Shane O'Meara's #Back2School Blog

shane o'meara



1 . What was your school like?

My school was a mixed sex school in Livingston, West Lothian called St.Margaret's Academy. I was very lucky to attended St.Margaret's, my older brother was two years ahead of me and it was a good school in and around our area. It was a strict school but the majority of the time very relaxed. 

2. What is your favourite memory from school?

I have so many memories trying to pin point one is hard. During winter pretty much the whole of the school would be out on the fields during lunch for an epic scale snowball fight, although you would have to sit in class freezing for the rest of the day!

3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?

I knew I wanted to be an Actor from a young age and had tunnel vision with that goal. I was very determined and I would speak with my drama teacher Miss.Holiday about it, telling her I wanted to go to college to pursue it. She was incredibly helpful and gave me a glowing reference to get in. The school was focused on academic ability which I knew I needed but was also good for creatives with brilliant departments for drama, music and art. I'm thankful they gave people that opportunity.

4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?

I was very lucky in the fact I had a pretty smooth ride throughout school. The school was very strict on bullying and had incredibly low tolerance for it. That's not to say people weren't bullied but the school had guidance counsellors that tended to have good relationships with their year groups, assigned meetings for you to talk about any issues which gave students the chance to speak what's on their mind and help deal with any problems. I think me having family at the school and a lot of friends from primary school in my class helped extinguish this for me.

5. What was your favourite school subject?

Obviously drama was a big one for me! I had a really good class and it was a lesson you got the chance to be creative and the teachers loosened up a little. Art was another big one for me, I enjoyed art and history which made it easier to focus and eventually get good at. I think the more enjoyment you get from a subject the more you're going to take away from it. 

6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?

I would always look forward to the fresh start and seeing people again, like getting that new clean jotter, everyone likes that! I would also go back with little goals in my head that I would hope to tick through out the year. My advice for people going back would be to try and continue as you intended to when you came back on that first day. We have ideas in our head about how we can improve and enjoy school more but let it slip the more time goes on, don't let go of that mind frame from the beginning! Try and enjoy the little things more, anything you're struggling with from before the holiday make it an aim to try and sort before continuing, whether it's academic or social so you can continue that fresh start.

7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays?

Sitting here and trying to think of something that worried me I'm not able to come up with anything, I know there was and must have been at some point but that just shows me that anything you are worrying about will not always continue to? It's something that's worrying you now but it won't always, if it's a bulling issue know that you will not always feel like you are now and you will look back as a stronger, wiser and more rounded person.

8. What was your favourite school meal?

My school did have a really good range to choose from and changed it up a lot. They had the basics that would always be there but at the time It would have been warps or a good panini! 

9. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school?

You deserve that fresh start and should never have been put in that situation in the first place. Decide enough is enough, you've heard it time and time again but I honestly think you should consider speaking to someone. No one should make you feel worried about going back to school, people do care and people will help. School should be a place where you grow and carveout your future and no one has the right to attempt to take that from you. They are in the wrong. Even if you start by telling a close friend and eventually a teacher, or a parent. Whatever you are comfortable with, it shows courage and strength. 

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