Friday 24 November 2017

'The workload is huge, but it's more enjoyable'

Grainne Cunningham

Sorcha Sheehy-Williams knows all about freshers' nerves, having started her Arts degree at UCD a year ago. Now a (fairly) seasoned second year, she encouraged newcomers not to stress too much about the academic side of college, in particular.

"When I started, I knew we would be getting a huge amount of work which was very different from what I was used to and I was kind of worried about that. I would just advise first years to put their heads down and get on with it because though it is different, you enjoy it a lot more.

"With Arts, you get to choose the modules yourself so you have more of a connection with the course," she said.

As regards making friends and discovering new interests, Sorcha said: "I did what a lot of freshers do and signed up for a million different societies and ended up not going to many of them".

However, she did use her membership of the Philosophical and Juggling Societies. She already knew how to juggle but thought it would be a bit of fun and completely outside the world of study.

"I like to think I got a bit better".

She and other members of the Philosophical Society organised a charity book sale, which was one of the events she enjoyed most during the year.

"Arts is so big. It can be quite difficult to get to know people," she said.

Although she was lucky enough to have quite a few old friends starting first year with her, she made some new friends through the smaller and more intimate tutorials, the societies and also students she bumped into in lectures.

Sorcha said she probably chose too many modules in her first semester, making her college start more arduous that it needed to be.

She'd urge freshers to spread their choices more evenly throughout the year.

And she said she could empathise with newcomers who are feeling a bit daunted by the sheer numbers of students and the volume of work they will have to grapple with.

"I understand the feeling and even have a bit of it going back into second year but it's not so bad once you actually start.

''You will get to know people once you are there".

Irish Independent

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