Festive feels were on the 208 this week as students prepared for their exams and Corkonians contemplated who gets what this Christmas while doing some shopping.
Ellen Shiels, from Bandon was on the bus heading out to CIT, where she is in college. Ellen is studying Nutrition and Health Science but admits she is not the healthiest eater in the world.
“I’m not great at eating healthy but it’s good to know what is in our food.”
Ellen, who is going on placement to Germany next year, is in her third year at CIT and hopes to work as a quality control at a pharmaceutical company when she is finished her course.
At the moment, Ellen works in Abtran as a Sky UK Advisor when she is not in college.
Ellen explained that she cold calls people and sells them TV. “It’s a good job, but coming up to Christmas no one wants to buy a Sky box!"
“My job is commission based and wages. It can increase a lot so I know if I want more money I just have to work harder."
At the moment Ellen is focused on working and studying. “I have three lab-based exams on Monday. I won’t have a lot of final exams, it is more continuous assessments."
Ellen said it was very important to keep on top of the workload as one bad score could affect her final grade.
Ellen said she is looking forward to Christmas when she will be heading home to Bandon and working hard in Abtran saving money for Germany.
Mary O’Sullivan from Churchfield was also on the bus, heading out to Wilton Shopping Centre to do a bit of Christmas shopping.
“I will be having a look around for gifts for friends.
Mary said she likes Christmas and is looking forward to the celebrations.
“I like Christmas, the build up and Christmas party and the socialising. I like going out with all your friends and the general vibe.”
Mary will be spending Christmas with husband Joe and son Patrick, 27 as well as going out with a few friends.
First-year student at College of Commerce Joshua Ho from Bishopstown, was heading home after a day of study and learning.
Joshua is studying Marketing and Advertising at the Business college. “It is okay, I am getting used to it.
The young business student said that his class has dropped by almost two thirds since the start of the year.
“There was 32 in the class but that dropped down to 12. It’s a big drop, the course is based on continuous assessment, but I will have exams at the end of the summer.”
With no upcoming exams, Joshua said he is looking forward to Christmas. "My nan Maureen and two aunts Lai and Steph are coming over from China. I will be spending Christmas with them and my mum and dad as well as my six-year-old brother, Noah."
Another college student on the bus was Ciara McGrath who was heading off to work at Cafe Lafayette at the Imperial Hotel.
"I have been working there since September, I like it. There are a lot of regulars, who are friendly. The customers are lovely.”
Ciara said she is just back from a J1. She spent the summer in San Francisco with friends. “I had a brilliant time.” Now in fourth year, Ciara is looking forward to finishing up her qualification and getting out into the working world.
"I already graduated level 7, but I am now doing level 8, which is optional. I am looking forward to being finished."
"I am not sure what I want to do, probably something in strength and conditioning, coaching and sports rehabilitation.”
Speaking about her J1 in San Francisco, Ciara said: “#eleven of us ended up sharing a two bedroom apartment. All the deal of a J1."
At the end we did some travel, we went to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, San Diego and Las Vegas.
We were in Las Vegas for the McGregor fight against Mayweather. There was a great atmosphere.
“I like McGregor, it comes and goes, I’m a fan of his personality but he does some stupid stuff.”
Businessman Matt Koprianiuk was also on the bus. Matt moved over to Cork two year ago when he was headhunted by a Cork IT consultancy company.
“I work as a merchandiser, but I also have my own business doing social media, marketing, content creation and PR. I work seven days a week, I love hustling."
Matt said he won’t have time to go home this Christmas as he will be working over the festive period.
“This will be my second Christmas in Cork. I like it here, the streets are magical, especially Oliver Plunkett Street, it is the best street ever.”
Ellen Clancy from Tipperary is a medical student from UCC. Originally from a dairy farm in Tipperary, Ellen said it has been a culture shock living independently here in Cork.
“Cooking the dinner is a big deal. My older brother Sean, lives two doors down here in Cork. He is in third year, studying maths.
“We have a younger sister, Alice, she is in 5th class in Secondary School, she feels like an only child!”