My name is Insa Tiaden, I am about to (finally) start PhD studies at Trinity College Dublin, and I need your help.
has been a winding and emotionally exhausting journey to get to this
point, but every step has also meant that I'm coming closer to my dream.
I have often been faced with stark uncertainties of whether I'll be
able to complete my education, all the way back to even finishing
school, but let me start at the beginning.
When I was in my
early teens my father became ill and eventually couldn't work any more,
so that my mother was the only breadwinner in the family. He also became
more and more reclusive, but that was such a gradual process that we
didn't really realise what was happening until it was too late. By that
point, I was staying at home with him more often than not, to help and
look after him, but also because I felt increasingly isolated and
anxious at school, since my home life was so totally different from that
of my friends. Ultimately, I had to leave school without graduating,
due to my low attendance rate. When I was 16, an aneurysm burst in my
fathers brainwhich left him in a vegetative state. He needed 24/7
specialist care by professionals, but I still tried to be there for him
as much as possible.
It was a absolutely horrible time for all of
us, my father wasn't able to speak any more, he wasn't able to eat, or
to move much at all, but he was able to breathe on his own, and he was
also able to cry, and there was nothing we could do to help. He died two
years after he had had the aneurysm, almost to the day, and only three
weeks shy of his 65th birthday.
After his death, I started
several attempts to catch up and still obtain my school-leaving
qualifications. All of these attempts failed miserably, however, because
of panic attacks which lead to me becoming incredibly stressed about
never being able to study or get a good job, which lead to more pressure
and more panic attacks, and so forth. I always loved to learn,
absorbing all kinds of useful and not-so-useful information like a
sponge, which made it all the more frustrating that I seemed to have
become my own worse enemy when it came to access places of learning.
I was diagnosed with severe depression. I also met my first love, and I
will be forever grateful to him and the doctor, who got the help I
needed, to enable me to finish the three years of school I needed to get
through. It was still a bumpy ride, but I did get to the finish line.
At this point I adopted the flying pig as my “spirit animal” because it
seemed, and still seems to me, that I am a pig that managed lift off,
I grew up in Germany, and during the time I stayed
at home I fell in love with the English language. It, and languages in
general, became my passion and now, finally, I was able start studying
English language and linguistics at university. There were more set
backs, and I'm still getting treated for depression, but I also finished
my undergraduate degree in Germany (piggy flying a bit higher) and one
Master's degree at Edinburgh University (even higher) and one at
University College London (and higher still). My wonderful mother has
supported me through all of this, emotionally and financially whenever
possible, and I have worked in supermarkets as an undergrad and various
other jobs in between masters. My last job in the UK as a research
assistant was funded by the EU, but my contract did not get renewed
because of Brexit.
I decided to take this as a sign: it was time
to try and let this pig reach her ideal flying altitude. And amazingly, I
did get accepted to do a PhD at Trinity College Dublin, and with a
professor whose work has inspired my own research for years now to boot.
Unfortunately, it now turned out that a good chunk of the funding does
not work out as expected and this is why I turn to you to ask for your
It was not easy to come to the decision to ask for
money like this, and I will study part time to be able to work hard at
whatever job I can get while studying to earn as much of it as possible
myself, but it has been such a very long and sometimes steep road to get
to this point that I can't give up now.
If you can spare
even one euro please help me realise my ultimate dream, if not then
please PLEASE share this page with your friends. The target amount would
approximately cover my university fees for a year.
What ever you are able to do, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!
I attached the TCD's unconditional offer below, I was originally
supposed to start in March but already had to defer the start to
September because of the funding situation.