Nicole Johnson provides some of her favourite things to do to pass the time on a student budget.
Being a college student in graduate school, especially in a country that does not match your passport, money can often be tight and finding things to do can often seem limited. Shopping used to be my go-to past-time, but I can’t hit Patrick Street every Friday and Saturday afternoon without feeling the consequences in my pocket.
Going out has become a once in a month thing, and if socializing in a bar I’m limited to one pint. But don’t despair! There are a lot of things you can do in Cork for free, or at least for less than €10 euro with your student ID.
Believe me, I am all for sitting around watching Netflix all day, but I also like to do things and since I’m on a budget it is nice to know that there are things out there that I can afford to do.
Visit Fitzgerald’s Park
It’s right around the corner from campus and on a nice day, even with clouds, you can sit, read, and work on assignments. The park has a lot of hidden spots, perfect if you need to escape from college life for a few minutes. Or why not visit the Cork Public Museum located in the grounds? Perfect for a quiet afternoon with zero expenditure!
Go For A Walk Around Town
Although Cork is a small city, you would be amazed at how much there is to discover around the place. I find the best thing to do when you’re bored and want something to do is to take a walk; it is a great thing to do by yourself or with your friends. I recommend avoiding any place with shopping. Take a camera with you since you might discover something you want to capture. Why not wander up to Elizabeth Fort? Take a nose around St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral? Climb the Shandon Tower and see the city from a totally new perspective! The choice is yours to make.
Visit the Mardyke
If you have a UCC Student ID membership to the Mardyke is free. Working out is good for you; it gets you off Netflix and into shape. It also can fill up your spare time. I like going to the gym because it is something to do and at the gym you are around other people. Plus, afterwards you will feel good and know you accomplished something.
Visit The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery
The Crawford Art Gallery is free entry, and if you are someone who likes art, especially traditional art, this is the place for you. With a permanent exhibition of over 2,000 pieces, the display of art on show ranges from pieces of significant Irish national and cultural importance to modern art. Plus, it is in a very cool building – in fact, the original body of the gallery is the second oldest building in Cork.
The Butter Museum
Entry is €3, but if you’re looking for a wild day on the town then this is the venue for you. Seriously though, this place is full of some of the most random things. Even its general concept; a museum dedicated solely to butter? Why not call in to see the oldest piece of butter in the world, discovered in an Irish bog and over 1,000 years old?