Friday, December 02, 2011

co-op, erasmus, and other sources of stress.

This has been a trying week, though it shouldn’t have been. Sometimes I falter under a pressure that I only imagine has been applied. But things are good. Things are falling into place. (Some other things are falling out of place but that’s neither here nor there.) I have news and I have clothes and I have ambition and motivation and lots of other –ations.

This semester of college is done and dusted. The last twelve weeks have gone by so fast. I loved everything about these past three months and I wish that I could go back next semester and resume the life that involved lectures and tutorials and Out in UL and going on adventures and training myself to buy actual food and not eat crisps for dinner (at least not every day anyway). But next semester is bringing more brand new experiences: Co-Op.

For those of you who don’t know what exactly Co-Op is (and I know there are many – me, for example), here’s a brief, vague, and not very informative lowdown: Co-Op is Co-Operative Education and is a compulsory element of almost every course in University of Limerick. In layman’s terms, it’s work experience. For one semester (or more), you join the real world, gain some experience  and maybe some pocket money if you’re lucky.

I mentioned before that I have been attending interviews for Co-Op. (Well, one. Which I didn’t get.) I’ve been getting antsy for the last couple of weeks, wondering why I haven’t been called for every interview available. (That’ll be the narcissism kicking in. Or the insecurity. I can’t tell.) The main reason for the overall lack of interviews is that many of the placements in the humanities sector are only made available later in the year. While some people have had their Co-Op sorted for weeks, the kind of places that are interested in my CV are taking a leaf out of my book and leaving last to no one. (That was a poor attempt at making fun of my talent for procrastination. Except that procrastination isn’t remotely funny. Procrastination kills. Probably.)

Today, though, I interviewed for two different placements: the first was for an education programme in Ennis; the second, an over-the-phone interview for a media group in Dublin. (That’s one thing that I love about my course, New Media and English – it could lead me anywhere!) I’ll miss UL: I will miss the people and the fun and the 1970s-style architecture that UL’s critics love to complain about.

Another compulsory aspect of my course is Erasmus/ Study Abroad. Erasmus is generally for courses which have a culture or language component. Trying to sort out Erasmus on top of the stress of trying to sort out Co-Op was no mean feat but – finally, and with great delight – I can now announce that in September I’m heading off to the very beautiful University of West Scotland for a whole semester of haggis and tartan and other stereotypical, fun things like that. I am so excited!

In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of essays and an exam to contend with. Then Christmas and holidays and spending time with family and friends.

Are you all excited? What’s Santa bringing? :)


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