Whether transition year is obligatory in your school or whether it’s a choice, more than likely you have heard the mixed reviews people have on it. Many people view it as a ‘doss year’, where you can take a break after the Junior Cert and sit back and relax, and for some it is exactly like that.
Getting the Most Out of Your TY
It’s really up to you whether you flow with the year and take it easy or decide to use it up to its full potential. This is the year where you’ll have heaps of free time and it is important that you try and do something with it. You will have to take it into your own hands, push yourself, motivate yourself to go out and make the best of the year. Do this by taking up after-school clubs and signing up for different activities. There’s plenty of things to choose from! Throughout the year you might get a few projects to do, a few activities and opportunities (such as the Young Scientists competition), a few trips (maybe to different countries)-of course, if there is something in particular you want to do or if you feel there can be more done, do some research on fun activities and talk to your teachers! If you have leftover time, you can spend your time developing skills and taking up as many new hobbies as possible.
Your school might provide you with workshops every once in a while, and they’re worth checking out. They can be about so many different things. From makeup courses, to legal studies workshops, to orienteering, outdoor pursuits, tp drama workshops. Without a doubt there are some schools that don’t facilitate certain workshops but nothing is impossible. Suggest a workshop to your 4th year head if you’re really passionate about it.
A chunk of 4th year is also taken up by school trips, both in different places in Ireland and outside the country. Your school might offer you the chance to fly to France for an exchange programme where you can experience the people and culture first hand. There are tons of other chances for you to fly abroad, whether it is to learn a European language, experience a culture or to volunteer for charity. However, these trips can be quite expensive so wouldn’t hurt to start saving for them as soon as possible.
Extra Curricular in Your Community
Don’t worry if you’re school has a lack of facilities and activities for you to take part in because, more than likely, your community is thriving with things to get involved in. From volunteering in homes for the elderly to stuarting in festivals, there was a whole load of choice for you do. You could even end up at the opening day for Waterford Comhairle na nÓg! You get the chance to make tons of new friends while also working in a team setting. Whatever you decide to put your time into, you’re guaranteed to make new friends, whether is joining a drama club or taking up a part-time job.
Transition year is an important school year because it can not only introduce you to many hobbies and interests, it can also be a year where friendships blossom. Through the year you will become familiar with learning new skills and teamwork. You’ll have the chance to develop talents and discover new skills (like organising Bonanzas to raise money for charities). It is also a year that will give you the time and resources to help you decide what you would like to do after school when you’re in college, and even after that. But there’s no need to worry about the last point. It’s good to have one extra year to think about it!