Sorcha O'Boyle's move to college forced her "to move out of my comfort zone", but she hasn't looked back.
The 19-year-old, from Kilkenny city, was fully expecting to get her top CAO choice of an arts/languages course, in a university in Dublin, but missed it by five points.
It was because most of her schools friends were going either to Dublin or Cork, that Sorcha was looking forward to moving to the capital.
The former Loreto, Kilkenny, pupil said it "didn't cross my mind" that she wouldn't get her first CAO choice, but, in the event, she was offered her number two, also a languages course, at NUI Galway.
Although it was her second choice and admits she "didn't expect to be in Galway", she grabbed the opportunity and is studying French (through Irish) and Italian.
Now, in second year, she loves studying and living in Galway.
"I am actually delighted. It all worked out for the best" she said
On top of her studies, Sorcha has taken up rowing, one of the sporting activities for which NUI Galway is famous.
When she finishes her undergraduate degree course, Sorcha plans to go on to do a masters in translation.