This blog contains lots of cliché statements, sentimental flashbacks and incoherent emotional ramblings

Wednesday August 27th 2014

I feel like I should probably start this blog off with a disclaimer. One that will alert you to the fact that it will probably contain lots of cliché statements, sentimental flashbacks and incoherent emotional ramblings. Now that we’ve got that over and done with, let’s move on…

11 blogs later and here I am writing my 12th and final blog for what can only be described as a fantastic year.

10600361_838019676208737_7522438173684501087_n

One year ago, I was offered an opportunity that I never thought would improve my life in such a way. One year ago, Úna Kelly rang me to offer me the chance to be one of six Michaela Scholars.

That particular phone call is a story that I haven’t told very often. That very same day, actually just minutes beforehand, I received some disappointing news. Nothing massive, but it wasn’t a great start to the whole university experience just a few days after results came out. Then, I received another phone call (where I was hoping that the other party would have had a change of heart). Instead, I was offered this amazing opportunity. Now with 12 months of hindsight, I know that things worked out perfectly. It always reminds me of a few sayings, namely ‘When one door closes, another one opens’ and ‘what’s for you won’t go by you.’ Different people have different views of what they want, but God might have a different plan, and that plan will be the better one, changing you into a better person.

10626750_852081034817235_8528687062511465115_n

 

Since then, I’ve had the chance to share my views and my experiences in my life as a fresher and have it published online and in The Irish News. This was something that I’ve always wanted to do. Not only have I been writing for others, but I have also been writing for myself. In years to come, I will be able to look back at these blogs and relive all the new things I’ve experienced: getting used to lectures, the stress of fast approaching deadlines and living away from home. That’s the real priceless value of these entries.

One particular highlight for me is looking back to my first day of university where I woke up ridiculously early to be certain I would arrive on time for class! Now I think about how much I have changed – as a person and as a student. I’ve met a great group of friends and have had the chance to participate in some brilliant opportunities. I have also seen the same in my friends. I feel that university is a great place for self-discovery and tailoring your life to your individual strengths, weaknesses, talents and flaws.

And while blog writing has been excellent, more importantly, I have made numerous friends within the foundation. Dozens and dozens of people involved in the camps and fundraisers. Leaders, campettes, well-wishers. In particular, 5 people have shared this same experience. Aoife, Áoise, Eiméar, Fionnuala and Killian. Although we’re at different universities, from reading their blogs, I’ve got to know them so well. They’re all absolutely great craic and I have no doubt that we’ll keep in contact for years to come!

10614099_10152334805268590_5711679958806311403_n

While it’s all well and good to sit back and relax over the summer, all good things must come to an end. With a new year, brings new beginnings. I can’t believe this Summer is already over. Well, not quite. A fair few of my friends are already back at uni as their courses start early. Another few friends are on placement. I’m starting a job enrolling and registering new and existing students in a few weeks time and I’ve received my training for being Freshfields’ Campus Ambassador this academic year. Combine all this with moving into the new house and it feels like I’m back to student life. Quickest Summer ever! I’m fortunate to have had a summer that has been brilliant. Short, yes, but memorable. Now I can go back to uni ready to get stuck in again.

My advice? Don’t freak out … everything works out all right in the end! First year is all about finding your feet and making sure you get settled in. I’ve had a brilliant first year – there just aren’t enough adjectives to describe it. Time to see what second year has in store!

10471272_838197276190977_8764623516246597340_n

For the final time,

Stephen