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Blog: Discovering My True Identity at St Mary's


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Final Year Physical and Sport Education and Geography student at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Luke Gallagher has written this blog about his experience moving from Ireland to London and what moving overseas meant for him as he prepares to begin his PGCE Primary at the University. About three years ago, when I was finishing my final year of school, my target was to become a Secondary P.E teacher. I knew that it was what I wanted to do, but deep down I had a feeling that I would not be able to achieve the necessary points. As a result, I looked to other universities outside of Ireland for guidance. One of my Gaelic Football teammates had moved to Liverpool the two years previous and I was intrigued by the numerous possibilities that moving away from the motherland would bring. By meeting up with the school learning advisor once a week, it allowed me to draft ideas of my next academic destination at home or abroad. St Mary’s University, Twickenham, or Strawberry Hill Teaching College as its known in Ireland, was highlighted as the best fit; resulting in the sending of an application form so that the waiting game could commence.  The morning of my results day had come along quickly and my family and friends showed their support for me, whatever the result. From what I remember, all of my friends had achieved to the best of their abilities, which was nice to hear, however not everyone was content. That experience was the most vivid and confusing of my life so far, as I felt as if I had lost my identity. Many questions were going through my head when I did not receive the offer that I was expecting from Ireland and I hadn’t heard back from London, such as what were people going to think of me and what was I going to do with my life? My mother consolidated me as I planned my next moves, she used the expression everything happens in life for a reason but I was not one bit impressed. After a few days had passed, I had just returned from my job as a waiter in the local cafe, when the postman arrived at the door. Tearing open one of the letters revealed a note of acceptance to St Mary’s. At first, I didn’t know what to think. I knew it would be expensive to study in London, but I felt that it was a challenge that I was willing to accept. This event will stay close to me for the rest of my years. Not because my mother was correct, but because God had chosen a different pathway for me to go down, where my transition from Ireland to London would allow me to discover my true identity as an Irish teacher living in the United Kingdom.  
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