As early as middle school, Houlahan began teaching herself Arabic in addition to the French classes she was taking in school. She went on to explore Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, and Hindi. Although she mainly practices these languages through apps on her phone, she considers the study of languages to be one of her primary academic goals.
“Even just walking into Trinity, I hear so many different languages being spoken and see so many new people. Being in Ireland has given me the chance to travel to new places, learn more about the world around me, and see things that I wouldn’t have seen at a typical American college,” said Houlahan.
She says she has been able to spend more time doing what she truly enjoys while enrolled at Trinity than she would have if she has chosen a school in the United States, and although she has an affinity for solitude in the library, Houlahan credits her new environment for allowing her to build relationships with her peers and living away from home has opened her eyes to new interests and passions.
“It’s crazy how living on your own for even two months can help you learn more about yourself,” she said.
Along with her newfound independence and experiences, Houlahan has kept up with her old hobbies, as well. As a child, dance was a large part of her and her sister’s life. Their mother owned a ballet studio in New Hampshire, giving them access to the whole catalog of dance styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, aerial, and more.