While others were sunning themselves in Portugal, or strolling through The Marshes in search of a bargain three intrepid students from St Louis Secondary School were getting a head start on their college degrees.
Hannah Pheifer, from Dulargy, Hermione McAleer, Kilkerley and Eva Harmon, also Kilkerley spent three weeks in DCU at their CTYI courses.
The Centre for Talented Youth of Ireland offers courses in diverse subject areas after undergoing an exam to test for eligibility and the three girls chose very different topics upon acceptance.
Hermione was a residential student and she chose Medicine. She is interested in being a doctor in the future so felt this was a good way to test the waters.
"We did two dissections and I realised I am less interested in physical medicine than research but would not have known that except that I did this course. It was very interesting.
“I also realised that it is hard work living away from the comforts of home and appreciate far more all that my mum does for me! Living on campus was really enjoyable and I learned to be responsible for getting myself up and out in the mornings."
Eva Harmon started in a course called App Design and Development and discovered that she didn’t enjoy the coding aspect. She moved quickly instead to Biotech which was a medical course but the study of the medicines involved in curing illnesses as opposed to Hermione’s course which was more about the anatomy of the body. Eva commuted for the three weeks and also enjoyed the experience.
“There were lots of activities on every day as well as the study aspect so it made it a really enjoyable experience. I made a lot of new friends and had some lovely teachers who were really engaging so it made the learning side fun too.”
Hannah Pheifer’s interests are diverse so this year she chose to study Novel Writing. It was again a really interesting course. “We got all sorts of tips in novel writing, from the list of First Chapter Must Haves to tips on writing about conflict. We got to attend the launch of a book and did a literary walking tour of Dublin.
“I found it really interesting and it has helped me with the creative writing element of the new Junior Cycle English Course.”
The girls have no idea what they will study next but it looks like they are well on top of their Junior Cert at least – in second year.