Belfast has been a roller coaster of emotions

Monday December 1st 2014

I’m so excited to be writing my first blog of this new chapter. I have been volunteering for the Michaela Foundation for over two years now so it is a privilege to be one of this year’s scholars! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first year at Queen’s than representing an organisation that I hold so close to my heart. My time with the Michaela Foundation to date has been incredible, from summer camps, to the catwalk, to hopping around the Buttercrane dressed as rabbits, there’s never been a dull moment- something I expect my next year in Belfast to be like!


My time so far in Belfast has been a roller coaster of emotions, with new surroundings, new faces, a new home, and so many new challenges it’s only now that I’ve really settled in. Coming from a place where seeing a car on your road is a rare occurrence and phone service is nothing but a mere dream, to the “big smoke” is nothing but a shock to the system! Belfast even has 4G, I feel like I’m in some sort of alternate universe! However, it all isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. This year I’m living in Elms Village, and like all university accommodation, it lacks the home comforts we all take for granted during our time at home. Despite this, Elms has so much to offer and I honestly wouldn’t want to spend my first year anywhere else. The initial panic of who will I be stuck with for the next year? soon disappeared once I got to know everyone in my halls, as well as having one of my best friends just down the stairs. What are the chances?! After the first few weeks it felt like we’d all known each other forever.


Each block in Elms is assigned a Residential Assistant, or in other words a “Craic Facilitator” who organises events for those in their blocks, as well as take care of any problems. Our RA organised a trip to Dundonald Ice Bowl as our first event together, no better way to break the ice! I was a little rusty to begin with but once I got my confidence up I began to get a little cocky, which resulted in me ending up in a heap in the middle of the ice rink, of coarse! Putting the bumps and bruises aside, it was a great evening’s craic and the first of many events to come, watch this space! I can predict plenty of antics to be shared. I couldn’t be happier in Elms and all the worrying done prior to even getting here is a prime example of the fact that sometimes what’s ahead of us is totally out of our control and all we can really do is let go and let God, because when we put a little trust in God there really are only great things in store for us.


One thing I didn’t realise was in store was all the work that comes with university. It actually isn’t just mate dates in Maggie Mays and a first class social life- another shock to the system! The talk of January exams have started, the lectures are getting even more confusing and McClay are now open 24 hours a day. Let’s not panic! The workload has proved to be heavier than I anticipated but when you enjoy something it makes it that bit easier to get on with. What I’ve come to learn is that a healthy balance, between your social calendar and your work with some self-motivation gets you a long way! That’s not to say that I haven’t drifted off in a lecture or too, but God loves a trier!


The QUB Michaela Foundation society has kicked off for the year with games of twister, toffee apples and some very interesting ice breakers. At our last meeting Stephen, one of last year’s Scholars, and I were asked to share a short testimony on our journeys with the Michaela Foundation so far, which was such an honour! Anyone involved in the foundation would agree that putting the Michaela Foundation into words is almost impossible, but it’s often in the sharing of experiences and memories that the words can do it justice. So it was the perfect way to introduce the Michaela Foundation to all the new faces. The committee already have so many fantastic ideas for the next year so I can’t wait to keep you all posted on what we are getting up to!


On a final note, it’s true when they say friendship is one of lives greatest blessings. It makes embarking on this Belfast adventure that little bit more exciting knowing I have my six best friends by my side.


Slán agus beannacht,