I opened my laptop to write a new blog post, and I realised that I haven't written a post since March this year - over 9 months ago! So much has happened in the past 9 months that I thought that it would be nice to write a short post as a little update.

First things first, as some of you may know, I was home-educated for the entirety of my second-level education, and a small portion of my primary-level education. Being home-educated and doing the A-Level examinations gave me the flexibility to choose additional subjects or 'electives' and work throughout the summer to complete everything. I have done this for the past 3 or 4 years, and as a result, I have never had the opportunity to take summer holidays like students who attend conventional schools. For my GCSEs, the equivalent of the Junior Certificate, I chose 15 subjects - I'm a real glutton for punishment, I know. Anyhow, I diverse. For my A-Levels, I had slightly more sense and I decided to reduce my workload to 9 subjects - still quite a lot, but manageable. Although I had a considerable academic workload that required completion before I could attend university, I applied to attend university through the Central Applications Office.

Fast forward to the end of July, I finished my A-Levels and sent everything away to be marked and graded. A week later, I received my results, which I am still absolutely thrilled with. I attained 9 A*s, the equivalent of 9 H1s, or 625 points. On the 15th of August, I received an offer in the Round One CAO offers for my first choice course in my first choice university - psychology at University College Dublin (UCD) - which I instantly accepted. I was offered on-campus accommodation during the last week of August, and I moved to Dublin within the week. By the time I had settled into my accommodation, it was Orientation Week, and immediately after that, my lectures commenced.

In November, I received an invitation to the UCD Entrance Scholars Awards Ceremony, at which I was awarded the Entrance Scholars Award. This award is presented to high-achieving first-year students who achieved 560 points or more in their Leaving Certificate or equivalent second-level examinations. In addition to this, I also received the Cothrom na FĂ©inne Scholarship, of which I am extremely grateful for.

Sometimes, I still cannot believe that I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to study my dream course at my dream university. It's crazy to think that I've already finished the first semester of my first year at university - the time has flown by. I have thoroughly enjoyed college life so far, and I am excited to discover what the remainder of my course has in store for me.

So there you have it! The many, many reasons as to why I have not been actively posting on my blog over the past 9 months.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope 2020 has wonderful things in store for you!

Rachel x

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