On Monday I officially became a college student! Needless to say me being me I was very nervous and not very sure on what to expect. Thinking back now although today is only my third day I didn't really have anything to be nervous about. NUI Maynooth were more than welcoming, friendly and helpful.
Beginning college is a new start for me, a start where nobody knows my background. Its not that I am ashamed of my past in terms of my depression and self harm but this new beginning in college allows me to have the chance to let people get to know me for me and not my past, people wont have the chance to judge me on my ill mental health and I am hoping it will stay that way. The aim of Label Jars Not People is to create a society where people with mental health issues are not judged, looked down on and seen as an outcast. My time here in Maynooth will be spent spreading the word of positive mental health and reducing stigma but it will also be a time for me to protect myself from the people who may judge me and have a negative affect on my continuing recovery.
My time here in college is going to be a time of enjoyment, learning, developing relationships and making a difference to the college, the college students and to society in general. I hope to become a part of a number of clubs and societies including mental health society, scouts and athletics. I have been warned by the lectures already that for my BA in community and youth work there will be a heavy work load but I have spent this week preparing mentally for the amount work I can expect. Also with the help and support available for the college I don't see myself being left in the dark and struggling very often.
Despite my first day jitters I'm not finding college life too daunting, I know college isn't going to be easy but in saying that I know its not going to be extremely difficult. If there are any students reading this that are worried about what to do after they finish their leaving cert without a doubt I would recommend considering going to college. I have been here three days and the college, students and the staff have had a huge impact on me, a good impact on me!