“I’m a second year law with history student and I am really enjoying my time in UCD so far, socially and academically. I managed to finish out first year with first class honours which I am over the moon about. Socially, I have gotten involved with loads of extracurriculars and societies, such as LawSoc and basketball, and I have made really good friends. This year I am also a Peer Mentor, which I am finding really rewarding.
I credit so many of these good experiences to this scholarship. It has provided me with financial security and stability. The reassurance that I have this support has made such an impact on my time at UCD so far. It has given me the opportunity to make the most of my college experience by allowing me to worry less about finances. I feel like this scholarship has levelled the playing field for me in my course. I worried that, before starting college, I would miss out on so many opportunities as I would not be able to afford to take part, or would have to prioritise working over everything else UCD might have to offer. I was also quite worried about fitting in with my peers – Coming into UCD alone, not knowing anyone, I knew I would feel quite isolated at first. I worried that I have not had the same networking opportunities and connections that my classmates have had.
I was able to take advantage of both the HEAR and the DARE schemes in order to secure my place in UCD. My dad is on disability and my mum is the main source of income in my family. These supports, as well as SUSI, have helped cover my fees and take so much pressure off myself and my family. I still have to have a part-time job, but the financial help I receive means I can cut down my hours around exam times in order to focus more on studying and achieving the best grades I can. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a couple of years ago, and while my health has been much improved recently with treatments, I can still suffer from fatigue and have some hospital stays, which can impact my studies.
I put the scholarship money towards necessities like laptop repairs, transport costs, and textbooks. I have also been able to help my parents out financially with bills and rent, which has taken a lot of pressure off us as a family. It has been amazing to be able to share this support with them. Without this scholarship, I know I would have faced a lot more stress and pressure; I would never have been able to get as involved as I have been. Having to work a lot more hours would have meant I would have lost out on a lot of the social aspect of UCD life. Thanks to this support, I am in a position to apply to go on Erasmus in Third Year, and am also in the process of applying for internships. Past UCD, I plan to become a solicitor and go down the Corporate Law route.
This scholarship has given me so much more confidence and allowed me to get more involved than I ever would have before. This is thanks to your support. I hope donors understand that donating makes such a huge, tangible difference in the lives of students like me. It helps them get the most out of their education at UCD.”