Hi reader… If you came across this page, I am going to assume that you are in one way, or another affiliated with the education system. Yes, I said it, words we find synonymous with “failing the common person”! However, I am writing this today to restore your faith *as much as I can*!
My name is Clinton Apos, I am a 21-year-old from Tallaght, Dublin 24. Growing up I did not have an interest in college much. My aim was to become a professional footballer. I mean every kid has that dream right? I was quite good, I played in Lithuania professionally, I have gone to clubs in England and spent some time with St. Pats in Ireland. As a result of all this and my footballing ability I have an arrogant personality and would never concede to doing schoolwork in Junior Cycle Years in Secondary school: I was going to become a footballer, a professional footballer, why would I even consider doing Geography or Irish. For context, I added St.Aidans Community School in Brookfield.
However, I looked around one day after having one of those deep chats with your family and I thought to myself, what if? What if I don’t make it as a footballer what would I do? And when I asked myself that question without any egotistic subjectivity my life changed. I walked into secondary school the next day and I went from “Cool Clinto” to “Focused Clinton”. And it was the best decision of my life. School up to this point was just something I went to so that I would keep my family happy and talk to my friends about how I played in my match the weekend. Yet, after this epiphany, school went from a doss to an institution that enabled me to explore the world. So that was the first key thing for me. I did not want constraints on my life. I wanted to meet new people, learn new things, and try new foods. I thought to myself I cannot achieve this if I stay so ignorant to the possibility of pursing education. To tie up this part, My advice to every young kid is: attend school and perform well in school for the reason that you want to minimize the amount of constraints you have on your life. You harder you study and the better you perform the less constraints you will have in life and the more experiences you will have thus the happier you will be. From this moment on when I understand this, it became a strategic movement, of how I was going to reach the pinnacle of the education system coming from a school that since 1980s sent only SIX students to Trinity College Dublin.
Why am I mentioning Trinity, that college only a select few dare go to? I say that because I am a student In Trinity College Dublin *round of applause* I am in my final year as of November 2021 when I am writing this. I study Global Business and have interests in Finance and Banking. I was never a model student or a natural genius, I worked and worked for this. And I can you tell you; it is all worth it my friend. I was the fresh lad in school, good footballer and had all the friends. And in all that time of acting cool I got nowhere. Conversely, six months of being focused I unlocked a whole other world that brought me to the university that is ranked no.1 in the country. College is indescribable, coming from where I came from, I feel there is merit in saying it is a “whole other world”. The people are so cool, so intelligent and so diverse in their values and morals. So down to earth and unique. Actually, I would here like to give a special shoutout to the friend I made in first year in college at a TAP event albeit, Seosamh McDaid. This lad has made my college journey more than anybody could ask! We have the best of craic, from course nights out, to studying for 17 hours in the library, mixing coffee powder and hot chocolate, you name it we have done it. And that little anecdote is a prime example that there is somebody out there who aligns with everything you stand for, gets you better than anybody else and I can confidently say College is a great place to find your best mates.
In saying all this, it’s so important to draw it back to the fact that none of this would be possible without putting in the work required. Something that I sometimes forget when I walk around campus, having a laugh or eating a burrito walking past groups of students joking laughing, living their best life I often forget that you need a lot of points to get here. However, there are ways around it, you can do different courses and end up here. Education really is the passport to the future, I call it the tool exercised to minimize constraints on your life. It sets your life up well from a perspective of respect, comfort, and power in whatever you choose to interpret it. Then eventually when you decide to have children and when they realize their dad or mum is a Trinity Graduate, they will be inspired, so it all starts with you. I am realist I understand that, shit hits the fan: excuse my French, perhaps more so if you’re from a low income area but let me tell you, the resilience, the fight and desire to keep going when the going gets tough will create the edge for you and make you unstoppable in your life.
To close and hopefully inspire you guys in a wholesome way: I am 21, I am graduating in the summer of 2022 I have offers in the UK and Ireland in some of the biggest companies in the world. I am a part time teacher in my secondary school sharing my story with students, helping them prep for college, teaching them how to invest, how to manage taxes and some human psychology. On the topic of psychology, you must be an outlier, you cannot just sit around and wait for things to happen you need to get up and make a change. Be an example for your community while enjoying the fruits of your labor. Do not be afraid to be different to separate yourself from the crowd and embark on your own journey because it is your life, and nobody will take that away from you. I have built companies generating very good revenue each month and more importantly, I am an average lad. If I can do it, so can you!