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Everything you’ll know if you’re Irish at a British University

Failing your exams because you forgot to ask your Granny to light a candle for you

When crossing the Irish Sea at 18, bright eyed and full of wonder there are enumerable things your poor career's councillors will have failed to mention. Fortunately I'm here to provide fair warning.

Obviously the experience of those from the Emerald Isle differs from university to university. For example, whilst studying at the University of Surrey you may very well find yourself to be an exotic creature of myth and legend, on the other hand if you study at Northumbria, you will soon find out you may as well have stayed at home.

1. Missing the taste of home

North or South, us Irish love our grub. From your Granny's Stew during the winter to pink n' white's over the summer, we have all had to face the reality that nothing in Britain can really compete. Oh how I've stalked the halls of Tesco in search of the buttery taste of Kerry gold or Golden Cow only to be left with the spreadable disappointment that is "Utterly Butterly."

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We will all experience the familiar pain that is the realisation whilst the overwhelming waves of your Sunday morning hangover crash over you, that you can't head down to the bakery for a turnover. From term to term you will dream of the vending machines at Belfast City and International containing that promised snack, the packet of Tayto cheese and onion crisps. Yet when mid term despair seems to be staring you in the eyes, you may always trust in the possibility of postal salvation, a care package from your Ma.

2. The sesh

The sesh is our thing, you merely adopted the sesh. We were born in the sesh, moulded by it. A big bag of cans, Yokes and boxes of Amber Leaf: the Holy trinity of the sesh. As a mainstay of millennial sub culture in Ireland, the sesh has been with us through the good times and the bad.

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Only over the past year or two has it slowly penetrated the lives of those living on the island of Britain. You may claim your disgust at loosing the 12.5g Amber Leaf boxes but we all know deep in your hearts you smoke menthol and simply will never truly understand the deep cultural significance of "Sandstorm" by Darude.

3. Having an accent

Day one, it's arrivals weekend, your entire summer has been building up toward this moment, your parents have left and you're alone in your room. The time is now, to meet the men and women who you will join you on this roller-coaster ride we call an undergraduate degree. You knock on your neighbour's door. Bright eyed Lottie from Cheltenham answers. You'll introduce yourself and for the first time of many the look of polite bewilderment will creep across her face as you realise, no one is going to understand a word I say.

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4. Loosing your accent

The only thing worse that discovering it will take months before anyone understands your accent without a certain level of concentration is returning home without your accent. Your dearest friends and family who have never left your hometown will be all to swift to ridicule your new 'posh' voice, failing to understand that the term-time subjugation of your accent is a means of survival.

5. St Patrick's Day

Where Indian students experience their first glimpse of true homesickness over Diwali and Chinese students over Chinese New Year, your homesickness on St Patrick's Day will reach new heights. Sure, if you attend University in Glasgow, Manchester or Newcastle your adopted city will be painted green and of course you will be the centre of attention.

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However the further south you travel the absence of the sound of fiddles and people being sick at 1PM will be only too apparent. You will stare wistfully into the middle distance thinking only of the old country. One single tear will roll down your cheek as you stroll through Snapchat stories of your friends at Queen's University Belfast reeking havoc in the Holy Lands.

6. The inevitable questions about politics

Unfortunately what many Britons fail to realise, is that many of us came here to escape the 'flegs', collapsed government and divisions of home. Although in freshers it may provide you with ample munition for chatting up the fittest politics students, it will get old, fast. No matter how passionately you feel about your person politics, explaining if you know the lyrics to 'The Sash my Father wore' or 'The Fields of Athenry' at pres can be pretty tiresome.

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Inevitably someone will accuse you of being a nationality you simply are not, however always take solace in the fact, at least you're not from somewhere boring. Unfortunately devolved government or not, Theresa May becoming bedfellows with the DUP will certainly only make your personal political insight all the more important.

7. Guinness

"You haven't had Guinness till you've had Guinness in Ireland" exclaims the American tourist as they leave the Guinness Storehouse. Although we will admit Guinness tastes of a mixture of shaving foam and ground up cigarettes, this taste can only be found in its purest form in its ancestral home.

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But Guinness was not designed for taste. It is a hearty drink for a hearty people. Designed only to cloak you in a drunk warmth as you stumble home from the pub. And as you bring that perfectly settled first pint to your lips over the Christmas holidays it will be as if you never left. In each drop you hear the velvet voice of Liam Neeson, the smell of burning turf on the fire and taste the history of a great nation.

8. Failing your exams because you forgot to ask your Granny to light a candle for you

As we all know the A-Level results we achieved in sixth form were down to three key things:

1) The dedication and perseverance of the proud teaching staff at your old school.

2) The endless hours spent hunched over page upon page of highlighted scribbles.

3) And most significantly the candle your Granny lit over your exam period.

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At home you may have thought this was mere coincidence. A loving gesture for an amazing elderly lady. But how wrong you were. You forgot to tell her of you impending January exams over Christmas and thus no candle was lit. You have now paid £9,250 for a 2:2 in Anthropology.

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Despite all this who couldn't love being an exotic and mythological creature at a British university?

At the end of the day, where would the fun be in watching Ireland thrash England in the Six Nations if you didn't watch it in the midst of all your English friends?