Saturday, 29 September 2018

The beginning of a new adventure

My name is Áine Brennan, I am a third year BA Culinary Arts student who has just begun my time at placement. Compulsory to my time away from WIT I have to write several blog posts which I must admit I’m not looking forward to. Don’t get me wrong I love writing but having people read my writing is a different story.

Writing this blog so soon after arriving seems a little rushed as I’ve only been here for one academic week and I’m honestly still settling in. I suppose before I go any further I should tell you where I am… For me I chose to do my academic study first, so currently I am on the Coleraine campus of Ulster University studying Consumer Management and Food Innovation. Some people think I’m mad because I’ve only gone “up North” but I’ve got my reasons and well, getting home isn’t as easily accessible as one might think when you’re a full time university student who doesn’t drive.

Before I began my semester of study I took a couple of days to become familiar with the area and do some sightseeing. Coleraine and the surrounding areas are full of natural beauty at every turn. It wasn’t long before I realised that this area is heaven for a Game of Thrones fan like myself! My first trip took me to The Dark Hedges, fans like myself will know this is the beautiful wooded area known as ‘The Kings Road’. Next it was on to Ballintoy Beach and Harbour where scenes from ‘The Iron Islands’ were filmed. With such natural beauty throughout, these areas are must see for any Game of Thrones fan, or even those who enjoy a nice walk through a scenic backdrop.

The time came for my first day of classes and let’s just say I was nervous. I had been given a tour of the campus during induction and I’d briefly met my new classmates, but with so much happening so quickly I wasn’t able to take it all in. That morning I wasn’t sure where I was going or who I’d be meeting when I walked into that classroom but I knew that I’d get there. The module inductions weren’t too overpowering and it was really just an overview of the weeks ahead. It really helped to put my mind at ease and to set goals for the coming semester.

I’ve learned three key things during my short time here in Coleraine. Firstly, the people are so welcoming. Honestly, every corner you turn there’s somebody there to greet you with a smile or somebody who is ready to answer any questions you may have. Secondly, parking on campus is not an issue! There’s parking everywhere and there’s certainly no arguing over parking spaces. Lastly, this campus is beautiful! I’ve taken the time to get to know the campus and its surroundings during my short time here so far. I must say I’ve been amazed. It’s a modern campus with great buildings and resources but they really know how to find the balance with nature, it has been achieved brilliantly here. Walking around the campus you can really sense that the needs and safety of wildlife have been taken into account. I think this is a campus that many other could learn from…

So yes, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it was my first choice and it’s a choice I put great thought into. It’s a cup of tea I hope to thoroughly enjoy during my time here. Yes, I’m nervous about the months ahead but I’m hoping to make the most of my time up here, be it making new friends or visiting new places. One thing I’m sure of is that I’m ready to face the challenges that are ahead of me.

That’s it for now guys. Stay tuned for my next blog post.
Áine B.

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