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Last Year, which was my Transition Year, was the best year of my life.

Now, I realise that seems like a bit of an extreme declaration, but I do stand by it. Transition Year allowed me to get in touch with things I knew I was passionate about and try things I never would have done.  100% the most important thing for me was starting K.T. Clothing Co. (more about that here), in TY I was able to work at my own pace, on my own initiative and utilise my own skills. And I am thankful to my school Magh Éne College and all the teachers there, notably Ms. Kim McSharry & Mr. John Reilly for all the opportunities, skills and support they supplied me with.

I was lucky enough to work in my hero, Minister Katherine Zappone’s Department and the Dáil for a 3-Day work placement, which was one of the most outstanding experiences!

I was given the opportunity to make short films about drug awareness & LGBTQ+ Awareness , that both got numerous ‘special recognitions’ and ‘honourable mentions’.

TY allowed me to get involved in everything from being school bank manager right through to school musical stage manager. And I am so glad that I did it.

However, starting 5th year this past September I did really struggle to adjust to the post-TY timetable and get back to subjects I hadn’t really studied since my Junior Cert.

The most difficult for me was Maths, I was an Ordinary Level student who achieved an A in my Junior Cert and decided to do Higher Level for my Leaving Cert.

Week 1 and 2 was okay and I had a positive attitude that I’d be fine! Week 3 I began to struggle with Algebra, the basis for every subject in Maths. 3 weeks of struggling later, my other subjects began to suffer after spending an hour and a half minimum at 4 Maths questions, and after a talk with my Maths teacher, who is both an excellent at teaching Maths (I credit her with my Junior Cert. A) and equally excellent at understanding the stress of Higher Level, I decided to drop back down to Ordinary Level.

From that experience, I learned that:

1) I am thoroughly glad I tried Higher Level Maths. Even though it didn’t work I’d hate to be left wondering had I never have tried it.

2) If I let myself continue in the condition I was I would’ve ruined my final 2 years in the school, which I have loved attending for the last 4 years.

3) I would’ve left myself no time to do the things I really enjoy, such as joining a book club

4) I let myself forget that I am trying to run a business on the side of school. That’s what I’m good at, what I want to to and what I need to give more focus than I was giving it.

I am taking part in Shona.ie’s Mindfulness Challenge. I am most relaxed when walking or jogging Roughey in my hometown, Bundoran, Co. Donegal while listening to ‘Sleeping At Last’. Join me and If you have Apple Music, listen to my ‘Sleeping At Last’ Playlist to wind down and relax:

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/playlist/sleeping-at-last-shona-ie-mindfulness-challenge/idpl.u-76oNkLNsZKbLaz