By: Daniel Lynch who starts the MA in Irish Writing and Film this September.
When I first entered the grounds of University College Cork as an undergraduate, I could not help but feel elated and perhaps somewhat overwhelmed at the buzzing potential. I questioned whether I could adapt from secondary education to tertiary and whether I would ever find my way around the ORB! Three years later I would be happy to confirm my gut feeling that day; attending UCC was the best decision I ever made.
First and foremost you are attending university for your piece of paper, and at UCC you will receive a stellar standard of education. I primarily decided to return for my MA in Irish Writing and Film because of the impression left upon me by superb lecturers. This trend carries across different disciplines, and the friends I made along the way from Engineering to Medicine will attest the same.
The facilities available to students in UCC are second to none. If you are at crunch time for essay deadlines there are a multitude of computer rooms available. UCC’s library is exceptional with a helpful staff and also doubles as a wonderful study location. Everyone has ‘their spot’ in UCC, and I cannot wait to return to mine this semester!
Perhaps the biggest memory from my undergraduate degree however belongs to the friends I made along the way. I recently attended the wedding of two friends I made in UCC, and returning to the Honan Chapel last year gave me a wonderful sense of joy and pride in my alma mater.
There is no shortage of friendliness on campus and joining a society or club is the quickest way of meeting new people. Everyone who graduates UCC will have their own special memories of a play they acted in for Dramat, an article they wrote for the Express or even the nice cups of tea they had with the Tea Society!
Personally, as an undergraduate I became Editor-in-chief of the college paper and can attest it had a huge effect on my career choice. To this day some of my closest friendships were forged over frayed nerves editing at two in the morning to meet a deadline!
For budding athletes who go on to represent their country or plucky amateurs who like the idea of trying their hand at fencing, UCC’s Clubs have something for everyone. The Mardyke Arena offers world-class training facilities, and as someone who went in completely ignorant of how to use the equipment, I appreciated greatly the staff’s patience!
Why return to UCC? The defining quality of UCC is self-improvement, a continued search for knowledge, and new experiences. Addressing the proud students when I first graduated, President Dr. Michael Murphy stated he hoped that it was not the end of our education. He stressed the need to seize opportunities and always try to improve oneself, as education is a lifelong goal and one that should never end.