Mature Student Diary: fun, fear & FYP


2. tea


By Lina Ryan


I have come across stressful situations throughout my life but in the past few weeks I have experienced stress and panic of a very different kind. The reason for that stress is the FYP or Final Year Project.


Trying to identify a project has occupied my mind for the past number of ten days. What is mine going to be on? Checking the guidelines doesn’t help, it is there in black and white what is required and, scarily, what is at stake. This will decide my degree and it is all in my hands – can I do it? What will I do? My heart is racing and I feel like running but then I tell myself to “cop on”.


I have been training for this for the past three years; I have been given the skills to complete this task. I have my lecturers to help me step by step with this important project. The resources of UL are at my disposal and thousands have successfully completed FYP’s over the past forty years, so I can do this. Is feidir liom.


After this mini panic attack I decided it was time for a good old fashioned cup of tea to settle myself and then I headed back to the Fish Tank and got working on some ideas. It is amazing what a clear head can do.


During this brain-storming session I was reminded of a technique I learned during an Amway Seminar many years ago. If you are struggling with something, get a sheet of paper, write down your dilemma, identify what is the absolute worst outcome that could happen and once you have identified the absolute worst, everything can only get better from there.


As well as my FYP, this semester I have to complete not one, but two literary reviews. This is a totally new area for me – haven’t had the pleasure of doing even one over the past three years. Lots of reading, note taking, tired eyes and cups of tea.


Well you know what they say – “all work and no play makes Lina a dull girl”, so I headed to the Stables to see could Japan continue their heroics and beat Scotland in the Rugby World Cup. Alas it was not to be, but it did give me a chance to catch up with other slightly panicked comrades and have a good old natter about everything and anything except FYP.


Last week I also discovered the joys of travelling by bus from rural Ireland as my car has decided to call it a day. Well it is 15 years old and has been a good servant to me, nevertheless very bad timing.


City services buses are great but to get from a small rural town to Limerick for 9am each day is impossible and of course there are no services from the city to nearby towns. So, as a result I have rediscovered the beauty of Ireland in autumn as I walk to and from college daily. The trees with the forty shades of green and the beautiful golden leaves. The red and black berries on the bushes, winter feed for the birds. The bit of walking hasn’t done any harm to the waistline either, like they say “it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow good to someone”.