• Question: Was school in college really difficult? Especially when you were studying those subjects! Was it complex or not too bad?

    Asked by Ore Jay to Ray, Laura, John G, Catherine on 13 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Laura Tobin

      Laura Tobin answered on 13 Nov 2014:

      I found college difficult especially exams. I had to repeat my exams every single year. It’s a lot different now, for example in UCD they now have a maths support centre, so if you are struggling you can get help. Once UCD brought in continuous assessment, I started to do well. I really found it difficult to recall what I needed when sitting an exam, however the SA projects I worked on, did very well. Even though I found it difficult and tough, I really enjoyed it. I made some great friends and we helped each other out. We used to get together to do our physics homework together, which helped a lot.

      Unfortunately most lecturers aren’t taught to teach (unlike primary & secondary school teachers), so some lecturers are bad teachers. They have a lot of knowledge and expertise in their area but they aren’t able to communicate it properly. I remember asking one lecturer to recommend a book (as I was struggling with their class) and they said “just read the notes”. They couldn’t comprehend why anyone who struggle in their class. This too has been changing lately. Colleges offer courses to help lecturers and I think with social media, lecturers are getting better at communication for mass audiences.

      Also, the internet helps a lot. You can look up many youtube videos on a subject or wikihows.

    • Photo: John Ging

      John Ging answered on 13 Nov 2014:

      College has changed a lot from my day.
      Back then, electrical and electronic engineers sat 18 different 3 hour exams at the end of each year. It sorted the men and women from the boys and girls!
      Nowadays its all continuous assessment and a few little tests at the end. I reckon its not too bad. When I was lecturing in UCD I realised hardly anyone failed. As long as you do a little work along the way you’ll be grand.

    • Photo: Catherine Conaghan

      Catherine Conaghan answered on 14 Nov 2014:

      I thought 1st and 2nd year were the hardest because there were so many subjects, but you soon find out everyone is in the same boat. I loved 3rd and 4th year as it was more lab work and experiments and focussed on continuous assessment, which I much preferred. Any decent course these days will have difficult parts, but being determined is the main thing. I have a friend who took 6 years to do the same 4 year course I did and he’s working as engineer in a great company in Galway that put all the cameras and sensors in all BMW’s and Aston Martin cars.

    • Photo: Ray Alcorn

      Ray Alcorn answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      School for me was pretty easy but Uni was harder initially. Until I found a simple study system that suited me .. then I was grand and I really got into it.