I’ve GRADUATED! Why I chose the University of Limerick and What I would do differently if I had my time over!

On the 25th of August I graduated with Bachelors of Business from the University of Limerick. I’ve called UL home for the last four years of my life and now I must bid farewell to formal education and embrace the new horizons before me. University was definitely a good choice for me, and although I gained an honours degree, I am by no means what they call “academic”. I am one of those people who must take three steps back, in order to take one step forward. But hey! I still made it!

Choosing which university was simple. I didn’t do Irish for my Leaving Cert. By the way, I hugely regret not being able to do more than, ask to go to the toilet in my native language. No Irish meant I was either going to go to Trinity or UL. My parents aided that decision and decided on UL, there was a recession and no money in the pot for Trinity. Plus UL is all in one place, on the most fabulous modern campus in the world. I’ll get to that a little later on though.

Choosing my course was even easier! When CAO time came around I wanted to do Law and at the last minute I panicked. Thinking I would never get the points I needed for Law I swapped to Business Studies on the very last day, and now here I am… A Business Graduate! Do I regret not doing Law, as I did get the points for it in the end? No! I did five Law modules in university, and as interesting as they were I don’t think the law life is my calling. Now don’t get me wrong, Business Studies in UL is a really varied course, and in my opinion perfect for those of us who aren’t fully sure of what we want from life (yet!).

I try not to have regrets, but like most people I harbour a few. I do regret not getting out there more. I should have joined the clubs and societies I wanted to join, instead I let my lack of confidence intimidate me. At the very least, I probably should have gone to more society meetings of the ones I did join. But these are regrets I can learn from and that’s the important lesson to take away from it. I also think I could have worked harder, yet at the same time, I should have played more too. As the saying goes “work hard, party harder”. I definitely could have done more of both. Looking back I mostly regret not going out more, not just to nightclubs! I mean going out and embracing college life in all forms. From going to comedy gigs to paint parties. University has so much to offer, you just have to be willing to embrace it and occasionally do things on your own. One final regret is not going on either Erasmus (study abroad) or Co-op (work placement) abroad. It’s such a great way to travel before you have to completely fend for yourself and be a responsible adult.

If I had my time over again… I would have chosen different major and minor course options, and addressed the regrets mentioned above. I majored in Human Resources and minored in Law. In hindsight, I should have done Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Why? Because they were the modules I was best at. I chose HR and Law because I was trying to be career focused. Did I mention I have my own website and want to open a restaurant? There was a reason I got better grades in them, it was because I was good at them – simple! I haven’t let this stop me, as I do have such a broad range of hobbies and interests, I am willing to let them guide me on the pursuit of work-life happiness. I am hell-bent on finding a job that makes me happy. To get up and look forward to going to work each morning is what I am striving for.

UL is beautiful and hosts more opportunities than most students even realise. Go drinking on the pontoon, nothing beats a sunset accompanied by a few beers. Watch the sunset from the top floor of the library, you’ll never see anything like it. Get involved in the charity week raft race, or at least go and watch. Go chill at the beach, or go on an adventure to the castle, where else in the world can you do both of these things on one campus. Get out on the river (rowing was how I did it), and take a moment to appreciate the wildlife, while the cold air cuts through you! Experience College Court, because… well… it’s an experience! UL is just one big campus, it’s not split up across the city like other universities. The two sides, Limerick and Clare, are joined by the Living Bridge, which makes for an epic night-time photo opportunity. If I had my time over, I would go to UL again!

What makes it so special is the memories, the friends and the life knowledge gained, which I didn’t have before now. I had my fair share of ups and downs over the last few years. I almost dropped out of university, due to personal reasons, in my final semester. I wouldn’t have even graduated if it wasn’t for my friends and the massive support provided to me by UL. I can’t speak for other universities when I say this, but UL looked after me. Lecturers and other members of the faculty helped me keep on track and power through my final semester in a way which I didn’t know was even possible. Thus… I have my honours degree! Now to bigger and brighter things, UL you’ve been loved but never forgotten!

M!x

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