BellTime Magazine BellTime 11-5 - Page 19

With the CAO deadline looming, I sat down at the kitchen table and had a difficult talk with my mother. We looked at all the courses which were on offer and decided Tralee I.T was my best choice. I always remember receiving the offer from Tralee I.T, I had such mixed emotions about the whole situation. On one hand, I was excited at moving to a new place and all the new experiences which would come from it but on the other hand I wanted nothing in my life to change. If only I could have packed up my whole life and family in a suitcase, and brought everything with me, as if nothing had changed. I will never be able to forget that day in Heuston Station, I sat in SuperMacs crying into a burger because I just couldn’t say goodbye to my family and everything I had ever known. Anyone who saw me sitting there must have thought I was being forced against my will to leave. I can recall everything so clearly, even down to knowing what songs played in SuperMac during that emotional 45- minute period. I get extremely embarrassed when people ask how it went, I literally, without joking, only spent a week there. And I cried for about 85% of that week. I returned for a short family trip and never went back to Tralee after that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Tralee and Kerry people, they helped me as much as they could, but Tralee was not for me. Reflecting on the whole experience, I realise I had been crippled by the fear of change. So, the twist in the story is that while 36 on that family trip, I received an email from the CAO stating that I had received an offer from Dundalk Institute of Technology, to study Health and Physical Activity. This was the opportunity I needed, and I couldn’t wait to get back to Dublin. I was on catch up when I got to DKIT, but a friend I had from Colaiste Dhulaigh was also studying there and made me feel right at home. I’ll never be able to thank Ryan enough for what he did, University can be daunting, but it can be even more daunting when you’re so late to the party. Trying to catch up with everyone else, I ended up going out with the class any time an opportunity arose, and as a result of my prospering social life, my academic life suffered. This meant I only had one fate ahead of me, which was repeats in both semesters. I missed out on going into 2nd year by 7%, meaning I would have to repeat that one module. However, it wouldn’t have mattered if I missed out by 7 or 70 percent, my heart was never truly in the course. I only chose it as my escape route out of Tralee. I returned again to the kitchen table and faced some harsh truths, I had made a dog’s dinner of the last year. I needed to be smart and I needed to start making good decisions. I enrolled on an FAI/Fingal County Council Soccer Coaching/Personal Training course. I was enjoying myself again, and after the 9-month long course, I was offered an internship with the Football Association of Ireland, as a Development Officer for the Dublin 15 area. My job was to promote the sport in the area. I loved it, but I wanted to teach. I finished my internship and decided I wanted to teach adults and young people, who may, for whatever reason, not have had the greatest experience in education. For the first time ever, I did in-depth research into my options. I visited universities and spoke to people who could support and help me in my return to 3rd level education. I used all the resources at my disposal, because I knew I had to make this time count, I had too much riding on it. People will help you, you just need to ask for their help. I was 23 at this point so was eligible to apply to DCU through the CAO, as a mature student. The mature entry route looks at an individual’s life experience instead of just solely their Leaving Cert results. I was invited to an interview and met with the year- head of the program and a lecturer to discuss why I was interested in the course. I was happy with how the interview went but I think you always have that level of doubt in the back of your mind, anxious to know if there was any more you could have done. I cried the day I received my letter of acceptance from DCU. I’m almost certain I framed the letter. Being from Glasnevin, DCU was always the dream university to go to but for me it felt like a world away and that I would never be ‘smart’ enough to get accepted. I’ve learned over the years though that everyone is smart in their own right. I am now 25 and if I could turn back time I wouldn’t. All the different experiences and struggles I’ve encountered have shaped me in many positive ways. Only you can stop yourself from achieving your goals and arriving at your dream destination. Sometimes the road less-travelled is the most exciting one. Olivia Sneyd 16 + 17 2019 and Universities through the Higher Education Links Scheme, including Dundalk IT, Carlow IT, University College Cork, and Tralee IT. The National Show Centre SEPT Swords, Co. Dublin school summit The event will take place over a 2 day period and will offer all Senior Cycle Sector Students and their Teachers the opportunity to Engage Explore Experience - The many opportunities and resources that are available to them. - School Summit will showcase an extensive range of appropriate personal, educational & vocational material. - School Summit promises to encompass the three separate, but interlinked areas of: educational guidance personal and social development career guidance With over 100 exhibitors from our existing database of clients attending the event & influential speakers from both home and abroad, school summit promises to take you to the highest point of the school year. BellTIME NEW: Apprenticeships + Traineeships Zone Education Arts Environment Sports Mental Health STEM Competitions Travel School Tours School Supplies Volunteering Apprenticeships Health & Diet Faith Entertainment Transition Year Careers Languages Fundraising Finance And much much more.... Demonstrations | Workshops | Skills | Opportunities | Competitions Prizes | Inspirational Speakers | Teach-Talk | Student Scene Location: The National Show Centre is located on the main Dublin to Belfast road, a short distance from Dublin Airport, the M50 and M1 motorways and Swords. Dublin city centre is 20/30 minutes away and Belfast is a 2 hours drive. The venue is easily accessible and is well serviced by bus routes. Contact / Booking For School Bookings or for more information visit www.SchoolSummit.ie or Contact: Exhibition space: Rachel@bellmedia.ie 083 4451900 School Bookings: Rachel@bellmedia.ie 083 4451900 Early Bird Tickets available @ www.SchoolSummit.ie www.belltimemagazine.ie www.bellmedia.ie Go To the Top of your Class with School Summit! School Summit 2019 is available to: All Senior Cycle Sector Students & their Teachers Looking forward to seeing you all at School Summit September 16th & 17th 2019, National Show Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin for the The Peak Event of the School Year BOOK NOW: www.schoolsummit.ie 37