Great advice for students looking to start their career

Newspapers are still around, they have not gone away, as we all thought they would during the ‘takeover’ of The Internet over the past 15-20 years. Research tells us that daily readership / weekly readership of newspapers is increasing as more and more people still want the option of picking something up and reading it.
As a student, why should you read newspapers daily or at least weekly?

Here’s why I think you should…

  • To know what is happening in the place where you live
  • To be able to hold a conversation with someone
  • To improve your verbal and written communication skills

To know what is happening in the place where you live

With employment activity increasing, property sales increasing and a more vibrant economic outlook developing, you as a resident should know the effect of all of these in your village, town, city, county, country and globally. Become interested in what is going on around you, get the detail and know the facts. Knowledge is power and by having the knowledge everything is possible for you.

To be able to hold a conversation with someone

Knowledge is everything. It gives you confidence; it helps assertiveness and instils self-belief. With these tools in your armour, you can hold a conversation with anyone, with someone you know or indeed a stranger. With smart phones taking over our world effecting our eyesight and posture (that’s a topic of conversation in itself!), we need to make a deliberate effort to start talking to people again, in the flesh so to say, even if it is just for the generations to come.

To improve your verbal and written communication skills

The world is full of excellent journalists, especially Irish journalists. These people have been academically trained, are quailed and experienced to deliver news to us through written communication every day. Embrace, cherish and be grateful for this gift from other people. By reading good journalism, our verbal and written communication skills will enhance, awarding you direct and indirect benefits in your education and career challenges / assignments.

You are now coming towards the end! It has been a long 5-6 years and the Leaving Certificate is now waiting for you and you are waiting for it. I hope that you are both looking forward to meeting each other. Your 5-6 years of hard work is now culminating into a 5-6 day (7-9 for most) period of 2-3 hour examinations that have the power to decide the rest of your and take you on a journey that you wish to travel or on a journey that you hadn’t planned to travel. Let’s together review these past years of secondary education that suddenly have gone by so fast and will end in a few weeks time.

Year 1:

Your first year of secondary school was probably a major transition for you from primary school. New teachers, new friends, and you changed from being called a pupil to a student. You probably were not aware of what was ahead of you. You probably were not too worried about it if you think back, though I guess on the morning and day before the first day, you were somewhat apprehensive. Anyway you got through it and suddenly it was Halloween, Christmas and Easter and Year 1 was over. That wasn’t too bad, was it?

Year 2:

For most of you, you may not remember Year 2. Year 2 is a year that tends to go by very quickly. Remembering what you learned, done and achieved in this year is difficult to do. You began to find your feet, accept and indeed get to like secondary school and were turning into more like a student, leaving behind the primary school years. You might say, you had no choice.

Year 3:

Junior Certificate year and your first official pressure of having to prepare for and complete a state examination – the precursor to the Leaving Certificate in 2-3 year time. This period in your second level academic career should be remembered, as this is when you had to learn and memorize things and answer questions on them and get a result of your work at the end. At the time it was important, but looking back on it, you feel it probably wasn’t that important, but believe me it was important.

Year 4 / Year 5:

This year was probably viewed by you as a rest year if you were doing Transition Year (Year 4 – TY) or if you were not (Year 5), you possibly did take a few weeks break, but you were not long re-focusing on the task facing you in two years time. You would have been told how these two year will go by so fast for you and now realize that they have.

Year 6:

This final year, you may feel a bit frustrated with yourself for not doing more work in Year 5 or you could be thinking that if I hadn’t chosen to do TY, I would have all this behind me right now. Whatever you chose, you are now in Year 6 facing one of the biggest challenges of your life. Do the best you can, that is all you can do. From now until June 9th, work as hard as you possibly can and you will be rewarded…best of luck before, during and afterwards it…!

A few years ago, I overheard an owner of a well-known meeting place as he tried to get his customers to leave the premises – ‘School in the morning!’. For many of us this week or next week, we have school in the morning. Whether you are a parent or student or pupil, you will be effected by the transition from summer to autumn, which is the time of year that our schools open again. Many have already opened. It is time to re-focus, get the school bag out, clear the desk and get ‘stuck-in’ again, back into routine. Easier said than done; though a lot of people have said to me over the past few days that they cannot wait for the schools / colleges to open again (including young people). Read more

Our government have once again rocked its people by announcing further cuts in education, targeting our most vulnerable (our children and young people with special needs) who probably don’t understand and don’t have a voice to fight against these measures. They are dependent on family and friends to speak on their behalf to lobby for what is right, so that they can live in this country of ours as normal citizens and have access to all of the opportunities that a normal citizen would have access to. These people who speak on their behalf (parents / guardians / brothers / sisters) have given up their life to care for, mind and look after them for as long as they need looking after for, which could be their lifetime. Read more