Blood is thicker than water..

Friday April 4th 2014

If this is what student life is like then I am loving it! I have just less than 4 weeks left at university as a first year.. WHAT?! I will be embarking on my summer holiday before Easter has even begun, however I know I have a lot of work to do before then.

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February and March have been super months and have been action packed to say the least. I can’t stress enough the importance of joining a club or society at university! The friends I have made make life a breeze and the social aspect is something that cannot be put into words. I am so glad I joined the Gaelic and Netball teams, the All Ireland medals are just a bonus!

Where do I start? If you had told me before I came to uni that I would be in two All Ireland Finals in March I would have laughed . But against all the odds, University of Ulster Coleraine reached the All Ireland final in Netball and Gaelic!!!! I had the privilege of playing in both. However I never would have thought of tougher opposition in netball than lining out AGAINST my sister Mairead for the first time..EVER! The chances that I will ever play against her in a final again are very slim. They say blood is thicker than water and that is definitely true. Although we didn’t win the match, we tried our best and I was so proud that she had captained her side to victory.  Even mummy and Aunty Josephine was in attendance as a mutual supporters! At least there was no domestic!

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Thankfully in Gaelic we had a better result, but I suppose I should mention that my semi-final encounter involved meeting fellow scholar, Áoise on the battle field. Who’d have thought it that our paths would cross in a very cold Dundalk where the game was played. It was only the day of the match that we realised we’d be playing each other when I seen her Facebook status. She was so gracious in defeat, a true model sports women. Having defeated UCD, Sligo was up next and what a clash it was. The weather conditions didn’t really favour any team and the wind did its best to spoil the game. After a very tight match, we managed to beat them by three points. Words can’t describe the feeling when the final whistle blew. All them sit ups, squats, press ups and sprints in the rain and wind were made worth while! We will be receiving our precious All Ireland medals at our GAA formal which is due to take place on week twelve. This is sure to be a great night full of banter and craic and I have no doubt we will dance the night away.

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March also seen my first ever retreat for The Michaela Foundation. I helped to facilitate the retreat at Sacred Heart in Omagh and it was on the ‘Well Being’ element. Myself and the retreat team had a great day full of reflection, self-esteem and confidence building. We gained as much from the experience as the students did and it was lovely to hear all the positive feedback at the end of the day!

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However the month of March was not all happy times as a very close family friend, John Browne passed away. John and his wife Nuala looked after my siblings and I for many years growing up and my fondest memories in their house was feeding new baby lambs, making scone bread and helping with the turf on the hill! (They’ll make a farmer out of me yet!!) They were constant figures in our life and have always been there through thick and thin. There was never a dull minute when John was involved and he always loved to hear what mischief  the ‘Wee Conwell’s’ were getting up to. Nuala and John were as close to us as grandparents! But as the wall hangings on our beautiful chapel say, ‘Life has changed and not ended’ and it is comforting to know that I have a guardian angel looking down on me!