By Jacqui Mannix Geoghegan (1st year LM002 BA Arts, University of Limerick)
I started at UL on the 6th of September 2018 and the last 154 days have been the most exciting time of my life.
I don’t think anything can prepare you for the freedom and adventure university has to offer. Coming from such a ridged and strict environment of secondary school being finally in third-level education is the change I have been longing for! There was a time where I didn’t think I was going to go to college but deciding to actually go all out and make the effort to get into UL was the best decision of my life so far.
I feel I can do anything, that nothing is too out there
I had no idea I was going to love UL so much and love my degree. Picking Arts has given me so many opportunities already, from studying a wide range of subjects and my broadening module I feel I can do anything, that nothing is too out there. I like having my options open, that nothing is set in stone and I feel that studying arts has given me that. There is an endless list of things I could do after I get my degree, I literally could be anything I want. Which is great because I have no idea what I want or what I am doing with my life, but all I know is I’m having a great time.
I love that I don’t have that many contact hours because it allows me to pursue things outside the lecture hall. Joining a society was an amazing decision, I have made so many friends which I didn’t think I would do. Making friends in college is difficult if you’re not getting involved with extra activities because in arts there are so many people in your course and they change from subject to subject. Striking up a conversation mid-lecture isn’t really a thing to do and joining a club or society, starting a chat with someone you recognise from your classes or just happen to sit next to your twin on the first day, which is precisely what I did!
just jumping into student life has been the way to go
Honestly just jumping into student life has been the way to go, getting as involved as I can have made the last five months a rollercoaster. Last semester I had two days off which was honestly so lovely, I got to sleep in two mornings and it gave me loads of time to do assignments from the comfort of my couch. Unfortunately, this semester I am in five days a week which has totally thrown off my routine, and the milk in my fridge keeps going off because I’m never home anymore! I mean it is something I’m going to have to get used to, and it can only get better.
So, I’m having to make a bit more effort making time to study and get work done, but the library has been there for me so far and it is my go-to place when I have gaps in the day. I am so glad we have the new part of the library – I cannot imagine everyone trying to fit into the old part.
Also, a new thing this semester for me is I got a job walking a dog which has been great in me discovering UL as that’s where we go for the walks. UL is genuinely so full of wildlife which I am living for. I have discovered where the swans and grey geese like to hang out and if I make it on time, I get to see the geese flying in formation over the Shannon. It is the most incredible sight, and there is nothing like an early morning walk to get me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
This week I have to choose which subjects to keep on for the next three years. Currently, I am studying geography, politics, public administration and sociology. I think I am going to pick geography and public administration because I feel they give me the most options when I leave university and they are fascinating. It’s funny because the subjects I enjoy I didn’t go so well in but the subjects I don’t like I got high marks, so where is the logic in that. Here’s hoping I make the right choice and that the next three years studying geography and public administration will be fun!
I cannot wait for the next few months and to see where the rest of my first year takes. UL is definitely where I am meant to be, and arts is undeniably the course I am meant to study.