Soaking It All In

It’s hard to believe we only have two weeks left in the program. These last five weeks have been filled with unforgettable memories, awe inspiring views, and great friends—I couldn’t be more grateful for all of it. Since we’re reaching the end I’m trying to make sure I’ve hit as many famous Dublin spots as possible. While my friends visited Bray, I decided to visit Kilmainham Gaol. This infamous jail is best known for holding the leaders of the Easter Rebellion of 1916. It was so cool to get an insight into what these children and adults went through— especially as a true crime fan. This was the first all solo trip I’d taken since being here. After navigating the buses I arrived at the jail and met another student from Depaul University in Chicago. We were both on our own so it was great to connect with a new person and we spent the tour exchanging comments before exploring the museum. After the tour I went to the pub across the street by myself since it had started raining. While I felt awkward at first, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to experience pub culture on my own. I ended up talking to an older couple next to me who had been on the same tour of the jail and enjoyed great food too! I came into this trip expecting to do a lot of site seeing alone but since I’ve made amazing friends I really haven’t done this. I’m proud of myself for not only navigating new parts of Dublin but reaching out to strangers and making new friends while doing so. Last weekend I visited the beautiful coastal town Howth, with my friends Valerie, Tegan and Lucy. We took a bus to the top of the hike and made our way down. Not only did we get to see picturesque views, but near the end of our hike we ran into a local Irish guide who stopped us to share some of Howth’s history and personal poems. Although it was random and unexpected, it was so cool to hear from a local about his love for the town and Ireland itself. It was another little experience that made the trip to Howth and my time here so special. After the hike we stopped for dinner where I got the best seafood chowder I’ve ever had and somehow even more delicious fish and chips. We then walked through a small, outdoor farmers market nearby before catching the bus back home. On Sunday I went back to Dun Laoghaire with the same friends. It was another beautiful day so we walked by the water and down the pier after looking at every stand at the weekly farmer’s market. We stopped for lunch at the same place I went to with my parents then took the Dart back to the city. There we split up and Valerie and I went to the Pearse Lyons Distillery while Tegan and Lucy went to the Guinness Storehouse. We learned the rich history of St. James’ church and even tried some real Irish whiskey! At the end of the night we returned to Dun Laoghaire to watch the sunset and take a swim in the sea! While I love the city of Dublin, it’s been amazing to explore the different areas and environments in Ireland. When I look back on my time abroad years from now, I know I’ll remember the trips I took and the memories made during them with a smile, even if I was exhausted by the end of them.

Since my supervisor is still away competing for Ireland at the women’s lacrosse world championships, I’ve been working through the list of tasks she’s assigned me. I finally got through the first excel spreadsheet that I’ve spent most of my time working on and moved on to filing and scanning documents. While this definitely isn’t the most exciting work, it is giving me experience of working independently and managing my time effectively. Before this internship I would’ve described myself as a hands on leader, the type to constantly check in with the people around me. Due to the nature of the work I’ve been assigned and the environment I work in, this hasn’t always been possible. I’ve had two weeks of independent work with no feedback. It definitely felt weird at first but after reflecting on it I’ve realized that having no instant feedback has taught me to be confident in myself and the work I’m producing. During my time interning abroad, I’ve learned that you don’t always need to be holding someone’s hand for them to succeed. I’ve seen this in myself and will carry what I’ve learned with me in any future leadership experience.