Caoimhe is one of our international students from the US. Here she lets us know about her experience of studying Science at Trinity, one of our Top 10 Courses.
Your name: Caoimhe Tyndall
Your year of study: Junior Freshman (2nd Year)
Your programme of study / course: Science
What made you decide to study your course at Trinity?
When I applied to Trinity, I was challenged with having to choose between Neuroscience and Human Genetics, two subjects that I have always been fascinated by. Despite my definite interest in both sciences, I was also slightly uncomfortable with having to choose a specialized course so early, without exposure to any other courses offered in Trinity, so I chose General Science, TR071, as it provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of science-based modules before declaring a specialized course of specific interest. In the first two years, General Science allowed me to study both Neuroscience and Genetics, as well as a plethora of additional modules, introducing me to other scientific fields. TR071 is the perfect course for students who are confident in their passion for science, but would benefit more from extra time and exposure before specializing.
What, if anything, was the most challenging thing about moving to Ireland to study?
The most challenging part of transitioning into an Irish College from an American High School was adapting to an academic year without continuous assessment. In America, I was accustomed to weekly tests, which, once graded, would show exactly which areas I excelled in and exactly which areas I needed extra help with. In Trinity, there is very minimal continuous assessment, which can, at times, be very overwhelming, specifically when preparing for summer exams. I find the most difficult aspect of not having continuous assessment is the concept of “not knowing what you don’t know”.
How did you overcome the challenge?
I overcame this challenge by continuously assessing myself throughout the course of the term. Admittedly more often in second year, I constantly practiced questions from past exam papers, respective textbooks, and created study groups with peers who could challenge my thought processes in a way that kept my brain engaged and intrigued throughout the year.
What module of your course have you enjoyed studying the most so far and why?
My two favourite modules are Neuroscience and Human Genetics. Studying these intertwining sciences has the unbelievable ability to excite my brain to levels that no other subject has. Both Neuroscience and Genetics rely on the concept that every living organism is built and explained by factors of the most microscopic level of life, yet can consciously exist as an unparalleled individual, functioning among an unfathomable width of diversity and complexity. I am fascinated by the microscopic explanations behind the inanimate ideas of emotion, sensation, and perception, and believe that genes on a chromosome giving rise to such vast degrees of existence is the closes thing there is to magic.
If you had one piece of advice to any other students about to start your course in Trinity what would it be?
As self described in its title, the General Science course does begin on a very broad level, and remains that way for the majority of first year. While the first year course is separated into seven modules, those modules, Biology and Chemistry included, are still enormously diverse subjects that deserve to be broken down even further. My advice it to stay motivated when the course seems broad and unfocused, and persevere, for the module choices for second year are very much specialized to fit specific interests.
What is your favourite thing about Dublin?
Dublin is by far one of the most diverse cities this Earth has to offer. Within one 115 km2 area, it contains striking city lights along O’Connell Bridge, vibrant ocean views from the peaks of Howth, tranquil trails through St. Stevens Green, and everything in between. From the traditional pubs, to the rugby pitches, to the dynamic buzz of Grafton Street, every inch of Dublin exudes with Irish culture and Irish pride.
What three words would you use to describe Trinity to someone who’s never been here?
- Picturesque, Homely, Vibrant