Nathan Murphy is in his second year studying a BA in Politics and Law (Joint Honours) at DCU. In this piece, he describes how the DCU Access Programme has supported him on his journey to third level education.
“I’ve wanted to go to college at DCU since my very first year in secondary school. I took part in DCU’s Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI) programme throughout secondary school, so I was on campus every summer for two weeks learning about different courses at DCU. I also completed my Transition Year work experience in the DCU Clubs and Societies office, which meant I got a taste of what college life was like before I had even left school!
It was through the CTYI programme that I learned about criminology and law, which led me to wanting to study law at DCU. My mam and nana really pushed me to do well in school to get into DCU as no one in my family has ever gone to university before. I found school hard at times as there’s a lot of pressure to do well in exams, especially in the Leaving Cert. There’s not a lot of progression to third level in my school or the surrounding area, but this rallied me on to work harder and get to university.
The Access Programme has been such a great support since I’ve been at DCU. I got accepted into a BA in Law and Media, however within the first week I knew it wasn’t the right course for me. I went to my Access officer and she helped me to change courses to Politics and Law. If it weren’t for my Access officer, I wouldn’t have known what to do and probably would have just dropped out of college because I wasn’t enjoying my course.
The financial support from Access has also been a huge help at home too. I work part-time to provide for myself, so the extra support from Access means I don’t have to rely on my mam to support me financially.
Although virtual learning can be challenging at times, I’ve really enjoyed my time at DCU so far and look forward to life returning to normal so that we can go back onto campus. I’m the Events Officer for the DCU Harry Potter Society and the Secretary for the DCU Sinn Fein Society, which are great roles but challenging to adapt to virtual meetings and events – it’s all a learning curve at the end of the day!”
“I’d like to thank the kind donors of DCU’s Access Programme, thanks to your generosity, I can proudly say I’m the first person in my family to attend university.”