By Muireann Murtagh
Monday of Week 1 was… weird. I was busy, which was good. I had been working with the International Education Division, welcoming new international students the week before, and I was continuing to work at their information desk in week 1 (so far, on Wednesday of Week 1, it’s still going fine!). I had to be there at 9am so my last first morning was an early one.
Then I had class, followed by coffee-and-chat with one of my best friends, then we were back to class for another few hours. I returned home for a late lunch and spent some time chatting to my housemates. Another couple of classes meant that my academic day finished at 6pm, which I can already see Future Muireann detesting over the next few weeks.
However, I wasn’t done yet – I had to lead an International Society committee meeting. I became president before Christmas and since then it has been a hectic whirlwind of planning, organising, and yet more planning, with a little bit of panicking over things that could go wrong added in just to make the whirlwind more interesting. That took just over another hour. The meetings are always fun, and there’s always a check list of things to do afterwards, which took up much of my evening.
It was such a long last first day, which meant that I really got to live every moment of it. Over Christmas, everyone I met asked me what I wanted to do when I left college, and I gave them the usual ‘Oh I’m applying to loads of places’ spiel that we all give to people when we don’t want to break down on their shoulders at the thought of leaving college and having to actually step out into the world. Honestly, I feel so sad at the thought of leaving UL. I remember finding my course online in my 5th year of secondary school and reading all about it, and thinking of how amazing it sounded. I remember going to my first open day and knowing there and then that I loved UL.
I have been saying goodbye to UL since last September, like a guest leaving a house; from ‘Oh, I must be going soon! It’s been three years!’, to ‘I’ll just get my coat. I can’t believe how much everything has changed!’. That was last semester. Now I’m standing in the metaphorical hall, and it is the beginning of the end. I need to start making my goodbyes – ‘You must come and visit me soon.’ – and send on all my regards to everyone who I’m leaving and who will be hear after me – ‘Mind you do that, and give me a call when you need me.’.
Luckily for me, there’s a few more steps to go before I step out through the door and into May, and freedom that I’d happily forego. I’m going to savour every millimetre of these last steps on my UL journey.
My name is Muireann Murtagh, and I am a fourth-year student of Applied Languages. I am 21 and I am from Longford. Despite the long journey that divides my two homes, I am so happy to study in UL. I really enjoy my course, in which I focus on French and Spanish, because it is everything I ever hoped it would be. It has given me the chance to work in Paris and to study in Spain, it has given me amazing friends and incredible memories, it’s challenging and it pushes me to work hard and learn constantly. It’s exactly what I wanted.