Student profile: College is a balancing act of study and social life

I chose to study Commerce and French at NUIG because I had always excelled at French and business in school. I also enjoyed accounting and wanted to keep up with it.

Student profile: College is a balancing act of study and social life

Student Profile: Senan McKenna.Commerce and French, 3rd Year, NUIG.Interview by: Sarah Ryan

I chose to study Commerce and French at NUIG because I had always excelled at French and business in school. I also enjoyed accounting and wanted to keep up with it.

To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect with my course. I went in with very little expectations, but overall Commerce and French has been a great experience for me.

The course combines everything I loved doing in school — languages and business.

With Commerce and French, we are given the opportunity to study abroad during 3rd year in France.

My fellow students and I found it was a really great opportunity to improve our language skills whilst getting a taste of living abroad in a new city.

I think it really helped me improve my confidence in French and I believe this will really stand to me in final year.

For me, the best aspect of college has been the social life. It’s wonderful to be able to meet like-minded people with similar interests to you.

I’ve made lots of great friends and will leave college with some great memories.

The freedom of college life is also something I’ve really enjoyed, and I think the independence has helped me grow as a person.

However, it can be very challenging to balance having a part-time job with lectures, keeping up with friends and having a social life, as well as studying for exams.

Oftentimes, I feel like it’s a balancing act — one aspect of my life can suffer while I am focusing on the others.

During my time in college, I have found that exam time is a difficult period as some lectures are quite vague and sometimes there isn’t a lot of support when it comes to exams.

It can be hard to know what a certain lecturer is expecting from an exam question, so it’s a challenge to figure out what aspects of the course to study in-depth. It’s tough, but college is teaching me to manage these kinds of challenges.

If I were to give advice to incoming first years, I would say to try to put yourself out there as much as possible and avoid sticking with your secondary school friends.

I know it’s difficult, but I think that’s a trap a lot of people fall into and its harder to make new friends outside your secondary school group when that happens.

Opening yourself up to meeting new people gives you the opportunity for so many new experiences, so try to be brave — it’s well worth it.

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