Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I Feel Cheated By The Irish Education System

Allow me to give you some background information....

In the last 2 weeks I got the results from the Leaving Cert exams I did and offers for college placement. I also got my heart broken and hopes and dreams dashed due to a technicality.

I have always been a person who works as hard as possible to achieve a goal that many would deem difficult and thus, pointless. However, I am the type of person who relishes when faced with challenges and who seeks them out everyday. I would never be happy with an easy life. So that is what I did when it came to choosing what I wanted to do with my future. I spent the last 2 years working hard towards Trinity College, one of the best colleges in the country.

This challenge I created for myself was difficult as I wanted to succeed, but at the same time I have been known to break down under pressure which was something I did not want to do this time. So I spent the last two years struggling to get my grades up to an acceptable level without going crazy. This included me not being as social as I'd have liked, missing out on things, parties, days out, in favour of studying. I even spent the summer after 5th year studying the subjects which I had been doing the worst in. I missed out on a lot.

I don't want to sound like a martyr, I just want people to understand that I am not just some girl moaning because she didn't get exactly what she wanted.

I ended up getting the best score in my year. I got over 500 points, the exact number for the course in question.

But I didn't get the course.

The reason? I was in the lowest group eligable for the course I wanted and their method of choosing the people for it was basically an electronic version of picking names out of a hat.

I did not get what I had spent 2 years working towards because my name didn't come out of the hat.

It hurt. I'm not looking for people to be saying, "Oh poor you!" It's just the way it is. I am hurt because the system in Ireland told me to work so hard for something and then it turned out that it didn't matter how hard I worked for it, it ended up being up to chance.

It wouldn't have hurt as much if I hadn't gotten the points, but the real sting was the fact that I did. I had met the requirements for the course yet I was still let down and I didn't get what I deserved.

So I'm fighting this. I got a course and accepted it, for the moment. People are saying I should be happy with it, especially since I got a scholarship and student grant, but it's not what I want. I am not going to just take this lying down, I'm looking at all my options. My guidence councellor blamed me, and said I would have to change my way of thinking and appreciate what I got since some students got nothing, but that's not right. I am not those students. I didn't do nothing and waste my time over the last few years. I've been working towards college since I started in CTYI and got a taste of the life.

Another thing is I did not enjoy secondary school. No matter what I did, I was always on the outside. I was always awkward and on the edges of things. Now, everyone I know and love is going to be in the centre of town. Most of them will be in Trinity. I will be literally on the edge. In another county. I know everyone makes new friends in college and everything is different, but right now I feel like I'm going to be stuck on the outside again. I've spent so many years like that, I'm sick of it.

I spent secondary school looking at the goal ahead of me. I did not enjoy my time there and was happy for it to pass me by. I don't want college to be the same story. College is not just a way for me to get a job. College is an experience I want to enjoy. And I'm going to do all I can to make that happen in the way I want it to.

No matter what happens after Round 2 of offers, I will be going into the course and option ahead of me with a positive outlook. But I would feel as if I cheated myself if I didn't do all I can to attempt to change it. The education system already screwed me over, I'm not going to do the same to myself. I'm refusing to fail myself.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I think I've kinda become the type of person I want to be.

It's taken quite a while, and I'm not completely sure, but I'm definitely content with how I am.

I've been watching a lot of tv concerning teenagers lately, especially American stuff, like Glee. And a common theme with so many of these showa is the idea of cliques and social groups. We always see them-the joks, the cheerleaders, the stoners, the geeks, the goths... These ideas are pretty familiar to most people. For the most part we've grown up with them and it's kind of a part of people to look down on the nerds and strive to be the popular kids. It seems, because of tv, that we are constantly being placed in a stereotype and treated in accordance with how society dictates that we should be treated.

At least, that's for the most part. Then you come to someone like me.

I am a self confessed nerd. I do all I can to get good grades and I'm pretty smart. I went to nerd camp and have nerdy enough interests. I'm an 18 year old girl who loves Pokemon, Harry Potter and RPGs. Yet, anyone who knows me also knows how driven I am artistically. I love to sing, dance, act- basically perform. I also love to paint and create works of, I hope, art. I've also been a jock most of my life, obsessed with sports, yet my interests and speech often classify me as 'posh' or 'preppy'. How many people my age own a horse and compete in horseriding events? I have my dark moments, so I could be seen as goth or emo, I love rock music and often go to gigs so I could be a rocker. I'm a tranquil person, so perhaps a hippie. There are so many sides to me, I don't fit into one type.

Yet I've tried them all.

And none of them suited me.

I am not just one thing. There are so many options for me in my life. I'm all of these things, little bits of them all.

In reality though, they all add up to be me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Could Build A House From These Writer's Blocks

Recently (in an effort to distract me from studying for the mock examinations I am in the middle of taking at the moment) I have started writing a Harry Potter fan fiction based around his daughter, Lily Luna. (Sorry if that spoiled anything for anyone, but honestly the book has been out for years now. If you haven't read it by now you deserve it to be spoiled for you.)

All in all it's been going pretty well. I will be the first to admit that it's a cheese fest and ridiculously romantic and easy to write, but it has me writing and that's all I care about at the moment.

Or rather, it had me writing.

I'm five chapters in and I sat down today to get started on the sixth.


Everytime I tried writin something it was just terrible. I honestly can't think of anything to move the plot forward or how I want to continue with the story.

Mind you, I had a huge five hour exam tooday and have been falling asleep, so that could be a reason for my current state of mine.

Still, here I am. Here I have a moment where I could actually do something and write something. And I just can't. I gotta say, I'm glad I don't work to deadlines.

How do people get rid of writer's block? I've tried a few things like reading other stuff or walking away from it but nothing is really working. I just don't seem to be too happy with what I'm writing anyway. It's not what I normally write. Just something I thought I'd try.

I based some of my characters loosely on my friends, but I will admit that I used some of my own personal atributes and personality traits for the different characters. I think with writing you do have to put a bit of yourself into what you write. You have to personalise it in certain ways to really create something strong that people will be drawn to. That way it means somethingto you and you will work harder at it to create something wonderful that you really, truly care about.

I didn't intentionally put myself into my characters. That's just how I write. It's easier to write about what you know, so why not take advantage of the life that you've led and use it in your writing to create something magical. Follow this link if you want to read the story I'm trying to write.

In other news, I got my Deathly Hallows t shirt today and it's "totally awesome" (AVPM FTW). Mocks are going on and draining me of life and energy.

Wish me luck! x

Monday, January 24, 2011


Everyone always says that the run up and excitement to an event is much more fun and exciting than the actual event itself. I think that this depends. It is very true that the run up to things can be great fun, all the planning and talking about it and whatnot. But that is how we make it more exciting. We build it up in our minds. We think of every single possible posibility and it quickly develops into this huge thing, no matter how small it actually is. How many parties have you gone to expecting something great, only to be disappointed by the reality?

Equally though, how many parties have you attended, expected nothing, and had the greatest time of your life?

See that's the thing. We all love spur of the moment stuff and surprises because they can't disappoint us (unless we're the ones planning them of course).

I know some of my best nights have been when I haven't been expecting anything to happen and then everyone is relaxed and all in the same situation and more than happy to just experience the experience.

Perhaps we should be living in the moment more...

I'm saying all this because this has become a year of forward thinking. Everything has been directed towards the CAO in January, the upcoming mocks in February, the practicals in April, the exams in June, the results in August and next year when all of this will just be a horrible memory. All of the teachers keep emphasising the exams and what is yet to come and how important they are and how they will change our lives forever and...

Really they're making it out to be a much bigger deal than it actually is.

Yes, the exams are important. Believe me, I'll be the first person to admit that, but they are not the be all and end all, as people keep telling me. There are other ways to get on in life. Not every person who succeeded in the real world did well at school or tests. All these really are are memory tests.

I've been keeping up. Certain grades are improving. I'm moving steady. And now I'm calm and quite happy about that. I'm not looking to June. I'm looking at this week and what challenges I can tackle this week. What I can achieve this week.

6th year is pretty horrible, but it isn't all bad. For the first time ever I feel even slightly accepted in school, which is a miracle and achievement in itself. I'm getting on a bit better with people and not feeling as panicky or socially awkward, which is always a nice feeling.

Maybe this is the way I should try live my life. Not planning too far ahead. Just taking things as they come.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So they say ignorance is bliss. It has never been truer. In a cyber world we have entire websites where people can pour out their hearts and souls.

Only to be ignored and passed over in favour of one who has more positive, frivilous news.

You don't know how much you could save someone if you just stopped for a moment, left the thoughts aside and looked at what people were writing and way.

And maybe, if you were especially heroic you'd ask how you could help

Even a comment could help save a life

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Turns Out

Decided to check out your page, see how you were doing.
Turns out you're doing better than me.

Decided to look at something I really shouldn''t have.
Turns out I'll never be able to forget.

Decided to relive past conversations.
Turns out I'm not as mature as I thought I was.

Decided to look at old texts.
Turns out you're making better progress than me.

Decided to try and block out the hurt.
Turns out it's becoming impossible.

Decided I was wrong.
Turns out I had been all along.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Falling Slowly

Recently a book I'd been longing to read for quite a while arrived in the post. Actually two copies of it arrived. Before Christmas my mom had ordered two hardback, first editions of 'I Shall Wear Midnight' by Terry Pratchett. He is one of our favourite authors who I met at last year's Irish Discworld Convention. He has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and as such his last book, 'Unseen Academicals', was not, let's say, his best work.

The arrival of the package was both a surprise and a blessing. It was just after Christmas and we were at that stage between Christmas and New Years Eve when nothing much is happening. All I planned on doing was sit at the computer and go on Facebook. But then the postman delivered something wonderful.

The book had been released back in September, but I had promised my mother to wait to buy and read it. She wanted to get it for Christmas and so I said okay. I wasn't expecting too much, to be honest, if his last book was anything to go by. He is a brilliant man with a fantastic mind and his work is amazing. But the last book just didn't seem to gel or move as well as previous ones had. All geniuses are allowed a dud I guess.

'I Shall Wear Mdnight' began as I thought it would judging on the previous work. It was a little slow and difficult to get into. However, as I progressed and delved deeper I rediscovered this brilliant mind that had brought me so much joy and companionship over the years.

I startd reading his books when I was around 8 or 9. I'm 18 now and rereading those words and ideas just hit me the same way as they ever did. When I read his new books, once again I am a little kid discovering new fantastical worlds. Once again I was totally engrossed in the story. I wanted to know what would happen. was scared at all the right bits. I saw what was coming, yet was still shocked when it did. I fell in love with the characters and cried along with them, both at happy times and sad.

Reading this book brought me back. It really hit me. I know I am one who cries a lot. I cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm tired. I cry when I miss people. I cry when I'm happy. I cry at certain thoughts. I cry at movies. And songs. And books.

All these open up new parts of us. New ways of thinking and seeing the world around us. If we don't break down and cry and release at some point, especially for little things, how ar we going to for the big things or be able to help other people.

How will we be able to help ourselves?

I'm not the best when it comes to my emotions. I try to control them, but sometimes I get lost along the way. But crying is something I am good at. And I thank the wold for every single tear I've ever shed. All they've done is help me in life. And I hope to cry more and more in the future.