Once again my Mom has asked me to share what I’ve been up to as I am quickly nearing the end of the first semester of my second year of college. I am doing very well in my second year and I greatly enjoy my studies. I have a wonderful group of friends that has been supporting me through the academic year. Already this year I’ve had some amazing experiences including going to Electric Picnic (a massive music festival, my favourite performance was Bonnie Tyler live) and class rep training. I am also looking forward to traveling to Vienna with my friends this January!

This semester was very interesting in terms of what courses I was required to take and what I chose to take. Unfortunately I was required to take a Philosophy and Ethics course, which was dry to say the least. My favourite module by far this semester has been Biogeochemical cycles, which has been very intense but extremely interesting. Essentially the course looks at how chemistry can be used to explore Earth systems and processes. This means that I’ve spent a fair amount of time brushing up on my chemistry to understand the role it plays in cycles such as the Rock cycle and the cycles that control atmospheric composition, primarily with regards to CO2 concentrations. I am also required to take Statistics this semester, which meant I had to learn to use the programming language R for statistical computing, analysis and graphics. I’m very excited for my final in this particular course because I get to design and run a simulation of my own creation to model predator-prey interaction or the spread of infection. When there’s an opportunity to design a simulation of dinosaur predator-prey interactions, you know I’m gonna take it! 

This year I am also allowed to take the Foundational Scholarship exams (shortened to Schols), which are 3 big exams focused on the subject matter specific to my course that’s already been covered. I’ve chosen to take these exams on top of my end of semester exams because students who do exceptionally well on the Schols exams are awarded essentially a full-ride scholarship (or in my case my tuition is reduced to EU rates which is about 3 grand a year) and accommodations. Being awarded the title of “scholar” is also a huge honor at Trinity and it would be added to my diploma, so it’s basically like graduating with honors and is very prestigious!

In addition to my studies, I also elected as one of the representatives for my course. This means I represent the interests of the students in my major to the student union and the administration of Trinity. As part of my duties, I sit in on meetings with the department heads of my major, I help organize volunteers for events like Open Day (the day where incoming students can approach upper-classmen with questions and learn more about the course) and I sit in on Council. Council runs much like congress in that each representative gets to vote and can submit motions. Essentially every month all the class reps gather and vote in internal elections for committees like gender equality, ethnic diversity, and student health, as well as motions such as what stance the student union should take in a no-deal Brexit. I greatly enjoy my position as class rep and I will definitely be running again in the future.

Overall, things are going even better than last year, and  I am very excited that I will be coming home for Christmas! I’ll be in town from about the 17th of December to the 31st and my Mom and I are planning an open house of sorts so that I’ll be able to visit everyone before I have to fly back!

Thank you all for your support and caring. Happy Holidays, Clara.