Masters degree student Courtney Cokely tells us about spending her birthday in UCC.
I included a photo of some of the cards and gifts I received on my 30th birthday just a few weeks ago. I was a bit sad at first to be away from the comforts of family and friends in Boston on my “big” day. However, the sheer outpouring of well wishes, gifts and cards (in the end I received over 30 cards, so this picture is a bit inaccurate!) from friends and family all over the world. The cards and flowers are from new friends I met in Cork this year, friends from Cork I met in 2005, old housemates from my time spent as a study abroad student 10 years ago in England, and family and friends in the US. I realized on that day that my time in Cork has enabled me to meet wonderful friends who I was lucky to share the day with. My friends here even had a little surprise party for me with cake and balloons! But more than that, so many of my experiences in life, particularly my time spent abroad, has opened up doors of opportunity and introduced me to some fascinating people. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t in Boston for my 30th; I had friends and family dotting the globe that wanted to celebrate with me, and seeing all the cards and reading my facebook messages from people I met throughout the world and during all different periods of my life reminded me how lucky I have been for these experiences. It also reaffirmed my notion that my decision to come to UCC was the right one. My time here will undoubtedly provide another exciting and dynamic chapter in my life, filled with adventures and new friends. Rather than being filled with stress and panic of entering another decade, I actually turned 30 feeling pretty lucky and excited!