“I’m a mature student and I went back to college at the right time, I think. When I was in secondary school I was just so jaded by my experience. I’ve really spent the last 10 years doing different things such as acting. 2020 happened and changed everything for me. That’s what led me to applying for university. I had to rethink my life after the pandemic.
The impact my scholarship has made is actually immeasurable. I almost didn’t get it because they can’t give it out to everyone obviously. I still live at home and help look after things but it’s frustrating for me because I’m 28 years old. Unfortunately I wasn’t eligible for back to education welfare as I wasn’t unemployed long enough to be eligible.
I work part-time and most of my extra time is spent working to support myself. The scholarship just took a huge weight off my shoulders. It didn’t feel like every single cent that I was earning was going somewhere else. I actually felt like I could relax a little bit. Even with this, I just felt like I was going to struggle. The cost of travelling in Dublin is insane and I have to get two buses every morning and they are so unreliable. I’m not living any kind of lavish lifestyle, but I have to spend so much money on transport and food and I don’t really buy anything for myself. Having a scholarship and knowing that it is coming in each month really does give me peace of mind.
Mature students who have to make their own way, while often balancing their studies with having a family to support. For students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have other difficulties in their life, these scholarships are invaluable. I’m just really, sincerely, so grateful. I’d love to meet some of the alumni who support students like me and tell them myself how much it means to me.”