The last time I wrote a blog post I was looking back on my Erasmus in Paris; and now, all of a sudden, I’ve graduated and I have a whole degree to reflect on. For the past year I’ve been focused on a dissertation, academic essays and job applications. And, although this year has been busier and possibly more challenging than my previous three here, I’m still inclined to say that my final year was the best. Yes, at times it was quite stressful. And yes, my coffee addiction did increase until I couldn’t function without at least five Americanos per day, but in this final year everything came together and I gained a new clarity on why, four years later, I’m so happy that I came to Trinity.
Trinity is home to such a broad multi-national, multi-cultural community. It’s a melting pot of diverse ideas and opinions, creating a unique learning environment where you’re pushed to question and reconsider your own long-standing opinions. In discovering cultural differences between themselves and their classmates students also gain a deeper understanding of themselves, of who they are now and who they want to be. Coming to Trinity gives you the opportunity to meet people from every corner of the world and build friendships that extend beyond the small island of Ireland (where, let’s be honest, everyone knows everyone!)
This university has a strong academic reputation for a reason. It takes high grades to secure a place here and that standard is maintained throughout your degree. At first it can be tough. A relatively high-achieving high school student can arrive at Trinity and discover that they’re one of many, that by Trinity standards they’re ‘beautifully average’. However, this type of learning environment really does encourage you to do your best. Students from different academic backgrounds and majors bring additional knowledge and insight to a lecture that might not necessarily have been covered.
However, what really makes Trinity stand out is its focus on the student as an individual, and not just their academic ability. You’re actively encouraged to join the many different student societies and sports clubs, to get involved with the Students’ Union (the oldest Students’ Union in Ireland) and to volunteer with the numerous charities. Additionally, the campus is located in the heart of Dublin city. Instead of a self-contained university town Trinity is connected and involved with the local community. The university hosts multiple events each year, such as last week’s Dublin Maker and the upcoming Discover Research Dublin, giving students the opportunity to get involved in new projects.
Ironically, Trinity wasn’t on my original list of choices. Despite the status of the university it wasn’t until I came to visit it that I could appreciate what a great opportunity it would be to study here. What was a last minute change-of-heart, rushing to re-write my applications and beat the deadline, turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Aoife was a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room and now works for Global Relations