Why University Students Study in tcube Coworking Space
Whilst studying-from-home became the new norm for many students, tcube Member, Fiona Shannon, found tcube her blessing to get her dissertation in on-time.
By Martina Veronese & Anna Forcato
Read Time 3 minutes
For over 18 months now, the Covid-19 global pandemic has changed our daily routine. From one day to another, multiple people have found themselves facing hurdles they never expected.
Studying for an exam or working towards the completion of a dissertation can be very stressful and without friends and family to meet, also very lonely. During the pandemic, without a physical student community to ask advice or simply be ‘with’ someone, for many students, life has become even more lonelier and the journey harder.
We spoke with tcube member Fiona Shannon why she chose to study from our central Dublin workspace and the positive effect it has had on her daily life.
Fiona is 23 years old and lives in Castleknock with her mother and sister, along with a newborn. Having graduated in Social Care from TU Dublin, she is now mid-way through a two year Masters in Social Work at University College Dublin (UCD).
Like many, many students, Fiona began her first year at a new university not from campus, but from home. In fact, until recently, she had never met any of her fellow students because participation in lectures were online - from the confines of her bedroom.
Ordinarily, studying from the kitchen table is something that millions of students do every year. But of course, 2020/21 was far from ordinary. Starting off with the main problem this pandemic has created; being restricted in travel and forced to stay indoors; meant parents, siblings, housemates were also present, and since creches (and sometimes schools) were closed too, the quiet house, for many, became a melting pot of activities, interruptions and distractions, Fiona included.
She told us; “I found it really hard to study from home because my mother, sister and her baby were in the house all the time, and studying from my bedroom was not ideal. I felt isolated, and was constantly having breaks from my studies; I was distracted easily.”
At the end of the first year of her Masters, Fiona, along with pretty much everyone on the course, was given an extension to complete her dissertation.
But still, with even no lectures, her home environment was wholly unconducive to being able to focus on her research and writings. She was either not in the mood to do things at home, or the noise was a constant issue. She then found herself rushing the night before to meet deadlines with her thesis supervisor, and by her own confession, the work she had done was far from the standard expected.
In order to improve her situation, Fiona also tried to get up to the library in UCD. But living in Castleknock meant several hours a day on or waiting for a bus. In the end, even this became a struggle.
Undoubtedly this wasn’t productive. The final submission deadline for her dissertation was looming and the consequence of missing it would have been catastrophic as overall points would have been deducted. With candidate selection at an all-time competitive high, lost points could mean the difference of being called for an interview or not, the first step to achieving the job of dreams. Bearing in mind that Fiona has already invested over two years in her 3rd level studies it was not a risk she wanted to take.
Fiona needed a solution to get back on-track, and she needed it fast!
Seeing the pressure that was mounting on Fiona and wanting to do something to help, her boyfriend Alex, another member of tcube, suggested renting a coworking desk just for a month, in order to get her thesis done to her best ability.
Fiona said; “At first, I didn’t think it would be an option due to cost, but then we found out that I could rent a nice desk by the month very reasonably.
I wanted a quiet place close to my home (it’s just 30 minutes by bus) where I could go without any distractions so I could open my laptop and get to work. One month was just long enough for me to get stuck into and complete the dissertation.”
Additionally, tcube, also gave her non-familiar human connection with other members here. She laments that to be able to chat for a few minutes makes a big difference. “Because of Covid everything has been quite isolated. It’s a nice change to be able to go for lunch in the area with my boyfriend Alex too, which is great.”
Finally, on the matter of structure and productivity, Fiona said; “I definitely made more progress in two weeks in tcube than I did at home the whole summer. Coming here gives me a routine and this has been a big difference and it’s better than sitting in my bedroom at home trying to study.”
So now, with the dissertation under her belt, Fiona is a different person, happy and full of confidence as she embarks her second year at UCD to attend lectures, and, of course, looking forward to graduating with her Masters in Social Work next April.
(photo courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@sincerelymedia)
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