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Peer Mentoring

Meantóireacht Phiara

Meet some of our Peer Mentors

UCD offers access to some of the most dynamic and interesting minds. From the traditional to the non traditional, the international to the mature, there are many different types of students who come forward to pass on the flame and volunteer as peer mentors. Below are just a few of this year’s mentors and their stories about who they are and why they decided to join the programme.


Leona Barrett, Radiography

Hi, my name is Leona and I'm a second year Radiography student. I come from a small town on the West Coast of Mayo and I was very excited to be moving to the city to go to university. However when I arrived at UCD I felt very overwhelmed at how big it was and how many people there were. I was scared and nervous for my first few days in UCD. I was very grateful for the Peer Mentor Programme as it introduced me to a small group of people in my class that I could get to know first, and knowing there was someone approchable and easily accessible to answer my questions for the full year was a great relief. After meeting these people I gained more confidence and now after just a year I feel comfortable around campus and have met lots of new friends. I became a Peer Mentor because I realise how important this can be to somebody who's starting in a new place and feels like they are on their own. I'm looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you, welcome to UCD!


Patrick English, Law with History

Hi, my name is Patrick, and I'm a second year Law with History student. Moving to university from second level is a big leap, and it was made much easier for me ny having someone who I could rely on to fill me in on all the little details that never get mentioned, but are so important to actually being able to participate and engage with student life. As a first year student, my mind was racing from all the freedom given in third level. Just knowing something as simple as essay layouts and lengths was great for putting my mind at ease, particularly earlier on when I just wasn't ready to start making those kind of executive decisions myself. The Peer Mentor Programme is a great system, and I'm happy to participate, and keep the wheel turning. I hope that new students will take advantage of it to ask to ask as many "little" questions as possible, because it makes coming to university that much less stressful. It takes a while to acclimate, and I'm looking forward to making that period as short as possible come next term. 


Emma Whelan, Science

Hi guys! I'm Emma and currently going into my 2nd year of the biology stream of Science here in UCD. Transitioning from secondary to university was very daunting but I felt at home in UCD as soon as I had my orientation. Science has definitely been such an exciting area to study and I'm so glad that UCD is where I am studying it. Along with all the clubs, societies and events around campus, like the farm that came to campus before exams where we got to pet baby ducks and actually walk goats, or free ice cream days and giant minions walking around campus, you will never have a boring day on campus and there is definitely something for everybody! Looking forward to seeing you guys at orientation! 


 Gerard O'Neill, Science

My name is Gerard O’Neill and I am a 2nd year mature student in Science (MPG). Having decided to go for a degree in physics at the best place I possibly could, I took the MSAP test while I was in a part time course at a tech college. From the moment I first arrived, I knew UCD was going to be unlike any other place I had ever been in: it almost felt as if I had landed in another world. My own Peer Mentor was a huge help to me during those first few weeks: among other things she did for us, our group was taken on tours around the campus, from the library to the Science Hub to the sports center. That first year, I did have things to catch up on but thanks to the excellent support services available (maths support particularly), 1st year went really well.  I not only am a person who will try to do better if possible but will help others improve their position too and I hope that by being a peer mentor, I can pass on any lessons learned in 1st year to others.


Sarah Shanahan, Medicine


Hi there! I'm Sarah and I'm a Stage 2 Medicine student from Dublin. I didn't get in on my first try but I'm really happy to be here now. I volunteered to become a Peer Mentor because I've gotten to know UCD quite well over the past year and I'm pretty familiar with Dublin too. I'm looking forward to helping new students with adjusting to life in the Concrete Jungle. I know for people coming from down the country or abroad that UCD can seem very daunting but it's also really exciting! Most people don't know anyone doing the same course but Peer Mentor groups are a great way to make friends and MedSoc organises a bunch of events to help too. Whether you can't find a lecture hall or just want to find one of the secret lakes, I'm looking forward to helping my mentees with all their queries. See you soon!


Rebecca Beirne, Science

Hey! I'm Rebecca and I'm a second year Science student. I was terrified coming to UCD last year. I was coming from the quiet countryside to a huge city, still unsure which subjects I wanted to study and no idea how the whole "college" thing actually worked. But thank the heavens for the Peer Mentor system! In our small Peer Mentor Group I realised that I wasn't alone in being totally lost. They helped me gain my confidence in talking to new people, it was nice seeing familiar faces in a crowd of strangers and after Orientation week I was settled in and loving it! My Mentor was fantastic, she brought us round the buildings, showed us all the tricks on using the facilities, she went through our timetables so we knew exactly what to do on the first day of lectures. She even showed us where to get the best coffee and cheapest sandwiches, it really made UCD feel like home! After all the Peer Mentors did to help me, I just had to return the favour and cannot wait to get stuck in! You're going to love it!!

Susie Williams, General Nursing

Hi lads! I'm Susie and I'm now a 2nd year General Nursing student from West Clare. First year for me was, I must say, daunting at first, I mean I was so excited to live in Dublin without my parents and live the big exciting college life but I was also going into a course of around 200 and I knew no one! But I found out that it was the same way for most people. My Peer Mentor group helped me get to know some people in my course and it also helped give me confidence to start talking to others. I ended up making loads of new friends, having the bants on nights out and actually loving my course. Everyone was great at trying to ease us into the college life and I must say I loved the freedom. The main thing that helped me to settle in though was joining all the clubs and societies! All the nights out and the games were some craic. I loved 1st year and I decided to become a Peer Mentor because I know how much they helped me and my friends so I had to return the favour. Looking forward to seeing you guys at Orientation. See you soon!

Eoin Kilroy-Talbot, Science

Hey guys, my name is Eoin and I am a second year Science student who was no preference last year. I was so nervous starting University as I'd taken a year out and was worried I'd feel old and out of place. There was no need for me to be nervous as I settled in within a week and had a fantastic year, easily the best year of my life. I was unlucky to go through all the difficulties of subject choices and being away from home. I became a Peer Mentor to help show the love I have for university life and help incoming students who may have difficulties similar to me. I have regrets from last year too and I hope to prevent new students from having the same as me. I'm really exicted to meet my group in September and show them all the amazing things UCD has to offer!!


Claudia Whelan, Social Science


My name is Claudia and I’m a second year social science student. My first week in UCD was an eye opening experience but one I will never forget. From the sheer size of the campus to the thousands of new faces I met, everything was new and a little overwhelming. I am a mature student and felt very much out of my depth surrounded by confident teenagers, who all seemed to know more than I did. I met my Peer Mentor on the first day of orientation week and she was a guiding light throughout my first semester. Having a Peer Mentor allowed me to ask those awkward questions that no one else could answer and helped build my confidence. I’m a firm believer in paying things forward and for that reason I decided to become a peer mentor myself. Becoming a peer mentor allows me to share my experience with new students, helping them settle into college life and shedding light on some of their questions and fears. I also feel that becoming a peer mentor allows me to grow on a personal level while developing essential life skills such as communication and leadership. I’m looking forward to starting my role as a Peer Mentor and seeing what the New Year and new students bring to life here on the UCD campus.


Johnny Krasinkiewicz, Graduate Entry Medicine

Meet Your Peer Mentor Johnny

Hey everyone, my name is Johnny Krasinkiewicz and I’m a second year graduate entry medical student. I come from a little place called Windsor, Ontario in Canada and I’m really glad to be studying at UCD. When I first came here, I was really nervous about not knowing anyone and had a lot of questions regarding how to sign up for things, tips and tricks, etc. By pure coincidence, I discovered that a friend from high school was at UCD taking the same program (although she was a year ahead of me). This was fantastic because she was able to give me some excellent advice and I felt like I was getting the “inside knowledge” that you’d basically only get from wandering aimlessly around campus or finding out after-the-fact and wished you’d known earlier. I then discovered the peer mentor program and this established another useful link to this knowledge. I think it’s fantastic that first years can get help with their classes or general campus operations by people who’ve already gone through it, and that’s why I decided to become a peer mentor. However, one thing I didn’t really get with my peer mentor and wish I had more of was interaction with the second years. Not everyone was close with his or her peer mentor, and there’s different peer mentors for different personalities. By having closer relations between years, some people may get that “inside knowledge” that I got from my friend that they might not have otherwise gotten. And that is my goal as a peer mentor: to improve both of our experiences at UCD. Your time here will be what you make it, and things are always a little easier when you have a shoulder to lean on.


Rachel Hally, Arts

My name is Rachel and I am a second year Arts student. Last year I was a seventeen year old naive girl from Cobh, Co.Cork. I knew two people that were going to be moving to UCD but neither of them were doing my course. Result meant that the first day of college was absolutely terrifying. I knew no one and I was doing this on my own. To be honest all I can say is that without the peer mentor system I would have ran for the hills! I didn't have to figure out how to get around Newman by myself and I actually had a group of people to talk to and take the tour with. It made everything so much easier. No one in my peer mentor group were doing my subjects but that didn't matter for orientation week. My peer mentor didn't study the same subjects as me but he did everything he could to help me out. Without him I definitely would still be trying to figure out how to submit assignments on Blackboard. I would not have survived the first few weeks of college without my peer mentor and my peer mentor group so I decided that it was my turn to help out this years first year students. I cannot wait to start my role as peer mentor and all I have to say is Welcome to the Jungle!


Marcus Dalton, Social Science

My name is Marcus Dalton, and I am a second year Social Science student from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. I entered UCD through the FETAC route having achieved a level 5 in Social Studies I decided to become a peer mentor as I found coming into first year I was bombarded with a lot of information and college jargon to take on all at once. I believe the peer mentor programme plays a key role in translating it all and making it more understandable from a student's perspective, all the while getting them familiar with life in UCD. I would like to play a part in passing this on to the next group of Social Science students. I aim to familiarize students with campus life to the point they are confident by themselves, and then to be an approachable port of call as they progress through first year.


Melanie O'Donovan, Social Science

Hi! I'm Melanie I'm a second year social science student and I am one of this years social science peer mentors. I decided to become a peer mentor because when I first moved to dublin for college I was completely out of my comfort zone. Not only was I away from my friends in a new city but I was also in this huge college with thousands of people. Even though it didn’t feel like it, I now know that during the first few weeks a lot of people feel the way that i did and i really want to be there for anyone who is overwhelmed by UCD. My peer mentor really helped me make new friends and settle into college life and I hope I can do the same for the incoming students. I’m super excited to meet my group, get to know them and be there to help them during the year.