Sunday, September 11, 2011

Incoming tide

First week is over and already getting to grips with new courses and timetable. Managed to get lost on Friday, trying to find an English lecture. Nothing new there but not a good sign when about to become a mentor with the job of showing 1st years round campus.

Was allocated what seemed to be a huge group of newbies at orientation and got 22 of them round safely and signed up as my 'mentees'. So hard to believe that only a year ago I was one of the bewildered masses arriving on campus. Lovely to see familiar faces in the crush - friends of my son from both Galway and Mayo, one of whom is in my little 'family'. Hopefully they will all settle in well and enjoy their first year at NUIG as much as I did.

Today is the Failte Fest - that mad rush around campus to collect stickers while sampling everything on offer and playing games. I'm working in the sports centre and expect to have a fun day, wearing my 'Ask Me' t-shirt again :-)

What a difference a year makes! Putting aside the academic aspect of university, the most important thing I've learnt is how to make the most of life and relate to other people better. Still got a long way to go (IMO) but I've started on the right foot I think.

This year is going to be great :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Did we really have four and a half months off?

First day back and after a few hours it was hard to believe we'd ever been off campus!

Okay, so a few things were different: There are a few thousand 1st years yet to arrive on campus; the paving outside the library has been re-laid (again); there's a new print shop on the concourse; Room 201 has had its desks replaced with tiered seating - very nice and a shame this has not been repeated in all the concourse rooms; Aras na Maclein has a new automatic door that is so slow to open it's hard not to walk into it; and the ladies loo in the college bar has been done up. Oh, and no more Stella Artois on draught at the bar :-(

Meeting up with friends from last year was great. No matter where I went there was a friendly face and a greeting. Lots of talk about what subjects were being kept on this year and how hard it was for some people to decide what to drop. Listening to others, I definitely made the right decision about quitting Spanish - the course is much, much more difficult this year.

Our first 9am lecture in Philosophy was great, despite getting homework, and starting as I mean to go on, worked in the library for a few hours before meeting up with a mate. Ended up going for a pint to christen the new year! The introductory English lecture gave a good outline of what is ahead and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the courses. Was the first to slip my seminar choices in the drop-box so, fingers crossed, I'll get my first or second choice this semester.

What a difference from the first day last year! Straight in the deep end and picked up where I left off. Got my locker, bought some books, borrowed a few more from the library and only have my fees to sort out and I'm all set.

It's good to be back :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Second Year and maybe a little more mature?

Summer is over and lectures begin next Monday. It's been a long few months away from Galway and I missed campus life a lot. Mind you, the break away from serious study was nice - read a lot but mainly enjoyed spending time doing ordinary things, either at home with the boys or in London with my partner.

Did a lot of thinking about the future, particularly about continuing Spanish in college. After weighing up the pros and cons, discussing the matter with friends and family, and shedding more than a few tears, I decided that doing an Erasmus year was not practical and that there are other ways I can get to live and work in Spain. (This is how the mature part of me thinks). Having studied the course options, I am choosing Philosophy as the subject to accompany English for the next two years.

Making the decision felt like a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders and I began to look forward to getting my nose stuck in the books more than ever. Must be the right choice :-)

Now we have moved into a much nicer house in Galway, with a longer walk to NUIG so my fitness level should go up! My books are growing along the shelves and it's just a matter of having a relaxing, enjoyable weekend before I am, once again, a Mature Student.