Niamh is in S4, studying for her national examinations in May of this year. Niamh is studying English, Maths, Physics, Biology, Geography, Spanish, French and Music and volunteers at the ASN base of Greenhills Primary School during my study leave.
Which young Scot inspires you?
My friend Joe from Dunblane is an inspiration. Joe played rugby from the age of about 8 and it was all he ever wanted to do. In high school he was well course to become a professional rugby player. He then suffered a tragic knee injury which completely stopped him playing rugby forever. However he is now passing on his skills to coach an S1 team at his school.
What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
There is such a rich history here in Scotland and I love being able to celebrate this. I love Scottish culture especially the music and dancing. I play in a ceilidh band and sometimes play at ceilidhs where I love to play and hear our music and see the dancing. I also love the deep, historic connections with Ireland. I love the way both cultures have influenced the other greatly.
What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
We are not all what you see walking down the streets each day and night. Not all young people are so attached to their phones many are out doing well for themselves and society, but unfortunately these are not the people you see. You see those getting involved in things they shouldn’t and becoming inseparable from technology. But this is not everyone.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
In S2 when I was choosing my subjects I was definitely picking Spanish but i also then considered picking up French as well. In the end I did pick French as well but I was at a real disadvantage as I had been learning Spanish since I was five but had never studied French at all. However I am now doing well French and on course to sit National 5.
What would you most like to achieve in the future?
I would really like to qualify for the world championships for Irish music on my accordion. This would mean a lot to me as it is such a difficult task due to the stiff competition here in Great Britain. Qualifying past the All Britain would be an amazing accomplishment as it would show me that all my hard work and perseverance has been worth it.
What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
Do not follow the crowd. People at your age have to make so many changes that will affect their life forever and many people make the wrong decisions because they do what “everybody is doing”. Whatever you do, follow your heart and do what you believe in.
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