Blessed be the decadent, for they shall inherit the mirth

Congratulations new students of our fine university upon receiving a place in your desired courses (or 5th choice after bargaining with Lucifer). If you are picking out this paper from a goody bag of prophylactics and assorted treats, this is likely your very first encounter with the UCC Express. As your college paper, we aim to bring you news, entertainment and sports coverage on a bi-weekly basis. There is a niche in the paper for most aspects of campus culture and throughout the year we hope to speak or work with as many of you as possible.

This year sees the Express enter a new era, with many people involved for the first time. We are always looking for new faces to colour our paper, so never be afraid to send an email or accost one of us on campus. Alternatively, invade the dungeon in the Student Centre where we can be found in bleak darkness gathered around some cauldron chanting. We’re located across from the Bank of Ireland and directly down the stairs. If you see the Dragon of Lore, you have gone too far.

New students are most commonly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of University College Cork. Back in Bally-one-horse-town you were in a class of maybe thirty and now you are surrounded by 20,000 or so new faces. First thing to do is not the most exciting but really very useful. Take a library tour. This half hour of your precious time will save you hours of heartache over the next three or four years. Also, take a tour around campus with one of the many guides dotted outside the library or student centre. These friendly lads and lasses will point out which shades of grey separate the buildings and indoctrinate you into the myths and superstitions of your new home.

If you are travelling from your humble hometown, bringing only a few familiar lackeys along for the ride, beware. Too many people end up staying safe with the people they know, avoiding making new acquaintances. College is all about new experiences. I am not suggesting ditching your best friends or anything! However, try and spread your circle, to broaden that horizon so to speak. If you are the one person to escape from Bally-trapped-here-for-life then firstly well done but secondly, the best way to make new friends isn’t rocket science. Societies and clubs are the easiest avenues of meeting new people.

Some basic advice I may impeach from my sagacious head for your first week would be to actually attend your inaugural lectures. First week lectures are brilliant for giving you some notes that often condense the whole of a module down to its simplest parts. If you are feeling helpless and confused, nothing resolves it better than figuring out where you should be. Going to lectures goes a long way. If you are lost and unsure who to ask, UCC’s staff are very friendly. ALWAYS BE NICE TO SECTRETARIES. These seraphic wonders will be extremely important in accepting essays, answering questions and all miscellaneous problems. Be rude to them at your peril.

So penultimately, the most crucial element of college is to enjoy it! Make sure you get the most out of these years in every regard. Go out and enjoy yourself, get a good degree and nibble on the fraction of infinite possibilities that are in front of you. Back home, your esoteric interest in (insert obscure band here) made you weird. Here, there is a gathering for nearly everything. You will find common interest groups everywhere and if not, start one!

And finally, in a self serving unscrupulous move, here is why you should join the ranks of the UCC Express. 1. Scientific evidence suggests joining the Express improves one’s ability at everything. 2. You can nonchalantly point out your name in print to that girl you like. 3. We often get free stuff. 4. This year we aim to wrestle the monopoly from Dublin’s student papers, do you really want their smug faces to win every media award again!? 5. We aim to have a good time and you learn invaluable experience at amateur level!

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