Over the past four days, we have had many opportunities to observe Irish national identity. A main difference in identity between citizens of the U.S. and Ireland is that since the US is so much larger and more segmented, people’s identities are more partial to their state, city, hometown, etc. As the country of Ireland is smaller than the state of Pennsylvania, its geography makes it so citizens exhibit an extraordinary amount of pride toward their country.
Three of my main identities are being an aunt, a swimmer, and a Pitt Business BIS and Marketing student. These identities come across in varying intensities, depending on different situations in my life. For instance, my identity as an aunt is emphasized when I go home for breaks and spend time with my two nieces and nephew. As my family is one of the most important aspects of my life, I have carried this unique identity since I was 17. Being an aunt keeps me grounded in all aspects of my life, as I aim to set a positive example for my nieces Thomasina and Caroline and my nephew Luca.
I have been a swimmer since third grade. Although my relationship with the sport has been everything but consistent since then, I always seem to find my way back to swimming when I get off track. During my junior year of high school, I decided I was done swimming and quit the team. To my surprise, I actually hadn’t had enough of swimming and decided to rejoin for my senior year. A similar pattern occurred in college; I spent freshman and sophomore year swimming recreationally twice per week. I decided to give competitive swimming a try again for my junior year of college, so I joined Pitt’s club team, Panther Swim Club. I never would have imagined I could swim faster my junior year of college than during my peak in high school.
Last but not least, my identity as a Business Information Systems and Marketing major at Pitt Business is one of the most prominent during this time of my life. As someone who came into college fairly undecided, the process of selecting and being confident about my major was no easy task. I was able to find a combination of studies that suited my skills and areas of interest, and for that reason, it has molded me into who I am, who I surround myself with, and what I strive to achieve at the University of Pittsburgh.
A similar thread runs through my most prominent identities: they are those that are unique or that I worked hard toward to achieve. This is similar for the Irish, as so much of their pride for the country stems from the unique history woven into all aspects of Ireland’s culture.
PS: Quick update for today–we went Croke Park Stadium for a tour and had another great lunch. See you tomorrow!