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'I focused so much on the Leaving Certificate that I didn't think to the end of the tunnel'


UCC student Roisin Fox pictured on campus in Cork.

UCC student Roisin Fox pictured on campus in Cork.

UCC student Roisin Fox pictured on campus in Cork.

Roisin Fox went through the whole of sixth year focusing so much on the Leaving Certificate that "I didn't really think to the end of the tunnel".

"There are a lot of courses on offer and they all sound quirky and interesting," reflects the 19-year-old former pupil of Regina Mundi College, Douglas, Cork.

Ultimately, Roisin selected BA Arts International in University College Cork (UCC) as her top CAO choice and then, when a new direct-entry course - Digital Humanities, also at UCC - presented itself last summer, she applied for that as well.

In the event, she was spoilt for choice and was offered both. She opted for Digital Humanities, because she felt it would combine her love of arts with the development of digital skills, which she thought would make for a well-rounded degree.

Roisin admits that she "took it on a whim; I probably should have looked at it a bit more". Although she is glad she tried it, "by the end of the second week I knew that it wasn't for me. I wasn't happy. I am very strong on languages and English, but computing is not my strong point; I didn't understand it."

She made the wise decision to approach college authorities and found great support in discussing her situation. At this stage, she had also decided that her initial CAO first preference, Arts International, was not for her either.

Some weeks later, Roisin was facilitated with a transfer to the BSc Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship, on which a place was still available and for which she met the entry requirements.

"I have just finished first year and I am really enjoying it," she says.

Outside her studies, Roisin has become heavily involved in all aspects of college life, including the Entrepreneurial and Social Society, which she reckons will be a strong addition to her formal degree qualification. She is now marketing and finance officer for the society.

Roisin is also an active citizenship scholar on UCC's Quercus Scholar programme, in recognition of her potential to demonstrate exceptional contribution to citizenship, community engagement/volunteering, or community leadership. She is involved in the Cycle Against Suicide initiative and is the student union's newly-elected suicide and mental health officer.

All in all, Roisin is loving UCC: "It is a great place to study and I have made fantastic friends."

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