In June 1988 on completion of my Intermediate Certificate, I turned my back on my education and joined the world of employment. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, this was a decision I would come to regret long before eventually becoming unemployed in late 2011. I began to develop a chip on my shoulder, which over time and in the company of some of my peers, began to eat away at me and left me feeling wholly inadequate due to my lack of sufficient education.

 

Anthony Foley - testimonialWhen asked one day if Killarney VTOS was something I would consider, straight away, it seemed like a good idea and I immediately set about trying to gain a place on the Course. I cited my sense of unfinished business as far as my education was concerned as my reason for wanting to return to full time adult education. I waited in anticipation and a growing sense of excitement for a decision on my application and when the phone call of acceptance finally arrived, my focus now shifted from the search for employment to a brighter future.


 I entered into this course with a sense of excitement and a renewed confidence in myself and gradually became acquainted with my new tutors and fellow students.

 

 

Year one would see me study some subjects that I would have been somewhat familiar with and I would therefore have had an idea of what to expect from them. As the homework started to come back to me, so did the feedback. Positive feedback seemed to foster a want within me to make each piece of work I produced superior to the previous one, and with this came the realisation that I had now developed a passion for writing.


Year 2, because of the variety of subjects involved as well as the two week work experience placement in my opinion differed from year 1. It seemed that the focus was now more obviously on our futures and our immediate plans post VTOS. There was now an apparent sense of urgency and an onus on us as individuals to choose the path we planned to take, whether that was further education or a potential return to employment and we were now being prepared as such.


As it stands at the moment, my future is still uncertain. I have applied for another course in my area of choice but financial circumstances may dictate whether or not it will happen. If it does then great, the adventure continues. If not, then I have still given myself a platform on which to build a brighter future.


I have thoroughly enjoyed the VTOS experience and regardless of what I do next, will always look back on my time here with fondness. I have met and gotten to know people that I hope will be friends for a long time to come and a team of teachers who are a credit to their profession and the centre they represent. I have proven to myself that I have what it takes to be successful and can now face into my future with a renewed sense of optimism and confidence in my own ability. My next move is now up to me but thanks to the experience of the past two years, I am now facing it with a renewed sense of optimism and satisfaction from having addressed the regret of walking out on education in the first place.