Done. That’s it. 2013 is behind us.

Thursday January 9th 2014

Hi everyone!

That’s it. Done. Finished. Complete. 2013 is behind us and we’re already a week into 2014! Time really needs to slow down!


For many the New Year is seen as a chance for a fresh start. I myself wouldn’t be one for the big changes or resolutions, as I feel they become very short-term!! It sounds very cliché, but I try and look back on the previous year, reflect on what happened, be it good or bad, and then plan ahead with a sense of positivity and optimism. I find it useful in helping me set my own small goals. Many of them will be realistic, some will require a lot more work than others and they may not be achieved until months down the line. It’s something for me to work towards and look forward to. I feel it’s important for us all to set small goals, be it in sport, University or in other areas, as it can help give us a focus for the year ahead.

Apart from the New Year there was one other major celebration from this last month…Christmas! It seems like an age ago now but for me it’s still fresh in the memory as I sit down to write this month’s blog. My brother was home from America and when the part-time job finished up for a few days it was time to finally enjoy it and relax with my family. Like many families Christmas has always been a big thing in our house. Most of my relations would come to ours for dinner and indeed stay into the early hours of the morning just enjoying the craic! Boxing day would become a repeat of Christmas day (minus the presents of course!) and for the week that followed it was a time to simply relax and look forward to the New Year. On the 28th December, my older brother, Jonathan, flew back to America to enjoy New Years in New York! (Not a bad way to spend it!) And then resume his 2nd and last semester on the Study USA program. It will be June before he’s back home again but until then Skype will be in full use!

December also brought to an end my first semester at St. Mary’s University. 13 busy weeks of enjoying and settling into University life finished on the 20th December when I headed down home for 3 weeks holidays. In fact, it was this exact time last year, January 2012, that I had set my own New Year goal of trying to achieve a place at St. Mary’s. All the hard work paid off and now I can look back on a semester filled with enjoyment and indeed the brilliant opportunity to write about it.

Over the holidays friends and family would have asked me “What did you think of your first semester? Is it what you expected?” My honest answer is “I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much!” It’s all about giving it time to settle in, find your feet and experiencing all the new challenges and opportunities. After enjoying the holidays and with the second semester starting next week I’m really looking forward to getting back to Uni again. It won’t be as new to me this time around and I’ll definitely not be as nervous as I was starting the first one!

It wouldn’t be right of me to let this month’s blog pass without mentioning a very important but yet difficult time. With each passing year and as we near towards the end of December, I can’t help but think of Michaela’s Anniversary. It’s been three years since she passed away and I’ve no doubt it’s still fresh in the memory of her family and friends. I never knew Michaela, but like many people we have all heard the hundreds of inspiring stories and the qualities that defined her life. Her values and personality are what many try to follow. The wonderful work the foundation has and continues to do will hopefully bring comfort to her family and friends, and encourage them in knowing that whether or not we knew her personally, she has had an impact on us all and will never be forgotten.

I hope you all enjoyed the New Year, and best of luck for your plans in 2014!

Talk soon,