In 2011, I attended the Neuroscience Ireland conference held in Maynooth. It was my first experience of a scientific conference and as an undergraduate, it was a great opportunity. Although the details of the various research presented were difficult to for me to grasp, I gained insight on how people do science and how important it is to share and communicate your research to the community. I drew inspiration from listening to the talks of experts in the field and it gave me a lot to think about. It motivated me to pursue a career in scientific research, particularly on the brain.
In 2012, I was awarded the Health Research Board (HRB) Summer Student Scholarship. This gave me the opportunity to be involved in research on longitudinal outcomes of acquired brain injury at the National Rehabilitation Hospital.
At the end of my first year (2011), I was awarded the first year prize in Spanish (ab initio) by the Department of Spanish.
I was a mature student when I studied in Maynooth and given the number of mature students on campus, I felt at home. I didn't feel out of place.
I felt that there was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere within the departments and within the campus in general. The academic and administrative staff were very approachable and helpful.
In Psychology, critical thinking was given much emphasis and this has influenced my approach in research. Critical thinking is critical in research.
There is support available to help you succeed in your studies, be it from your peers or academic mentor. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Be proactive in pursuing your academic interests and have fun while you're at it!