Ireland

Life seems to be lived so much more relaxed in Ireland

I arrived in Dublin about a month ago and one thing that completely amazes me, is that in Ireland life seems to be lived so much more relaxing.
The place where I noticed this first was in studio at architecture school. I managed to download my timetable onto my phone and made sure that I knew where I was supposed to be on the first day. When I arrived fifteen minutes early on Monday at the assigned lecture theatre there was only me and three other exchange students. Of course I double checked and asked people in the building just to make sure that I was at the correct place, but nobody showed up. At quarter past nine I decided to walk over to the main architecture building and searched for the studio, where I was greeted by my fellow classmates telling me that the lectures never start on the first day, they would start on Tuesday. But even in the weeks to follow I noticed that a starting time of nine would be a rough recommendation of when to arrive. We never started before 9.30.
As I am from Liechtenstein and in Central Europe we love to be right on time,  the above practice was very unfamiliar to me. You would think that I should be used to this, as in Architecture we work with artists, who seem to live life at a different pace than the average person.
It is unbelievable to me how everything goes at a slower pace. You can easily notice this laid back time management even in the shops in town, which for mid-Europeans is very unusual . As I come from a small town in the countryside of Liechtenstein I am used to wake up early around half six and going to the bakery, whereas in Ireland you must be very lucky to be able to go for breakfast before 7.30.
Another extraordinary example is rush hour in Dublin: Rush hour back home is around seven in the morning and then again around half past five in the evening, whereas in Irelands capital you are stuck in traffic about an hour and a half later. And on Fridays the average Irish worker is out of office around four and goes straight to the next pub.
By far the most outstanding example to me is the laid back atmosphere in the studio. Back home it is usual that we work on our designs for hours on end and usually through the weekend. Here I had to learn that we get our assignments for the week on Monday and you should finish with your weekly work on Friday. No one expects you to work on the weekends it seems.
In my opinion the work ethic in Ireland is completely different from home. While in central Europe especially young people are super focused on their studies and have their career always on the back of their mind, most Irish are a little more relaxed in that aspect. From my observations I would say that in the Irish culture work is still seen as a means to an end: They work as hard, as long and as much as they need it to be able to get by. This mindset to me is an unusual one, but at the same time definitely a healthy one. We get stuck in our heads so much because we stress out about our success in the working life. Our work-life-balance is sometimes so off, especially as architects, that we forget to actually live life. I think you need to find a healthy and happy medium between working hard and enjoying life. In the end you work to live and not live to work. To experience this mindset over here in Ireland teaches me that.

Rebecca Senti