Getting involved with Comhairle na nÓg
People’s experiences of events are different and while I may not get to be President or Taoiseach out of mine or even achieve as much as my friends, I feel my experience was just as valuable -- it changed my life! Even more so than the people who have achieved titles they can brag about.
I was just happy being a part of it. It’s hard to put into words how much Comhairle na nÓg has done for me as a person. It made me into who I am. I was never confident around people and I never had many friends. I hated being in groups of people because I thought something bad always had to happen because until Comhairle, bad things were inevitable.
I had never really thought about joining something like this before but because of the fact I just felt I had to do something, anything, to be a happier person than who I was, I joined as fast as I possibly could. I admit I was scared of my life going in but as romanticised as this may sound, I walked in the door and two people just started talking to me, as if they’d known me for years. I was on a high! I’d never been accepted by people like that in my life.
Time went on and I made more friends and then I began to realize that even though my confidence was shattered going in, everybody slowly helped me put back the pieces. I've gone to events and made lifelong friends. I moved school and everyone tried to convince me this would be a horrible traumatic experience but I wasn't scared I knew I could do this because of Comhairle.
Comhairle made me realize that I could do anything with my life, that there is no limit to what I can do. It gave me skills to cope with life. You could throw me into a room full of people and I would have no problem talking to anyone, I’d talk to a wall at this stage!
I know people care about me when I’m upset. I can stand up for myself. And most importantly I’m more confident that I can do anything in life. Comhairle came to me when I needed it the most and while I may not have gotten gold medals for my work on it, what I have gained out of it is so much more precious than any of that. I am a happier person because of this whole experience! It's something I will forever be grateful for and will always have the most pleasant memories of.
Written by Kate Quigley