Welcome to Dublin! Just like any transition in life, it may take a little time for you to get used to living here. This may be your first time alone in a new country or maybe this is your first time sharing a room or bathroom with someone else. Whatever you may be feeling right now, we understand! We have come up with a few ideas to help ease your transition here by making friends with your new roommates. You will quickly learn that your roommates will be like family to you, so, you should start getting to know each other!
1. Make dinner with your roommates.
This can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. Pick out a recipe for some good food that you will enjoy cooking, but more importantly, enjoy eating. This great for roommates to do because not only will you be able to help each other make the meal, but you will all get to sit down and enjoy your creation afterwards. Our favorite dinner to make with friends is personal pizzas; everyone gets to make their own and top it with whatever ingredients they want.
2. Have a movie night.
Movie nights are perfect because they don’t require a lot of preparation! All you need is a screen and a movie. Of course, they are a little bit more fun with some popcorn or candy! You could take turns watching each of your favorite movies or you could randomly select one that looks entertaining. This is a great activity for weeknights and or rainy days.
3. The Best Dessert Competition.
This one is a lot of fun! There are a few approaches that can be taken here, so you have options. 1) Make a batch of cookies and have everyone decorate them differently. 2) Pick out a category, such as cupcakes, and have each person try baking with a different recipe. 3) Everyone chooses whatever type of dessert they want to make, no rules here! At the end, you could invite a few friends over to be the judges and share your desserts or you can just decide to skip out of the judges and just enjoy them!
4. Play games.
There are all sorts of games to play with friends! Pack a deck of cards or pick one up at a store. Get creative with the games that you play. This can be a great way to learn some new games that your roommates know and you don’t. Board games are always fun, too and you can pick these up at a few stores in town. If you prefer not to buy anything new, there are also a lot of games that require no materials. These can be found simply by typing in a Google search, and a few of our favorites include Fishbowl and Twenty One.
5. Go to a festival or outdoor market.
There is always so much going on in Dublin, it can sometimes be overwhelming to try and keep track of it all. However, sometimes you can find really cool handmade crafts or delicious local foods. If you don’t have plans for the day, check to see if there is a market going on and head there with your roommates. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it is still really cool to walk through and wee what people are selling! In addition, Dublin hosts a lot of festivals, especially music ones. If this sounds fun to you, check and see what ones are coming up in the near future. Listening to live music can take up a few hours of your day, but it is always a fun option!
6. Book a day trip.
We highly recommend doing this! Ireland is a country scattered with beautiful landscapes. While we love Dublin, we think that getting out to see the countryside is so important. You have the opportunity to see the beautiful green hills and fields. Exploring a new place is usually a lot more fun with other people, too. So, sit down with your roommates and plan at least one of these trips outside the city. There are many ways to get around the country, so no matter if you take a bus, train or a car, you have got to get out to see some of these places! We recommend visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeway, The Ring of Kerry, or The Blarney Castle.
7. Go shopping together.
Take it from a pro shopper, Dublin has great shopping. There are a few main shopping areas in the city that you should know about if you want to find the best stores. The two main shopping streets are Grafton Street (on the south side) and Henry Street (on the north side). In addition, the shopping malls are located throughout the city. St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre can be found at the end of Grafton Street, the Powerscourt Shopping Centre located about 5 minutes walking distance from Grafton Street, and the Jervis Shopping Centre has a few entrances on Henry Street. Not to mention all of the vintage stores and boutiques scattered throughout the city. Stroll around town with your roommates and try to find some fashionable clothes and fun souvenirs!
8. Create a bucket list together.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of everything that you want to see and do while you are here. Creating a list of these things will help you to not only plan where you want to go, but it will also help you tell your friends and family what you did when you get back home. You can make one all-inclusive bucket list or split it up into specific categories, such as places you want to see in Dublin, restaurants you want to try, or cities you want to visit in Ireland. Make a bucket list as a group or make your own and compare the places you all want to go. You can plan activities for your free time by using these lists!
9. The Question Game: Roommate Edition.
This one is pretty self explanatory, but here’s a brief description. Get together with one or all of your roommates and take turns asking each other questions. You can ask whatever questions you want, just know you’ll have to answer some questions too! Come up with ones that will help you learn more about each person and their lifestyles. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it! Some sample questions are:
What is your favorite color?
Are you a morning person or a night person?
What do you like to do for fun?
If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?
10. Go to a sporting event together.
Depending on the time of year that you are here, there will be different sporting events going on. From Ireland’s specialties of Hurling and Gaelic Football to the traditional rugby and soccer, you have a lot of options for different sports to watch. In addition to those mentioned above, some other sports that take place here are golf, tennis, horse racing, and cricket. Try making a plan to go to one of these events with your roommates, or if you are feeling adventurous, plan to take part in some of these recreational activities such as tennis or golf.