Well, today has just been absolutely insane.
It’s a short one today – it has been hectic! Today I was announced as a recipient of a BEM (British Empire Medal) on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.
I’m still quite baffled and just totally stunned that the work I, with the incredible help and support of those around me, do to raise awareness of Organ Donation has been recognised in this way!
To be completely honest, I had no idea what the award was before my parents explained it to me when I received the letter informing me that I had been chosen to receive it! That letter came at the beginning of December and I have had to keep it a secret since then – which I must say was quite tough as I immediately wanted to tell my closest friends – I’m not very good with secrets!
I still find the whole situation a little hilarious really. Just to put today into context, my sister and I got up at ridiculous o’clock to be in a taxi at 5:45 to go to the BBC studios in Belfast to be interviewed on Radio 5 Live, and BBC Breakfast. We were back home at around the time that you should normally wake up on a Saturday over the Christmas Holidays. I then was interviewed by RTE, and Sky News.
In between times, I had a nail appointment – because like all my friends I will be spending New Year’s Eve in Halo Nightclub in Ballycastle so I wanted to look a little festive!
I then went to work – so that I can afford to get my nails done…and pay for all those Christmas presents!
And now, its 11;50pm and I’m finishing writing a blog for the website of the Organ Donation campaign I run.
All the while, trying to figure out when I might get a chance to revise for my mock exams coming up in January – sorry teachers…I promise I will get it done!
These are the kind of days I love. Busy, filled with things I am passionate about, as well as your normal everyday teenager things.
The reason I accepted this award was in no way because I think I deserve it…it was because I know that this will bring attention to our campaign, raise awareness of our message and get people talking about Organ Donation. I am also the youngest on the list this year, and I think that this really highlights the importance of young people’s voices.
We are the future, our passions are what will change the future and if we use our voices well enough, we will be heard, and people will take notice. Whatever it is that you are passionate about, pursue it. Dream big. Believe in your message and your ability to get it across.
Don’t stop talking about it. If it’s important to you, keep speaking out, keep making others listen. Young people are the future, and we need to believe in ourselves and our messages. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Believe in yourself.