Walking into the sprawling UCD campus can be daunting for newcomers, especially when bombarded with countless ongoing and upcoming events. Where does one start? Here are some things you should do to make the most of your time at UCD!

1) Attend Freshers’ Week and get involved!

Freshers’ Week brings the buzz of the entire campus all under one roof. Held in Week 2 at the Freshers’ Tent, this will give you a picture of all the clubs and societies that operate all year round. Purchase membership with those that resonate with you and get involved in their events.

2) Check out the New Student Centre

This is hub of state-of-the-art recreational facilities. Other than having a cinema, debating chamber (Fitzgerald Chamber), theatre (used by DramSoc) and a radio unit (used by Belfield FM), there are numerous facilities for sports – from an Olympic-sized swimming pool to squash courts. There are also fitness classes (yoga, pilates, Zumba, etc.) you can sign up for. Not all facilities are free, so check the UCD Student Centre website for more information.

3) Feed the swans

One of the main symbols of our university are its swans. They inhabit both the Upper Lake and Main Lake along with ducks and (annoying) seagulls. Take some time off to give them some tidbits. Just remember to feed them the right items – contrary to popular notion, bread, biscuits and other “human food items” aren’t healthy for them. What you can feed them: sunflower seeds, uncooked oats, sliced grapes, shredded lettuce.

ucd lake swans
The infamous UCD swans.

4) Explore UCD’s Woodland Walks

Did you know that there are 8 kilometres of walking trails around campus? This is a great way to relax between classes. Walk along tree-lined paths and take a moment to appreciate the greenery. I recommend the path that snakes along the Secret Lake as well as the path adjacent to Belgrove Student Residences. 

5) UCD Fashion Show

Most years, UCD organises a student-run fashion show that aims to raise money for a charity in April. A striking feature of this initiative is that they recruit models representing most ethnic groups to showcase the university’s diverse student population. Just audition for it; you never know – you might be lucky! It is a great cause, and who doesn’t like getting some limelight? 

6) Probably Attend lectures 

Jokes aside, this is why we all are at university! Sure, there are ample happenings to always keep you involved, but it goes without saying that the most important thing you should do while at college is attend your classes.


Mallika Venkatramani – Arts & Lifestyle Editor