As today is our last class of the MLIS, I have begun to think back over my college term. It started in 2009 where I first entered UCD as a Mature student. Being a Mature student was very difficult to adjust to, however as term went on a group of brilliant people came into my life. As we were all similar in age we helped each other through every assignment, looked after each other when home troubles started because the degree was taking up so much of our time, and of course frequenting the student bar!
Each person in that group had some kind of an idea of what they wanted to achieve by the end, we all knew the degree was not going to get us these dreams jobs, so by 2nd year we all began researching Master courses, the majority of us were all in Sociology together and entering into a Sociology degree is not an easy task. My thoughts were very mixed. Politics was my minor and my biggest challenge, however as 3rd year came into view Sociology began to rear it’s ugly theory head. I had to make a decision what Masters am I going to do?
As I was browsing the many elective choices you can take, I came across Lee Komito’s module Cybersociety. As I loved Sociology and was very interested in how technology was affecting society, I delved a little deeper! What did I find, The School of Library and Information Studies! As I searched the curriculum for the Masters I could not believe what I was reading, all the modules were either referring to a piece of sociology or were asking me to enter into a librarian’s world and seek out the many challenges and possible solutions to them.
I cannot put into words how I felt when I started my Internship in Waterford, finally after years of wondering what is it I wanted to do I felt I had achieved it. The warmth and encouragement in those few weeks was amazing, the way they went through all the modules I would be taking and answered the many silly questions I had about Libraries and their quirky words! (MARC21)
Starting the Masters was a Dream come True on it’s own, I could never have dreamt being at such a high academic level. I finished school in 1998 and did not achieve high points ( I only added my grades up when I filled in my CAO form) to enter into college, my principal when handing me my leaving certificate hugged me and said “I always knew you would pass”. That to a very naive 18 year old always followed me around through my 20’s. It was like I would not be able to achieve anymore within education, it was the best I could do.
However I did go on to do a 2 year certificate in WIT, college life was not for me I got through the 2 years by the skin of my teeth. Again my course leader struggled and pushed me every step of the way, looking back I did not appreciate what all these educators were doing for me as I was my own worst enemy!
My life did change when I met my partner, he showed me that I did not know everything because I choose not to learn anything, end of story! He said to me one day, have you ever read the paper, what’s is going on in America right now? I knew there were elections happening but that was about it, so he says “if you want to know stuff read the paper”. At 27 that really is harsh, but it woke me up I was always an avid reader but the learning never went beyond the book I read.
So I begun learning, and one day reading the paper I saw an advertisement, a home study course for a Diploma in Social Studies. It was a fabulous challenge, I had never used my computer for academic reasons so having to install microsoft word and write up essays which I would email to my tutor sounded exciting. As I started this new journey of knowledge I begun to wonder will I go back to college. As my partner saw me doing really well with the Diploma, he suggested to enrol to college’s.
It has been a long crazy journey since then, the diploma I could not finish as I started the degree and could not juggle both, but I knew I had achieved what I wanted so I was happy to let it go. For a lot of people education is a daunting challenge one that you can very well fail at, but if you know in your heart that what you’re learning, is all you have ever wanted to learn, you will achieve all you desire and more.
And now for my next journey, I have recently been hired as a Research Assistant for a recruitment company. It lies in a different world of recruitment than I could have ever dreamed, I will be in a totally different environment from what I am used to, sitting at home on your computer for 8 hours doing assignments might be a bit different to this job!
MATURE STUDENTS ROCK!