From Classroom to Community: How Clubs and Community Enriched My Educational Journey
After working for many years, I never thought I would find myself physically back in a classroom. I have always enjoyed learning and researching online for continuous development and growth. The thought of becoming a committed student again in a school and discovering that it might be too late was a bit scary. However, my insatiable curiosity pushed me to make one of the best decisions of my life, and I can only say that “I would do it all over again”.
I am currently completing my master’s degree in Strategy and Innovation as a part-time student. It has been an adventurous journey that has opened my eyes. I discovered that Maynooth University has a wide and diverse pool of students, and the Irish humor, openness, and friendliness extend beyond the classrooms.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, your background, or even your age. The only thing we all care about is being respectful and kind to each other. There is a strong sense of community and camaraderie.
I soon realized that the classrooms are filled with working professionals who are looking to upskill, network, and position themselves in strategic areas at work; therefore, I was not the only one in a similar situation. Drawing from my real-world experiences, I believe I offered valuable insights during discussions and projects. I find my lecturers and peers to be inspirational and admire their wisdom. My contributions not only enriched my own learning journey but also added depth and diversity to the academic discourse.
The university’s inclusive atmosphere breaks down barriers and fosters a true sense of intellectual community. I felt inspired and motivated by the exchange of ideas with my peers, realizing that it is never too late for intellectual growth and fulfillment.
During my time at Maynooth University, I found a perfect balance between my academic pursuits and my passions. The university provided me with a supportive and stimulating environment where I could thrive. I discovered the Chess Club, the Music Club, and Women in STEM Club; they truly sparked my interest. I was soon honing my skills on the chessboard, practicing with my violin in the soundproof rooms at the music department, or brainstorming ideas to encourage women to get involved in STEM, all while cultivating lifelong friendships and a strong sense of belonging.
I discovered a community of like-minded individuals who shared my same enthusiasm. Through numerous clubs at Maynooth University, I had opportunities to connect with others. It allowed me to sharpen my skills and build lasting friendships. Not only did I refine my skills, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities, but I also contributed my expertise to mentor and help fellow students join the numerous clubs. You could find me initiating impromptu chess games across the campus, inviting students passing by to join me and I mentored aspiring players. I met so many students!. As I put it, “There are no strangers here.”
My journey at Maynooth University stands as a testament to the transformative power of education, the pursuit of one’s passions, and community. I hope my story will inspire other professionals to embark on their educational journeys, embracing the opportunities for personal growth, intellectual stimulation and community building that await them. I can confidently declare, “It is never too late to pursue your dreams and expand your horizons. This is an investment in your future, and you will enjoy it. Maynooth University has shown me that the possibilities are endless for those who dare to take the leap.”