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Trinity Life

Life as a Mature Student in Trinity College

Life as a Mature Student in Trinity College By Emear Smithers O’Sullivan Celia Flanagan is a mature student in Trinity College studying Philosophy and Sociology. Celia was born in Mayo in the 1950’s. When Celia was growing up she was one of the few children to finish secondary school. Celia could not pursuit her dreams of going to College because you had to come from a wealthy background. Celia got her love of education from her father who was a self-educated man. Now in her late 50’s Celia has decided to go to Trinity College to study, she loves her college classes but has some problems because she is not just out of school she is finding it hard to learn and remember the course material. Celia explains how different it is from other colleges, the lectures are given in front of 200 to 300 students in a huge auditorium. Where there are rows and rows of seats with the wood panels in the room brings you back to decades gone by and Celia wonders how many famous students have sat in this lecture hall as she is now? Celia explains how others students in the lecture hall can be putting on their make up, being on any number of social media

sites, eating while the lecture is been held and these students would understand what the lecturer is about where she has to concentrate to get all the relevant information. The lecturer’s don’t interact with the students it’s the tutor’s that deal with the students in a tutorial. The tutor is a PHD student or graduate. They break down the lectures and answer any questions that may arise from the lectures.

Celia says, “She doesn’t talk to the lecturer, it’s the tutor that she deals with for assignment and if there is anything that need to be explained to her and her classmates that is the tutors job. The tutors are very caring and helpful.” Celia class is made up of high number of mature students because of the subject Philosophy. There are not many school leavers, so the age gap isn’t as large as maybe in other subjects. Where as in the sociology class there is a bigger age difference.

One of Celia’s passions is reading the books and understanding them and been able to explain it back to herself. She explains how hard she is finding to learn and remember the core material. She feels that her brain has difficulties in remember new material because when you get older your brain is not able to learn new things as easy as in your teens. Celia can recall poems that she learnt from her childhood easy enough and giggles. Celia explains that one of her weakness is not been technically minded. When she handed in her assignment last year it had to be done by computer and she was having problems getting it to work. Celia called the lecturer’s office on several occasion but got no reply. When she did get the lecturer, she was not very understanding and even though Celia explain her difficulty and why her assignment was late she still lost marks, but at the end of the year when the examination panel went over the course work by every student Celia did get the points back. To help mature students like Celia there are mature student groups. They are the to help if possible but mainly to give support. They help with study techniques, how to take lecture notes and how to write an academic essay. There are also social actives where people can meet in a relax atmosphere which can be of great help. They can get to know each other without the stress of college.

Celia said, “ college assignments and lectures are important but you have to get a balance because your social life helps with the stress of college life.” One of the highlights for Celia is when she is working on a group project is meeting new people and learning from them and how they approach the assignment with different ideas and understanding. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not. But it is always an experience and you are always learning. This is Celia second year and she found first year very lonely because there where no group projects and she didn’t get to meet many of the students last year but that is not her experience this year. Over the year’s Celia did other college course where she did have different experiences, it doesn’t matter what course you are doing or where there are always good points and bad points, but it is always enjoyable education it is never wasted. Celia feels that you are never to old to go to college just remember it will be a lot of hard work but it will be worth in the end.

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