“The most special of opportunities in a rollercoaster of emotions kinda year!”

Thursday October 1st 2015

It’s hard to believe this is my last blog ever as a Michaela Scholar….totes emosh!! Never did I think I would be worthy of receiving such a prestigious award for something very close to my heart. I was extremely lucky to have seen at first hand the role model and inspiring woman Michaela was and so to be selected as a Scholar made me so proud to go to university knowing I would carry on beliefs and values that she held so dear.

October 28th; a day I will never forget – sitting in a lecture, and probably should have been paying attention instead off being on my phone! But I got an email from John McAreavey ‘Delighted to inform you that you have been chosen as a Michaela Foundation Scholar for 2014!’ I honestly sat their in shock, it couldn’t be me!? At this stage of uni I still new no one…I was so excited, dying to tell someone and no one to tell!!

Next up I got to meet the lovely Caoimhe and Sarah, in true Michaela spirit, over a cup of tea and buns!! It was clear from the very start why they had been chosen as scholars. Two inspiring young ladies, full of happiness, positivity and smiles. We spent the evening getting to know each other a bit better, when we weren’t posing for photographs. I think we all felt slightly famous with all the mummy’s and daddy’s snapping away, proud as punch. A Tyrone girl (with a streak of Fermanagh in her), a Donegal girl and Down girl – of course the craic was good!

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It was then time to start our blogs. I really enjoyed writing them. I was nervous at first, anxious as too weather or not I would do the award justice. It was a chance to express myself openly and honestly, a way of reflecting on the highs and lows of life at university, the new experiences, the life changing people, the craic and the many rare handlings I found myself in as a fresher (Parking tickets, 2 minor M1 accidents mishaps, and flat tyres to name a few…how embarrassing). I’m sure a few people could relate to the challenges and fears as well as the opportunities and good times that university brought me. I hope anyone who read them enjoyed them, I have learnt so much about myself from my blogs and I hope that some people have got something from them. I suppose it’s a good sign when in the most randomest places ever, strangers come up to you and ask you ‘Are you the girl that writes the blogs for the Michaela Foundation?’ It was a privilege to say yes.

 

So I suppose I have a few thank you’s before I say my final Slán.. What a year, what an experience, but one I have definitely not walked alone on…

To my wee dote of a mummy, Lisa, Ciaran and Niambh…Thank you for setting me such an amazing example to go through life by. Your help and encouragement has allowed me to grow, develop and mature to where I am today. Thank you for listening to my worries and fears, despite how trivial they may have been. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for the few pound you throw me when the loan runs out haha..Thank you for being you!

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To my little angel in heaven; thank you for instilling me with the strength and courage I have needed to overcome the challenges of university life this year. Thank you for looking after us all and helping us to achieve our hopes and dreams. Thank you for being with us always, keep shining bright; go deo I mo chroí aingeal.

To the most amazing group of friends in the world; thank you’s for walking with me through every journey in life, especially the past year. There is no doubt you’s are the maddest, craziest, craic-loving bunch of caring, kind and loving people ever. Thanks for the laughs, tears, hugs and memories and here’s to many more!

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Thank you to the people I have came across through my first year at university; new friends, teachers, staff and mentors from placements and the heroic children I have been blessed to meet – Thank you for making me a better person and helping changing my perspective on life.

And finally, a huge thank you to the amazing Úna, John and everyone at the Michaela Foundation. Thank you for this unique and special opportunity. The work that you’s do to keep Michaela’s value and spirit alive is simply incredible. I will be forever indebted and grateful to you all. I wish you’s continued success in everything and I am so proud to be part of something so special.

Go raibh míle maith agat agus Dia Leat,

Cora x