Tag Archives: Student Services

Mental Health Week at Trinity

Last week Trinity celebrated its annual Mental Health Week. The week aimed to explore different aspects of mental health among students and the general populace in ways which were both relatable and interesting. Students were invited to a range of events on campus all themed to promote mental well-being and open up a dialogue concerning mental health.

This year focused on the theme of emotions, both positive and negative. The idea being that people who embrace all sides of their emotions are more resilient to things such as stress. Each day highlighted a different emotion, with the events on the individual days being related to that emotion. The aim was to get people out of their comfort zones and overcome the stigma associated with certain emotions.

Puppy room
Puppy room

There were a variety of events throughout the week, including Speak Your Mind for Fear & Courage day (where various people from around college and the country came to talk about their experiences with mental health). The Trinity Chapel Gig for Sadness day, and the puppy room for Happiness day, were also popular on campus and drew large crowds (as you can see above and below).

Chapel gig
Chapel gig

Throughout the week funds were raised for various mental health organisations. This included Pieta House, who work to prevent suicide and self-harm in Ireland, and Walk In My Shoes, a campaign from St. Patrick’s Mental Hospital which helps young people with the difficulties they may face with mental health.

Blind Food Tasting
Blind Food Tasting

Although the events really got people engaged, it was important to also let students know about the variety of services available to them throughout the College year. Thousands of wallet sized cards were given out (along with lollipops)  with the contact details for the college’s various support services, including the Student Counselling Service and the Welfare Office.  Pleasetalk.org* and Niteline** pens and goodies were also given out to help promote the services that they make available to Trinity students.

Throughout the year, more mental health days will be run to help raise awareness around various mental health issues and to ensure students know of the services available to them. Mental health is part of everyone’s life, and the fantastic involvement of the student body last week demonstrated that it is an issue we are willing and ready to engage with.

*Pleasetalk.org is a directory website of support services available to students.

**Niteline is a free to call student-run operation for students who want to talk, from 9 pm – 2:30 am during term time (1800 793 793).

Ian Mooney is this year’s Welfare Officer for the Student’s Union, liaising with support services on behalf of students and acting as an on-campus advocate for various forms of student welfare (including sexual, mental, physical and financial).  

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Let us know why you chose Trinity!

This week we are launching our first ‘The World of Trinity’ poll to find out why you chose to study at Trinity. We want to find out exactly what made you decide, so leave us a comment to tell us more about why you picked Trinity (and let us know if we’ve missed your reason off the list!)

Welcome home event for students returning from international exchange

Last week Trinity students returning from a year on international exchange were welcomed back with a wine reception. It was a great chance to chat about our time away from Dublin and compare experiences; there were also speakers from the Careers Advisory Service, and a storytelling workshop from writer and performer Catherine Brophy.

Having recently returned from Canada, after a year at the University of Toronto, I found it incredible the amount I had in common with people who had spent their year in countries across the globe. From those who had travelled as far as Australia, to those who participated in the Erasmus program, we all shared a common understanding of what it means to go somewhere new.

world plave

On arrival we were given a list of potential exchange experiences (including ‘having a holiday romance’ and ‘climbing a mountain’) and were invited to find as many people as we could who could claim to have done them. This was a great ice-breaker, and sparked some amazing stories of trips and adventures. Around the room were boards where we could write advice to future students and treasured memories, some which made you smile and some which made you laugh. The Global Room was abuzz with stories and anecdotes, and everyone had experiences they were eager to share.

Later in the evening, once everyone had sampled the refreshments and met one-another, a speaker from the Careers Advisory Service spoke to us about how to capitalise upon our experiences when applying for jobs. The independence and global awareness which going abroad to study gives you can really set you apart when looking for a job, so discovering the best way to present this on LinkedIn  and at interview was invaluable.

Catherine Brophy, professional storyteller
Catherine Brophy, professional storyteller

As the evening wound down there was just enough time for a storytelling workshop led by writer and performer Catherine Brophy. She spoke to us about the best ways to shape a story for the listener, something we could all use capitalise on our international anecdotes. When I came back from my year on exchange I was brimming with stories and memories to share, however after a week or so the excitement of my return had waned and no one was interested in hearing about the ice and snow anymore. Hopefully the pointers Catherine has given me on retelling my experiences will help me communicate my memories in a way which as exciting as I remember them.

It can be strange returning after a year away, although everything is the same you’ve changed and it’s not always easy to fit straight back in. It was great to meet fellow students who felt the same way, and who were as passionate about their year as I was. I hope that next year’s exchange students will get the same opportunity to meet up and discuss their experiences, as it was the perfect way to round off a year abroad.

Jess is a Student Ambassador in the Global Room in her final year of a degree in English. 

Balancing college work

Making the transition from school to college can be tough. With no teachers and parents nagging you to get work done, all your studying has to be self-motivated. When I was in my first year, the lack of structure meant I put off readings to the last minute and assignments seemed to creep up on me from nowhere. A few years on my attitude to studying is far more strategic. I don’t want to miss out on seeing my friends and having fun with societies to stay in and do my readings, so I’ve found that the best way to do everything and not fall behind is the plan out my work and remain organised. Here are some techniques I use to make sure I don’t fall behind:


Scheduling studying:

schedule

When I write down my lecture timetable for each semester I also schedule in specific weekly time-slots to prepare for each module. Often these need to be altered depending on how difficult I find a class, but having a pre-set time each week where I focus on a specific topic ensures that I don’t leave things to the last minute or forget about readings.


Having a study space:

usher

I do as much of my college work as I can in the library where it is easy to concentrate and there are plenty of resources available to consult. If I have to take work home I never work in my bedroom so that I have a sanctuary to escape to at the end of the day. By separating places where I study from places where I relax I’ve found it much easier not to get distracted and procrastinate.


Plan in advance:

deadline

Each semester’s weekly readings, classes and deadlines are written into my diary in advance, this way it is easy to look ahead and check how much longer I have to finish an essay or complete a reading. It’s way easier to organise your work at the start of term instead of halfway through.


Prioritise tutorials:

tutorial

Preparing for a lecture can be useful for understanding the points raised, but preparing for tutorials is vital. Tutorials and seminars give you the opportunity to clarify anything you don’t understand and discuss your opinions on a topic, and if you haven’t done the reading it’s kind of hard to do either.


Know your department:

depar

Make sure you know who to contact in your department if you have a question or a request. If you need an extension, it’s better to already know who to contact so you don’t waste time speaking to the wrong person. Keeping in contact with your tutor can also be helpful so that they already know you if you need their advice or assistance.


Make use of the college support systems:

S2S meet_up

SLD (Student Learning and Development) can be a useful resource if you want to learn how to improve your learning techniques; whilst S2S and Student Counselling have great services and workshops if you are stressed and need someone to talk to.


Still have a life:

fringe

Doing well academically is one aspect to college, but it’s certainly not the only one. At university you have the chance to become friends with people you would never otherwise meet. You can take the opportunity to try out a new club or a sport you’ve never even heard of and discover a passion you never knew you had. As a student you combine the freedom and independence of being an adult, with the carefree attitude of not yet being ‘grown up’. I know that when I graduate I want the right grade to be on my degree, but I’m certain that my memories of college will extend far beyond the time I spent studying in the library.

Why I’m Grateful for GradLink

Have you decided what you’re going to do with your life yet? Yes, you might be working towards a degree but once that’s done do you know what you’re going to do next? Have you got a plan?!

No? Welcome to the club, we’ve been expecting you.

Back in 2010 when I chose my course I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to do after university. I had some vague ideas of what I might like to do but had no concrete goal. And that’s ok, you’re not expected to come to university with a solid four-year plan – and even if you do I promise it will change. But fast-forward to 2014 and I still had no clue. Nada.

confused

And this is where GradLink came in. GradLink is a mentoring programme jointly run by the Careers Advisory Service, Alumni Office and participating schools. It arranges networking events for different schools giving students the opportunity to meet with alumni and get paired with a mentor. The mentors are a wealth of information, providing insight into how to apply to graduate programmes, weighing the benefits of a year spent travelling and giving advice on how to choose a masters. Students are given the opportunity to meet with their mentor throughout the year (or Skype if they’re outside Dublin) and keep them up-to-date on how they’re getting along.

fair

Some of the best advice I received was that it’s ok to take time out and then figure out the next step. In this economy it’s easy to get caught in the hype of starting your professional career immediately, accepting the first offer you get even if it’s something you don’t think you’ll enjoy. The same goes for blindly applying to Masters, just because you’ve been offered a place doesn’t mean accepting it is the right decision. Choosing to work in a local business, or travel for a year, gives you time to think things through, it gives you space to breathe.

In all honesty, I still don’t know what I want to do. But I have an idea, which is more than I ever had before. I know what type of work I enjoy, and which work environments I thrive in. I know that I want to continue working with people from different cultures and that I’d love a job that would give me the opportunity to travel. My CV is primed and I’m no longer fazed by interviews. GradLink was an invaluable resource for me and I’m thoroughly grateful to my mentor for her help and guidance.

gradlink

Aoife was a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room and now works for Global Relations 

Career support for an international student

One of the many benefits of being an international student at Trinity College Dublin is that you have the pleasure of being under the care of the Career Advisory Service within the University.  The centre has many workshops, including one that I attended called “Finding work in Ireland”.

This particular workshop attracted my attention because, a few years into a degree in Trinity as a foreign student, I started to wonder how I could make myself appealing to employers when there are other thousands of other Irish and international students. I attended a four week course where I met with a group of international students in one of the rooms in the Career Advisory Building. We learnt about: how to write CVs and cover letters, how to perform well in interviews, and the ways in which you can use LinkedIn to your advantage. These workshops were targeted specifically at finding employment in the Irish market, and we were under the care of a very helpful careers advisor.

builkding

The most important information that I gathered from this workshop came in the first part, “the eligibility to work in Ireland” (something I had never thought about before I attended the workshop). I had always been concerned about having a correct CV and cover letter, when I should have known more about my rights to work in Ireland and the conditions that I must obey to work here. There is no point in having a perfectly set up CV and cover letter with good grades if I, or my future employer, do not know about whether I can work in Ireland. Some Irish employers may not know if foreign students, and especially non-EU students, can work in Ireland; therefore I think it is always good to know your rights and explain them to the interviewer in case they have any doubts. I learnt a lot in this first section of the workshop and found it very helpful and insightful.

caps

Another workshop taught us how to write CVs and cover letters, something very familiar to most students. Interview technique was something I found tricky, so the careers advisor gave me advice on how to improve this skill. Many students with similar degrees are likely to get identical grades, so most are interviewed by their potential employer. This is a crucial chance to stand out from the crowd and show the interviewer your unique skills, abilities and ambitions. Being interviewed can make some people very nervous, so the workshop helped us learn how to handle the pressure. Learning how to perform at interview in theory is very different to putting what you’ve learnt into practice; however I found the information from this workshop was effective and beneficial when I was applying for internships.

linked

One of the current trends when finding work is to use “LinkedIn” (which many students find unfamiliar), therefore the highlight of this overall workshop for me was to learn how to use LinkedIn. Employment trends are moving away from old fashioned CVs and cover letters, towards online-based recruitment (which can be done efficiently through LinkedIn). We were instructed by an experienced careers advisor on the use of LinkedIn, how to use it and what to write.

Overall I found the various aspects of the workshop “Finding work in Ireland” incredibly useful. The careers advisor who ran the classes was very helpful and insightful, and I now feel in a much better position to pursue employment in Ireland.

Sanyeob is a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room:  https://www.tcd.ie/study/non-eu/global-room/

For more information on the Careers Advisory Service, go to their website: http://www.tcd.ie/Careers/       

cas