The 5 year plan
Five students tell Gráinne Fallertheir hopes, dreams and plans for the next five years
Cormac O Meadhra
Former school: Presentation College, Bray, Co Wicklow
I was very happy on the whole with the exams. Honestly, the biggest relief was the poets of English Paper 2. I had Larkin covered and it was a nice question, so I managed to avoid the Plath and Heaney fiasco. That for me was a huge relief.
My first choice is engineering in UCD. It was a toss up between that and maths in Trinity, which is higher points. A professor in UCD told me that engineering is comprised of a lot of problem solving and maths, but you also get hands-on practical learning. That was what convinced me. That, and the fact that it’s easier to get postgrad funding for engineering than pure maths. For engineering I need around 450 points, so anywhere above that and I’m happy.
My five-year plan It’s a five-year course so the plan is really finish with good grades. I hope to travel in the meantime and build up some experience.
My ideal job At the moment I think something in academia – maybe lecturing?
Travel Definitely want to travel. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America are at top of the list.
Places I’ll have seen by the time I’m 25 All the places mentioned above. I would like to spend my summers away and experience life abroad. I’m thinking about an Erasmus and maybe I could spend a year in America. But who knows? It could all change over the next few years.
Heroes I want to have met This is too hard to answer. I honestly don’t know who I’d choose.
Best life lesson I have learned so far It’s not that bad. Things could always be worse.
From: Craughwell, Co Galway
Studying: Science in NUIG, going into second year
I absolutely love the freedom of college. Everything is so monitored in secondary school – your attendance, your uniform, your study – and then you get to college and all of a sudden it’s up to you. I was like, “I can do whatever I want. This is epic!” I moved in to college so I did have to deal with the responsibility too. Some days I’d be lying in bed and thinking, “I can’t do this,” but I’d drag myself up and get to the lecture.
I opted for an undenominated science degree to keep my options open. When I was younger I wanted to do marine biology (I can probably trace that desire back to the time I watched Flipper when I was five) but then I did a stint of work experience in an aquarium. It wasn’t exactly working with dolphins – there was a lot of tank cleaning. Now I’m massively interested in stem cell research but I’m not going to get all obsessed again. I’ll keep my options open until I learn more.
My five year plan There’s a lot of study in my future. If you’re in science it quickly becomes obvious that there isn’t really any point in stopping at a BSc. You need to get your Masters and your PhD and whatever else you can under your belt. I’ll have at least a couple of those letters to my name in five years time.
My ideal job I’ll sound like such a geek here but I really would love to be doing some sort of research. I love the idea of continuously learning and researching. I can’t see myself working in a company lab but then again I don’t want to rule it out either. I don’t know enough about it yet I suppose.