A big leap: Murphy jigs her way to Ireland

The transition from high school to college is already a giant leap — whether it means moving a town over, a state over, or in CHS senior Erin Murphy’s case, a couple of countries over. In preparation for fall next year, Murphy will make the 5,000-mile journey to Dublin, Ireland where she will attend Trinity College. She will spend her first two years of college there before making the journey back to America to finish her schooling at Columbia University in New York City at their School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences. At the end of the four years, she will graduate with a degree from both schools.
Although this is not the typical college experience, it certainly is a doorway to a plethora of opportunities. However, it requires a lot of courage and independence.
“We don’t live in dorms,” Murphy said. “I’ll have my own room and bathroom and will have to cook for myself. I’m definitely nervous about not having the traditional dorming experience with a roommate, but there’s a lot of resources and support for international students.”
In high school, her club, Beauty Undefined, was spurred by her interest in societal beauty standards and the psychological effects of them. This, along with other factors, motivated her to apply for the dual degree program under the neuroscience major which allows her to focus on major specific courses upon arrival. Since she plans to study neuroscience, she will start right away with biology, psychology, and other neuroscience track courses instead of general education courses. She’s enjoyed taking psychology classes throughout high school, but is hoping to learn more about the biological aspects of how our brains work, not just the emotional. Since Columbia is one of the top schools in the nation for neuroscience, it’s the perfect place for getting into the field.
Although she will only be concentrating on one subject in college, throughout her time in high school she participated in a multitude of clubs and extracurricular activities of all types. She’s served as the chair of Claremont’s teen committee for the past two years, interned at a local adult behavioral hospital, and worked as a research assistant at Pitzer College. In addition to this, she works part-time and enjoys Irish dancing in the little bits of spare time she has.
While the prospect of moving to a foreign country at only 18 might seem intimidating, Murphy is very excited to push herself out of her comfort zone and make new friends and memories along the way.
“Living abroad has always been a dream of mine.” Murphy said. “Meeting new people while traveling to Europe makes that dream a reality.”