Recommended Reads for 2021 – Diana Lizarazo


7 ‘Must Have’ Things for a UL Fresher

UL Visitor Centre

Okay so to start with a little disclaimer, obviously the things you definitely “must have” simply include a pen and notepad to write stuff from your lectures down in, an alarm clock to get you there on time, a bit of hard work and enthusiasm too. However, there are some other things that if possible, we think you ‘must have’.


1. UL Hoodie

You are in UL now, and there is a very common saying around these parts “UL and Proud”, what better way to show you are proud of this fantastic University than to proudly wear its logo… we are just lucky that all the UL branded gear you can get in the visitor centre happens to look amazing as well. The biggest problem you will face is not trying to decide which style to get… it’s restraining yourself from buying one of each.

Seeing as we are sound though, we are actually giving away TEN of the UL Branded hoodies this week. To find out more visit our facebook page or twitter.



2. The “Safe Cabs” Number – 061 336 336

The UL Students Union run an amazing service with the local taxi company ‘Plassey Cabs’.

Safe cabs is a service provided by the ULSU in conjunction with Plassey cabs. If you are stuck in town with no money and no way to get home, you can get a taxi from Plassey Cabs and pay the next day in the Students Union.

To use the Safecabs service you must:

  1. Sign up in the Students Union for the SafeCabs service.
  2. Call Plassey Cabs on 061 336 336 and say you are using the safecabs service
  3. Get a receipt and come in and pay the Students Union the next day.



3. A Bicycle

Access to and around the University is easy on a bicycle. Cycling facilities outside and inside the campus have been constructed as a response to the recent increase in the numbers of cyclists travelling to the campus.

The University has won multiple awards for its cycling facilities and to learn more about them just watch this short video or click here.

Even though the First Seven Weeks Manager Tony owns a car he is one of the biggest advocates of cycling you will find.

Tony Sheridan

Even if it’s only for time saving reasons.


4. Snapchat

Look if you don’t have a smart phone that is grand, in fact once your phone has snake you are winning at life BUT if you do have a smartphone snapchat is where it is at.


Apart from it being the no.1 way to connect with your new UL friends online there are also some amazing UL snapchat accounts to add, from the Students Union Wolfie account, the official UL snapchat to International education one (great for Irish students too) and completely unbiasedly we would conservatively say the best snapchat account ever, in the history of the world to follow is… ours ;).

snapcode orange


5. The ‘UL Buildings’ App

Look there are lots of very important apps you have on your phone, for some of the singletons it will be Tinder or Grindr, for those all loved up it might be Just-eat for the cozy nights in but for every UL student the ability to navigate the massive campus is important. That’s why they have an app for that. It’s unreal and it will get you from wherever you are to a UL building using #Science

Apple Version

Android Version



6. Corny as it Sounds ‘A Willingness to Ask for Help’

This isn’t just UL freshers, or UL students it’s a thing everyone needs. It’s generally an amazing time, starting University, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need help. Every single person starting in UL will have questions, lots of them, and need lots of help at the start and that is what we are here for. Call into the HUB and let us take some weight off your shoulders and help you.



7. Friends … Soz We Are Still Being Corny

No matter how smart you are, or how many apps you download, or how amazing your current friends are you will need to make new UL friends if you want to make the most of your experience.

We can’t make people want to be your friend no matter how cool you are, and believe us, we think you are the coolest. However what we can do is give you opportunities to meet people and let them realise how cool you are, and how much they need to be your friend.


Hopefully your orientation tour will have started that, but during freshers week we have the big Thursday event to offer. The “Welcome Par-Tea” in the Millstream Common room from 7pm to 10pm. The perfect place to make new friends.



Didn’t get your first choice? It’s not the end of the world #ULStudentStories

Were you getting your CAO results today? Well then this twitter poll we carried out last night would suggest you likely either stayed up all night or have been up since very early this morning.

Hopefully most of you got your No.1 choice, however as we know all too well that isn’t always the case. As the CAO offers were released today it was a time of celebration for a lot of people but a confusing a difficult time for others who were offered something down their list of choices. Someone who that happened to in the past with their CAO was UL graduate Lauren Guilfoyle.

Lauren was a well known and very well liked Student during her time studying Physiotherapy in the Education and Health Sciences Faculty in UL. She was embedded in UL life academically and socially and played camogie here as well as helping the GAA club out with PR towards the end of her degree. However, as her instagram post today showed her road wasn’t as straightforward as some peoples.

The caption to the post reads:

To everyone who got their first choice with the CAO today, well done! To those that didn’t, don’t worry. I missed my course by an agonising 5 points, got my exams rechecked, emailed everyone under the sun to see could I somehow transfer in, to no avail, and ended up starting a different course to get me to where I wanted to be. Fast forward to the second week of college, where I got a Round 7 CAO offer into the course I wanted, and 4 years later I graduate with an honours degree! If you didn’t get what you wanted today, it’s not the end of the world, although it may feel like it. You’ll get where you want to be, even if you have to take the extended route, it just means you need to put the hard work and effort in to get there. 👍🏼😀#CAO2016

Lauren’s is just one of the stories of people who didn’t get their first choice and came through UL to get exactly what they wanted.

If you have any questions about your CAO in general the  National Parents’ Council post-primary Leaving Cert./CAO helpline – 1800 265 165 – is open from 8am-7pm tomorrow (Tuesday the 23rd) and from 8am-1pm on Wednesday the 24th to provide guidance and support around the many issues that can arise for school-leavers at this time.

If you have any UL specific questions or queries you can ask us on Twitter or Facebook or email us at

Lauren is just after finishing a Physiotherapy internship in Sports Physio Ireland, and is also working with Pundit Arena as an interactive match day host.

Check out Lauren in action in this Pundit TV interview that has over 200,000 views

7 Realisations of Orientation Week

1. Realising this is it, it’s finally happening, you’re a UL student

It’s okay to be excited, college isn’t like secondary school, you don’t have to pretend to be uninterested to be cool.



2. Realising how big UL is

It should be an exciting time but it’s okay to feel overwhelmed too. UL campus is stunning in many ways but it can be daunting, the sheer size of it, in the first few weeks.untitled

Thankfully you have a tour guide to show you around in orientation week and next week there will be guides in orange T-shirts all over campus all week to help you find you way to your classes and where ever you need to get to.



3. Realising how small Ireland is

UL might be a big campus but Ireland is a small country, so even if you are from north Donegal pretty soon you will probably bump into someone who knows you, knows your immediate family, your neighbours or your cousins… or IS your cousin.


You might even end up bumping into someone you didn’t want to see, like your ex, or that person that didn’t reply to you on Tinder. You won’t think UL is too big then.



4. The realisation you forgot to pack something (or everything).

It might be something insignificant like toilet roll, shampoo or food.. or something vital like your favorite pair or shoes.


You live and learn, there is a shop on campus for essentials and lots to choose from off campus too. Orientation week is a short stay for a lot of students so you can make sure you don’t forget to pack from carefully coming to UL for week 1.


5. The realisation of how friendly everyone is

Some people come to UL knowing lots of people, some only knowing a few and lots of people don’t know anyone at all. But by the end of your tour with your orientation guide you should have already made a few friends. If they haven’t invited you for tea, then take the lead and invite them over and get the kettle on.



6. The realisation that there is lots of support for you in UL

Starting with us in the First Seven Weeks programme. Orientation week is a lot to take in so feel free to call in to us in the HUB in the students Union Courtyard 08.30 to 17.30, Monday to Friday with any questions you have or get us on Twitter or Facebook. 

First Seven Weeks HUB


7. The realisation that you need to sleep.

By the time Orientation week is over you will have definitely realised that you need to recharge the batteries before coming back for week 1 (FRESHERS WEEK).