Waiting For The Next Chapter

Back in my final year of school I stood outside my English classroom with my favourite teacher, we spoke about how my grades had dropped dramatically and about how my writing wasn’t as strong as it used to be. “You’ve lost your spark” she said with concern. And she was right, I had lost my spark, because I knew that I only had a few months left in school. I was ready to leave. I was ready to complete my exams and move onto the next chapter of my life.

At the moment I have two months left in college. I will complete my HND in journalism in two months and I’m more than ready for graduate life. People have noticed that my spark has dwindled again. I’ve grown tired of college; tired of the same old routine, the classes, the 18 bus route, the early mornings and the never ending pile of assignments weighing me down. I can see the finish line, but I still have one more hurdle to jump over before I get there. But, I’m growing impatient. I’m ready to leave now, right this second. I’m ready to wave goodbye to my college and my classmates and to move onto a brand new chapter.

I’ve been daydreaming about the freedom I’ll have once I walk out the door of my final class. I’m not too sure what I’ll do when I complete this course. I may work full time in a local cafe or move to Canada or study something completely different. Maybe I’ll join a pottery class or spend the summer in the countryside or start volunteering again. I might write the book I’ve always dreamed of or find a full time job in the city or apply for an internship at a newspaper. I could move across the world or simply down to Cork. The list is never ending.

I won’t let the final few pages of this chapter dim my spark. I will be as bright as I’ve ever been. I will fill my mind with positive thoughts and my soul with determination and drive. Patience and positivity will help me reach the end of this chapter.

In two months time this chapter will end. A chapter where I grew and met new friends and learned many valuable lessons. A chapter where I cried and laughed and smiled. A chapter where I achieved my dreams and failed, but continued to move forward, because I can see that finish line and I cannot wait to cross it.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

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Music Monday: Songs for the Stressed Students

We’re nearing the end of the college year and many people are going to hit that end of year slump. This time of year is never an easy one for students. Our minds are full of thoughts about summer; we spend our time in lectures day dreaming about being at the beach and instead of writing that 2’000 word report we scroll through Booking.com looking for cheap getaways whilst a blank Microsoft Word document is abandoned. You’re running out of fuel, motivation levels are low and you’re constantly debating whether or not you should give up and drop out, but there’s something that can help.

I recently came across a genius playlist that my friend Ashley made on Spotify for when he’s writing essays. After listening to the playlist I realised that music has the power to relax you; even when you’re writing the last few hundred words of a politics assignment at 2am. So I present you with my go to tunes to keep the end of year college stress at bay.


George Ezra- Barcelona
The Beatles- Here Comes The Sun
Sixpence None The Richer- Kiss Me
The Maccabees- Toothpaste Kisses
Bombay Bicycle Club- Luna
Arctic Monkeys- Mardy Bum
Ben Howard- Diamonds
Coldplay- Speed of Sound
Fleetwood Mac- Landslide
Jack Johnson- Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Make a cup of tea, abandon the work for a while and unwind. It’s totally fine to take breaks in between college work; whether you listen to these songs for half an hour, go on a twenty minute stroll or even watch an episode of your favourite tv show. Don’t forget to take breaks, relax and have some me time. You will get the work done in the end and these tunes will make the process that little bit easier. 
Happy listening!
Kat

I Don’t Like Mondays

This post is for all you people that struggle to function on the tedious day that is Monday. Everybody has their bad days, especially when it comes to Mondays. There is nothing worse than waking up at the crack of dawn, eating a bowl of Tesco cornflakes and rushing around the house looking for a matching pair of socks, especially when you are hungover. In a fictional, dream world you’d be an organised and responsible person. The kind of person that prepares their work clothes and lays them out the night before, the kind of person that hops out of the bed at 6am and goes for an hour long gym session before work, the type of person that has a green spinach and avocado smoothie for breakfast. The reality is that we are nothing like our wannabe dream world selves. We don’t drink smoothies and go on jogs in the mornings, we brush our teeth over a sink full of dirty dishes as we wait for the kettle to boil.

Monday mornings are a serious struggle. They never seem to go right; from spilling cereal down your top, to missing your bus to wearing your shirt on inside out, there’s a never ending list of things that always seem to backfire on a Monday. The day may seem longer, you may forget to bring lunch with you to work, you may lose your bus ticket on the way to college, however there is no greater feeling than turning the key in your door and collapsing onto your sofa knowing that you won’t have to deal with this day for another week. As you leave the office you resemble Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club, feeling victorious that you have defeated the Monday blues.

Pat yourself on the back because you have battled against this day and won. Take it easy for the night and glue yourself to the sofa. Spend hours scrolling through Netflix in search of something to watch and then settle for that romantic comedy you’ve already watched five times. Order yourself a take away or maybe treat yourself to some of those delightful Tesco cornflakes you had earlier this morning. I’ll be spending the remainder of my Monday watching the last ever episode of My Mad Fat Diary and reading The Great Gatsby. Let me know what your plans are for this Monday night in the comment section below.

Sincerely Yours,
Kat

A Brand New Chapter

2015 has been a bit of a roller coaster year so far. Over the past few months I have had my fair share of highs and lows. February was not a pleasant month. I experienced my first break up back in February and it’s safe to say I cried… A LOT. Break ups are not fun or easy; they’re draining and brutal. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it is really hard, but time is the best healer of all. As time goes by you start to feel like yourself again. I’m at the stage where I still have my bad days, but I also have my good days. I’m more focused than ever on making the remainder of 2015 amazing. I am a firm believer in the phrase ‘Don’t let the past steal your present’. We all have our days where we want to hide under our duvets and ignore the world around us, trust me, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of those days since the break up. It’s okay to have bad days, but don’t let them rule your life. You have to gather up the strength, hop out of bed, put on a smile and make the most of your day. Sometimes you have to go through the worst in life to get to the best. With that phrase in mind I tackled the following months with a lot of determination and a new view on life.

May was a golden month for me. It was full of great days that I will treasure forever. At the beginning of May I had three exams in college; Media Analysis, English Literature and Desktop Publishing. I know exams are stressful and draining, but these exams were exactly what I needed. They helped me ignore any negative and upsetting thoughts that were buzzing around my mind. Sitting in a classroom for two hours writing about James Joyce may not sound like fun, but it was one of the best parts of the year for me. I find exams daunting, but at the same time I weirdly enjoy them. I love that proud and relieved feeling you get when you put your pen down at the end of exam. There’s nothing better than feeling happy with the work you do, especially when it comes to exams. I felt like Brian at the end of The Breakfast Club when he finishes writing the essay to Mr. Vernon.

My favourite moment of the month is when I met Rae Morris. The entire day was so much fun and I felt so calm and content. Going to gigs is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve been to four this year and I feel so grateful that I get to see such talented people live in concert. Rae Morris’ gig was the best so far. I don’t know who could knock her off the number one spot. When times are tough and you’re feeling low, there’s no better way to cheer yourself than getting out and doing something you enjoy, something that makes you feel happy and something that erases all those negative feelings. Whether it’s swimming, dancing, cooking or running; whatever it is, go out and do it.

Moping around in your pjs will  make you feel worse. When you’re feeling down all you want to do is watch episode after episode of Gossip Girl and eat an entire packet of cookies to yourself. We’ve all been there! But the best thing for you to do is say goodbye to Chuck Bass, wipe the cookie crumbs off your face and go out. That’s what I did during the bad times and it helped so much. I voted yes in the marriage referendum and I watched our country make history. I went to my friends 21st and had a blast. I went to Sandymount beach with my Dad. I visited my Grandparents. I went on a drive with my favourite cousin and sang along to George Ezra. I strolled around the city on a sunny Sunday. I attended the Women’s World Expo with my best friend. We ate cupcakes, wrote on cars and chatted to a crazy fortune teller. I made new memories.

The main message i’m trying to get across here is that it does get better, even though life may seem grey now and you feel like you can’t get over the bad experiences that life throws at you. By sharing my personal experience with you I hope I can prove that even though terribly painful things happen in life, we can move past them and we can feel ok again. Back in February I felt like it was the end of the world. I lost one of the most important people in my life and I never thought i’d be ok again. I am a better person thanks to this bad experience. One phrase that helped me get past the bad days is “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving.” It’s funny because my ex gave me a lovely wall hanging at Christmas time and that phrase is printed on it. That phrase is what keeps me motivated and I hope it can inspire others too.

I see a new month as a new beginning;a blank space to watch new films, to meet new people, to visit new places, to listen to new music, to create new memories. If you are feeling low you need to take a deep breath and start again. Hop back on that bicycle and keep moving.

Sincerely yours,
Kat

Curtain Call

It’s that time of year again where everyone is nearing the end of the school or college year. People are cramming for exams, finishing off final assignments, or spending hours on Netflix when they should be studying. When I was in secondary school I used to dream about the last day before our summer holidays, it was always such a delight. I wasn’t the biggest fan of school, especially in my final years of secondary. I couldn’t wait to leave. During my final year I skipped school as much as I could, I’m pretty sure I missed at least twenty days in that one school year, if not more. I did make some amazing memories in school and I met some of my best friends there, but by the end of sixth year I was itching to leave.

I felt so negative about school, so once the college offers rolled around I was both excited and terrified! I started a course at IADT in September. I was studying English, Media and Cultural Studies. I didn’t feel right at the college, I couldn’t commit to the long journey there and back every day. I spent more time on buses than I did in class. It just wasn’t for me, so before the new year I left the course and started working in the post office. I was out of education for eight months. I was so unsure about what I wanted to study or if I even wanted to go back to college.

Thankfully I stumbled across a Creative Writing course in ICFE that was perfect for me and I sent in my application form. I received my acceptance letter in April and I started studying in September. I could not be any happier with the course I chose. This course has had the most amazing impact on me. I’m a better writer, I know so much more about the writing industry, I have a better idea about my career, I have a new found love for theatre and I’ve produced some work that I am truly proud of. Most importantly I have met some of  the nicest friends ever and I feel so lucky that I got to spend the past year with them. It’s so nice spending everyday surrounded by people that make you feel so welcome and wanted.

I believe college can either change you for better or for worse. It’s so different to the way school is. It’s a lot more relaxed and you have a lot more freedom. You are treated like an adult  and with respect, you aren’t talked down to like you were in school. You are studying something that you are passionate about, something you are interested in, something you want to learn more about. The work may be draining and overwhelming at times, but it’s worth it because it’s a subject that you love and enjoy studying. I think it’s important to balance college work and the lifestyle that comes with college.  Yes, you should work hard on that Shakespeare essay, but at the same time going out on adventures to the Phoenix Park with your college friends is just as important- trust me, I know from experience. College can help you grow as a person, I’ve found that I have really changed for the better. Unfortunately, college also has a negative side. As I said before, college can either have a positive or negative impact on you. A lot of people get wrapped up in the party lifestyle; the cheap drink, the parties, the drugs. Don’t get me wrong I do love the cheap student cocktails from Captain America’s and hanging out in the pub after college, but never ever let it take over and change you in a bad way.

A lot of people let the alcohol, the drugs and the partying rule their lives and it can have a heavy impact on both them personally and their work. College is hard work. It’s a lot more challenging than school ever was. Nobody is going to hold your hand and write the essays for you. The lecturers aren’t going to chase you around the campus looking for your assignments. Nobody is going to force you to attend your two hour lectures. Heavy drinking and partying can effect your grades, your teachers opinions of you, your health and your reputation. Nobody wants to sit beside the guy in the lecture hall that looks like he hasn’t slept in a month and that smells like he swam in a pool of cheap cider from Aldi. I’m not saying spend your entire time in college wrapped up in your work, you need to have fun too! Go out with your new friends, dress up in the dress you bought in the ASOS sale, skip down Grafton Street with a paper crown on your head (trust me, it’s very fun) make the most of those cheap student drink offers, sit in McDonald’s at 6am after the best night out in the city, but remember that you need to have balance and you need to be safe.

Going to college is one of the best things that I’ve done so far in my life. It’s going to be such a bittersweet ending when I finish this course in two weeks. It has been such a blast. It has had the most positive impact on my life. I’ve met some incredible friends and I have learned so much. I am going to miss it so much. I am so sad that it’s ending, but I am so proud of myself for completing the year. I’m so excited to graduate alongside all my friends and to start my next course in September.

Kat