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Going to College 2020 podcast: College in a time of Covid

Episode 3 of our four-part podcast series on Leaving Cert results, CAO, and college


With colleges starting back in the coming weeks, students – and especially first years – will have many questions and concerns about college during a time of Covid.

Episode three of the Going to College series, presented by Sinead Ryan, addresses many of those concerns with a panel consisting of: Lorna Fitzpatrick, USI’s President, Dr Bryan Maguire from QQI, and Scott Ahearn, Student Counsellor with TU Dublin.

The panel covers issues ranging from mental health and anxiety to dealing with blended learning and the online experience as well as making the most out of your college experience.

Scott Ahearn advises that students should see their new environment as an opportunity.

“Don’t be afraid to give it a go when it comes to engaging with new communities and friends,” he says. “We’re all in this together. It’s really about sending home the message to reach out to mentors or tutors if you’re feeling disconnected or are falling behind on work.”

“Isolation and motivation are going to be big challenges,” admits Lorna Fitzpatrick. “Reaching out to people regularly is something to be encouraged.”

Bryan Maguire says that students should be assured that colleges and lecturers have been preparing everyone the best that they can.

“Colleges have put major efforts into online learning and how to improve things for students,” he says while pointing out that collaboration and working together shouldn’t just stop if face-to-face meetings can’t be held.

“Make sure you engage in the online exchanges with college and peers,” he advises.

Going to College is a four-part podcast series, presented by Sinead Ryan, that will help you prepare for some nerve-wracking - and exciting - weeks ahead.

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From the Leaving Cert results to CAO offers and then going to college in a time of Covid, it’s stressful and life-changing, but this series will help with practical advice, tips and insights from experts in the area.

Don’t forget to listen and subscribe to the entire series on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Independent.ie.

The Going to College series is in association with QQI.

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