Bye bye January Blues

Friday February 7th 2014

Hi everyone!

The dreaded January blues are over, second semester has kicked in and our big New Year resolutions have either successfully continued or slowly fallen apart! (Remember to set small realistic goals!) Like many I have never been a huge fan of January. It always reminds me of dreaded exams, that summer months are far away, and the start of pre-season training for the GAA club!

You’re probably thinking “He’s very pessimistic!” but this January has actually been quite good! Yes, summer may still be far away (I can’t change that!) pre-season football doesn’t begin until February 3rd (phew!) and St. Mary’s University don’t believe in January exams! They are un-heard of around the Ranch! (Huge grin on my face!)

It was the 13th January when I started back to my second semester. After three relaxing weeks at home it was time to pack the bags and head up the M1. If I’m honest I was a bit nervous about going back. “What will this semester have in store?” “Would I enjoy it?” and “Would I settle back in again?” where my thoughts heading back. Three weeks may seem short but it’s a long time away from friends and the daily routine of Uni life. Thankfully though, when I stepped foot back into The Ranch it was as if I had never been away. Things just fell back into place again and in some way my nerves had turned to excitement about what lay ahead this semester.

During fresher’s week, way back last September, I came across the Irish charity SERVE who had a stall at the St. Mary’s freshers fair. They were handing out leaflets about an open day and providing us with information on the tireless work they do in trying to help solve poverty and injustice in the majority world. Last summer, they sent out teams of volunteers to 11 different countries to work on their various projects.

For those who know me, I do enjoy travelling every now and again!! Friends and Family holidays are always great, and I enjoy all aspects of travelling with a group. When I got to University I always said I would jump at the opportunity to travel if it ever came along. Therefore, myself, along with a few good friends, decided we’d apply for SERVE’s volunteer projects. After attending interviews all of us were accepted onto their project in Zambia, South Africa! I’ll not give too much away about the work we will do just yet, but it’s something that we’re all truly excited and ecstatic about! Friends who have travelled to Zambia before have said it’s a brilliant experience and one that they have very fond memories of. After meeting everyone in our group last Saturday at our first training day in Dublin, I’m really looking forward to the challenges and journey that lies ahead. This summer seems just that little bit closer now!

With a New Year comes another new goal. Myself, and fellow Michaela Scholars Aoífe, Áoise, Eiméar, Fionnuala and Stephen decided that we should challenge ourselves as a group.

Our Idea?…Run the Belfast Marathon!

I don’t know who suggested such a demanding idea, but I’ve no doubt with a good bit of training behind us we will be up for the task. It’ll be a relay team event with one of us doing 3.75 miles and one unlucky soul getting to do a gruesome 7.1 miles! It’s all in aid of the Michaela Foundation as we feel it’s important that we try and give something back as they have given all 6 of us so much. If you see any of us running the roads of Coleraine, Belfast, Dublin or even in our own home areas, then give us some well needed encouragement and donate to a worthy cause!

These are just some of the exciting challenges (that were planned during the January blues!) that lie ahead for me over the coming months. One or two more will be revealed soon…but that’s for another blog!

To all those students who have had difficult, exhausting and stressing exams, I hope they went well for you and that all your hard work paid off. If not, don’t worry because you’ll always get a second chance at them and they’ll never define who you are!

Hope everyone enjoys re-freshers and I’ll talk to you soon!

Good luck,