Have an attitude of gratitude.

Tuesday May 26th 2015

The month of May, the month of Our Lady, a month I hold very dear to my heart. As a past pupil of Our Lady’s and having visited the very special Medjugorje last summer, I have experienced a true presence of Our Lady in my life and have a very strong faith and comfort in Her.

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The month of May brings many hard times for students, no matter what stage of their academic journey. May always holds the deadlines for coursework or assignments and the beginning point of exam season. It is a particularly worrying and stressful time of year but it is so important for us to remember that even though these times are hard, there’s life before exams and there will be life after exams. Through my own personal sufferings I have learnt that in life, God will give us all a cross to bear but it’s important to remember that no matter how heavy life gets, God will never give us anything we can’t handle. Be gentle with yourself and have an attitude of gratitude to always find the blessing instead of the burden in all off life’s obstacles. Things will work out the best for those who make the best out of how things work out! Mother Teresa once said, “I used to pray for answers but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.”

As I sit in McClay, reflecting on my first year (some may call it procrastinating), I think back to the sad little Gael, arriving straight from Donegal’s All-Ireland defeat to Elms Village, my home for the next year. It was something I had never quite seen before, and honestly, I didn’t know what to make of it. Going into my little bare room and thinking to myself, “What, in the name of God am I doing here?” If, that night, someone had sat me down and told me everything that was going to happen this year from the shaky start to the friends I’ve made and the things I’ve learned, I never would’ve believed them. So, I thought I would compile together a little list of a few things I’ve taken from this year…..

  • You’re here for a degree, not just a good time. However, having a good time is just as important!
  • For 9am class, the chances of getting breakfast are slim, never mind looking acceptable. That walk from Elms doesn’t get any shorter, nor will you ever get up at your first alarm!
  • Fly Monday’s are an essential start to the week.
  • It’s £1.70 for a cup of tea in the McClay café. Yes, one pound seventy.
  • During exam season, if you aren’t in McClay before 9 you can wave your chances of getting a seat goodbye.
  • You can run out of tea bags.
  • A night that involves a half zip and converse will be the greatest night of your life.
  • You can get ready for a night out in 15 minutes.
  • If you go to mass in St Brigid’s instead of the Chaplaincy you will be roped into doing the Offertory.
  • Living with ten boys isn’t as bad as it sounds!

With the sweet sound of the Sunday Game having returned to our TVs, it’s a sure sign that summer time is almost upon us. I cannot believe I have completed my second semester at QUB, never mind finished my entire first year! When and how did this happen?! Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and I can safely say that this year, as a whole, has been fantastic. However, I owe all my happiness to six very special girls. Six of the best friends a girl could ask for; Catriona, Aoife, Laura, Mairead, Laura and Helen, we’ve officially survived first year!! What a journey we’ve had from OLS to QUB!

On a final note, a massive congratulations to all the Primary 7’s who got accepted into their Post-Primary schools this weekend, but a particular well done to my sister Orlaith. Orlaith will officially be an OLS girl come September, I am bursting with pride! If she has half the experience I had, then she is set for an incredible seven years.

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Until next time,

God Bless,

Caoímhe