UCC and the full meaning of the present life

By: Úna Hennessy who starts the MA in Creative Writing this September.

American thinker John Dewey once wrote:

“Cease conceiving of education as mere preparation for later life, and make it the full meaning of the present life.'”

UCC for me embodies this. When studying English and French for my undergrad, I not only received a top-class education in the traditional sense, but grew, learned and matured in ways that I didn’t expect. From reading mind-blowing novels recommended by class-mates in the President’s garden, to experiencing the warmth of community of the music societies at open-mic nights, there were endless opportunities to exploit during my college years.

I had lecturers who had open-door policies for students, welcoming all to chat or debate, despite their busy schedules, and whose enthusiasm was contagious. I met fascinating students from around the world, and made friends for life. Although I had a huge amount of fun in college, it was of course daunting and challenging, especially coming straight from secondary school, where rote-learning is key to success. Luckily there were supports for students to make the transition to thinking critically, and to writing well-researched essays and annotating correctly etc.

I was delighted to be accepted onto the Creative Writing MA programme this year. It was easy to choose UCC for my postgrad, having heard great things about the course, and having experienced first-hand the expertise of its lecturers in the school of English. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the coursework, as well as making use of the membership to the Mardyke pool (and sauna!) as well as meeting the other MA students. College is such a social place, and UCC is big enough that you can meet loads of people, but at the same time small enough that it still feels like a community.

Over the years, Cork has become home. I love the people, the ease of accessing the city and campus, the food, the pubs, the galleries and venues. UCC holds a lot of memories for me, and I can’t wait to be back there!


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