jonney 1

Jonney Lloyd talks to us about the ups, downs and everything in between about being a mature student. Jonney ,who is 28 years of age has just finished his first year in collage as a mature student. I spoke to him about his past and how he ended up here, his collage experience so far and his hopes to make a career move. I asked him a few questions and he answered in great detail, if ye would like to take a read and maybe some of you might even relate to his education experiences so far.

I must admit that this lovely man is in fact my partner and I feel privileged to have interviewed him about something so important in his life. 

Jonney At Limerick College of Further Education.
Jonney At Limerick College of Further Education.

Jonney is studying at The University College of Limerick and is studying Computer Systems. 

Was this your first time at college?

I dropped out of a computer course in L.IT in 2005 and left because I was offered a supervisor position in the shop I was working in at the time.I also did a TV and Film course in limerick senior for a year in 2011.

What made you decide to go to college?

I was sick of working in unfulfilling jobs and had to figure out what job I would enjoy, and a job that would  be more secure for my future.

What was it like going back to College?

To see if I felt I was capable of learning in a classroom environment again and make to effort to go every day , I completed a FETAC Level 5 course in TV & Film Production. I knew some of what to expect and I was a lot more mature the 2nd time around. I prepared for the course I am on now by researching.I also decided to go to workshops, a two weeks maths course. Maths was something I was most worried about , it was something I hadn’t done since leaving school in 2005

Jonney and His Girlfriend (me) Cristel.
Jonney and His Girlfriend (me) Cristel.

Would you change anything if you could go back?

I’d slap my younger self in the face for choosing spar over my education” He laughs.

On a more serious note I don’t regret any of my decisions and I feel more mature and more caring towards college this time round. Look, because of the decisions I’ve made I have plenty of life experiences from many jobs and I’m happy where I am today.

How are you coping with the costs of college?

I’m in receipt of a SUSI grant that just about covers my fees. I also work part time.

Jonney then says ‘my girlfriend has helped me out a lot in the last year’ he says “we live together and she helps me when I’m stuck for rent or bills or everyday expenses” which had me blushing.

How hard is it to juggle work, college and a social life?

It is very hard. When I started the course it wasn’t a good idea to have a job as well, as this course in particular has a very hard work load due to group and single projects. I started off working 20 hours a week and quickly realized it was too much and had to reduce it to 17 hours a week. As it is I’m in collage at 9 in the morning and either working evenings or working on collage projects until 9 in the night on my days off.

Have you had any support networks to help you since you decided to go back, or has it all been smooth sailing?

My family was extremely supportive especially my mother and grandparents who have all constantly offered to help over the last year. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, my girlfriend and I found it difficult at first as we struggled to find time for one another with collage and work taking up most of my time. At the time we were also living in a house with other people which didn’t give us much alone time, but we both made some sacrifices and found a place together. We make as much time for each other as we can, and coming back to spend time with her after a long day at work and collage definitely helps me unwind.

I would also like to add that UL has a great support network for mature students between peer mentoring, maths learning center and the staff along with post grads running extra tutorials.

How does it fee to have finished your first year of college?

It’s good, the semesters seem to pass really quickly. I didn’t feel the first year go. It is difficult to know that its going to be 2018 before I graduate.

Jonney and Teamates with their award from Robo Code at Gamesfleadh
Jonney and Teamates with their award from Robo Code at Gamesfleadh

With all the hard work Jonney is doing we’d like to know what is it all for , so we asked him where he sees himself once hes finished collage?

I’d like to be employed by an international IT company and I’d also like to be building myself and my girlfriends future together.

So not only is he hard working hes sweet too 🙂

Thank you so much for answering our questions Jonney and we wish you all the best in your collage years ahead. I hope that you all take an interest in his story and some of you may even relate. Hope you enjoyed another blog post from It’s All Relative and thanks for reading.

Cristel xoxo