Eimear’s first blog

Wednesday October 2nd 2013

After having read just about every single one of the blogs from last year’s Student Award Scheme Scholars, I really can’t believe I’m sitting here writing my own. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day Úna rang to offer me the Michaela Student Scholar Award – ‘blessed’ really is the only word I can use to describe how I feel as I start into my journey as a student in Belfast.

Despite a jam packed summer, balancing my part-time job, dancing and holidays, it only seems fitting that I write my first blog about my participation in the first ever Michaela Girl’s Summer Camp in Derry. I was absolutely honoured to have been chosen to take part in such an inspirational event. The Michaela Camp allowed our group of 70 Campettes to grow and develop in just one week from shy individuals to outgoing, self-confident, inspirational young ladies. However, this obviously would not have been possible if had it not been for the planning and preparation that went in to the five different elements of the camp, granting the girls the opportunity to participate in every aspect of camp life. Between the elements of Faith, Fun, Fashion, Fáilte and Well-Being, all of which were important to Michaela herself, the walls of St Patrick’s, Glen, rang with laughter from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon from Monday right through to Friday.

The girls each received an exclusive jersey and their own personal Camp Journal as a keepsake of their time spent together during the week. To describe the camp as a whole – I think it’s one of those things where you just need to be there to feel the warmth and happiness that spread through the whole school as friendships for life were made. On a personal level, the sentimental value of the week really hit home for me during the special mass held at the end of the week. We gave thanks for the friends we made and the fun we had and also celebrated and commemorated the values Michaela held dear. As volunteers, we all concluded that if the girls had as much craic as we did, the camp will undoubtedly have been a massive success! One thing we can be certain of though is that life really does exist without limits.

So what am I doing now? Apart from cherishing every last drop of heat I have at home before the big move to Belfast that is! As I said before, I’ve been accepted to study Secondary R.E Teaching at St. Mary’s University College in Belfast and I could not be happier! After a lot of prayers, hard work, tears, determination and an undoubted miracle, I finally got there! The challenges of university life have begun already – my best friend and I found ourselves struggling to even make a packet of soup on our first day in our new house, attempting to build an ‘easy-assemble’ desk and putting on a duvet cover on my own! I think we have enough cleaning material to clean the whole of the Holylands and in all honesty I’m not overly sure what the half of it’s for. I have soon realised that living away from home really will be …interesting and I’ll let you know how it develops. The last few weeks at home have been very strange, watching my wee brother leave for school in his royal blue uniform that I wore every day for seven years – it still hasn’t really sunk in that I’ve left Loreto for good. The bright lights of Glenullin are slightly dimmer than the bright lights of Belfast which is why blackout blinds are another addition I need to make to the never-ending list of necessities for my new house. At the end of the day – ‘níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin’! I’m not too sure if I’m excited or scared to start university, the change from being the big fish in a small pond, to being the small fish in an even bigger pond is somewhat daunting. However, a few weeks ago Mickey Harte advised us to “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change”. So on that note, bring on Belfast!!

Speak soon, God bless,

Eiméar