Four years ago I graduated from the University of Limerick with a degree in English and Psychology. Directionless and not happy, seven months later I was bound for New York. Four years later and after flirting with a few other colleges in between I am heading back to my alma mater.
I absolutely loved my undergraduate in U.L. I wasn’t the most academically inclined but I enjoyed myself and passed without over exerting myself. This time will be different, but definitely no less enjoyable.
There is a good mix of young and old on my course (old in this case meaning not going directly into postgrad from undergrad). I’m going to be writing for the college paper again and trying my best to get my fiction writing up and running. Instead of feeling like I haven’t made any progress or am just picking up where I left off, I feel positive and excited about the whole thing. I am doing a course that I want to do that will help my chances of working in my dream field.
The last year or so in UL for me felt a bit futile. I was heading towards the finish line but I hadn’t moved forward. I was the kid at the athletics games in secondary school who took part for the day off school. I was literally that kid in secondary school and figuratively in college. I would get the piece of parchment under my arm but I hadn’t put the effort in in other areas to keep going.
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I finished. I knew I didn’t want to live at home anymore and I knew I wanted to give New York a try so that’s what I did. I started this blog over there and started taking my writing more seriously. I nearly went to do a Masters in Journalism in Dublin when I returned at the beginning of last year before gaining some sense and realising that I would be broke as soon as I started. I could have been a student in the MA in C.I.T. but for lack of numbers. I almost gave up on my dream then before a call with a journalist a few months ago made me take the final push and apply in U.L.
I feel like Gandalf when he returned as the White Wizard when I receive student emails. My personal balrog of feeling lost and alone has been slain and I have returned to save Middle Earth (complete my course).
I feel like this is my chance at redemption. The college didn’t disown me or not give me my degree, of course. This isn’t a personal vendetta against my favourite university. This is my tale of personal redemption. I can prove to myself that I am a good student and a hard worker. I can show myself that the hard yards will be put in as I try to realise my dream. I can prove that I am a good writer and that people want to read my work.
I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t hate your work. I’ve spent too long dreading going into my various jobs so it is time to change that. Everybody’s circumstances are different but I am the captain of my own ship. I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing where this particular journey takes me.