Written by Ciara
MSc Nutrition and Behaviour
Sometimes I wonder how I ended up back in university at all…
After I finished my undergraduate degree, I didn’t expect to study again. I had struggled through my final exams and thought that was it, I was ready to go into the working world, and that was what I did. I had qualified as a dietitian, and so off I went working in clinical dietetics, which meant working in several hospitals in Dublin.
I loved working, but at some point, I felt stuck in a rut – and just like that I decided to study again, after 4 years of employment. Slightly scary. Fortunately, the decision was made easier by the fact that I was a good saver. I always put money aside at the start of the month as soon as I got paid and put it straight into my bank account. Again, slightly scary to spend all my savings taking a risk on further education, but, as they say, you only regret the things you don’t do. The bank also allowed me to take out a loan to cover further costs, a benefit of regular saving.
Getting back into ‘study mode’ was a little difficult at first, but made easier by the fact that the course I had chosen, MSc Nutrition and Behaviour, was a mix of ages and stages – some people coming straight from undergraduate degrees, some people coming back after working in a totally different area, some people who had been working for decades coming back to education. So there was always encouragement, especially in our very busy WhatsApp group!
Another helpful support was the Study Skills workshops. If, like me, you had completely forgotten how to search for scientific papers or collate references, you could book in for a session and brush up on anything you felt was a little bit rusty. The lecturers were so supportive, and it didn’t take long for me to settle back into an academic mindset. I’ll admit, I miss the money coming into my account each month! But I know it will be worth it, and I’m really enjoying learning more about topics I’m passionate about.
I don’t for a minute regret coming back to university – I think I’ll look back at it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.