In my mind this year is split in two parts. The first being the Leaving Cert and the second, After the Leaving Cert. This year was utterly surreal and probably the most fulfilling year I've experienced, developing as an adult with responsibilities, becoming braver and more willing to speak up and be counted for.
As I went through my photo albums for photographs to insert, I was pleasantly surprised at how many photographs I had at my disposal to use. In my mind I felt that I did nothing except study, sit exams and work. It seems I actually did do some socialising! Here's my 2015.
The year started with the hilarious meme of 'New Year New Ewe' sent by Grace, which still makes me giggle. I succumbed to buying a selfie stick - which is presently in Limerick, oops. I visited my future college, Mary Immaculate College in January on their Open Day. As I walked around the campus, covered in frost and ice, a shiver went up my spine, I could sense that I needed to be here. If only I knew that in December 2015 I would be running around the campus doing exams and completing assignments!
I was studying, which explains the books and flashcards. I have issues with my writing hand so I had to start wearing the muscle support as seen below as my left hand was in agony. Thankfully it sorted itself out but I wore the support in the exams in June. I also questioned if animals did the Leaving Cert and wanted to become a cat.
Mid term in February consisted mainly of the first ever blogger meetup Grace and I attended! We met up with Jane, Chloe, Sarah, Aoife and Celine in Dundrum. We had all been talking online for a lengthy amount of time before we actually all met up face-to-face. It's a strange experience meeting friends from the internet, you feel as if you know everything about them, even though you don't know what their voices sound like.
Grace and I also filmed an AwkwardSprinkles video (I think?) We went to get hot chocolate and have a gossip session and took tonnes of selfies. My friend Maeve turned 18 and the squad was out in force to celebrate.
Grace and I went to Dublin Zoo with Spleodar, where I fangirled over goats, took photos of green lizards and we ate amazing pizza. Grace turned 16 and had a party to celebrate. I also took a horrid selfie from the St. Patrick's Day Parade on the main stage, oops. I was deep in the throes of sraithpictiúr and needed any excuse to try make myself laugh. I still think An Criú Craiceáilte are the epitome of squad goals.
My favourite Easter tree was in my room. Grace and I met up to film. I just realised that we filmed possibly a couple of times during the year but never uploaded the footage. My friends Maeve and Caítlín both turned eighteen so a couple of nights out were had, photo below (a couple of the girls were accidentally cropped out as the photo was too large to fit properly, sorry!) The Vote Yes to the marriage referendum bus arrived in the car park of my old secondary school one afternoon and handed out lots of Yes/ Tá badges.
I voted for the first time in May. I also finished secondary school. We all got hoodies, mine said 'Queen of Peasants' in reference to a long-running joke that year. We had our awards ceremony, took photos with all our friends (some of whom got cropped out of this photo, I am so sorry!) I wrote a number of articles for the yearbook, in particular this piece which I forgot I even submitted! It was a strange sensation to leave a place where I had been to school for six years. We had our grad mass and the year group went out to celebrate afterwards. (Photo in the first collage)
The days passed quickly as the exams loomed. Cue mental breakdowns, anxiety and relief repeated for each individual exam, oh yes, the Leaving Cert! It feels so long ago thankfully. June was dominated by sets of booklets and pink paper. I was disgusted as Bono appeared on English Paper One in a comprehension. I watched Game of Thrones a lot between exams (I made the mistake of watching the last episode the night before my business exam and cried for a half hour then resumed revision) I liked the quote in the middle a lot, I knew these exams were the key to unlocking everything I wanted to study in third level.
I relaxed and recuperated for a lot of July. Grace and I went to another blogger meetup in Dundrum, meeting Sarah, Jane, Cliona, Karolina and her friend Sarah! My friend Caítlín sent me a photograph of the Blogger t-shirt which most of us ended up buying! Starbucks spelt my name right, a worthy cause of celebration. I did a number of shopping hauls too, a strange choice for me.
Ah, the Leaving Cert results were released on the 12th. I might have had several existential crises in the run up to their release. ie crying, watching Netflix for hours on end and eating copious amounts of ice cream with nerves. I don't really recommend experiencing inner turmoil, it's not very pleasant. It all worked out in the end, I got more points than I needed for primary teaching, which was surreal. I accepted my CAO offer at 6.04 as the offers started at 6 am. The squad was out in force once again, having cupcakes and pink lemonade. A week later was our Debs. It was fantastic to see everyone dressed so wonderfully and in such high spirits. It was hard choosing which photos to put in the collage. Grace sent me a supportive photo of my favourite things, sheep and flower crowns. The Sibling also graduated from University too.
I started college in Limerick, which was a huge change from how life had been beforehand. My little 3 year old cousin gave me this lovely card, which is still on my bookshelf in Limerick. The first few weeks are an absolute blur, I made lots of new friends, joined various clubs and societies and went on nights out. I turned nineteen which still freaks me out.
Katie Taylor visited Mary I in October, between lectures a couple of us went to see her. I hung up a Halloween decoration in my room, just to liven things up a little. The grounds around Mary I are beautiful, with gorgeous autumnal leaves surrounding the pitches. The Foundation Building looks stunning at night too. A couple of the girls and I went exploring and found an amazing ice-cream place which was wonderful. I went to see Ed Sheeran's 'Jumpers for Goalposts' as well as other films. A number of us ordered an obscene amount of pizza one night, as seen below. Only in college!
I participated in my first ever colour run! The Mary I Art Society held a colour run on campus which was utterly fantastic. We went to see Spectre and Brooklyn in the cinema in Limerick and to see The Unlucky Cabin Boy in the Lime Tree, all of which were excellent. Sam and I went to see Nathan Carter. It was my second time seeing him live and meeting him, he's so lovely! I met up with my friend Maeve for our first catchup since my birthday in September. The Lime Tree put up a #WakingTheFeminists sign too which I definitely support. The Parents and I went Christmas shopping and had amazing hot chocolate in Butler's.
My brother turned 22 so I made a terrible meme of Taylor Swift's song, referencing, 'I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22'' along with a photo of him in a pram in the snowy garden, oh well. Cliona, Kate and I went to the Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow which was amazing. The Strypes performed too and were just surreal. I got the setlist from the stage (thanks again Kate) We saw The Strypes before the gig but didn't get any photos, maybe next time! I got my hair cut a lot shorter which warranted a selfie. In Limerick city I got a 'goats in trees' calendar which basically summarised the meaning of my existence. So for my room in Limerick I have a goats calendar and for home I have a Sherlock calendar for 2016, delighted. I went out Stephen's night and bumped into lots of old friends which was great. I accidentally created an optical illusion by photographing a mini Coca Cola bottle in front of our Christmas themed tea pot. I also got a Sherlock colouring book among my Christmas presents, it's just so fun! Among other things, I got Adele's new album, an Orla Kiely notebook and a Hogwarts notebook which all coordinated so I couldn't resist a photo.
I also did shopping in the Christmas sales, I'll have a haul up soon as it hasn't arrived in the post yet.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed 2015 but I know that the past few days for many of my old classmates has been a terrible and upsetting time. The 252 heart beats and people in our school year that were united by the exams and Leaving Cert became 251 this week. As we approach the New Year, I hope everyone finds the comfort and strength they need.
2015 is swiftly approaching it's end. I wish you all a happy, prosperous, safe and healthy New Year.
Stay strong and fearless