Hi everybody, my name is Aoife Burke. I am a first year Journalism student studying English and Law. I’m very happy to be talking about my experience of college, although it is my first week of proper lectures. I found the start of first year to be a little stressful, with sorting out my student card, locker, fees and back to education allowance. I am also a mature student, but I want to write about my experience as a fresher first and foremost.
There is SO much reading to do in English, though I love studying poetry. I’m glad to say that I usually get what is going on in the English lectures but it’s an incredibly popular lecture, so I have to arrive 20 minutes early if I want to get a seat! Not many people know this but I was an award winning poet at the age of 15 and the newspaper clipping is in the digital archives for the west of Ireland. Not giving details on location however!
My new favourite place to hang out is Smokeys where I can chill with a caffeine drink and a good poetry book. (Extra brownie points there!) I find I do a lot of studying off my phone as I can’t always get to the library. Everyone has been so lovely and helpful and although I was so nervous the first couple of weeks, I’m beginning to think the course work is manageable. I’m also making time for my writing. I sometimes submit short stories to Woman’s Way so my next piece of writing is out in January. Anyone who knows me knows I love pink.
Anywhere and everywhere though, I draw the line at Turnitin assignments. I’m quite an extrovert when you get to know me and I worked on a show on Friday afternoons called Trivia Matters on Flirt FM, for about 18 months, which helped me get my foot in the door of journalism. I graduated from AIT with a higher cert in social studies 5 years ago which I am very proud of, as it was not easy to get.
I did find the MSAP entrance exam tough enough but I was happy with my result. I am the only mature student in NUI Galway’s journalism programme but the mature students from other courses have been great and we have rallied around each other. First years are so funny, I love going to lectures and hearing other peoples’ perspective. I am a little shy about speaking up in lectures but in time… that girl down the back wearing pink with her hand up? Yep, that will be me!
I’ve done a bit of acting in the past. I was in a Coronas’ music video in 2010 (“Won’t Leave You Alone Tonight”, wearing a mask, sitting on the stairs) and more recently cast as an extra in an “Irish Crime Story” tv show which was filmed in Galway last November. Brilliant experience, we were treated like film stars. It will be broadcast in Germany this year.
I haven’t really started assignments yet, as we are two days into the first week, but I was more nervous about the crowds in the hallway. It’s not really that bad! I’m getting streetwise about bringing in my own lunches and making sure I know the location of the nearest water fountain. Everyone has been so lovely so far, although I’m still trying to find a part-time job. Not so easy at the moment. My family is very happy I am at university though, and so am I.
Until next week guys!