Laura is happy that she didn't get her top CAO choice
There are always options, says Laura
LAURA O'Connor plumped for psychology at NUI Galway as her CAO No, 1, but her niggling feeling that she would not get an offer of a place, proved correct.
The 21 year-old from Barna, Co Galway made a wise CAO second choice of arts because of the back-up option to take psychology as a subject . As well as that, the way the NUI Galway arts programme is structured, students have the possibility of transferring to the psychology degree programme in second year.
"My thinking was that, if my grades were high enough, I could earn a place in psychology", said Laura.
However, by the end of first year, she "realised that I didn't want to do the psychology course. I was happy to do it as a subject, but I wanted to continue with the arts programme" .
During first year, Laura developed a keen interest in information technology (IT) and, when it came to narrowing down from four subjects to two for second year, it was IT that made the cut with psychology.
All the way to her final year, Laura was planning to pursue post-graduate study in psychology, but "then I decided I would far rather do IT".
She went straight into a masters in information technology, managing to incorporate psychology into her thesis. She hopes now to combine her areas of expertise in research work, and get some practical experience in before going back for a PhD.
"It was definitely a different path from what I anticipated. I didn't get my first choice and had to take a slightly different route than I expected.
"There are always options if you don't get your first choice. Even if you do get what you wanted there will be different avenues to explore, if you find out it may not be what you wanted."