I’m in second year now and for the last two years I’ve been living in DIGS, not the same set of DIGS, but DIGS… Last year, was a milestone year for me in my life… college, away from home. I was the first person in my family to do this, I have an older sister but she chose to study in the local IT. This was not for me, also the subject I was interested in studying was not available, media. It’s not available to study within the province of Connacht what so ever. So this meant having to branch out. I feel very privileged that I was accepted as a student in BCFE due to the fact that if this hadn’t happened I would probably have ended up studying computers somewhere, learning how to draw the inside of it or something chillingly interesting like that…
The first thing that happened when it came to living in DIGS was my mum contacted BCFE to see if they had an accommodation list, which they posted out to her. The first HUGE mistake I made when it came to living in DIGS was my mum asked me if I would live with someone else… and I said no. The best piece of advice I can give to a student who is considering living in DIGS, particularly if you are in the same circumstances I was in, first year student, totally on your own in a big city, for the love of god, do not go into a single room on your own!! I know it may be scary as you do not know the person you’re going to be living with, this is why I wouldn’t live in anything but a single room and I have regretted it ever since! It was my own fault. I was terrified as, “mum, gods knows that sort of a “freak” I could get stuck living with!” Whoever you get stuck living with will not be as bad as living on your own! Believe me! I was never more isolated in my entire life! I hated it!
I was always trying to find something to do so that I didn’t have to go home! I would go to the Liffey Valley and window shop, yes, just window shopping because I was not working this time last year and no money! The DIGS I lived in last year were also expensive! It was €100 a week and I had to pay for the room when I wasn’t even using it, i.e. over Xmas or Easter holidays! How sh*t is that!? The room wasn’t very big either, which only intensified the isolation. My meals were not provided for me, well I could have breakfast, but that was it. The family I lived with last year also hardly spoke to me and if they did, it was about how college was that day, or how my weekend was, or my personal favourite, the weather.
She would often ask me for payment as soon as she would see me. It was alternate hello. I used to see how long she would be able to wait for the money, she really hated that. There would be times when she wouldn’t clean the room from one week to the next. She’s supposed to clean it every week, fresh sheets and towels etc. There were times when I had to wait two weeks, and on more than one occasion I had to wait three weeks for a fresh towel! How rank… I had to ask her to clean my room! I was sure to milk it from then on I was forever stealing packets of crisps, using as much milk as possible, stupid things like that, but anything that would cost her money. She deserved it.
This year, I’m still in DIGS, as you might imagine I was very reluctant to go back into them. I was on a serious house hunt! Last year I forgot to mention the DIGS that I chose to live in, were the only ones I viewed that day. That wasn’t totally my fault as, my mum and I had arranged to view others but the house owners were out when we showed up. Also my mum didn’t want to leave the county without having somewhere for me to live so… anyway. This year, I was like a Nazi when it came to somewhere to live. I viewed four different rooms, all within the same area, different prices, some singles, other sharing. I didn’t mind living on my own this year as I had gotten used to the area and made friends so I was hopeful I wouldn’t be as lonely. Two out of the four rooms were singles. In one, my bathroom sink was in my bedroom… no. The second single room was no bigger than my two door Ford Fiesta… no thanks.
The third room was spacious and clean, it had a spare bed! I would have the room to myself but there would be other student as well as the family living in the house. She charged €100 a week as well, €150 if I needed the room at the weekend. All my meals are provided for me, breakfast, lunch and dinner and I get the use of their internet and I don’t have to pay for the room when I’m not there. This one is like a dream! Where were you last year, I was thinking! Sold!! I’ve been living in this house since September. The food is good, I’ve never had a problem with it, and I’m not a fussy eater though. She actually cares about the people who live in the house. She’s so nice, chatty and friendly… I’m going to cry when I have to say goodbye, where as last year, I shook her hand… “G’luck!”
In conclusion, don’t live on your own in your first year and shop around, view as many different DIGS as possible…. Try and barter a bit on the price, if they really want your money they’ll give in!
I can’t name names in this but if you want further information about the DIGS I have lived in please email email@example.com.
Written by: Ciara McGirl
Edited by: Meghan Jackson
Uploaded by: Sarah Hoey