By Sydne Tursky, Visiting Student Blogger
I am Sydne Tursky, a third year student from Van Buren, Arkansas, United States of America. I normally study journalism at the University of Arkansas, but this semester I have the great privilege of studying history at Trinity College Dublin. I am thrilled by this fantastic adventure and am trying to take in every single moment!
If one thing has struck me about Trinity College Dublin, it is how incredibly different the university is from what I imagined it would be. I got some things right: sweeping lawns, beautiful buildings and incredibly interesting professors. However, I definitely did not anticipate this school’s incredible knack for engaging students, for making them feel welcome and at home in a prestigious place that has welcomed so many great minds and could have easily become standoffish and exclusive.
Above: Take this picture for instance. Can’t you just imagine uniformed, academic elites wandering around here and reading Proust under trees? Funnily enough, that couldn’t really be further from the truth.
Being an international student is difficult, and when I first arrived I was constantly worried about fitting in, understanding Irish cultural norms and doing well in class. Although I was nervous for my first days in class, I ended up being so pleasantly surprised.
The first day I stepped onto the campus, Fresher’s Week was in full swing, and society pamphlets were shoved at me left and right. I stopped at more tables than I can count, and at each one I was greeted with kindness and genuine enthusiasm, even by club members who really shouldn’t have wanted me to be a part of their soc. (The Juggling Society, for instance: they were so incredibly nice to me, but me attempting to juggle would have been an utter disaster.) These people weren’t intimidating at all; in fact, they were just like me.
Above: Oh look, further proof of how perfect this campus is.
My classroom experience has been much the same. For all my questions about handbooks and class readings and tutorials, each student here has replied with a smile and a helpful answer, or at least a sympathetic “I wish I could help, but I don’t know either.”
They don’t have to be so nice and helpful. As far as I know there is no rule that says they have to, but I sure am incredibly thankful for Trinity’s kind atmosphere. As someone who is new and out of their element, it is incredibly reassuring.
There is something so comforting about knowing that even though I am over 4,000 miles from my home university, I have found another place I belong.
Trinity College Dublin has welcomed me with open arms, and I am so excited that I get to count myself as part of this university for the rest of my life. I am sure I could have been happy at any university in Europe, but boy am I glad I chose Trinity.
Above: Admittedly, another huge part of my love for Trinity is solely due to this library. What can I say? Books are my love language.