I was never completely clear. I was in sixth year at the Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick, when I put medicine at NUI Galway as my first choice on the CAO form, followed by nursing and psychology.
But I had doubts and uncertainties. I wasn’t hung up on medicine, but I knew I wanted to go into an area related to medicine.
I did a bit more research, and before the closing date of the Change of Mind form, I changed my second choice to Biomedical Science in NUI Galway.
I knew getting the points for medicine would be tough, but I wanted to leave my options open for a possible postgraduate medicine course, if I missed out on an undergraduate medicine course, and biomedical science is at the top of the list of preferred degree courses for postgraduate entry.
I didn’t get medicine. I had a bit of a twinge, but I felt that my second choice was a good fit and I was happy to be heading to Galway.
The course has been brilliant. There’s a good biomedical cluster in Galway, and the industry has a strong input into the course, telling the college what they want from graduates. Job prospects are excellent.
Galway is a fantastic city and the rent is so much cheaper compared to Dublin. The campus is only five minutes from the city and students are a big part of life here.
Now, I don't know if I'll do medicine: I have a summer placement with the Health Research Board, and a research career is appealing.
My advice to students: don’t get hung up on getting what you want first time around.
There are lots of ways and means to get into the course you want.
Repeating is not the only option, so make sure you make good second and third choices in broadly the same field as that first choice you want. I did, and I’ve no regrets.