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Photo of Meg Griswold and friends enjoying the view from the southwest coast of Ireland

Ireland, Plattsburgh and the Path Home

Meg Griswold ’12 found a real “home away from home” in SUNY Plattsburgh. Then she found another one.

In her words:

Often, students ask how they could possibly know how to choose the right university at only 18 years old. My answer to that? You will just know. The day I drove five hours to tour SUNY Plattsburgh’s campus was cold and windy, but after my tour, I just knew.

I turned to my parents and said “Let’s go pay my deposit.” It was as simple as that, and that in-the-moment decision has led me to where I am now.

Leaving a Trail

During my junior year, I decided I had to take Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice: "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” I worked with my education and English advisors, as well as the Financial Aid Office, to make a study abroad trip possible.

"SUNY Plattsburgh still holds a significant place in my life."

Just a few months later, I found myself in Cork, Ireland, for the first semester of my senior year. There, I studied the English and Irish languages, traveled to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and also met my fiancé.

Because of my degree and experience, I was offered a position with Teach For America in Connecticut, and although I turned the offer down, it was an amazing feeling to be offered such a position alongside Ivy League alumni.

Instead of accepting TFA’s offer, I decided to transfer my NYS teaching certificate abroad after graduation. At the moment, I am teaching 8th grade English in central New York, but in the coming year, I plan to put my teaching degree to use abroad.

Lessons in Self-Independence and Happiness

From my travels, I've learned lessons on self-independence and happiness, cultural differences and the importance of exploring my surroundings. Because of SUNY Plattsburgh and my study-abroad experience in Ireland, I truly have been prepared for everything life has thrown at me.

I’m thankful for all the opportunities I had. Whenever I go back to visit, I feel at home. 


About the Author

Photo of Meg Griswold at the Cliffs of MoherMeg Griswold ’12 graduated from the BA/MST program for English and adolescent education. On campus, she was a resident assistant, a tour guide, an admissions ambassador and co-founder of the Gender Studies Gazette. She studied abroad during her senior year before completing her student teaching practicum in Manhattan.