Personal Essay

Write a personal essay where you give your opinion on the importance of family, friends and school.

The Importance of Family, Friends and School

There are many important things in my life but to me there is nothing more important than family, friends and school.

My family consists of me, my older brother Tom, my younger sister Niamh and my mum and dad. We all live in Ballyville and while Niamh and I are at the local secondary school, Tom has gone to Dublin to university to study Engineering.

Tom and I are very similar, we both love football, we both support Liverpool and are crazy about following the mighty reds but we fought like cats and dogs over the last few years. Mum says that it is because we are too alike, something that I always deny but I secretly like being told that!

The summer before Tom left for Dublin, we couldn’t be in the same room together or there would be a fight. From me ‘borrowing’ his new shirt to him taking and ripping my new predators, there was always something to fight about. On one occasion, it almost came to blows but thankfully we both backed down. The day he left for college, we all went to Dublin to drop him off and I really couldn’t believe that I was feeling really down as we pulled away from his new house with him standing waving us off. That journey home was so horrible as I thought about all the things that I would miss about him not being there. I knew deep down that he was also feeling scared about the new adventure that awaited but I wasn’t prepared for the feeling of loneliness that night as I tried to nod off without Tom’s snoring guiding me to sleep.

Looking back on that occasion made me realise the importance of family. We would fight all day every day but when in came down to it, I realised how important Tom was in my life. He’s the person that will be there with me every step of the way. It also made me realise how we only really appreciate people when they are no longer around and it has made me even more appreciative of my mum and dad and even my little sister!

I’m really lucky to have such good friends. Dave, Barry and Ben have been my best friends since primary school and we do everything together. Like most things in life, we often take the most important things for granted and the same applies to friends. Two years ago, Dave and Ben decided to join a football team from across the county and they were our arch rivals. Myself and Barry were in complete shock when they told us. I thought they were just messing around but when I saw them land at school the following day with the St Kevin’s tracksuit, I was almost sick. I took one look at them and told them in no uncertain terms where to go. The language would not be suitable for this essay but I’m sure you get the picture. We didn’t speak for weeks and it was really awkward because our parents are friends and it was really tense at school, especially at lunch time as we eye balled each other in the corridors as we passed, each of us wanting to speak but too stubborn to back down. They even had the cheek to celebrate wildly after beating us 5-0 in a game. I could have killed both of them as I saw them jeering on their way into the dressing room. 

I was fully convinced that I would never speak to either of them again but then something unexpected and terrible happened. My uncle, Jack was killed in a car crash coming home from training one evening and my whole world came tumbling down. He was such a special person and someone that I really looked up to. Over the course of the wake and the funeral I don’t know how I held it all together but what I remember most is the sight of Dave, Barry and Ben walking through my front door and each of them giving me a huge hug. In that moment, all had been forgotten and it was then I realised that friendship is way more important than things like football. I was so thankful to have them all there supporting me and we’ve never mentioned the row since. I think sometimes as friends, we just have to let things go and remember that our friendships are more important than anything else and we need to stop being so stubborn. 

I never thought that I would be writing about the importance of school but since Covid-19 has made its way into our world, I now realise just how important school is to my life. I still remember the day that Leo Vradkar came onto the news and announced that school was finishing two weeks earlier than planned for Easter because of the threat of Covid-19. Laughter and joy filled the corridors as we filled our black bags with books, giddy with the excitement of a month off school. Little did we know that we wouldn’t be back until September.

The first few weeks were fine as I got used to working online but as the weeks passed, I started to really miss my friends and I really missed having the craic at school. I realised that school wasn’t just learning and books, it also played a big part in my social life as it was where I saw my friends and played lots of different sports. I was really glad to get back to school in September, even though the masks were a complete torture and everything was very different. I really began to appreciate going to school and when it was announced that they were closing again after Christmas, I really was devastated. More online classes and sitting at home, with no football to look forward to and no friends to hang out with. I’m now in Leaving Cert and have really started looking at school in a different way. I now see school as the passport to my future and I want to be a physio when I’m older so school is now more important than ever.

In life, there are lots of things that are important but we need to realise what’s really important in life and to me, they are family, friends and school.


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