Hope you are all well. Today I have a little blog post on something we all experience in some way or another. My little sister sat her Leaving Certificate exam this year and absolutely aced it, the little genius but in fairness she put the work in. Yesterday evening herself and some friends were discussing college, moving out, moving away from home and in a lot of cases in with strangers. Deciding on different courses, enough points, not enough points, will I repeat etc. These are a whole load of big decisions to be making at such a young age and society also gives them the impression these decisions will affect the rest of their lives, when really it will and it won’t.
I sat my Leaving Certificate 9 years ago (cringe, I only feel like it was max. 2 years ago) and thankfully I got the points for what I wanted to do, Interior Architecture. I was always creative, art being my favourite subject at school and I would sit and watch all the design shows for hours on end, I loved it and still do. I was always looking to change some room in the house and to do it a little different then the norm. So I started the perfect course for me.
Now I loved this course in first year but I struggled with the technical aspect of it, I was more creative and any sort of numbers hurt my brain literally, I just can’t do figures. But as anyone who knows me will know, I can be as stubborn as a mule when I want to be, and failure is not something that features in my vocabulary, I don’t give up on things. So I worked hard and I passed my first year exams with no real bother. So roll on second year, again I found the year tough but I was getting through it, and anyone who studies or has studied Interior Architecture will know that the course consumes your life, none of them will tell you it is a walk in the park even for the exceptionally talented. So the course was project based for the core subject meaning that your final mark for the year was based on your final project and the work load was intense. Bang, the last 2 weeks of college when I was up to my eyes, I was struck with Glandular Fever which for anyone who’s had it you will know, it knocks you for six and you literally have no energy for weeks even months later. So I handed in my project, that I hadn’t been able to put 100% into as I was so sick. Results day arrived and I failed this subject by 4%, it was cruel! I explained I had Glandular Fever to my lecturer and he said “well that would explain a lot.”, he never advised me I could have appealed the result on the grounds of being sick but in hindsight he kinda did me a favour. But again back to being stubborn, I set about repeating the subject which meant repeating the year as there was no actual written exam. Half way through this I realised this just wasn’t for me. The hours were too intense, the course and the career really demanded too much from me and all the aspects I loved that kept me there, well I just didn’t love them enough to spend the rest of my life doing it putting up with the other stuff. I wasn’t happy.
I dreaded telling my parents, like I said I don’t do failure and admitting to my parents I had failed and was giving up something so important was one of the hardest things I have done. My Dad took it much better than Mum which I expected once I was happy he didn’t care, but like most mothers particularly Irish mothers mine is the ultimate worrier. “What do you mean you are giving up?”, “You can’t drop out!” ,”What are you going to do now?” ,”Your not sitting about the house everyday”,”You need to find something else.” , all of these questions fired at me, which I was expecting to be honest so I had the answers ready.
I will never be the person that sit’s around doing nothing, it’s not in my nature I have to be busy, I’m also notoriously independent in many ways, I find it difficult to ask someone for the loan of €20 even if I am giving it back to them an hour later. I have always worked hard at whatever I do, none of the above questions applied or were relevant to me. I had my new direction picked.
When I was turning 21, I planned my party to within an inch of it’s life, everything was perfect (Well apart from the cake but that is a whole other story). I loved the entire process, the ideas, the coordination, the venue, decoration planning, I actually got such a buzz from it. So I had decided I wanted to do a Marketing course specialising in PR and Event Management. The course was so different but a few similarities, it still allowed me to be creative and use my love of design. I sailed through every year, while the work was hard and at times tough I was good at the subjects, I understood them, I wanted to work on the project, reports etc. I loved it. I graduated in 2012 and I can honestly say changing the course was the best decision I ever made. (I still watch all the design shows, get strangely excited about cushions and armchairs and I can’t wait to build my own house with a blank canvas, there is still a wee designer in me 🙂 )
Now 3 years out of college, I have organised events with hundreds of attendees, written newspaper articles, raised money for charity, the list goes on and I am only starting in my career. I go to work every day and love what I do, I learn something new everyday and no day is the same. No matter what career path you choose the most important thing in life is to be happy. If you have got the course you wanted and you love it, great stuff. If you happen to choose a course that turn’s out not to be for you, it’s not the end of the world.
“Do what makes you happy and you will never work a day in your life”
“Don’t regret the decisions you make, regret the things you didn’t do”
Lots of Love