“A candle doesn’t lose any light by helping to light another”

Tuesday June 23rd 2015

So it’s now June, oh how time flies! It’s been more than a month since I moved back to Donegal for the summer. And I just received my results on Friday, I passed everything so I guess I’ll be heading back to Galway in September! I can’t believe how quick my 1st year at college flew by! It was an incredible year with amazing friends, and I can’t wait to start my 2nd year in NUIG.

The past month has been very busy with moving home, starting work, catching up with friends, camping with the cubs, catching up with my amigos and the beginning of prep for the MF Donegal camp! We had a super day at the MF ethos day in Maynooth with all the leaders from the other counties. Just like any other MF event it was inspiring and magical, and got all us Donegal leader so excited for July 13th!

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I also got a chance to catch up with my scholar sisters Caoímhe and Cora at the foundation’s annual tea party a few weeks ago! Any day spent with my MFF’s is a truly enjoyable one.

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Since moving home I’ve had time to reflect on the crazy changes that have taken place in my life in the past year. This time last year I had just finished my leaving cert which at the time was the toughest thing I had ever done. Around that time people were trying to prepare us for what lay ahead, the results, the college offers and the possibility of moving out of home. They told us about how much our life would change, we would have to learn to fend for ourselves, cook and clean for ourselves, budget our money and make it last, and pretty much become 100% independent. August was a hectic month after finding out that I would be moving to Galway, but to be honest I was too excited about the fresh start I was getting to worry or be nervous about all the changes!

When I got to Galway it didn’t take me long to settle down. I got used to the cooking and the cleaning, the responsibility of handing in my own weekly assignments, and living 4 hours from home! All the changes I was told about happened in the blink of an eye. I made friends with a great group of people from every corner of the country and enjoyed every second of the past 9 months with them. The friendships that I made this year are ones that I will treasure forever and I feel so lucky to spend my next year of college living with 4 of my best friends! In 1st year I lived 30 seconds away from the majority of my close friends. Next year I’ll be lucky to be living that close to a quarter of them. And that’s what I’ve realised in recent weeks, no two years of college will ever be the same. Each year will be unique. I can’t re-live my 1st year of college, it’s over and maybe September is a chance to learn from some mistakes and do things differently. Maybe it won’t be spent with the exact same people, but I’ll make new friends and have new experiences. And as I said, my 1st year in NUIG is one I will always treasure.

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In one of my previous blogs I talked about the lessons I have learned this year. One of them was “It’s nice to be nice”. This is the most important thing I have taken out of this year and I’ve come to realise this more and more since I left Galway. Maybe one of the reasons this is so important to me is because of the values of the Michaela Foundation – “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness”. This quote by Mother Teresa is a perfect description of the kindness that is shown by the foundation and the kindness that I believe most people (well me anyway) should try to show to others.

Last week I donated my 2nd pint of blood to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service! Giving blood is small act of kindness that can go a long way, all I had to do was get a little pinch from the needle and lye on the bed and after enjoy some free chocolate and goodies! I felt perfect after, no sickness or drowsiness just sheer joy that someday maybe my blood will save somebodies life!

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“How do we change the world? One act of random kindness at a time”.

Adiós, arrivederci agus slán!

xoxo Sarah.