Sunday, 29 May 2016

I'm the happiest I've ever been...

Little did I know eight months ago that I would be sitting back at home in Donegal having had the best time of my life so far, having started and completed my first year in college. For the past few years while at school the only thing that kept me motivated and was the light at the end of the tunnel was the prospect of finally being able to spread my wings and begin a new chapter of my life as a university student. I did not have the best experience of school and I was more than ready to move on. The day I completed my last Leaving Cert exam I felt as though a huge weight of pressure and anxiety had been lifted off my shoulders and eagerly anticipated starting college the following September.

Although I was quite apprehensive as orientation week in DCU approached I knew that no matter how long it took me to settle in that I would much happier than I had been for the past few years. For the latter part of my school years I had fallen out of friendships and was unsure how easily I would make new friends. I had come to the realisation that for years, spanning back as far as when I was 9 years old I had held onto friends who had bullied, manipulated me and been anything but loyal.
Through all these years of rocky friendships there was one friend, the girl I will forever call my best friend who was my rock, always there for me and someone I could confide in as we fought the struggles of school drama together. If it wasn't for her I can only imagine how lonely I would have been through my school years. She is like a sister to me and no matter how much time we spend apart we fall right back into place when we finally do get to catch up over  cup of tea! 

I had feared being alone and always tried to hold onto friends that weren’t true friends at all! My first few days in DCU I was the shyest I had ever felt, although I knew a few people from school, for the first time I had really make an effort to talk to people I didn’t know which is still something that I have to psych myself up to do.
The first person I became friends with at college I am now best friends with. In the short space of time we’ve known each other I feel as though I’ve known her a lifetime. We first spoke when we had a course induction and I asked her if I was in the right room. I immediately knew we would be friends. I soon realised that all those years of false friendships and few genuine friends who cared about me had not been my fault and I quickly built up quite a big group of friends. It still surprised me when my new friends would ask if I was ok and noticed when I wasn’t because I was so used to being the one who cared for a friend who would never have noticed if I was having a bad day.

One of the best ways I found to meet likeminded people is by joining clubs and societies. I joined Fotosoc, Cumann Gaeach, Drama and Media Production Society and these are the places I have come to know the greatest majority of my now friends. I have grown so much as person and come out of my shell a lot having been part of clubs and societies and being recognised for work I have done as Treasurer for Fotosoc, taking part in How Gaelach are you? (where I sang for just about the first time in college, receiving a great reception), taking part in the Panto despite my reservations and finally running for Chairperson of Fotosoc which to my delight I have obtained for next year.

These are the places I’ve found people with a common interest, of varying ages and maturities and for a change I have been able to pick and choose my friends. For the past few months I have been very aware of how happy I’ve been since September and it’s been the longest amount of time I have been happy for as long as I can remember. Often I say to my mammy that I wonder how long this happiness can last (there’s the old pessimist in me) but she reminds me to enjoy it especially given how much of a hard time I had while at school.
So I suppose this is how people who enjoyed school feel and why the saying that ‘School days are the happiest days of your life’ is said, although in my case my college days have been the best days of my life and I look forward to the next three years of making friends, making memories, going on adventures and just being happy!




To tie this piece in to the title of my blog, I have often gone on an adventure, night out with my friends or a college event and been so caught up in the moment, surrounded my great friends and lots of laughter that I have forgotten to capture the moments in picture form but they will forever be captured in my memories.

D xo

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