I had just finished the Leaving Cert and had the opportunity to turn a new leaf. I knew I wouldn’t have many friends until September at the earliest, and not much to do until orientation came around. I played video games at first to alleviate the recent stress from the Leaving Cert, but I got bored quickly. I needed to find something to do, even find out what I might want to do in the future.
My parents encouraged me to get a job, but that seemed to be the same repetition that I wanted to avoid, just less boring and with pay instead of fun. So, it wasn’t an option I was considering. I had just finished doing a few blogs for the ISSU, the Irish Second-Level Students Union, on my experience of the Leaving Certificate exams. Through that, somehow or another, I encountered a post by a young woman.
From there, somehow or another, I joined the blogging site Yuppa, a clever acronym for ‘Young Unique People Pursuing Anything.’ While I didn’t consider myself unique, I appreciated the fact it would take the edge off my boredom. However, after carefully writing a piece, which I had only done in about thirty minutes at most, I sent it off and within a few days, my work was posted on the site for all to see.
Coming to the end of July, things started moving. I saw that my new YUPPA ‘boss’ was excited to go to the ‘NIP’. Initially believing it was something inappropriate, I did an incognito search, only to find out it was the National Implementation Project 2018, as part of the National Youth Council of Ireland.
It was still at least four weeks away, so I wasn’t overly excited, yet it was a eureka moment. Finally, something to get outside and do! The days passed, the emails quietly sent, and tickets got, politely reminding to attend. The day of the National Implementation Project 2018 came around quickly. Initially, my introvert nature was winning, as I had not seen many people for almost two months (and most of that spent avoiding certain people.) A few minutes into the event, and after seeing other people my age, I decided to get active during the event.
As they say, the rest is history. I met lots of great people. The confidence that had been hiding since my public speaking days of Transition Year finally emerged. Within about ten minutes of talking to people, I had already booked tickets for the final summit of the NIP in October. I not only managed to talk to people but even remembered their names, most of them anyway.
Since then, I have had some sort of event at least every week. While classmates in my new college joined one or two societies, I joined nine (although I acknowledge I may not have contributed as much to some as to others.) I’m part of SpunOut.ie as a content creator – this blog actually. I’m part of the National Youth Council of Ireland’s Young Voices, which has given me the opportunity to attend many other events. I’m also volunteering with Amnesty International and most likely trying in vain to stay up 24 hours for a charity broadcast next week.
All of these opportunities came from that one post for the ISSU on my Leaving Cert. You never know what one blog post can lead to if you’re open to new experiences and opportunities.
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