When one thinks of the thoughts of “nine months later” the instant answer is something of peril, terror, the kind of fright Stephen King himself couldn’t conjure up. Thoughts of the bottle and late nights crying are an instant reality, your life as you know it dissolves before you into responsibilities and tasks you never knew even existed. All for one mistake you find yourself punished, forevermore. Why didn’t you use protection? Is it too late?
Yes; the leaving cert is upon us yet again; or at least the sequel to it (Insert repeat joke here). So with the dreaded LC word on the horizon and things at an end, I thought it best to look back because to be honest; the past 9 months flew.
9 months ago things seemed desperate. I hadn’t been accepted into college and one by one I was watching my friends all leave to bigger and better things. If you want me to be truthful with you, I was angry and childish back then, I spent more time withdrawn into myself and smothered in what could have been as opposed to looking forward at the opportunity that arose.
On August 18th 2014 I set foot in the Cork College of Commerce for the first time, to sit an interview in the aftermath of everything. Afterwards I went away and spent my afternoon divulged in the new issue of Batman, hoping that there had been some shape or form of mistake (my sense of self-righteousness and entitlement soon crumbled around me thankfully).
The beginning of the year, I will admit was an experience. As most of you know I went to Colaíste Chríost Rí for six years and there I made some great friends. We all grew up together, spending years together, seeing each other at the best and worst of times and overall having some laugh. When I started in Cork College of Commerce I found myself trying to hold onto it and try and not “lose” myself with a new group.
My early attempts to “keep my mouth shut, do my work and see the lads when I see them” were as successful as Operation Barbarossa. Before I knew it, I started to talk to people. People where open and accepting, and not studying like mad afraid of all human contact or into God knows what. One person in particular brought my Geography class together by introductions (and I thank you), another helped me realise what accounting was (and not wizardry) and overall my world was opened more so than ever before. I heard of places in Cork I never knew existed (I’m City born and bred do apologise).
By the end of September I was making friends and integrated in the group. By October we had our first night out (started the night with CCRí people and ending with CCOC people, nice flow there), and as the weeks went by I found myself as one of the group. (Forgive me; I don’t want to say any names) Every day I seemed to be meeting new people, our year becoming more integrated and connected (with a special thanks to two people, Geography Girl and 12 Pubs Girl), and eventually the task of repeating took on a whole new life.
There has been drama. I’m not going to lie there. Divisions have been made, arguments have been had, threats have been thrown around and overall everything that you’d expect when you throw stressed out 19 year olds together. Unfortunately and regretfully I learned the hard way about drama and whatnot… to which I must admit I was given some education.
But looking back, I have to say, education aside, this whole year has been an experience in itself. My world has been opened to all corners of Cork City and County. I’ve met poets, photographers, artists, bloggers, hurlers, goalkeepers, gamers, and the list drags on. I’ve spent some lovely days, from looking out over the city to exploring old Cathedrals to watching Liverpool cruise through in the FA Cup. (Highpoint, learning of the Bookshelf Café. Best latte in Cork. Trust me) Overall, nine months later, education and finer points aside; it’s been a good year. Whatever happened in June, whenever things go belly up and I’m back here next year or I win the Champions League and get my course, this whole experience in its entirety has been a success.