Self-doubt, isolation: The reality of remote learning for first-year college students

Many new undergraduates have yet to set foot on campus and are silently struggling

UCD student Hannah Ledesma in her ‘home-college’, the bedroom she shares with her sister at home in  Mountmellick, Co Laois. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

UCD student Hannah Ledesma in her ‘home-college’, the bedroom she shares with her sister at home in Mountmellick, Co Laois. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When Hannah Ledesma from Mountmellick, Co Laois, applied to go to University College Dublin she never expected first year would be like this: studying from home in the bedroom she shares with her younger sister.

Her plans to move in with a family in Dublin went up in smoke as soon as pandemic lockdown restrictions went to Level 3 last year. Shortly afterwards, even the one day she was due to spend on campus each week was cancelled.

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