Killian’s first blog

Tuesday October 1st 2013

Hi everyone!

September is a significant month for many as it marks the beginning of a new chapter. This could be starting school for the very first time, moving to second level education or beginning University. All of these are important stages in the development of our futures.

For many students the past month has been filled with excitement, anticipation and a few nervous moments! The holidays have ended, exam results finally arrived, offers for Universities were accepted or declined and the planning for Freshers finally began!

I have just started primary teaching at St. Mary’s University College, Belfast. It was always my aim to attain a place at St. Mary’s and thankfully, after the long wait, I managed to achieve it. However, it wasn’t as smooth of a journey as I had hoped! After changing courses, I decided to take a few years out to re-sit exams, save for University and volunteer with local youth groups as to use my time wisely. Looking back I can wholeheartedly say that taking these two years out was a brilliant decision. It has helped me choose the right career, provided me with new opportunities and even allowed me to travel a little! Therefore, my advice for students who have decided to take a year out, to re-sit exams, to think through their career choices or even to save is that you are making the right choice. It may seem difficult at first but if you’re willing to work hard and use your year out sensibly, then you too will look back knowing you made the right decision.

September also brings the famous “Freshers’ Fortnight.” New students move into halls or rented accommodation leaving behind the home comforts that are so often take for granted! It’s a time when we meet our new housemates, new classmates and indeed catch up with friends from the different Universities. We become inundated with advertisements, posters, welcome packs and free passes into the good and not so good student venues!

I have just moved into the student halls known as Elms Village. I’m moving in as a Fresher but have also taken up the role of Residential Assistant. My job is to provide students with help and guidance to deal with any problems or worries they may face. Residential Assistants also organise exciting and enjoyable events for the residents to ensure they enjoy their time at halls!

Over the past two weeks our team of 16 Residential Assistants have participated in training courses, attended meetings and team building days in order to help us in our new roles! Between 21st and 22nd of September over 3000 students checked in to Elms Village, making it one of the most enjoyable and busiest weekends of the year for our team! We met students from all around the world. We took part in brilliant welcome events and met up with our new
residents for the incoming year. All in all it was a great weekend to kick start my “Freshers’ Fortnight”!

Balancing “Freshers Fortnight” with the start of lectures can always be a difficult task for new students. With nights out a plenty and new opportunities in October to join various clubs and societies it’s important to find the right balance from the start. Creating simple routines, completing assignments on time and simply chilling out can help us achieve the right balance!

One of the most popular and indeed well-known societies at Queen’s is RAG (Raise And Give). They organise many events for students with all its proceeds going straight to the nominated charities. This year one of their chosen charities, voted for by students at Queen’s, is Michaela Foundation! This allows us students to have brilliant craic whist fundraising and volunteering! I would encourage everyone to support Queen’s RAG events as it will make a huge difference in helping Michaela Foundation reach its goals!

Last but by no means least I would just like to say a huge thank you to my family, friends and Michaela Foundation for all their good luck messages for University and for giving me the opportunity to share my blogs. I hope my first blog has been a good read and that you look forward to seeing what University life holds for me over the coming year!

Good luck everyone!

Killian