This month I’m grateful for… (August)

Practicing gratitude has a multitude of benefits, from improving optimism and happiness to helping people feel less lonely.* Personally, I feel more positive when I practice gratitude. Every week I try to think of a couple of things that I am genuinely grateful for. This stops me from getting too focused on the things that maybe didn’t go right that week.

I thought I’d share a couple of the things I’ve been grateful for in August.

  1.  Having such a tight knit family in difficult times. None of us are great at answering our phones and nothing is exempt from having a joke made out of it but my family are always there when it matters.
  2. My friend Aoife for encouraging me to keep going after my goals and for always being there to share in the happiness when they work out or to offer support when they don’t.
  3. Getting tickets to see Panic! at the Disco in Manchester next year – shoutout to Ian for this one! Going to gigs is one of my absolute favourite things to do and I was really disappointed to see that Panic! didn’t include an Irish date on their Pray For The Wicked tour but I’m delighted that I’ll get to see them anyway.prayforthewickedtour
  4. The return of cooler weather. I couldn’t cope with that hot weather at all! I’m just not made for heat. I think I was the only person in the country who cursed the heatwave every morning! I love cooler days, cozy evenings, the leaves turning and even the lashing rain.
  5. The arrival of A/W fashion and homeware. If it’s not already clear, I’m an A/W baby, it’s my favourite time of year and seeing all of the new stock like boots, hats, scarves, throws, cushions and candles arriving in store is so exciting!
  6. Getting shortlisted in the Irish Blog Awards in the category of Blog Post – Personal Blog for my ‘I Own It’ post. Blog-Awards-2018-Alebrije-MPU_Short-List
  7. Getting accepted by UCC to study Mental Health in the Community. I’m happy beyond words to have the chance to study something I’m so passionate about.

*https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good

Join in! What things were you grateful for in August? Let me know below!

So you got your exam results…

It’s Leaving Cert results day in Ireland today. By now, the students have their results. Some will be delighted, others will be devastated. The media will celebrate those who received ‘top marks’, they’ll churn out statistics – almost a third of students sat the higher level maths paper and 90% of those received bonus points for scoring over 40% in their exam.

It’s easy to make a Very Big Deal out of these results; many students have worked hard, they have achieved the grades they hoped for and that really is great. However, there are others who worked just as hard and didn’t see it come to fruition. Of course, it’s also all subjective – one student could see 300 points as being fantastic while another sees that as a failure.

On days like today it’s so important to stay grounded. There are so many options and opportunities out there. Not everyone is made for college. Some people will go straight to work or an apprenticeship, some might take some time out to figure out what they want to do and that’s perfectly okay.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind today:

  • If you didn’t get the results you had hoped for don’t panic! There are so many PLC courses that only take one year and can be used as an entry path to a degree the following year if you still want to go down that route. Level 5 courses get a bad rep but I think they’re brilliant – you get to find out if what you had planned on studying is really right for you without the massive financial burden and time commitment of a degree. Saving money and having more free time – what’s bad about that?!
  • Will these results really matter in fifty years? It’s unlikely! That’s not to minimise the effort and time you might have put in, but to remind you that if it didn’t go your way it’s not the end if the world. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of people I know who didn’t get the results or the course they had initially hoped for but who are still happy and successful at what they do. If in doubt, take a look at some famous people who are widely considered to have ‘failed’ school/college but who have still achieved so much: Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Lady GaGa, Tom Hanks, Coco Chanel, Steve Jobs and more!
  • While it’s worth recognising that these results are the culmination of many years of hard work for a lot of people, it’s still important to remember that they don’t have to define the rest of your life. Ultimately, it’s just a piece of paper with a bunch of letters and numbers on. It doesn’t represent who you are as a person. There are many qualities that are far more important than those results – being passionate about something, showing kindness to others, treating people with respect etc.
  • Lastly, go out and celebrate! No matter what results you got you should still celebrate the end of this chapter of your life and the beginning of a new one. Take some time out to relax, go out with friends, do something with your family, whatever celebrating means to you!

On a personal note – I left school in 2009, four months in to sixth year. Since then I’ve earned three qualifications, been accepted on to a degree course, I’ve learned a ton of skills, met new people, seen some other countries, gotten a dog, created a blog & a whole lot more and guess what? None of that depended on having ‘good’ Leaving Cert results!

If you need support today, contact the NCPpp Helpline for free on 1800265165 to speak to a qualified guidance counsellor or check out their website for more information and advice. Spunout.ie also has an education section that is FULL of really great posts, and I’d definitely recommend checking that out if you need some down to earth, practical and easy to follow advice.

As always, if you need any general advice and information click here.