When Terry Keegan left school 10 years ago, the construction boom was well under way and he went straight into plumbing.
Terry (27) worked at the trade through to early 2009, when, as the recession set in, he was laid off.
"After that I did some bits and pieces myself for about six months and then it all dried up", said Terry, of Butlersbridge, Co Cavan.
After a couple of years on the dole, Terry decided that he needed to upskill if he was to re-enter the world of work.
He didn't really know what he wanted to do, but applied for and was accepted on a Level 5 course in human resources in Ballsbridge College of Further Education.
Having completed that, Terry moved on to a Level 6 course in Advanced Business, also in Ballsbridge, and, in a mark of how well he took to his new path, he ended up as Student of the Year.
While in Ballsbridge, a guidance counsellor pointed Terry in the direction of the business degree programme in Dublin City University (DCU).
He entered DCU, via the CAO, as a mature student, and is now in second year and "really enjoying it".
DCU's track record in sport was another attraction for Terry, although he discovered it did not have the very club he was interested in joining -- a boxing club.
So, as well as embracing third-level study, in his first year at university Terry set up the DCU Boxing Club, which, he said, was a great way of getting to know people. Terry represented the college at the third-level all-Ireland finals in boxing, to boot.
This year, his involvement in college life deepened when he was elected to the DCU Club Life Committee, which sets and drives policy for the university sports clubs as well as administering their funding.
Terry believes that being that little bit older going to college has been a real asset and is enthusiastically looking forward to the year ahead.
"Life is brilliant," he said.