at 6 pm on a Wednesday! My second mistake was thinking that there were enough hours in the day to attend everything on my timetable, do the required readings & assignments, socialise and stay on top of six societies. Nope.

 

2. Not getting enough sleep

Between the late nights in the city, the late nights cramming assignments and the late nights spent binging Netflix with your flatmates, sleep can become an inconvenience quickly. A good night’s sleep means your body is less susceptible to illness, is shown to improve memory and can help you maintain a healthy weight. It might even save you money – no need for late-night pizzas and no need for a large coffee the next morning when you are struggling through your 9 am class.

 

3. Doing a month’s worth of grocery shopping

It all seems well and good buying a load of veggies and fruit with your parents on the first day, but it is a bad idea. Honestly. You will not even eat an eighth of them in the first few days and after that they will all be gone off. The amount of mouldy strawberries, black carrots and furry blueberries in my bin in those first few weeks made my heart cry.

 

4. Not emptying the bins until they’re full

Refer to point 3. Between gone off fruit and veg, those last two slices of pizza you cannot stomach at 2 am and that ready-made meal that tasted like cardboard… they’re going to STINK.

 

5. Sticking with the same five people you met on Orientation day

The wonderful thing about University is, in contrast to school, you are not stuck with the same few people in your class. Get to know people in all your lectures/labs/tutorials – and not just people who did their Leaving Cert last year. Talk to the mature students, the students you meet in the years above you, the Erasmus students and members of your clubs & societies. University is probably your first and maybe your best chance to meet people of all different ages, cultures, countries and interests – take advantage of that.

 

6. Leaving everything until the last minute

I am not sure how exactly I have managed to go from that girl in school who had everything done the day she got it, to the person starting their assignment an hour or two before it is due, but I have been told I am not alone. Look, I know that it is tempting to leave it all to the last minute but it is not a good idea. Firstly, you could get sick or find out something cool is on the night before the assignment is due and now you cannot go. Secondly, if you cram it, it will not be nearly as good. Just sayin’.

 

7. Buying all the books

When your lecturers give you a list of “required” readings and suggested readings and you dutifully head down to the University bookshop and purchase them all with such good intentions… The truth is, if you read the required readings you are doing well, and you can just borrow them from the library anyways. Save your cash for those late night spontaneous Supermacs trips instead.