Ireland: Finishing up the Semester

Submitted by Cooper Rothman on the 2020 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

Having class at home on Irish time has been a very unique experience. My first class of the day used to be at 9 am, but now that would be at 4 am in America. Fortunately, my teachers have been understanding and recorded lectures for me to learn later in the day. However, asking questions and engaging with the material has been really difficult. I have to make sure I wake up early enough to catch my teachers and communication takes a long time. I am lucky to have both my University of Limerick and University of Delaware support systems to help my studies go as smoothly as possible. I just finished my last day of classes, and am nervous for my final exams in the upcoming weeks.

At the same time, transitioning to an America in quarantine has also been a strange experience. I was getting used to the routine I had developed in Ireland which included going to the gym, attending club meetings, and making dinner with my flatmates at night. This has all been changed so finding productive ways to spend my time has been a challenge. More and more, I find myself gravitating to social media instead of doing schoolwork and preparing for the future summer, which is looking extremely murky.

Despite all of these challenges, I have managed to navigate this difficult time well enough by continuing to do what makes me “me”. I like to go on long hikes with my dog that remind me of the green plains of Ireland, and I keep in touch with my friends from the program via Zoom and social media. I hope to someday go back to Ireland to see everything that I didn’t get to the first time, but I am staying grateful for the experience I was able to have and the support that surrounds me.

Hiking with my dog Luna still makes me smile through the tough times.