Transition Year was, for me, undoubtedly the best year of my life and I'm certainly a better person for it. While I enjoyed TY and got so much from it, I know for a fact that many people in my year hated TY and thought it was boring. I suppose they are the people who sat back doing nothing, and at the end of the day TY can only be as good as you make it, so here's my advice for getting the most out of TY.
TY isn't a doss year. Sure you don't do as much classroom work as other years but there's still plenty to be done. If you go into school and sit back with your feet up for the year you're going to be bored, simple. But if you go into TY willing to do work and take opportunities you're going to have a blast. And that leads me to my next point.
Take the opportunities offered
TY is full of opportunities, everything from trips to various courses. I highly recommend making the most of these opportunities. Okay, I will admit that trips are expensive, there's no way around it but when you can afford it make sure you go. The trips I went on in TY are some of the best experiences I've ever had. I usually like to stay at home confined to my room, but I'm honestly so glad I went on the trips I did. Likewise goes for the courses your school offers, even if it's something you don't think you'll enjoy, do it, you don't know when it might come in handy. I'm personally not a GAA fan but I thoroughly enjoyed a GAA coaching course I took part in.
TY boosted my confidence so much, and I'm honestly so grateful for it. I pushed myself in TY to do things I never would have dreamt of doing otherwise. The shy girl I was a year ago, crying over how badly the Junior Cert went, would never in her wildest dreams have got up on a stage in front of 150 plus people dancing, singing and acting like a crazy person. Yet here I am a year later able to say that I played a principle role in our TY Musical, what? 3rd year me is laughing in disbelief! Make TY the year where you push yourself, whether that be trying out for your school musical or speaking up in class for the first time, make sure you push yourself out of comfort zone (even just a small bit). I can guarantee you'll be so happy you did.
Make the most of your time out of school
TY comes with the promise of minimal homework, meaning you're going to have plenty of time after school. Take this time to start something new, something you've always wanted to do. I personally didn't take advantage of this time as much as I should have. So please, don't make my mistake of abusing this extra time (it will be gone once 5th year starts).
Make the most of work experience
Work Experience is a huge part of TY and you shouldn't let it slip between your fingertips. Work Experience gives you the chance to discover what you may want to do when you're older, and also what you definitely don't want to do. All my life I was certain I wanted to be teacher (basic, I know) and now because of work experience I know for certain that I do NOT want to be a teacher *shudders*. Turns out teaching isn't for me, I think I'll stick to my animals, thank you very much. On top of discovering what you like and dislike work experience gives you the chance to add to your CV, boost your confidence, and start making connections in the working world. Work Experience opened me up to a whole new world *starts blasting Aladdin* I didn't even know existed, and that I happen to really enjoy.
Get to know the other people in your year
I'm the kind of person who sits quietly in the classroom and only talks to her friends, but because of TY I now know the people in my year a lot better. We may never all be close friends but at least I know them all a bit better than I did a year ago. All the trips and situations requiring team work mean you're inevitably going to get to know the people in your year better. Make sure to make an effort to be nice and friendly with everyone, it's the best way to get along with them, and get to know them better.
Have fun and finally, HAVE FUN!
Isn't that what TY is all about anyway? I hope this offered you some insight on how to really enjoy Transition Year.