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16 things you'll only know if you went to Dublin City University

It’s in Glasnevin, actually.

A SMALL CAMPUS, but a close-knit campus, with the best mix of Dublin and country folk of any university in the city. At least that’s what DCU heads think.

To everyone else, we’re best know for our most famous past student, Ardal O’Hanlon, and the constant debate on the university’s true location.

But if you went there, you’ll know it’s a very special place.

(Last week’s college was good old Trinity. Other colleges around the country will be getting their turn soon too.)

1. Fitting 20+ people in a Larkfield bedroom for pre-drinks is like a game of human Tetris

It’s do-able, but it’s sure as hell not comfortable. But for the first year who actually lived in there, there was a sense of pride. You made it. You had a college party.

larkfield DCU Accommodation DCU Accommodation

2. The house beer may be cheap, but it tastes like wee

The Nubar’s dirt cheap house beer was to be avoided unless you really couldn’t afford anything else.

You’d rather sneak your own cans in and risk being thrown out than drink it, but sometimes there is no choice.

3. The gymnastics non-residents would do to get to campus accommodation after hours

If you wanted to stay with a friend who lived on campus, you’d have to be booked in days in advance. In certain situations, that’s just not possible.

Fortunately, the gates were fairly easy to climb, even after a few pints. But you had to be careful that campus security didn’t catch you, or you’d be out on your ear.

wallclimb Dramatic recreation of the Hampstead Breach of '09. Shutterstock Shutterstock

4. You always use the automatic door into the Henry Grattan

Even though it took ages to open and you ended up standing there like an eejit while less lazy people manually opened the other door, it was worth it.

Effort of using your arm muscles, like.

henrygrattan Twitter / HenryGrattan Twitter / HenryGrattan / HenryGrattan

5. The chicken goujons in the Nubar are the food of the gods

The big plate of goujons and chips for a fiver has saved many a student from starvation.

Why cook? Why even go home to your mammy (if that was an option) when you could drizzle garlic sauce all over these juicy breaded wonders?

1526132_645728212156458_640372626_n Nubar DCU Facebook Nubar DCU Facebook

6. College-wide emails from the SU President after Toxic Tuesday (RIP)

The President nearly always had to email the entire student body on Wednesday morning to scold them for the “anti-social behaviour” (ie. bin-tipping) that had occurred the night before.

The cancellation of Toxic Tuesday after the behaviour got too much for the residents of Collins Avenue and Ballymun Road is still a sore point for some present and former students.


7. The treat that was doing the Big Shop in the Omni

Well, it was a treat until you had to drag several bags of shopping back to your house.

If your housemate had a car you were sorted but even if not, you’d do anything for that Tesco Value swag.


8. The building/classroom code system makes no sense

It starts off well – A is for Albert College. Easy to understand.

Then you have C for the Henry Grattan, H for the Nursing building, Q for Business, and X for Science. Ah here.

businessmeme Flickr / Marie L. Flickr / Marie L. / Marie L.

9. The interminable wait for a computer in the labs

Nations could flourish and wither away again while students waited to complete their assignments. An almost empty lab like the one below is rare.

The barefaced cheek of someone who locked a Mac then went away, safe in the knowledge few could do anything about it, could inspire fifty angry Facebook posts.

fiontarlab Flickr / Fiontar Flickr / Fiontar / Fiontar

10. The walk to the library was like your Everest

You very rarely wanted to go to the (admittedly magnificent) library, because it meant you had an essay, or an exam, or some other trifling vexation.

Then there was the journey there, which though short often felt like the longest walk of your life. The fact that almost 1,400 people believe a travelator should be installed between the library and the Henry Grattan attests to this.

librarycollage Flickr / Learn English At DCU Flickr / Learn English At DCU / Learn English At DCU

11. You NEVER want to be late for a lecture in T101

The door undoubtedly slammed, a hundred heads turned to look at you, a task made easy by the fact that the room is basically a huge circle. Then you had to walk all the way down to the front with a big manic head on you.

If you were really unlucky, the lecturer made some sort of smart comment, and then you just wanted the ground to open up and swallow you.

circularshame Google Maps Google Maps

12. There are tons of secret cafés

As well as the standard eating spots such as the restaurant and the Nubar, you have a host of other more secluded spots like the cafés in the Invent and Business buildings. Here’s a handy map with every café circled in red, should you ever find yourself back on the auld sod.

map campus DCU DCU

13. There was no official entrance

There was the Avenue, the Helix entrance, the Collins Avenue/Nursing Building entrance, and various other ways to shlep in and out.

Now they’ve erected a big new DCU sign out by the Nursing entrance, we’re guessing that’s the one they want to officially use. But the Avenue will always be dearest to our hearts.


14. The toilets in the library are beyond a joke

So you got yourself a desk in the library, lucky you! Oh wait, you wanted to go to the bathroom?

Better entrust the person beside you with all your worldly possessions while you traipse back down four flights of stairs to the toilets. Don’t forget your student card now, or you won’t be able to get back up.

librarydcu DCU Prospectus 2014 DCU Prospectus 2014

15. Making Serious Spar Guy smile is the biggest challenge any student can face

No matter how cheery your greeting, no matter how grateful you are to him for allowing you to buy your chicken fillet roll, he would not and will not grin back.

There are rumours he has smiled at some lucky students, but the only concrete proof is at 1:17 in DCU’s recent video tribute to Pharrell’s Happy (he’s the guy on the left).


16. It’s actually in Glasnevin

It is. It IS. Whitehall and Ballymun are further down. It’s the Ballymun ROAD, as in, the road TO Ballymun. Not Ballymun. Do you need proof? We have proof.


Share your DCU memories in the comments. Or, if you went somewhere else, just slag us for being country folk/GAA heads/going to college in DCU.

Read: 18 things you’ll only know if you went to Trinity College Dublin>

Read: 10 people you will meet in college>

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