'I loved law from the very first lecture'
My story: Serena Fox, Arts, NUI Maynooth
With strong interests ranging from music and arts to law and science, Serena Fox couldn't decide what she wanted to do in college.
Eventually, she took the very sensible route to keep open as many options as possible, while also minimising the pressure in her Leaving Certificate year.
The Ballymahon, Co Longford, native made up her mind after a visit to NUI Maynooth, selecting its arts degree programme.
There were two main reasons for Serena's decision. She wasn't certain that she wanted to move to a big city and liked the small town feel of Maynooth, and she also loved the unique offering of the arts programme there.
What appealed to Serena was that as a general arts student she could study law in first year, and, subject to a competition, progress directly into second year in the LLB (law). If law wasn't her thing, she could take a different path.
"I loved law from the very first lecture," said Serena (20), a former pupil of Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon. She went on to gain the grades necessary to move into second year LLB, where she did some catch-up modules, and is now in third year.
CAO cut-off points for the LLB tend to be higher than for arts, and although Serena's Leaving Certificate would have allowed her direct entry to the LLB, she is really happy with her approach.
"I wouldn't want to have been disappointed and the way I did it kept the pressure off while keeping all my options open," she said.
Serena has become immersed in a range of course-related activities. She is involved in the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) and helps arrange internships for law students coming to Ireland from other countries.
She is also involved in the Free Legal Advice Centre at NUI Maynooth, a student society that runs free legal advice clinics for both students and members of the community under the supervision of a qualified solicitor.