Here’s to another year
One week of university down and eleven to go. I feel like we solved the world and all its problems in lectures this week. But then, of course, I do think that’s the problem with university - we are taught in this bubble of classroom-based scenarios, friends, parties and then get out into the big bad world and either sink or swim. We can certainly talk about our professions but can we do them is the question. Time will tell.
Despite this, I really enjoyed my classes this week. I even have takeaways from each class, applied linguistics (looking at social problems as a result of language) we shouldn’t visualise society as groups of people, but rather people having different roles in society. Investigative journalism, absolutely petrified, time consuming, high risk but completely worth it. We learned about freedom of information, an act brought in, in, 2014 which allows citizens to request information from Government departments. I have a few ideas up my sleeve for stories, thankfully because apparently, we have to churn them out left right and centre.
Among all the talk about final year projects, QCA’s (Quality Credit Averages), assignments, the works, I had my contemporary African literature class. I already know I am going to love it, we are studying literature with both adults and child narrators post genocide and apartheid in 1994. Yes, I am a nerd and the one disappointment of my week was that I didn’t make it into the library. However, next week is my time to make the big debut in the Glucksman (UL’s library).
Something I noticed, mostly while on Erasmus, was that I have developed an actual interest in attending classes. As a result, I am engaging more, getting better results and more importantly I feel like I am personally gaining something by going to the class. It has taken me until fourth year to come to this stage. Before now, I had very little interest in my course and, honestly, those close to me will tell you, I considered leaving it. I loved working in the Celt, chatting to people, giving a voice to the public, and I truly believed journalism made a difference in society and I still do, but have come to realise, like everything, it has its ups and downs.
Perhaps it was spending my first year online put me off for a while or maybe travelling and meeting people has given me more drive; age also could have copped me on or the fact that I lost my SUSI grant this year. Anyway, whatever it is, it’s timely that at the start of my final year, I adore going to lectures.
If anybody wants to deem me shite craic, go ahead. I did have one pint this week, if only to see if my not drinking notion is still intact. It is, not a bit of interest. My €5.80 cider went down grand, but I wouldn’t have a big thirst for more. We went to the college bar to burn the ears off our lecturers in the post lecture gossip - you can imagine when a group of journalism students gets together! I met friends whom I haven’t seen in ages, and catching up on a year’s worth of life was intriguing. Conversations surpassed the two-hour mark; I could not tell you one thing that happened around me during them. I’ve met loads of Erasmus on my course, I love hearing their take on Ireland (cold and wet, yet beautiful) and helping them, with things I struggled with during Erasmus. Despite the intro, I am not counting down the days until I finish college. Leaving home last weekend, I genuinely hated the thoughts of going back to Limerick. University life for me is different than what I think is considered the norm, but now that I’m back into the swing of things, I am happy out.
The drinking element of it drives me insane. However, I am blessed with friends who understand that I am just not a massive fan of alcohol. In fairness to them, the stars they are, I am never left out of plans. I’ve joined the photography society, the outdoor pursuits club and the international society, as well as starting a new job in a restaurant to keep myself busy. The campus is decorated in balloons and stations where first years (and fourth years) can go if they get lost and they will point you in the right direction.
My digs experience is going amazing, the house is clean and quiet, I can cook, study and chat away to the owner of the house. I even met her son and got all the inside gossip about what parents say about their children when they’re not around; all good things, mostly. I’m joking, she adores him. He, as many of us do, raided the cupboards of granola and other essentials during his visit.
That’s the craic down in Limerick. Although I said a massive goodbye to my family and friends in Cavan last weekend, telling them that I would be home in a month or so, I did return home this weekend, which probably will be a regular occurrence. What can I say?
Home is always home!
* Gemma Good is from Killeshandra and a fourth year journalism student in University of Limerick