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5 tips in making Transition year the best year ever

TY student Zoe gives her advice for getting the most out of transition year

Written by Zoe Cummins and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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Zoe is a transition year student and has put together a list of things that she believes will help you get the most out of TY. Check them out below.

1. Don't think of it as a doss year

It is easy to treat TY as a well earned break from school after going through the junior cert . Although the idea of sitting back and doing nothing for a year seems like a dream come true initially, eventually boredom will kick in and you'll begin to regret choosing TY altogether. No other country in the world offers a Transition Year Programme so make the most of it. Try new activities and meet new people.

2. Make use of your free time OUTSIDE of school

Since TY is a non-academic year (meaning there are no state exams or house exams for the year) you will have a lot of free time to get involved in activities you wouldn't usually have time for. Binge watching Netflix can get mundane after six series of The Vampire Diaries, so get involved. There are always places to volunteer like Special Olympics, Junior St.Vincent de Paul. Ask your school, friends and family about volunteer programmes in your area.

3. Make use of your free time INSIDE school

With no exams you have free time in school as well. Get involved in activities that your school offers. Student council, debating, choir and sports are just some of the activities widely available in schools around the country. There are also programmes that TY students can take part in because of their free time such as Junk Kouture, BT Young Scientist Exhibition, SciFest, Gaisce, YSI and Mini-Company. 

4. Use your independence wisely

The whole point of TY is to offer students a year where they can mature and become ready for the Leaving Certificate. Mature is a word thrown around a lot when talking about TY. You have a new sense of freedom and independence that you've never had before. You're not being spoon-fed anymore. It's up to you to find work experience, activities and complete assignments and projects. Of course there's nothing wrong with getting help from friends, family and teachers. You'll soon realise that you have so many opportunities but it's up to you to find them.

5. Do Gaisce!

Gaisce is a youth award scheme that encourages young people aged 15-25 to partcipate in a variety of activities for a specified length of time. Community involvement, personal skill and physical recreation are the categories from which you pick the activities to do. It can put you out of your comfort zone which is good in TY. You can also meet new people and find a new hobby you really enjoy.

And finally a saying you will be sick of hearing about TY. 'You get out of TY what you put into it'. A cliché but so true. So don't waste this year as you'll more than likely regret it in the future. 

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Published February 1st, 2016
Last updated January 5th, 2018
Tags ty transition year opinion
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