Another week, another hump day ~ another stressed Maddie torn between blogging (‘cos she loves it) and university work (because it’s hella important and hella stressful). I’m taking some time out of my Tuesday after an incredibly stressful dissertation meeting that made me want to up and leave, emigrate to another country and never face my problems again. Bit dramatic, but any third year will tell you the dissertation literally. Takes. Over. Your. Life.
However, one thing I’ve been desperately trying to do during my last year of education is not let the educating part consume me. It can be easy to slave away in the library 24/7, mess up your sleep routine, disregard your social life and stop doing anything fun just in case the whole ‘u should be working’ guilt comes to say hello. As much as I know third year is incredibly important, I really don’t think that any university student should feel as if they have to literally give up their life just to make it through. And whilst it often feels that way (aka just after this diss meeting, I feel as if I shouldn’t be blogging and instead I should quit, become a hermit and focus solely on university just to get that desired 2:1) I know university, academia and grades, as much as they often feel like it, AREN’T the be all and end all.
Therefore, I’m trying my best during third year to take. Time. Off. A concept I’ve only just realised is actually healthy for you, and not detrimental to your grades, a form of procrastination or lazy. It’s important. Taking time off is what keeps you sane. One thing I’ve found incredibly helpful is being able to escape to my boyfriend’s in Bristol every few weekends, as he is at university there. I know not everyone has the luxury of escaping to another city every couple weeks, but whether it’s going to visit a friend at another university, taking yourself out into the city centre instead of living at the library, visiting home to get some R&R… Whatever you do, I think students deserve their weekends off. When you’re working full-time, your week nights are your own and your weekends are your own – so why should students have to feel as if they need to work 24/7?! It just ain’t on, uni!
This last weekend, I was so so lucky to be able to head to Dublin for the weekend. My boyfriend received the trip as a present from his family for his 21st back in October and I was v lucky that I was invited to go with him. Dublin is just the most relaxed, happy and carefree city I’ve ever visited. The streets are mostly quaint and cobbled, the River Liffey runs straight through the city centre and the locals are the friendliest people. It just doesn’t feel like a city, but it’s allll a hip n’ happening! So as a plea to you university students out there who, like me, often feel like ‘time off’ is ‘time wasted’ or something to be ‘guilty’ about, this post should hopefully serve as a lil reminder to take that bladdy time off, people. You just damn well deserve it.
The Home Away From Home: The Davenport
We stayed in the most beautiful boutique hotel – The Davenport. Situated in Merrion Square, the hotel is right next to Merrion Park, with the famous Oscar Wilde statue chillin’. A quiet, cobbled area of the city centre, it feels tranquil. And don’t even get me started on the rooms! The decor is allll swish- from statement chairs, marbled coffee tables and mahoosive king size beds that could literally fit the entire monarchy in, this is a home from home. Scratch that- better than a home from home! You feel well looked after at the Davenport and in just fifteen minutes you can reach the main sights.
The Comfort Food: Hard Rock Cafe & F X Buckley
Now, I don’t know ’bout you, but I like to eat. And I particularly like to eat when I’ve been stressed. Not the best answer to my problems, but it’s a yummy one at that. Dublin is packed full of some bladdy amazing restaurants, from budget to high-end. I don’t know quite why, and I don’t think my boyfriend does either, but for some reason, whenever we visit a new city, we’ve just GOT to visit Hard Rock Cafe. I think it stems from our joint love of music, but there’s something special and atmospheric in Hard Rock Cafes, wandering the aisles to your table, witnessing the pop/rock royalty memorabilia on display around the restaurant. I spied Madonna’s shoes, Nicki Minaj’s outfit (didn’t know she was pop royalty but there ya go lol) and Bon Jovi’s jacket. And not only that, but the Twisted Mac ‘n’ Cheese was INSANE. A lunch well-spent. As for dinner, and for something a liiil more pricey, my boyfriend’s sister kindly booked us in at F X Buckley’s steakhouse in Temple Bar: Dublin’s favourite. Obviously not one for vegetarians or vegans, but if you are still a meat eater, this restaurant is beautiful. Amazing quality food, insane service and the waiting staff are on hand to grab your coat or serve up another cocktail with a flourish. Comfort food well done.
The Atmosphere: Temple Bar & Guinness Storehouse
Temple Bar is where Dublin is AT. The cobbled streets in this popular district of the city house alllll the traditional Irish pubs. It is just the best place for a night out. My favourite was (unoriginally) Temple Bar itself, the ol’ pub named after the district. Each pub is quaint, cosy and full o’ fun, with traditional Irish music and cover bands playing night after night, and many a tourist drunkenly singing whilst wearing a leprechaun hat. Likewise, the Guinness Storehouse is the attraction to go to when ya visit Dublin. With seven crazy mahoosive floors filled with all kinds a’ Guinness-related facts and fun, even if you’re not a Guinness lover (which I am deffo not) you still have a whale of a time. And to top it off, you get to pour your own pint of Guinness and enjoy it (or not enjoy it if ur me haha) in the Gravity Bar, with 360 degree views of Dublin. Beeeautiful.
The Calm: Ha’penny Bridge
When we arrived to Dublin last Friday, Ha’penny Bridge was our first stop. The sun was shining, the seagulls were flyin’ over the water, and as we sat on a bench to take in the view of the River Liffey bobbin’ under the bridge, it genuinely felt like spring. I felt calm for the first time in a long time. Uni has a lil habit of making me a stressed mess, and this was the escape I needed. If ya like people watching, sit on a bench near the Ha’penny bridge and watch the tourists and locals on their lunch break hurry their way through the city. It’s such a beautiful location.
The Retail Therapy: Jervis Shopping Centre
I mean, could it be a Maddie post without a lil mention to shopping? Of course not. Dublin has many a fine shopping centre, more of which I were dying to check out, but we only had time this weekend for one: Jervis Shopping Centre. In and around the centre it has all your faves: from Topshop and Zara, to New Look and Stradivarius. Another fave? The fact that it has a Bershka, a shop we are severely lacking in Brum. I was a happy gally – and I gotta say, when I’ve been super busy and stressed out, there’s nothing like a bit of retail therapy once in a while to reward yaself.
Dublin is a beautiful city. Taking time out to relax is 100% necessary. You’re not procrastinating, you’re not wasting time, you’re not failing at ya degree. You’re living. x