Lorcan Canavan

Lorcan Canavan

Arts & Humanities

Leaving Cert

Carlow

Leaving Cert

I am from Carlow and attended Tullow Community School. As part of my Leaving Cert, I studied history, biology, German, and PE. My favourite subject was History. My love for history began at a young age as I always enjoyed learning more about it. Other subjects I enjoyed were PE and religion. In my final years of secondary school, I knew I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to pursue a career in something that I would never get bored of and always enjoy. A career which always stood out to me was Teaching, which became my first choice. 

Journey to Carlow College

By the time I was filling out my CAO, my top choice was the Carlow College, Arts and Humanities (Hons) programme. My mam was the first person to suggest this as my family has a strong connection with the college given that my grand uncle founded the Irish Institute of Pastoral Liturgy in Carlow College, and my great grand uncle studied here and was a historian who worked in its archive. 

What attracted you to this course?

I was attracted to this course, at it as it offers a clear pathway towards becoming a teacher in subjects such as History, Religion and English. A fantastic part of the course is the option to go on Primary and Secondary school Placement in stages 3 and 4 with the catechetics and Teaching Placement module. This was what sold me on the course. Here, you gain important experience, which gives you a feel for the profession. It allows you to decide if it is the path you want to pursue and if so, you can apply for a Professional Master’s in Education (PME) to continue this path. This course allows a sense of security as you can use it to pursue various careers, especially with the additional subjects of Psychology and Philosophy. This meant that if I changed my mind, I could easily choose another path. 

How did you find the transition to college?

I found the transition from Secondary school to college enjoyable. There are many differences between the two. Here you are not in class all day every day. You get a lot more time to socialize, study and do your own thing. Another positive was that I met loads of great people from all backgrounds. In stage 1, everybody in the course did the same modules which made our classes huge, filling entire lecture halls. This was difficult to get used to at first as I found it much more intimidating than the smaller secondary school classes. By the end of the first year, however, I was well used to it as the lectures always foster a positive learning environment. 

What do you enjoy about Arts & Humanities?

The lecturers are brilliant. They know you by name and are always ready to help whenever they can, whether it be responding to your emails or speaking to you after class. I also enjoy being allowed to learn about so many different topics and that it never gets repetitive. Furthermore, I think the assessment schedule is great as there is a good mixture of exams and continuous assessments which are well spread out. 

Have your studies sparked a new interest/ change of career plan?

Upon accepting my place here, I was only interested in teaching secondary school. However, I have really enjoyed Primary School Placement and now I see that as another potential career path. 

What is student life like?

Very easygoing and laid back. As a small college, you come to know a lot of people even outside of your course. There’s always someone around to stop and have a chat with. The staff are very nice, whether it be the ladies in the canteen, the caretakers, the lecturers and so on. You can go to the library, relax at the couches or go to the Student Union to play video games, ping pong or just hang out with friends. Overall, the atmosphere is great. 

Tell us about your contribution to Carlow College Men’s Soccer Team

I am the captain and current manager of the Men’s Soccer team. We train during the week, all year round and play in the College and Universities Football League. There’s a great group of lads there who love working hard on the field and having the craic with it. When I first started college, the team helped me settle in. It’s a great way to make friends with people at all stages of their time in college. We do more than just play, as we attend and take part in college events throughout the year. For me, being part of a team has been one of my highlights of college and it’s only getting better every year as we keep building. 

What do you say to other students looking at Carlow College?

This college is a great place to study. Don’t let the fact it’s a small college turn you off. You won’t find better lecturers anywhere else. The college actively wants to help you do the best you can, as long as you are willing to work for it. There is a great atmosphere here, and outside of class. There is something for everybody to get involved in. Come in with an open mind and you will enjoy it. 

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