Hi! My name is Katie and I’m a second-year law student at UCD. In first year I lived in the Gold Village
and this year I’m in Merville. I’ve also been working in UCD Residences as a Residential Assistant since
September, so I have quite a bit of insight into what it’s like to live on campus!

The Basics

The first thing to know is that there are six different types of accommodation. Five of them are all next
to each other on the Belfield (main) campus and the Blackrock accommodation is on the Smurfit
(graduate business) campus. The second thing to know is that there’s an accommodation called ‘The
Village’ and there’s a building called ‘The Village Centre’. The Village Centre contains a plethora of
different facilities that are open to all UCD students, but the gym is exclusively for UCD residents.
There’s lots of little differences between the accommodation types. I personally prefer Merville just
because I like the homely feeling of living in a smaller apartment, but every student will have their own
idea of what they want.

Living on campus feels like a tutorial for living away from home for the first time. You get to learn how to
take care of yourself but if anything happens and you need help, there’s a team of people on campus
who can help you. There are receptions open in each accommodation from 6pm until midnight, a 24-
hour help desk in the Village Centre, and a 24-hour phone line. There are also security guards patrolling
the campus during the night. Knowing this was a massive comfort for my parents.


Reslife is the programme which turns UCD Residences into a community. They run weekly groups, bi-
weekly groups, festive events, and trips to different places in Ireland. This year I went hiking in Howth
(which ended with free dinner and drinks in a restaurant by the sea), ran away from clowns in
Nightmare Realm and tried spring rolls for the first time at the Lunar New Year Festival in Dublin city. I’m
also in the Reslife bookclub. We started on a Song of Achilleas and then democratically picked the
weirdest read of my life (it’s Bunny by Mona Awad and it’s an experience). Last week we did a tour of
different bookshops around Dublin and finished with lunch at Wagamama. I should also mention that
free pizza is provided at all our meetings, which, slay.

One photo is from Howth, the other is from Nightmare Realm. Guess which is which.

Getting to Know My Flat Mates

In my first year, my flat mates all arrived at different times and different days. We were all quite busy
getting ready for the term ahead and for that reason there was a peculiar period where we were living
together but hadn’t met each other yet. I wrote a note introducing myself and left it on the kitchen

table. Adding my Instagram username was a big help because it meant that my flat mates added their
own usernames to the note, and we were able to quickly reach out to each other and set up a group
chat. Through that we found a time that we were all free to meet. A few days later my flat mate asked if
anyone wanted to join him in grocery shopping. This was a great step to take because it was something
we all needed to do, and it was a great way to get to know each other.

Tips & Tricks

Getting a place on campus:

  • Offers are given out in a random order i.e., it doesn’t matter if you submit your application first
    or last. Offers will be given out every hour until the places are filled. My recommendation is that
    you have everything you need ready before the offers are given out. If you do this you’ll be able
    to pick your accommodation as soon as you get an offer, giving you the most options possible.
  • After your first year I’d recommend applying to be a Residential Assistant. We work at one of
    the accommodation receptions, run Reslife events, and get heavily subsidized accommodation
    in return. It’s a blast.

While you’re on campus:

  •  Decorate your apartment! Put up decorations for Halloween, Christmas or St Patrick’s Day;
    whatever event you want. It’s a great way to make the apartment your own.
  •  The best place to do your weekly shop is at Lidl and Tesco in Stillorgan Park (it’s less than a 15-
    minute commute on public transport). If I run out of food during the week, I top up at the
    Centra in the Village Centre. During exam time last term, Centra stayed open until 2am and it
    seems to have worked quite well for them because now they close at 2am every night. Fingers
    crossed that stays the case!


My favourite part of living on campus is that I’m fully immersed in the world of UCD. I’m living in the
center of student life. It takes me seven minutes to get from my room to the lecture hall in the law
school (and I know that because I leave my apartment seven minutes before class). After all my classes,
errands and events I can come back to the Village Centre with my friends to get a drink, play pool or
study on one of the couches, before we retire to our apartments. I’m also able to have my friends over
for dinner while we try to submit an internship application before the clock strikes midnight. Being here
gives me so much freedom and it gives my parents peace of mind. On top of that I can have my siblings
over for sleepovers and take them to the UCD cinema or to the pool. And that’s pretty damn cool.

To finish, here’s a photo of my little sister on a sleepover at UCD. She dressed better than I did and
judged my culinary skills rather harshly, but she lost her mind when she saw that I live right next to a
place that sells Whirlie ice-creams, so I think I come out on top as the cool one.