Thinking back to this time last year, I was starting my final year undergraduate studies at The University of Limerick and if you asked me where I saw myself in 12 months, then I certainly thought I would have been part of the class of 2012 jumping on the emigration train. At least, that was the plan.
Like so many other students, the uncertainty of life after college is a scary prospect. Words such as “Grown Up” and “The Real World” start to get thrown around but I thought to myself, "am I really ready?"
Having accepted two jobs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively, both to be an English teacher, it all seemed to be falling into place. Another world adventure with some of my best friends seemed to be my best option.
Then it happened late into March of this year I checked my e-mails and there it was staring me in the face. “Congratulations”, the acceptance of my application to become an MA student here in NUI Galway.
My first reaction was to run to the kitchen to tell my housemates, but then it hit me. I now had a difficult choice to make: to follow my dream and become a journalist or defer and go on The Middle Eastern adventure with 4 of my best friends.
Needless to say the decision was pretty easy when you have a passion in life. So here I am at my desk in the newsroom in the journalism suite of NUI Galway.
Regret is something that I think affects each of us at different stages in our lives and I knew that not following this dream would have been my biggest regret. Starting over in a new university to the one you completed your undergraduate studies is not an easy task.
Then again it really is all about diversity and staying on at UL was far too easy. Transmission from the best four years of my life at The University of Limerick with friends I now consider to be family, I thought to myself on my first day here at NUI Galway “What have I got myself into?”
My first-day anxieties were not helped by the fact I had just spent the weekend at graduation; reliving four years’ worth of tales of friendship, college romances, and of course the first heartbreaks and friends lost upon the way.
The realisation from graduation was that it was all over. It was time to say goodbye. Those words of “Grown Up” and “The real world” hit us like a ton of bricks, as we all got into separate cars and drove away from the hotel, reality began to sink in. I was now an M.A Journalism student.
My journey was not quite to The Middle East or Canada (just yet), instead I had the big move to Galway. Almost four weeks into the M.A.J program and I can safely say, I have no regrets.
I may have felt like a five year-old getting dropped off at the school gates of primary school on my first day, but in hindsight, being an M.A Journalism student excites me on so many different levels each day.
Starting over, making new friends it is all part of the transmission into the next stage of your life. My advice is to enjoy the time you have, and follow your passions. Life is for living, not regretting.