Tara Kilcommins

Tara Kilcommins

Tara Kilcommins

Student of Outdoor Education 

ATU Mayo 

At 18, I didn't know what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, or who I wanted to be.

In the first course I did, I enjoyed my subjects, but it was hard to connect with my lecturers and peers in packed lecture halls. So, after the first year’s exams, I left.

At home, a local adventure centre owner told me about a one year further education and training course (FETAC) in adventure sports and leadership in Drumshandbo, Leitrim. I decided to give it a go. I studied mountain skills, kayak instruction, rescue first aid and sports nutrition and coaching and more.

I was advised to check out the Outdoor Education course in Mayo. I went to an open day and asked lots of questions; I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. There was a real sense of family and community to the Mayo campus; I knew I'd fit in.

For anyone struggling with a predominantly theory course, this avenue really works. I can go anywhere with this course, be an instructor, an educator or even set up my own outdoor adventure business.

Life in Mayo is great.  I spent my free time playing football with the Mayo campus ladies football team, surfing, shooting arrows or running the Lough Lannagh walk with friends.  There is a very active Students’ Union, so there is never a shortage of student activities or nights out.  I would highly recommend any student starting college to join a club or society. They will add so much to your time in college.