First off: a shout out to everybody who’s been reading my blog and creeping me on Facebook while I’ve been abroad! Even though I’m having the time of my life here, I really miss everyone at home, and I can’t wait to be back in Connecticut for Christmas and back up at Springfield in January <3! My semester in Limerick is nearly exactly half way through, and there are tons of huge trips planned for the rest of October, November, and December, so STAY TUNED :D
So far, the toughest part of my experience studying and living here at U. Limerick is the size of the university– my lectures all consist of approx. 200 kids. Walking into full auditoriums and realizing this is where my classes are held is actually mind-blowing. Seymour is no mammoth town, and with 2,500 kids at SC, I can easily walk the five or ten minutes to class and say “hey” to between 10 and 20 people. Being on a large campus such as this, with 12,000 students, I get excited to see a single friendly face on my 20 minute strolls to lectures. It’s nearly impossible to meet people in lecture, so I’m lucky I started off the semester by finding good friends. Granted, I know a large piece of that is because I’m essentially a first year, but after two years of being conditioned at Springfield, it’s quite a change.
At Springfield, the only lecture course I’ve taken was General Chemistry, also my largest class, with a size of 60 students. As I’ve finished my Gen. Ed. requirements, my class sizes have generally gotten smaller– with the extreme example of my fantastic “Social Justice-Film-Journalism” course last spring with Professor Santos, consisting of only seven other students. Developing personal relationships with my professors over my two years at SC is something I’m proud of, yet took for granted. At Springfield, by halfway through the semester, my professors know more about me than they probably want to, as I’m popping into each of their offices with questions or whatever at least once a week. Even being in Week 7 of my semester here, I don’t think any of my lecturers or tutorial leaders know my name. I have only had a handful of meaningful conversations with them in total. Additionally, at a large university it seems the value of individual education is extremely decreased. Because attendance is not taken in lecture, and selectively in tutorial, the message that we as students are numbers, and literally nobody cares if you choose to attend classes is widespread.
Building off the cliché “there are plenty of fish in the sea”, I’ve come to the conclusion there are too many fish in this enormous University of Limerick sea! Needless to say, I miss my cozy private college and can’t wait to get back into the Humanities and Education Depts at Springfield!
I’m off to the Dublin Museums with the UL Literary Society in the morning, have a good weekend!