By Ross O’Connor
My name is Ross O’Connor and I come from the lovely fields of Athenry, and yes that song hurts my soul a little every time I hear it :p I am now a 4th year student of Applied Languages, yes that’s right I’ve made it to final year with no bumps in the road, and for that I’m already delighted with myself because it’s a really hard course.
I began the course with French, German and Spanish but after 7 amazing months in Germany and 5 brilliant months in France I decided not to pursue the three as I knew it would be a struggle. I love the course even though we have had our differences, there are no words to describe the opportunities presented for your year abroad.
It seems so long ago to think back to the Leaving Cert, or even first year for that matter, I was speaking to a first year yesterday who was struggling with referencing (a concept I’m still perfecting 3 years on) but it feels like it’s so long ago because I’m a “mature final year, who studies all the time and never has any fun”, yeah that’s me! It’s already proving to be a tough year but also one of the most fun years so far too. College is just about balance and getting it right.
So basically it’s week 10, can you believe it! Take me back to week 1/2 when we had nothing to do and exams seemed to far away. This semester has probably been the fastest of my semesters here in UL.
Week 10/11/12 are usually the most stressful for students as this when a lot of their assignments, presentations etc are due. If you are a languages student, this is made worse by orals. That’s an oral exam for every language you study in the same week. Don’t worry though, it’s completely manageable. You just need to be organised and put in the work when necessary. Here are some tips on managing everything:
1. Try to group your subjects, ie if you have an essay for French and a grammar test, do the study for that in the same session.
2. When you are signing up for your orals, leave one day in between each, so you have time to revise and you won’t have the other languages in your head.
3. Go to the library, there are loads of resources there. However, if the library is too busy for you, go to the LLH, it’s a nice quiet space.
4. In the LLH, there are discussion groups. GO TO THE THEM! They will help you so much and put you at ease coming up to the orals.
5. Take breaks and relax, for those of you in first, remember this, these exams will not be as bad as you fear. You made it through the leaving Cert, at least you are interested in these subjects.
So guys, those are just some tips that I found useful when doing my study. Best of luck with the final weeks, but also remember to make the best of it.