The front gates at Griffith College Dublin. Photo Credit: Griffith College

The front gates at Griffith College Dublin. Photo Credit: Griffith College

People who know me will tell you that I’m not one to complain and I generally just take things as they come and carry on. Ok so that isn’t entirely true. I complain, a lot, but only about things that need to be complained about.

I’m into my seventh month here in Griffith College and all in all, I’ve been fairly happy. For the first time in my life I’m studying a course that I enjoy, the majority of my lecturers have been great, my classmates are A1 and the workload is manageable. Now, I’ve gotten all of the niceties out of the way, let’s crack on with the things that simply have to change before I graduate.

 

The Wifi

Common universal sign for wifi. Photo Credit: Linux Screenshots (Flickr)

Common universal sign for wifi. Photo Credit: Linux Screenshots (Flickr)

I don’t expect too much or ask for anything out of the ordinary from a university. I went to a particularly small, old fashioned college for my undergrad so trust me, I was not spoiled. But one thing that I expect and demand from a college offering Masters degrees no less, is wifi. I could maybe accept a bad connection in certain older areas of the campus, or the occasional malfunction due to the large number of people connected at once, but it just plain and simply does not work!

What is arguably even more frustrating, is that it pretends to work! It lures you into a false sense of connectivity by downright lying to you and telling you that you have full bars signal and you’re good to go.

You’re not.

Whether you’re trying to connect your laptop to send in work to meet a deadline, scrolling through Twitter during your 3-and-a-half-hour break in your timetable, or simply trying to send a message on Whatsapp, you can’t. You’ll see ‘error’ messages, ‘unable to connect’ and spinning wheels. (Get used to spinning wheels, they’ll feature again later).

 

The Library

Books at Griffith College Library. Photo credit: Griffith College

Books at Griffith College Library. Photo credit: Griffith College

Are you unable to study at home? Is your house too noisy or have too many distractions? No bother, just come on in to the library at Griffith for some peace and quiet. Right?

Wrong.

Griffith College Library – the only library in Western Europe where talking is actually encouraged. If you’re thinking of getting out of your loud house to finish an essay or get an hour’s study in, think again. New studies show the library at Griffith is in fact the loudest place on earth.

There are plenty of pretty looking signs that say no talking, no phones, the works, but do not worry, they’re just for show. Early in the first semester before I knew the situation, I couldn’t concentrate over the ferocious laughter and shouting coming from up the front. Naturally, I went to privately approach the librarian’s desk to ask if they could enforce the rules, or even just let out an old-fashioned ‘Sssshhhhh.’ Turns out the incredible noise was coming from their very desk. I thought I better not interrupt their party, after all, it is a library.

 

The Computer Room

A computer similar to the ones to be found in Griffith College. Photo Credit: Hungju Lu (Flickr)

A computer similar to the ones to be found in Griffith College. Photo Credit: Hungju Lu (Flickr)

Finally! Somewhere where students can go to log on to a computer or work on their own laptops in peace where the wifi will work and they can forget about their blood boiling after being forced to leave the racket-ridden library. Yes?

Nope.

This would mean actually having enough computers to go around, but that would make too much sense. Take all the computers, take away all the ones that don’t turn on, minus the ones that the keyboards don’t work, and remove the ones which say ‘unable to log on this user at this time’ and you’re left with, let’s say, six computers. That should be enough to cater for the thousands of students on campus at any one time.

If you’re thinking of bringing in your laptop to work away in one of the booths, you better have a back-up plan because you’d probably need wifi for that to work. If you are lucky enough to get a computer that works and has a functioning keyboard, great! Just allow yourself extra time in the morning to watch the ‘Welcome’ spinning wheel for 10-15 minutes before you can get on with your work.

The infuriating 'Welcome' wheel on Griffith College computers. Photo credit: Ruairi Cotter

The infuriating ‘Welcome’ wheel on Griffith College computers. Photo credit: Ruairi Cotter

The Heating

Picture of one of the chairs from inside the Mac Lab. Photo credit: Rich Bowen (Flickr)

Picture of one of the chairs from inside the Mac Lab. Photo credit: Rich Bowen (Flickr)

Ah the heating! Come to Griffith College, get a great educational experience, but be prepared to sit in the only building in Ireland that is actually colder inside than it is outside. If you are unlucky enough to have a bulk of your lectures in the Mac Labs like I am this year, bring a few extra layers, a hot water bottle, a hip flask and a portable electric blanket. That should take you up to around zero degrees. But don’t worry, I’ve been reliably informed that come April, May and June as the sun starts to creep out, the powers-that-be in Griffith turn the campus into a furnace. At least we have that to look forward to then.