College: Expectations vs Reality

by Zainab Boladale and Hayley Halpin

Your first year in college; it’s something you’ve probably been thinking about for years and a dream that kept you going through the torturous final months of the Leaving Cert. You’ve watched 22 Jump Street, you just KNOW it’s all parties, fun and vodka-fueled shenanigans…

When you get to college, however, you realize there’s a little more to it than that…

(1)Expectations: On the first day of college you think you will form close bonds with all the like-minded people in your course.



Reality: Everyone is too nervous to talk to each other. Being the first one to start a conversation is just too awkward.


(2)Expectations: Now that you’re a college student you must live the college lifestyle that involves going out every single night with all your cool new friends.


Reality: You’ll never be able to go out because you’re poor and so are all your cool new friends!


(3)Expectations: You’re convinced that you will be able to attend all lectures even on days you’re hungover from drinking Tesco value vodka!


Reality: Lets face it you’re too hungover for college and you convince yourself you’ll make up for it by doing extra readings.


(4)Expectations: Your course will be fun, easy and you’ll learn lots of cool and interesting things.


Reality: You feel like an idiot because you understand nothing. You feel confused, stupid and overwhelmed.



(5)Expectations: You think that you’ll be able to eat junk food but also maintain a healthy diet.


Reality:You eat anything and everything that crosses your path and find that you are gaining weight in all the wrong places.



(5)Expectations: Being interested in your course means you’ll be really good at it.


Reality: Everyone seems to already have a genius degree in your course and you’re light years behind.


6)Expectations: You will be determined to be on time with all your assignment and be up to date with all your readings.


Reality: After the first assignment and the first reading it all goes downhill.


10 Better Female Role Models Than Ana Steele

By Bronwyn O’Neill

After subjecting myself to a torturous viewing of Fifty Shades of Bleh, I felt an overwhelming surge of anger. Not at the terrible plot, chemistry or “romance”, I was outraged at the fact that Anastasia Steele is the most unappealing, anti-feminist character I have come across. So how about we count down the top ten strong females on the big and small screen. I think this would make up for the appalling female characters in that film.

  1. Black Widow – The Avengers


First up we have secret spy and all around badass lady, Natasha Romanoff. Under the alias of Black Widow, she’s pretty awesome. Showing us she can fight with the big boys and even be better.  She’s just all around great.

  1. Amy Elliott-Dunne – Gone Girl


“Why is Amy Elliott-Dunne on this list,” you cry incredulously at me as you stare slack jawed at your computer screen. Simple. If you have read/seen Gone Girl you know how crazy this woman is. Do you think she would listen to Christian Grey for two minutes? Not a chance. She’s not going to be anyone’s “cool girl”. She may be crazy, but she does stand up for herself.

  1. Amy Pond – Doctor Who

amy 2

I have heard a lot of criticism of Amy Pond over the years. Possibly because she wears short skirts or maybe because she had a schoolgirl crush on the Doctor. Either way, you’re wrong! Amy Pond reminds us you don’t have to be ice cold to be a feminist. You can cry and wear dresses, whilst managing to be a strong female character.

  1. Michonne – The Walking Dead


Following on from that, Michonne is the complete opposite. However this could be mainly due to the fact she is pushed into being hard and closed off. It is a zombie apocalypse after all! She can take on any Walker or human. A serious role model for all women out there.

  1. Buffy Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer


A high school cheerleader who cares about her appearance but also manages to slay vampires in her spare time? Yes please. Although Buffy ended in the early 2000s, the character still endears, once again showing that you can wear pink and still kick ass.

  1. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games


If you simply watch the films you only receive the smallest glimmer of what Katniss is capable of. Not to say Jennifer Lawrence isn’t flawless, but books always outshine the movie. The sixteen year old manages to overcome serious dangers, mostly death and by doing so, shows that girls can be incredibly resilient. Everyone knows that females are more loyal and protective. Fact.

  1. Lagertha – Vikings


Back in the day before the patriarchy took over, women had almost equal rights. Here is a prime example, where we see Lagertha fight alongside men as a shieldmaiden. Not only is she a fierce warrior, but she is an incredible mother and supportive wife. She is basically an all-rounder. Once again highlighting the point that women are not so two-dimensional.

  1. Eowyn – Lord of the Rings


Eowyn is by far my favourite character in Lord of the Rings. Although she is rejected by the man she longs for, she moves on. She doesn’t mope and dwell on it. Instead she pretty much saves the day. “I am no man!” The best line in the trilogy, it pretty much gives me goosebumps every time I watch that scene.

  1. Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones


Dany has been through a lot over the past four seasons and even more in the books. She loses people she loves, however she strives onwards to claim her rightful place on the throne. In doing so she saves thousands of people and is seen as a liberator. In the male centred world of Westeros, Dany is one of the few females who does not have to use her femininity and sexuality to get her way. If she doesn’t win the Iron Throne by the end I will cry.

  1. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter


Most of us grew up with Harry Potter, be it the books or the films. Hermione was an integral part of my childhood and an amazing role model for me. She incorporates brains, strength and courage. Unlike a few of the females on this list she does not use physical strength to get her way. However she is still leaps ahead of the boys. Honestly, without her Ron and Harry would probably be dead.

This list hopefully shows a better range of female characters rather than Ana Steele or heaven forbid, Bella Swan. Altogether I feel this list shows us women are not defined by beauty or the men they get with. Women aren’t just two dimensional characters to survive as the man’s love interest, heart breaker, or to simply sit in the background and look pretty. It’s 2015 girls, let’s represent.

Top Ten Most Memorable Oscars Moments

by Keava O’Loan

With the 2015 Oscars fast approaching and competition as fierce as ever, here’s a rundown of our top 10 most memorable Oscars’ moments of all time.

  1. Oscars’ hell with Franco and Hathaway

What we’re kicking off with is less of a moment and more of an ordeal. When James Franco and Anne Hathaway took to the stage to host the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, we were treated to a night full of awkward jokes, forced laughter and uncomfortable silences. This pairing will go down in history for their complete lack of chemistry.

  1. Cuba jumps for joy

Cuba Gooding, Jr. couldn’t hold in his delight in 1997 when he won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Jerry Maguire. In what has to be one of the most exuberant speeches in Oscars history, Cuba’s contagious happiness and ecstatic leap of joy brought the entire audience to their feet.

  1. Gwyneth Paltrow’s endless speech

Now on the other end of the spectrum, Gwyneth Paltrow’s win for her role in Shakespeare in Love. Paltrow’s never-ending rundown of thank-yous regularly tops lists as the most annoying Oscars speech of all time. If you’re in the mood to torture yourself, feel free to watch (it really kicks up a notch around the three-minute mark):

  1. Heath’s posthumous win

Proof that although he is gone, he’s never forgotten; Heath Ledger posthumously won the award for Best Supporting Actor in The Dark Knight at the 2009 ceremony. His family accepted the award on his behalf, delivering a moving and humbling speech that brought many in the audience to tears.

  1. John Wayne’s last hurrah

In what was to be his last public appearance before he lost his battle with cancer, John Wayne presented the Best Picture award in 1979. As the crowd rose to give him a standing ovation, he said: “That’s just about the only medicine a fella’d ever really need.” He passed away just two months later.

  1. Scorsese’s recognition

Martin Scorsese finally took home the gold in 2007, winning a long overdue Best Director award for The Departed. The director, who had been passed over for the award five times previously, couldn’t believe it, incredulously asking “Could you double-check the envelope?”

  1. Jack meets Jennifer

Okay, so it didn’t even take place during the awards ceremony, but when Jack Nicholson interrupted Jennifer Lawrence’s post-ceremony interview to tell her “You look like an old girlfriend”, it definitely provided some comic relief. Props to Lawrence for her quick response of “Do I look like a new girlfriend?”

  1. Bigelow wins big

Kathryn Bigelow made history in 2010 when she became the first woman to take home a statuette for Best Director with her low-budget war film, The Hurt Locker. Beating her ex-husband James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar, Bigelow described it as “the moment of a lifetime.”

  1. Lupita’s debut

Lupita Nyong’o caused waves at last year’s awards, not only taking the red carpet by storm, but also taking home the Best Supporting Actress award for her breakout role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. She then topped it off by giving one of the most beautiful and inspiring acceptance speeches in Oscars’ history. “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

  1. Oscars’ selfie

The moment Ellen DeGeneres decided to jump on the selfie bandwagon at the 2014 Oscars, history was made. In what became the most retweeted tweet of all time (3.36million retweets and counting!), a host of famous faces crowded together for the ultimate celebrity pic. Featuring Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie amongst others… there’s no question that this was a pretty iconic moment.


Top 5 Fashion Trends for Spring 2015

 by Shirley Donlon

Winter has finally come to an end which means that it is officially time to prepare ourselves for the onset of the fashion trends of spring 2015. I have combined this year’s trends in fashion with some of my personal favourites to create a list of the Top 5 Fashion Trends and must haves for this season.

    1. Head to Toe White


White is a classic and fresh colour, and a personal favourite of mine, that never seems to go out of fashion. It is usually used as a base colour upon which other colours tend to sit, however, this season it is all about white from head to toe! I think the trick to achieve the perfect all white look is to combine different textures like leather and suede in various shades. This look is very wearable and a must do for all fashion lovers throughout spring 2015.

  1. Shirt Dresses

Shirt Dresses are huge for spring 2015.
This is a great way to incorporate loud prints and lots of colour into an outfit while still looking elegant and chic. These come in various lengths and cuts and can be worn for any occasion.  Shirt dresses were very popular during the 1950’s and were usually worn to represent motherhood and domesticity. Now, 65 years later, they have returned and are as fashionable as ever!

3. Yellow


A scary colour to some, but one of my favourites, yellow was all over the catwalks for Spring 2015. From PVC coats to long feminine dresses yellow can be worn in many different ways. The trick to pulling off a yellow piece is to understand the different shades of yellow and how they can compliment certain skin tones. People with pale skin should choose dark yellow and mustard shades while those with an olive coloured complexion can wear lemon and pastel coloured yellows.

  1. One Shoulder Cuts


One Shoulder cuts were all over the fashion runways for spring 2015. I love this trend not only because visually it creates an interesting line but also as it emphasises one of the most feminine parts of the body – the décolletage. This look is classy and elegant and works well in almost any fabric and pattern. With an asymmetrical style like this I think it is best to keep the rest of the look simple and fuss-free by keeping the hair pulled back and leaving accessories to a minimum. 

  1. Gingham

Known by most for being worn by the iconic Julie Garland who played ‘Dorothy’ in The Wizard of Oz, gingham is making a re-appearance this spring. The 1960’s trend is most commonly seen in tailored shirts, however, this year we can expect to see lots of different takes on the classic trend. From skirts to dresses and two-pieces a gingham item is one of the must have pieces for everybody’s wardrobe this spring!

Why the death of David Carr is a sad day for journalism and tenacity in general


by Rebecca Lumley

David Carr, one of the New York Times’ most successful and respected journalists died yesterday in the Times’ offices, Manhattan. The 58 year old was found shortly before 9pm and was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Carr’s death, unlike the death of many public figures, is an event that warrants more than fleeting sadness. It is a sad day for The New York Times readers, staff and journalism as a whole. The characteristics that Carr embodied, ferocious tenacity, unfailing intelligence and a paradoxical mix of bluntness and kindness, are rarely seen. Carr’s determined, almost dogged spirit is the traditional hallmark of a great journalist and though there are many great journalists, there are few who warrant as much respect as Carr did. It is perhaps the colourful life he led, rich in depth and experience, that moulded such a distinct personality. And what a fascinating life it was.

David Carr was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota. He majored in journalism and psychology. Carr did not, however, slip easily into the life of success and admiration that he has enjoyed in recent years. Throughout the 1980s he found himself addicted to cocain and alcohol. He lived with a woman who was a drug dealer and would go on to be the father of two twin girls who, he admitted, he was severely ill prepared to care for. After a string of lows, Carr booked himself into a rehab facility, got sober, became the single father of his twin girls, married and had another daughter.

This troubled and dark period of his life is documented in his 2008 memoirs, titled “The Night of The Gun”. Displaying his keen analytical spirit and a grit that few possess, Carr conducted 60 interviews with friends, family and drug addicts as a way to verify his own memories. In his own words, “it would prove to be an enlightening and sickening enterprise- a new frontier in the annals of self-involvement.” Carr refused to gloss over any of what was the most difficult time in his life and mercilessly traced all the shameful and regrettable actions of his youth. As well as being a personal record of all that had happened to him, it was an exercise in combatting the distortions of memory and in finding genuine self-truth. It takes a tough spirit to embark on a project like that.

Carr began his career at the New York Times in 2002 as a business reporter and quickly become one of the most distinctive by-lines of the paper. In more recent times he wrote for Carpetbagger, The Times’ culture blog.

Carr is credited with launching the career of Lena Dunham, star and creator of HBO show “Girls” and author of “Not That Kind of Girl” (also personal hero but that’s pretty irrelevant). In a 1,000 word article on her film “Tiny Furniture”, that ultimately put her on the map, he described her perfectly as “a keen writer, creating quietly weaponized dialogue that her characters use to maim one another”. Not only was Carr good at telling his own story, he could spot talent in writers such as Dunham to do the same.

Carr’s unbelievably blunt, yet always astute way of speaking made him the breakout figure of the 2011 documentary, “Page One: Inside the New York Times” and is perhaps exactly why he was so popular. He was not afraid to say what he thought, do what was right and above all, search doggedly and devotedly for the truth. In short, he was a pretty cool guy and in the words of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr, publisher and chairman of The Times, was an “irreplaceable talent”.

So, in honour of that, here’s a video of him tearing apart some Vice guys who insult the Times in only the way that he could.

Better Late Than Never Grammys Best and Worst

By Bronwyn O’Neill

The Grammys aired last Sunday and although most eyes were on the award winners, our eyes were on the fashion, including the worst and best dressed.

Of course, everyone had their own opinion of what was stylish and what wasn’t. Here I’ll give you my opinion on the top five best and worst dressed celebs of the night.

Best Dressed

  1. Kylie Jenner


I never thought I’d put Kylie Jenner on a best dressed list, but this dress, her hair and that purse. Perfection. Although her nails are a bit too vampire-esque, this look stuns.

  1. Ariana Grande


Simple, chic, grown-up. Ariana pulls off the white look flawlessly, despite the silver chain mail side. A mature side of the 21-year-old singer.

  1. Nicki Minaj


I love seeing Nicki in elegant dresses; I don’t think she wears enough of them. She nails this look, so sleek and stylish. You can’t get enough of a LBD.

  1. Taylor Swift


Maybe it’s just me being controversial, but I loved this look. Maybe because it’s Taylor Swift, she can do no wrong. However, she pulled off this gown in a way only Taylor could.

  1. Chrissy Teigen


Her man may be cleaning up at award shows, but Chrissy is standing out in flawless outfits. This dress is so simple, but perfect. Her hair is stunning. 10 out of 10.

Worst Dressed


  1. Rihanna


Well, it certainly got everyone talking. It also took up three seats at the award show. So A+ for avoiding people. Unfortunately you look like cake-topper.

  1. Iggy Azalea


Definitely not very fancy, Iggy. The hair is not flattering and I’m seriously sick of cut out dresses. Not this year.

  1. Rita Ora


I don’t know if the aim of the Grammys is to win an award or look like one. Either way this dress is a serious no-no.


  1. Paris Hilton


Sparkles and cut-outs? Two of my least favourite trends. Not this year, Paris. Sorry.

  1. Madonna


This look has left me utterly speechless. She is fifty-six years old, wearing outfits like this. I’m not sure whether to congratulate her or cringe. However this is honestly the worst outfit I’ve seen at the Grammys.

Make sure to follow The Ink Ladies for more award show analysis, leading up to the main event/ the height of our lives- THE OSCARS.

Inexpensive Valentines Gifts (for even the most poverty-stricken students)

Zainab Boladale

As Valentines day rapidly approaches many people find themselves stuck for meaningful presents to give to their significant other. Here is a list of gifts that will not only impress your partner but also save you a bit of money.

Love Jars:

As the name suggest, this literally is a jar filled with love! On printed or handwritten squares of paper you will need to write down things you admire about your partner, your special memories together, important dates or even silly jokes only they will understand. For this to work effectively a good memory would be ideal. You can purchase Love Jars at most gift shops at a low price or simply make one yourself to add that extra personal touch. Materials such as coloured paper, glitter, ribbons, etc. will make your love jar look more presentable. This present is guaranteed to pull at their heartstrings.

Romantic Scavenger Hunt:

Never underestimate the benefits of a good scavenger hunt, especially on Valentines Day. For this, you will need to buy various items and hide them in significant places. Give yourself enough time to plan ahead and make sure your gifts are well hidden. Each clue you leave must lead to the next until they manage to find the last gift. This simple activity will be fun for you and your partner. It shows that you devoted time into coming up with this activity meant just for them.

Valentines Day Tickets;

Rather than buying your partner many expensive gifts just for one day why not create a ticket system that will prolong the idea central to Valentines day. This system requires you to write down things you usually wouldn’t do on a regular basis but would be willing to do with due notice. When your partner checks in their ticket you are obliged to treat them to whatever is on the ticket. This gives you time to save money and you can budget the overall cost of each treat. Things like, “Dinner for two”, “Romantic Movie at the Cinema”, “Breakfast in Bed”, “Car wash” are ideal. Websites such as have free downloadable “love coupons” which you can choose from or just create to suit you

Indoor Picnic:

How about surprising your significant other by turning your kitchen or sitting room into a five star picnic room rather than wasting money in an overpriced restaurant. Prepare a nice meal for two and don’t forget to have a picnic basket filled with yummy desserts.


Do an activity together:

Most recreational centres offer short term activities that you can pay for in weekly or monthly instalments. Around this time there are offers for couples that you can avail of. Now the activities offered might not be as daring as simultaneously skydiving out of a plane but you can still choose something you both haven’t done before, A water sport or maybe even dance classes? What’s important here is you’re spending time with them and learning something new together.

Why Dieting doesn’t equal happiness and the merits of self acceptance


Hannah Kelly

I’ve always been a bigger girl, in every sense of the word. I’m 6ft tall and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. I often got teased about it when I was younger and I was always conscious of it. So, from the young age of about eleven I found myself doing what the majority of women in our society do, dieting!

At first, I started out innocently, just cutting out junk food and joining basketball. After a month or so I’d be disappointed that a fat girl was still what I was seeing in the mirror, I’d get upset about it, eat a load of food to comfort myself and give up entirely.
It was an exhausting cycle that went on and on for years. I would get so frustrated with myself that I was standing in the way of my own happiness. Why couldn’t I just stop eating if I knew it was what was keeping me from having self-confidence issues?
After seven years of dieting, 100’s of failed diets and countless nights crying over how I looked I realised where I was going wrong. I was letting myself believe that the key to my happiness was solely in the amount I weighed. My diets never worked because after a few months, despite the fact I’d lost weight, I never felt happier and so I thought they weren’t working.
What I’ve now realised is that loving and accepting myself for who I am as more than just a “fat girl” is the only way to be happy. So, that’s what I did. I worked hard. Every day, I forced myself to see the amazing qualities I have, and how much there is about me to love. Something that I think everyone needs to do is sit back and realise how great they are, because we all are our own unique being, and that’s pretty amazing to me.
It’s a journey I choose to take every day and will continue to do for my whole life. It isn’t easy and sometimes my self-doubt and lack of confidence creeps back in. However, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt better in my own skin and it’s such a relief.
Yes, I still want to lose weight. I want to be healthier and fitter. The difference now is, I know I can be happy at any size, because I’m so much more than just a number.


Top 10 Valentines Movies (to watch with your cat or eating ice cream)

Bronwyn o’ Neill

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and the release of the 50 Shades of Grey tomorrow, most people are in a frenzy to get tickets or get dinner arrangements planned. If you’re an unfortunate student who has no money, then spending it on fancy restaurants isn’t something you want to do.

Why don’t you spend the night curled up with your significant other, in your favourite jammies watching some sappy film? Chocolate and tissues advised, as we count down the top ten Valentine’s films.

Number 10: The Vow


This film is basically a modern version of The Notebook. His wife forgets all about him, very dramatic. Although, if Channing Tatum told me we were married I would totally go along with it.

Number 9: Pride and Prejudice


Although, I’m a Bronte fan through and through, this adaption of Austen’s novel is perfection. Kiera Knightly gives an amazing performance as strong headed Elizabeth Bennett. It makes all your fights with your boyfriend seem ridiculous.

Number 8: (500) Days of Summer


This quirky movie, starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Jordan Levitt, deals with modern day love. Although not in the conventional way we are used to. Tissues at the ready it’ll make you weep.

Number 7: Titanic


If you haven’t seen Titanic you are either too young to have a Valentines or simply have not been out in the world. This film will make you sob. Don’t lie that you don’t get teary eyed at “You jump. I jump.” Bonus points for young Leonardo.

Number 6: Love Actually


Before he went to kill zombies, Andrew Lincoln was in love with Kiera Knightly. Liam Neeson’s son was in love. Martin Freeman was in love. And even Severus Snape was getting it on with Nanny McPhee. There’s quite a lot of love, actually. With almost every British actor under the sun, it is definitely worth a watch.

Number 5: Beauty and the Beast


Yes, it’s a Disney movie, but it is by far the best love story Disney has told. A pure tear jerker! Even though your boyfriend might not appreciate it, your inner child certainly will. Plus, it’s kind of the kid’s version of 50 Shades!

Number 4: Romeo + Juliet


More young Leonardo in this explosive telling of Romeo and Juliet. Although it may throw you back to your Junior Cert days, can you say no to that face? The soundtrack, the cinematography, Leonardo! Yes to all.

Number 3: Casablanca


“Here’s looking at you kid.” Iconic. That’s all that needs to be said about this film.

Number 2: The Notebook


I’m crying just thinking about it. The most quotable movie in the world (after Mean Girls of course) “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Tissues at the ready girls, it’s a heartbreaker.

Number 1: Moulin Rouge


This film has everything one could ask for; love, costumes, songs and tears. Perhaps it is one of the best films that have been made. Therefore it steals the top stop. If you only watch one movie this Valentine’s, let it be this.

The Ink Ladies is live


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