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The Importance of Sport

The The Back Back To To School School Edition Edition


We chat To Lauren Guilfoyle about her love of sport & her career





Back To School We've got the

GALLAGHER Talks school, positivity, and running her own business

advice you need from 1st- 6th year!


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How To Cope With School Anxiety We're All Friends Here Your Guide To Starting Secondary School How To Cope With School Stress Getting Back Into A Routine After T.Y School Hair Accessories


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Plaid Everything Dealing With Stress Breakouts Periods In School A Recommended Reading List Which Fictional School Would You Go To? Meet The Cast of Dating Amber

editor's note Welcome to the first issue of Missy.ie's new monthly digital magazine! This has been something that we've wanted to try for a while and Back To School felt like the perfect time! From starting First Year, to the Junior Cert and T.Y, plus dealing with the L.C, the Irish secondary school experience is like no other. And in a lot of ways this issue is a celebration of all that. Secondary School is a a rite of passage that never changes. Which is why the past few months have been so disconcerting. What we thought was set in stone, suddenly wasn't. For all the days we wished we didn't have school, we were left missing the comfort of routine and lunch-time banter with friends.

My Favourite Things From This Issue

You don't need me to tell you that we're still in the midst of very strange and worrying times. The only advice I can give is to follow the guidelines. We all have our part to play, and if that means stepping back from friends when socialising and wearing a face covering, that's what we need to do.

These are so

In the mean time try find some way to experience joy and excitement in life. Time is still going by and although this school year will be a strange one, it's still a chance for new friends, reconnecting, adventures and growing.


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If you're heading into 1st year, enjoy it! If you're a 6th year embrace it! It's going to be a strange few months, but we are all in this together. I hope this Back To School issue reassures you, gives you some guidance and also excites you about the year ahead. We'll have tons more content coming up on missy.ie. In the meantime keep an eye on our social media for some chats and some more exciting announcements.

Danielle EDITOR

I recently discovered this and it has changed my




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How coo l w as to s it ee t he Iris sch h ool exp erie nce on scre en i n Nor mal Peo ple ?

Team Missy Editor

Danielle Mahoney Social Media Manager

Jessie Bennett Staff Writers

Sophie Coffey Neasa Murphy Sorcha Kennedy Maeve O' Sullivan Aimee Walsh Alannah Murray

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School Days Absolute ray of sunshine, Aileen Gallagher chats to Missy about her school days, running her own business and how she stays positive

Tell us a bit about your own school experience. I loved school and learning and I really enjoyed being in the classroom and even doing homework! I genuinely enjoyed every subject, but I did put a lot of pressure on myself during my last two years. I think most people in school feel a lot of pressure coming up to the Leaving Cert! I really wanted to do well and I really wanted to get the points I needed for college, so I was stressed and very anxious. I was spending way longer than I should have doing homework and I was studying until late at night, so I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I started having panic attacks in school almost every day! Sixth year was definitely the hardest year for me in school but even though it was difficult I still enjoyed school, and I wouldn’t change a thing! 6

What advice would you give to your teen self about school? Put yourself first! School is important but we are so much more important and we need to look after ourselves, especially during times of stress, anxiety and exam pressures. It is important to try your best but don’t be too hard on yourself. When I was in school it felt like the Leaving Cert was the most important thing in the world, but looking back now I see it’s only a small part of your whole life.

"PUT YOURSELF FIRST! SCHOOL IS IMPORTANT BUT WE ARE SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT" Any positivity tips for back to school? SELF CARE 100%! Getting enough sleep, eating well and putting time aside to do things you enjoy will always have such a positive effect on how you feel.

Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself is also so important. Your circle has such an impact on your mindset so make sure you spend time with positive, uplifting and supportive friends. What were your 3 School Bag or Locker essentials in school? Some nice coloured pens, chewing gum and of course, lip balm always! Do you have a favorite memory from school? I loved Transition Year! I got to do a lot of creative projects in TY and a lot of things that were out of my comfort zone, which helped me gain a lot of confidence.



"YOUR CIRCLE HAS SUCH AN IMPACT ON YOUR MINDSET SO MAKE SURE YOU SPEND TIME WITH POSITIVE, UPLIFTING AND SUPPORTIVE FRIENDS" Tell us a bit about your path after school… So like most people I went off to college. I was so lucky to get the points needed for my first choice and I was so excited (and extremely nervous!) to move to and start college in Galway. I loved my course but because I was still struggling with anxiety and panic attacks I found it hard to go to my classes. I actually ended up dropping out at the end of second year because I realised college just wasn’t suited to me. I started working full time in Penneys in Galway (best job ever!) and after about a year, I moved home to Donegal, did a course to become a nail technician and I’ve been doing that for two years. Everyone always asks me do I regret leaving college and honestly, I have never regretted it.

College isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. I never would’ve thought my life would be the way it is now when I was leaving school, but I couldn’t be happier.



Where are your favourite places to shop for clothes? Nasty Gal is always my go-to their clothes just suit my style so much. I also love H&M and Penneys, obviously. What makeup products do you always carry in your bag? I ALWAYS carry my SoSu by SJ lipstick in ‘Birthday Suit’. It is my holy grail lip product! Concealer and bronzer are a must as well!

Let’s talk fashion! You have a really fun sense of style. Have you any advice on how to find your own sense of style? Thank you, I definitely feel like I’ve found my own sense of style although there was a lot of trial and error over the years! I think the main thing is finding clothes that you’re comfortable in and that make you feel good. Experiment with different colours, styles and prints - fashion is supposed to be fun and is an amazing way to express yourself. I love looking on Pinterest for inspiration, following fashion bloggers on Instagram and watching hauls on YouTube. Don’t worry about what other people think. If you feel good that’s what matters.



You run your own business working as a nail technician, how did you get started in the Business? One day I just decided I would do a nail technician course. It was so random but I loved it from the very first day! I didn’t have any experience, and never really had much interest in doing nails and I definitely didn’t have any experience in running a business but I’ve been doing it for 2 years! It's not an easy job - I’m a nail tech and a therapist at times but I love getting creative and catching up with my clients every day.

What nail designs do you think will be popular for autumn/winter? Nude and rose gold glitter is always a popular choice! I’ve also been seeing loads of cow print and leopard print everywhere and coloured tips! I love coloured tips because it’s a nice twist on the classic nude and it looks good on any shape and length!

We’ve noticed you’re very into astrology, how did you become interested in it and what advice do you have for people who’d like to try out tarot cards, manifesting, future scripting/journaling? I’ve been interested in astrology for years. I’m a Sagittarius and have always been interested in my own star sign and over the years I started reading about the other signs and their traits, learning about birth charts and how the planets affect us. I’ve also always been quite a spiritual person. The first time I was introduced to the law of attraction I was only 12!!! I think reading or watching The Secret is the best place to start learning about manifestation. It is honestly life-changing. There’s also so much information on YouTube about manifesting and journaling, and hundreds of books too. I journal and script every night before bed and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done! It has changed my mindset and helped me become a much more positive and happy person. Try to get into a routine of journaling, start off with one night a week, then two nights and eventually it’ll just become a habit.  I’ve only recently started reading tarot cards and it’s a lot harder than I thought but my advice if you want to get into it, or anything, is to just start. Buy yourself a deck and pull a card for yourself every day, and take note of the meaning of the card, how it makes you feel and how it relates to your day. There are also lots of YouTubers who do Tarot readings and I always find them so accurate. Stargirl The Practical Witch is my favourite! Lastly, 2020 has been a weird year to say the least. But looking back, what positive things have you taken from it, if any? I feel like I’ve learned so much this year! I think we’ve all learned that you never know what life is going to throw at you haha! But I’ve also learned how important it is to slow down and enjoy life. Before lockdown I was always busy, constantly working and running here, there and everywhere and I wasn’t enjoying any of it. I had no time to appreciate anything I was doing. I’ve learned to be grateful for the little things, make time for myself, work less, spend quality time with my family, and I’m trying to spend less time on my phone. I’ve started reading, baking and cooking again, things I LOVE doing but never had time for before quarantine. I’ve also started making a point of doing one bit of self-care every day. It’s definitely been a strange year, but I think it’s been an important year for a lot of us. 11


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Styling: Aileen Gallagher Photos: Dearbhla Gallagher

Top Tip


Don’t forget to get outside when you can, a little fresh air during your lunch hour can make for a much more productive afternoon.

by Neasa Murphy

Returning to school this year is going to be different. We don't know what's to come, but being prepared for a mix of learning from home and in school will be important. Many of us experienced distance learning in March, but this happened very suddenly, and the circumstances were stressful, so there is definite room for improvement as we move towards blended learning this year. September will bring both a fresh start, and a different set of challenges for teachers and learners. Blended learning will mean being more independent, especially for older students. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but there are lots of things we can do to adapt. Here are our top tips for managing independent and blended learning. Good luck this year! You got this.



Routine, routine, routine Ok, so not to sound like your Mammy, but having a routine is going to be more important than ever this year. This isn’t just about school, it’s important for your mental health. Why do you think YouTubers are always sharing their morning and evening routines? It’s because it works!

Routines make the day more satisfying and relaxing. Sticking to a pattern of school time and down time will stop you from feeling guilty or stressed about schoolwork and give you a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Make sure to add in things that make you feel good, like listening to music in the morning, or reading at night.

Get dressed every morning It might seem unnecessary but getting dressed is one of those little things that makes you feel more productive. Pyjamas and tracksuits have a way of creating a lazy vibe, no matter what you’re doing. Taking the time to pick out clothes can also be a nice creative boost in the morning, and it gives you time to listen to some music, or the news, and wake up a little before you jump into schoolwork. Create a workspace This year, there might be a lot of people at home all day, making your room the only place you can Zoom with your class, concentrate, or just do your own thing. If this is the case for you, it’s important to create a proper workspace. Make things easy for yourself by leaving everything you need there and tidy it at the end of every day. Add a nice lamp or fake plant to make the space nice for yourself.

Remove distractions You might have to keep your phone beside you while studying from home, depending on how you’re contacting your teachers and classmates. If so, mute things like social media apps during the day so you’re not interrupted by lots of notifications. Let your family know when you’re “at school” so they can avoid knocking on your door unless it’s important. ip ip ppTT To To

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Use a journal and a calendar Being in school some days and at home other days is a little more like going to college- not every day is the same. Use a journal to plan your schoolwork, social plans, and other appointments to avoid getting mixed up or stressed. Write all your assignments and tests on a calendar that’s easy to see on your desk. At the end of everyday (right after you tidy your desk), make a “To Do” list so you know what you need to start with tomorrow. Tick things off the list as you finish them throughout the day, and you’ll feel like a boss. Prepare lunch and snacks in advance Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t spend an hour staring at the inside of your fridge in the middle of Tuesday, wondering what to have for lunch. You wouldn’t stay at your laptop munching on Oreos without taking a break all day either. By preparing lunch and snacks in advance, you’ll make it easier to stick to a routine with your breaks and avoid unnecessary decisions that will fatigue you during the day. Step away from the books, enjoy your lunch break for half an hour, and then get back to it feeling refreshed.

Take care of yourself This has never been more important. There are different challenges in school this year so do not be hard on yourself if you’re struggling. Talk to your teachers and family when you need support. Consider setting up study calls with your classmates. Help your friends with subjects your good at and ask for help from them too.


Starting a new school year can be an exciting but anxious time. Feeling anxious and apprehensive about going back to school is completely normal, especially in times like these. It’s unprecedented times, where things are uncertain and nobody can predict what will happen from day to day. Heading back to school after the Summer can be a little bit daunting anyway- you may be going into a new year with added pressures for exams, have new classes and new teachers, or just have anxiety about getting back into the swing of things. There’s a few things to remember and some tips that will help ease up those feelings and help you manage your anxiety.

Speak to someone You may feel like you’re the only person that is feeling this way, but we can reassure you that you definitely are not. It’s likely your friends may be feeling these worries and anxieties about going back to school also. Speaking with your friends will offer you some reassurance that you’re not by yourself in this situation. If you do not want to speak to your friends, you could also speak to your parents, other family members or a trusted teacher about the feelings you are having. Talking through going back to school with family members, especially about what you will have to do and wear to comply with government regulations, will be hugely beneficial. And it will give you a clearer view and understanding of what to expect. 14


Focus on the positives Starting a new year can be a very exciting time, no matter what year you’re going into. You may be transitioning from Primary School into Secondary School, going into an exam year or going into T.Y – they will all throw new challenges and opportunities your way. If you didn’t have the best year last year it’s a chance to have a fresh start. You could also join some new sports teams or partake in after-school activities. School days are the best days of your life, even if you don’t realise it when you’re going through it – take the chance to discover new hobbies, meet new friends and find out what you really like doing.

Be prepared There's no doubt that going back to school this year will be very different than previous years due to COVID-19 and the new health and safety precautions we all must take to keep ourselves and those around us healthy. It would be beneficial over the next coming weeks to get yourself familiar with the new guidelines and what you will have to do and wear when you return to school. This preparation will ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed and you will know what to expect in terms of wearing a mask, socially distancing etc. Being prepared, such as having your uniform, stationery, books and everything else you may need in advance can leave you feeling on top of things and ease up anxiety that you are not prepared. An easy way to do this is by having a checklist and gradually cross off everything you need for starting back.

Surround yourself with friends Whether you are lucky enough to have a big friend group, or just one or two close friends it can be a comfort and reassurance to have them around when you all head back to school. Surrounding yourself with friends can put you at ease, and give you a sense of normality. If you are nervous about the first day back, plan to walk in together or have lunch. Like I said, it is tough times with a lot of uncertainty but you’re not by yourself or alone in how you're feeling. Having a support system around you and being able to have a laugh will help you manage any feelings of stress, anxiety or overwhelmingness that so many are feeling at the moment.

We're All Friends Here We're All Friends Here is our popular advice segment on our Instagram, so we knew we'd have to have a feature in our new magazine! Some of you have sent in your back to school queries, and as always, we've had some great advice in from our lovely audience!

I find it hard to cope when I get a disappointing grade in school. It's really starting to affect me. Please help! - Ailbhe, 15.

It can be disheartening when you thought you'd get a better result. Don't let it put you off trying to do better though. - Caoimhe, 13

There's no point in letting it get to you. Let it be the reason you work extra hard to get the grade you feel you deserve. - Anna, 16

This used to happen to me. Try talk to your teacher to better understand why you got the grade. This helped me see where I was going wrong and my grades improved over time! Rachel, 15



I'm starting secondary school and don't know anyone. How do I make new friends? - Emma, 13.

You probably won't be the only one in this situation. Just be really friendly and approachable. Chat to the person you sit beside. Join some after school clubs and you'll make friends in no time. Worked for me! - Tori, 17

Be yourself, and really make an extra effort. Sometimes we just expect things to happen on their own, but friendship requires effort. - Rebekah, 16 Fake it til you make it! Starting a new school is the chance to turn over a new leaf. If you weren't the most confident person, tell yourself that that's how you'll be in this new school. People will soon want to be your friend. Make sure to be genuine though! - Clodagh, 16

We're All Friends Here My class is very clique-y, so I've struggled to make good friends. Any advice?- Marta, 14. From personal experience, sometimes we don't make our 'good' friends til later in life. But I do understand how it can feel. Maybe join a club or sport that you enjoy. This way you know the people you're with enjoy the same things as you. - Anita, 17 Ugh! Cliques are the worst. My school was very clique-y too and I struggled to fit in and find really close friends. However, it is possible. I found hanging out with people in art class really helped me find my group as I love art. Maybe do something you love? I have friends in different classes and years too, which is really helpful sometimes when it comes to help with study and stuff. - Rory, 15

We moved house recently, and I'm starting a new school. I'm anxious about this, and COVID hasn't made it any better- Naomi, 14.

Guys can be great to have as friends, but you shouldn't want to be friends with them with the view of dating them as this will just lead to complications. If there's a local youth club maybe join there? Or sign up for a sport that's co-ed!   - Saoirse, 17

If you're used to a lot of female energy hanging around with lads can be a bit of a shock, lol. If any of your friends have brothers of a similar age maybe try hang round with them. Once you've a bit of confidence then join a club to meet guys you have stuff in common with as this is the best way to spark a friendship. - Meadbh, 17

If you have any friends that have friends outside your school, some of them might be boys? Ask to hang out as a group and get to know guys indivdually then. Sometimes it's best to hang in a group fiirst. - Lottie, 13

I think I need grinds, but feel awkward about asking my parents. Any tips? - Molly, 15

Firstly, everyone is worried about COVID and school, so you're not alone there. I find that a comforting thought. Maybe check if your school offers you a buddy when you're new. Someone in your class who can show you around and introduce you to people. Harriet, 17 When I started my new school, I got a tour before term started. I found it reassuring to know where I was going. Not sure if it's possible in these times, but maybe enquire? -Michelle, 14


I go to an all-girls school, and I'd like some guy friends. Just not sure how to approach them? - Summer, 16


Grinds can be super helpful but also expensive so I get why you'd feel awkward. However, you'll never know unless you ask so just mention to your parents that you think you need them and see what they say. Rhiannon, 17

Maybe chat to a teacher and ask if they feel you need grinds. If they think so, bring it up to your parents. Grinds can be expensive so maybe offer to contribute if you can? Naoise, 15

Tune into our "We're All Friends Here" segment on our Instagram every Wednesday at 8pm!

1st Year

Your Guide To Starting Secondary School During COVID-19 F R E A K E D S T A R T I N G S C H O O L ? W E ' R E






By Sophie Coffey 18


F E A R ,

H E L P . . .

Starting secondary school is a big change for everyone. Whether you’re the most confident person or the least, it’s an adjustment that takes time. New school, new friends, new uniform; it’s exciting, but it’s also daunting. And that was before COVID-19 decided to change everything up. Making the leap from Primary School to Secondary may feel extra daunting this year due to the pandemic, but we have some top tips to give you all the confidence you need...

Getting Ready The first day of school can be nerve-wracking enough as it is without any extra stress. Alleviate pressure on yourself by making sure that you have everything ready to go before you start. You’ll probably have your uniform and books ready to go, but extra items like stationery and a P.E bag can sometimes be forgotten. You’ll also need some additional things this year like a face covering to wear in school and a plastic bag to store it. Some hand sanitiser will also be very handy. And don’t forget to put together a little pack of additional bits and pieces that you’ll need - check out page 21 for more.


Try out your public transport routes

Prepare for Longer days

Even if you are not planning on using public transport frequently it is a good idea to know your options in case to find yourself having to make your own way there or back unexpectedly. Work out the different stops and timetables for your local service. It can be helpful to do a trial run of your route before school starts to ensure you are familiar with the route and the duration of your journey. With the current guidelines around COVID-19 it will also be good to familiarise yourself with the new experience of taking public transport, so try it a few times and you’ll be feeling confident in no time.

The school days at secondary school are longer than those in primary. This will take you a few weeks to adjust to so don’t be surprised if you find you are extra tired at the beginning of the term. Also some secondaries start earlier than primaries, so make sure you know what time you will need to get up at. Keeping a fairly consistent sleep schedule will help you deal with your new timetable.


Organise yourself Becoming a secondary school student means you are now more responsible and independent for yourself and your belongings in school. The best way to handle this new responsibility is to be organised.

"Starting secondary school will offer you the chance for new subjects, activities and friends"

1st Year

Maintaining a neat locker and clean bag will help ensure you have all the materials you need ready for class and minimises risk of losing important sheets or homework.

Not only will you be getting to know new people but you will have already found something in common with them in whatever activity it is you’re trying out. Tempting though it can be, avoid clinging to people you already know.

Keep on top of work

Get involved in school life

In secondary school you no longer have all your homework due the next day. It can be tempting to leave it until the day before it’s due but doing what you can the day you get it will alleviate unnecessary stress. Prioritise homework not just by the date it’s due, but how long it will take you and how confident you are in the subject. Staying on top of your work will make it easier during exam season and busy periods.

Get To Know People One of the toughest things about starting in a new school is getting to know new people, particularly as the chances are your new year is a lot bigger than your primary school one. Introducing yourself to the people you sit beside in class or chatting to those around you at the lockers will help you get to know the people in your year. It can seem scary trying to make new friends but remember everyone is in the same position. One of the absolute best ways to get to know new people is to take part in some of the clubs or teams available in your school. 20


It is important to remember that school life doesn’t just include what you do in a classroom. Joining a sports team is a great way to not only build up new friendships but also improve your fitness and potentially represent the school. If sport isn’t really your thing (it's definitely not mine!) most schools will have other options like debating, book clubs or cookery classes. Feel free to try out something new and take advantage of the choices offered. Before you start in September it might be a good idea to make a timetable of your current extracurricular activities in order to make way for new ones. That way you will be able to fit in as many activities as possible.

Although it's not ideal starting a whole new chapter of your life in the middle of a global pandemic, and it may feel frustrating to have to try make new friends behind face coverings, everyone is in the same boat. Don't be too anxious about the pandemic. You may feel like you're a grown up now that you're in Secondary School, but the weight of the world is not resting on your shoulders alone. Your parents, teachers, principles and the government are all working hard to keep you and your fellow students safe. Just follow the guidelines set out by your school and enjoy this new adventure. Starting secondary school will offer you the chance for new subjects, activities and friends so try to relax and enjoy the new opportunities ahead of you. Exciting times ahead!

Top Tips For Making New Friends

Relax For the few weeks of secondary you will probably have plenty of people tell you how different it’s going to be and this can sometimes add to any nerves you’re feeling. Some people might manage to exude a natural confidence that you can’t even imagine feeling but on the inside everyone harbours their own doubts so don’t let this worry you. You will get used to it, you will make friends.

complimenting someone on something is a great way to start a conversation, and makes them feel good too! challenge yourself to talk to 2 new people everyday invite people who are on their own to sit with you don't make snap judgements about anyone, the person you least expect could be your new BFF!


The amount of times I’ve gotten into trouble for having rips in my tights is ridiculous, and it happens to everyone. Sometimes you just don’t notice a hole or tear until it’s too late, so it’s best to have a backup pair (or two) in your locker. Make sure to replace the pair once you’ve used them so you always have a backup.


This is such a big one for me because I cannot concentrate with my hair in my face, but I can never find any clips in my bag. To go along with this you should also have a few hair ties in your emergency kit as well.



I am the clumsiest person to ever exist and the amount of times I’ve scraped my knee on the way to school, or given myself a paper cut by accident is honestly so embarrassing, but I’ve luckily always had a few plasters in my locker to help patch myself up.

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of having greasy hair, and if you have fine hair like me this probably happens you a lot. That’s why it’s a really good idea to have a mini can of dry shampoo in your locker so you never get stuck in a hair emergency.




This may seem a little weird but trust me you’ll be thankful when you rip something one day in school! 21


My school gets crazy hot in the summer and for some reason, a lot of my teachers don’t like opening windows, so a mini can of deodorant is a must! It’s also very necessary after PE.



You should always keep a pretty decent stock of either pads or tampons in your locker. You never know when you or one of your friends will need one, so it’s always a good idea to have a good few at hand. By having a big supply of them you can also help people when they need one, it’s always nice to help someone else out.


Having a locker is one of the best changes from primary school to secondary school. It’s your own personal space to keep everything that used to weigh down your school bag. Last year I created a little “emergency” bag for my locker with essentials that I may need throughout the school day. This was super helpful and saved a lot of time, instead of having to ask literally everyone for a hair clip. So I put together a list of essential items that you should have in your locker, just in case. by Sorcha Kennedy

If you’re prone to headaches, migraines, cramps, etc. having some sort of pain relief on hand is super important. You can’t focus in class if you’re in pain and a lot of schools don’t have any to hand.


In our new world hand sanitiser is a must for your locker, but honestly, I've had sanitiser in my locker since second year. Sometimes, bathrooms may not have enough soap so sanitiser is definitely an important thing to have.


Juggling School and Extra Curriculars by Sophie Coffey

"Setting aside some time specifically for yourself to relax will ensure that you do not get overwhelmed by your new activities"

Friends and family (older siblings in particular) are great at informing us of the changes incurred by the start of secondary school, but they can sometimes forget to explain how to manage these differences. Having completed my years in secondary school I can now say that I have been there and done that. I would have bought the t-shirt, but frankly I didn’t have the time because one of these changes is that your days are longer and your timetables fuller. Learning to juggle this can be difficult but it will also be hugely beneficial. Thankfully with these tips you can learn to juggle your timetable effortlessly!

Create a timetable Alongside a uniform and locker combination, one of the first things you will receive when you start secondary school is a brand-new timetable. However, this timetable will only include a schedule of your academic classes which is why it is a valuable idea to create your own calendar.



This will allow you to organise as many aspects of your week as you feel are necessary and ensure the maximum benefit is achieved from all of these activities.

Balance your diary You might be finding your days are full to the brim, but it is worth analysing exactly what it is that you are cramming your calendar with. Try to balance your increased academics with any sports, clubs, or other activities you have undertaken. It is important to ensure that you are not overwhelmed by one activity at the expense of the other and that you can cope with your workload in both the long and short term.

Schedule downtime Setting aside some time specifically for yourself to relax will ensure that you do not get overwhelmed by your new activities. Scheduling yourself designated stress-free breaks is a great routine to get into early on as it will also help you to maintain motivation during other busy periods.

Take realistic times into account When planning for the weeks ahead, ensure that your timetable is accurate and matches the hours available to you. For example, do not neglect to incorporate any occasions spent commuting or making quick stops in between activities. Forgetting to account for these periods of time is likely to leave you under pressure or with added stress that can be easily eliminated.

Do not overwhelm yourself in advance My friends and I have always said we regretted not taking on more extra curriculars in first year. We had all built up this image in our heads - one perpetuated by family, friends and teachers - that secondary school would be so different to primary and that our weeks would be crammed full of study and exams. There are of course new challenges but the insane study schedules you are likely envisaging do not kick in until the senior years meaning that not only can you well afford to add some fun extra curriculars to your timetable but it is also highly recommended!

2nd Year

How To Deal With Changing Friend Groups by Sorcha Kennedy

Changing friend groups is something that happens naturally, and usually happens around second year.

In my opinion, this is because often friends are made out of convenience in first year. Often people are quite shy in first year and just became friends with the easiest people to talk to. Maybe it’s because you were sat next to them in maths or because they knew one of your friends from primary school, but quite often these friends aren’t the people you have the most in common with. In second year everyone really begins to come out of their shells and become much more comfortable around each other. This can lead to having conversations with people you hadn’t even noticed in first year and becoming friends with them. It can also cause friend groups to divide and split. There is absolutely nothing wrong with friend groups changing, it’s just a part of life. That being said it can be difficult if you’re stuck in the middle of a divide, or you’re anxious about things changing. Trust me, I 100% get it because we’ve all experienced it before. The first thing you need to remember is that you should never worry about friend groups changing because it’s super normal. I’m only friends with a few people I’ve known since first year, but I’ve made some amazing friends since then. Everything happens for a reason and you should never worry that you’ll be left alone. As cheesy as it sounds, the universe knows what it’s doing and any issues that come up, come up for a reason. While it’s great to have your core friend group you should always put yourself out there and talk to



others because they could be a great addition to your friend group, you never know. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of a friendship breakup. When two or more of friends decide to go their own way it can be super stressful to deal with. However, you shouldn’t pick sides or let them turn you against the other person, and it’s important to make your own decision on the situation. Hopefully, you won’t have to choose and you can still be friends with all the involved people and usually, it will sort itself out. It’s totally possible to be friends with two separate groups! Maybe you might be the one who needs to change your friends. It’s important to remember that you get to decide who you’re friends with. Your friends should make you happy and let you be 100% yourself, and you should never feel bad for not wanting to be friends with someone who puts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself. It can be hard to try and distance yourself from them (especially if they’re in your group) but it’s the healthiest thing for you in the long run I promise. You should tell your friends how you are feeling and try and work on the things that are making you uncomfortable. The most important thing to remember when changes are happening within friend groups is to be open and honest. You definitely shouldn’t talk about people behind their back because this will only cause more issues and fights. If you’re open with people about how you feel about the changes, or why you feel you need a change, things will go smoother and in the end, everyone will be happier.

3rd Year


We can all agree that the past academic year has been an extremely difficult one for Irish students with the premature closure of schools and the cancellation of Junior and Leaving Certificate exams. If you are going into 3rd or 6th year in September, you may be feeling apprehensive or anxious about how your exams and study will be affected. I’ve been through both so let’s chat tips and tricks to manage your stress levels and ace those exams!

Little by Little During my exams, I described my study habits as ‘little but often’. You would have seen from the 2020 Leaving Cert students, their exam results were based on predicted grades from the previous months. 26


With uncertainty in the air, continuous assessment may be the new way forward. With that in mind, I would recommend staying on top of your study from the very beginning. This will be great for your own stress levels! No matter what the exam outcome will be, you can be assured that you will be prepared.

Start a TV Show I can hear the Irish mammies screaming in horror. During both exam years I started a show. Every evening I would watch an episode around nine o clock as a ‘treat’ for getting through a school day. School and study should not be a nightmare of endless torture. Reward yourself with your favourite show to mark the end of the day. Pop on the kettle and relax in your PJs, de-stress from school work. You’ll be instantly in chill mood, we stan!

3rdYear Go out & have fun – balanced style! ‘Don’t go out as it will distract you, it’s a small sacrifice for your future’ I heard this from one person too many during my exam’s years. I almost believed them. If you have your head in the books all the time and don’t take time off, you will most certainly burn out. Your mental health will benefit from you socialising with peers to reach your full potential. Plan walks with friends or café dates in the nearest coffee shops. There is no reason why you need to be your own prisoner. You will settle back to school and study on Monday feeling relaxed and motivated.

Mental Health Check ins Ireland and society have come a long way in the discussion of mental health. It is encouraging to see the conversation among teachers and students alike. Your mental health should not only be discussed or attended to when you feel you are struggling, you should always be checking in with yourself. Care for your mind by keeping up with basic things such as evening walks, trying for at least eight hours sleep, listening to podcasts or read mindfulness books! Taking a moment to check in with yourself, even for an hour a day, will be beneficial to you both in short and long term.

No Plans? No worries. For many students, University may be the end plan. However, it is important to remind yourself that what may be for others may not be for you. That may be for many reasons, such as financial issues or uncertainty. It is important to normalise the use of Level 6 and 7 courses, gap years and apprenticeships! The best advice is to research and reach out to those who may have gone on such paths. Perhaps a Zoom call where you can ask for their experiences and advice? Weigh up the pros and cons. However, throughout your exam year please remember that it is okay not to know what to do. The future is not linear, as we saw this year! Make the path that suits you and not someone else.



Tips for Managing School Stress make sure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night prioritise what needs to be done take regular breaks take one full day off each week from all things school related keep a regular schedule talk to someone if your stress continues be kind to yourself!!

Transition Year

How to Enjoy Transition Year (Even in 2020!) by Neasa Murphy

Transition Year can be a great experience. It’s an opportunity to explore different kinds of learning and develop as a person before moving into your final years of school. But let’s be honest, 2020 is a crazy year, and many of the usual TY experiences (like work experience and class trips) might not work out the way they usually do. You might be tempted to skip TY because there’s a pandemic, but if that’s not what you want, worry not! There are plenty of ways you can take advantage of this time, regardless of how things work out in school.  Here are some Missy tips on enjoying your Transition Year in 2020.

Focus on yourself TY is about taking a step back from academic work to focus on all the many other ways we can develop as people. Do you know your personality type according to The Big Five or Myers-Briggs models? What are your worst habits and greatest strengths? Have you ever taken the time to print out all your favourite photos and make a collage? Do you have a consistent skin care routine? All these things are worth focusing on this year, and you can do them all at home. If you set some goals, you’ll grow as a person whether TY in school goes to plan or not. 29


Take up a new hobby Hobbies are amazing for our creativity and mental health, but when life gets busy it’s hard to spend time on them. This year is your opportunity to find that time. There are lots of great things you can take up at home; blogging, cooking, video editing, yoga…The list goes on. Don’t hold back with your ambitions this year, this is your time to try something new. If you’d like some guidance or inspiration, have a look on Udemy, Skillshare, and YouTube for online courses and tutorials on all kinds of skills.

Make a reading list Reading is one of those things we know we should do more, but many of us struggle to find the time. In exam years, you often have a lot to read just for school, but this year should be a little lighter, so it’s a good time to read all those books you’ve been meaning to get to. Putting them all on a list will give you a sense of achievement at the end of the year. You’d be surprised how much you can read when you decide to make the time!

Do a deep dive on college choices & careers Finishing school and deciding what to do next can be a scary prospect, but the more you mull it over, the easier your decisions will be. You have time now to really explore your options in detail, so why not do some real research? Start a LinkedIn page, look for people who have jobs you’re interested in, and see where their career took them. Go down a rabbit hole reading about successful people on Forbes, and watch “day in the life of a college student” videos on YouTube. You could even message people who are in courses your drawn to and see what they have to say. There’s no need to map out your whole life, just enjoy the thinking process while you’re not under pressure to decide.

Make a bucket List You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, and the coronavirus won’t dictate all of it. Think about the craziest things you want to do and write them all down on a list. If you’re really feeling inspired, you could even make a bunch mood boards about your goals. Transition Year is about getting to know yourself and challenging yourself, but the rest of your life should be too. Set the tone for your future now by gathering all the ideas that motivate and inspire you and keep them somewhere safe for when you need them. Futureyou will thank you for the support!

5th Year


TY is such a fun year, you get to explore career opportunities, learn new skills, and go on really fun trips and adventures. But, one thing that isn’t really done or thought about is academic work, and the Leaving Cert isn't really thought about. Some people may get a bit of a shock going from such a relaxed year into 5th Year, which is quite different. It can be hard getting back into exams and studying after not thinking about it for a year. But, as someone who has just gone through it, I have some tips on how to get back into the swing of things after TY. The first thing you need to do is make a basic study plan. This can be very loose and flexible, it’s just so you have a structure to follow. You can make this any way you want to suit you and your schedule. 30


For me, I picked 2 subjects and did an hour of revision each, changing the subjects every day. But I’d change it for days that I had after school activities on, or if I had a test on a specific subject. If you do grinds in a certain subject, that can count as your revision for the day. Staying on top of the work is the most important thing because trust me, it begins to build up quite fast. If you work through it in small loads as you get it, there’s less chance that you’ll become overwhelmed. Tying into this, if you’re like me and need your own handwritten notes, make them as you go along. I’ve been in so many situations where I only begin making my notes a week before the exam, which doesn’t give me enough time to actually learn what’s on them.

5th Year Maybe once a week take some time to write out notes from what you learned that week. Having an after school routine is super important! For me, I come home from school at around 4, I have something to eat and I start my homework around 4:30. This small routine gives me enough motivation to actually start on time, otherwise, I would just keep procrastinating and I’d end up doing my homework at 10 pm. Naturally, your routine might be different from mine, but having one will make your life so much easier. It’s also important not to put all your attention on school work. Making school and revision your whole life isn’t good for your overall mental health. .

You should allow yourself time to have hobbies and to see your friends outside of school. If you have an activity on every night, maybe pare that back but you shouldn’t give it up completely. Giving yourself this downtime will actually help you with your studying because you won’t be overworked and tired. Even if this downtime is reading a book or baking cookies, it’s still giving your brain a chance to switch off for a while. Stay on top of your work and take some well-deserved breaks, and you’ll be fine.


Tips for Taking on a Role of Leadership

by Sophie Coffey

"Never underestimate the effect you have on those around you"

Older students have a duty to the younger years, and this is particularly true of those who have been awarded a position of leadership. As a past Head Girl, here are my tips for dealing with this new responsibility as the eldest students in the school.

Recognise the extent of your new role Leadership roles tend to be assigned to older students but in your new role it is important that you recognise that you are a leader to the entire school community and not just towards your year group. When making decisions or setting goals try to recognise that while it may only be a limited number of older students that are making the decisions, the chosen outcomes will affect the whole school community. For this reason, it is essential to take all perspectives and positions into account.

Popularity will not always win out Leadership roles often come with shiny new badges, but they also come with daunting new responsibilities. Many of these new duties will involve making tough decisions. At times this will mean having to choose between the optionÂ



that is widely popular and the option which you believe is truly the best.

Think long and short term Many of your duties will involve current aspects of school life and the day-today routines for students. However, it is likely that you will also find yourself setting the groundwork for future plans. It is important to remain aware that consequences that come from your decisions may outlive your time in the school, so they should not be taken lightly. Equally while focus on long term plans is important, it is worth noting that the current students need your voice now, so maintain a balance between the two.

Recognise that you are a role model You will probably hear this over and over again but that is because it is utterly true. Never underestimate the effect you have on those around you, particularly the younger students. You might not fully remember but as a junior student you would have looked up to the older years and admired the leaders of your school with a

certain inevitable reverence. This is a repeated cycle so be sure the impact you leave behind is valuable by recognising that as a role model you are being watched more than you realise.

Never be afraid to ask for help A position of leadership does not mean you have to be unshakable and invincible. Nor does it imply that you must know the answer to everything. One of the most valuable lessons to learn is the virtues of asking for help and delegating. In contrast to the signs of weak leadership that you may have convinced yourself these are, both of these tasks are indicative of strong leaders.

Look out for one another Leadership roles are attached to responsibilities and duties that are usually added onto the stress of a big exam year. For this reason, looking out for one another and recognising the value of giving yourself well deserved breaks will be of huge benefit to your leadership skills as the year develops and your role progresses.

6th Year



by Sophie Coffey

PREVENT PROCRASTINATION Motivation is something most people struggle with, particularly at the beginning of the year when the exams seem so far away. Procrastinating your study will not help either your academic aims or your stress levels. Start in the morning where possible and set yourself a reasonable goal to work towards. The weekend is the one opportunity you have not to work in the dark evenings so take advantage of the natural light of the day.

REMOVE YOUR PHONE Of course, this tip applies to any potential distractions but for most of us our phones are by far the worst culprits. My best advice is to completely remove your phone from your room where possible. If you need access to it in order to aid your study, always test out alternatives first e.g. use a physical dictionary in place of Google translate. Even if these appear to take longer this will be balanced out by any potential distractions incurred by your phone.


Between first and fifth year, it is likely that you have invested some time in weekend study, however, this tends to be exclusively in advance of exam season or a particularly tricky test. Regular and timetabled weekend study is unfortunately an unavoidable element of 6th Year, and it can be a tough one to succeed at, but with these tips you will master it in no time!

ORGANISE YOUR BREAKS Allow regular breaks for yourself and modify the activities to incorporate a variety of fresh air, a snack or something away from your desk. One recommendation is to work for periods of length 10 minutes plus your age e.g. an 18 year old should take a break every 28 minutes. This may not suit you but find an option that does work for you and factor this into your plan to maintain your productive streak.

DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYONE’S STUDY TIMETABLES Your friends may claim to have done “literally nothing!” over the weekend but then somehow miraculously whip out a fresh set of neatly colour coded notes in the following class.

My sixth-year experience was unique but even I never accomplished self-writing notes! Focus on your own weekend study and try not to worry about other people’s revision plans or unverified claims as this can lead you to second guess yourself.

TREAT YOURSELF In sixth year, your weekends will involve more revision than anyone would willingly choose, but they are still your chance to relax and take a break following a busy week. Be sure to allow yourself time to simply watch your favourite tv show or meet up with friends. Another highly recommended tip is to always leave your Sunday evenings free and do something relaxing to help you recharge for the busy week ahead.



“"Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam“

The debate of whether to remove the Irish language off the compulsory Leaving Certificate subject list has been ‘i mbéal an phobail’ for quite some time now. There seems to be a push to remove Irish as it is deemed a “useless subject” and one that could be replaced with a much more valuable language such as French or German. While this point could be seen as valid, here are a few things to consider before taking your side on the debate.

“Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam“ Without trying to get too patriotic, the above saying holds a lot of power. A country without its language, is a country without a name, without a soul, without an identity and that is, what would become of Ireland if we were to remove our own national language from schools across the country?

School is one of the only places people learn Irish School is where most people begin to learn Irish and where most people leave it. The basics of the language are taught in school, examined and that is where most people run for the hills. So to remove it from the 36


compulsory list would mean a loss of each Irish citizen getting the basic conversational grasp of their own language.

Fight to change to way the language is taught, not to remove it Irish language is taught in one of the most ridiculous ways. It is taught like a foreign language when you’ve been learning it from the time you were five. The content learned and the examining process hasn’t been updated since prehistoric times. So instead of wanting to do away with Irish, lobby to have the way it is taught changed so that it becomes enjoyable and people actually want to learn it.

People literally fought and died for our right to learn Irish Way back when we were under the colonisation of the British Empire, Irish became a banned language. People were forced to learn an entirely new language; English. In rebellions, uprisings, and all throughout our history our own ancestors fought and fought

hard for their right to speak their own language and for the right of their future families. It would be an insult to them and our history to have Irish removed from the compulsory list.

Irish is actually making a comeback In past years, from data collected from the census, Irish has seen a growth in people using it and to make a huge mistake like taking Irish off the compulsory list of subjects would be a huge setback for the Gaeilgoirí, Gaeltacht areas and the country. The bottom line is that taking Irish off the compulsory list would be a mistake and we would lose a lot more than just a subject. We’d lose a whole language and the struggle to keep it alive would be in vain. The curriculum should be changed so it’s not a memorising game, not removed completely. The Irish language is the heart of our identity, who would we be without it?


/Check out missy.ie for more fashion! /

/ Check out missy.ie for more fashion! / 



How To Add Some Personality To Your School Bag & Uniform

Embroidery If you (or a friend or family member) are handy with a needle and thread, why not embroider a little something on your bag? Depending on the type of school shoes you wear you could even add some embroidery to those as well!

Patches & Stickers

Depending on the material you're dealing with, patches and stickers are a great way of adding some personality to your uniform or backpack. Stickers are great to use on things like your pencil case and stationery too!

When you go to a school that requires you to wear a uniform it can sometimes feel like your personality doesn't get the chance to shine through. But, if you add a few extras (within dress code), you can add some personality back into your school bag and uniform!


If stickers or patches aren't an option, why not use badges to add something extra to your uniform or bag?

These badges are so fetch!!

How cute is this pin?

We love these iron on patches! Tap To Shop




Set of 3 hair clips, Monki, €5

Elsie & Fred 2-pack of hair scrunchies, €6.99 @ ASOS

South Beach gold embellished hair clip, €5.53

6-pack diamante clips, Monki, €6

ASOS DESIGN Alice band in black, €6.99

Jazmin Pearl Diamante Hair Clip, €6

Hair Accessories It can be so hard to express your individuality in school uniforms without getting in serious trouble. BUT there's one way to get around strict school rules - hair accessories!

Shooting Star Gold Hair Clips Pack of Two, €11.50

ASOS DESIGN pack of 3 plisse scrunchies in neutral tones, €11.49 ASOS DESIGN hair clip in pink sunflower design, €6.99

Tap To Shop



ASOS DESIGN pack of 8 hair clips in flower and butterfly shape in black, €11.49

Gotta Long Way to Bow Hair Clip, Nasty Gal, €6

Cosy Study Wear Studying never looked so good...


Sweater & Shorts Set

ASOS, €38.99



The Cosiest Set

ASOS €38.99

Tap To Shop


Wide Legged Chic

The Sleek Set

NastyGal, €28

ASOS €27.99


The Cloud-like Slipper


Urban Outfitters, €45 42


ASOS, €13.99 Tap To Shop


Cosy Hats & Scarves

A cosy scarf is essential in Winter!

This one is made from recycled polyester

How cute! We love the detail on this!



Tap To Shop


Plaid Everything

Tap To Shop






Tap To Shop

Treat yo' self!

Pack Up A new school year means a new school bag! We rounded up our faves that look super stylish, but won't break the bank...

€ 36.91, adidas at ASOS

€ 34.99, Hype at ASOS

€58.07, Herschel Supply co

€ 35.99, Eastpak at ASOS

€49.99, Superdry

€ 28, Nike at JD Sport,

€ 15.21, Consigned at ASOS

€35.99 Herschel Supply Co

Tap To Shop


€110.99, Fjallraven at ASOS


€ 35, Vans at JD Sports

Ladies Who Lunch

€39, Uran Outfitters

€13, Paperchase

€18, Paperchase

€9.99 Sass and Belle at ASOS

Let's be honest, packed lunches can be super depressing. Add some joy to your lunches with these super cute lunch boxes...

€18, Paperchase

€17, Oliver Bonas

€18, Cath Kidston

€19.50, Next

€18, Paperchase

Tap To Shop



€18, Paperchase

€2, Dunnes Stores


/Check out missy.ie for more beauty! /

/ Check out missy.ie for more beauty! / 



Zitsticka Killa Spot and Blemish Clarifying Patch Kit, €34.99 Zitstika patches target the under the skin cysts that are painful and unpoppable. If you feel a bump under skin or notice some redness, then its time pull the big guns out. The clear patch is layered with 24 self-dissolving micro-darts that attach and insert into your skin (painlessly), gaining access to the earlystage spot. The five-ingredient darts flood the affected area, flattening and resolving the issue from the source. Quick, painless and invisible!

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, €5.30 This is the best for persistent spots, it clears them right up BUT you have to be so super careful with this product. It's very strong, and can burn the skin if used incorrectly, a little bit goes a long way. And SPF daily is a must. It's a Godsend of a product though.



B O O T T H H E E R R B Stress and spots can go together like BFFs! BUT you can break up their friendship with these spotbusting products!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Blemish treatment, €13.49 A lot of spot treatments can be very harsh on skin, but this one actually works and is suitable for sensitive skin. Results can take a few weeks, but it's worth it. Tap To Shop



My Clarins CLEAR OUT Blemish Targeting Gel, €17 This is designed to help you break up with breakouts for good. Infused with salicylic acid to take down swelling and meadowsweet extract to clear clogged pores, this is a magic wand to banish any blemish. Take that!


Scrunchie With A Low Ponytail

This is so simple but adding a cute scrunchie to a ponytail immediately makes it 10 times more put together. This will take you 2 minutes to do in the morning so it’s perfect if you are in a rush!

Easy Hair Ideas For School

Space Buns

by Sorcha Kennedy

All the hair inspo that you need! 50


These are so fun and look so so cute. You can have all your hair up, or have half of it down. Definitely one to try!

Sleek Middle Part Bun

This hairstyle looks amazing and is so easy. This was my default when I used to have ballet class straight after school and honestly, it’s so handy (and keeps your hair out of your face). All you need is a hair tie and hairspray (to make sure it’s sleek).

Claw Clip Bun

Another super easy way to keep your hair out of your face is by using a claw clip. This takes 10 seconds but is super stylish and trendy! This is a style loved by Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Madison Beer!



French Braids (single or double)

These are my personal favourite and go-to styles for my hair, and they work for both short and long hair. There are a million tutorials on Youtube if you aren’t too sure how to do them. You can also do these the night before and then you don’t have to worry about anything in the morning. There are lots of different variations of these if you’re feeling fancy.

Half Up Half Down Ponytail/ Bun

This hairstyle will save you so much time but looks amazing and super put together. You can also add a cute hair accessory like a scrunchie, clip or hairband.

BEAUTY How To Deal With Maskne by Sorcha Kennedy

I’ve struggled with acne for years, and I will do anything to avoid a breakout. If you’re like me and are prone to skin issues, you may find yourself having extra issues from wearing a mask. This type of acne is quite common, but you may only be experiencing it now due to the new COVID-19 guidelines. This type of acne is actually called “acne mechanica” and is caused by friction against the skin from heavy clothing or protective gear. Common areas affected are where the mask meets your skin, so nose, cheek, and chin. Masks can also cause acne due to the fact that the mask traps sweat, dirt, and oil. Here are some easy ways to treat and prevent “maskne”… Wash your face Washing your face is the most important skincare trick anyway, but is extra important if you have been wearing a mask for a long period of time. You should wash your face both before you put your mask on, and after you take it off. Washing your face before can limit the amount of oils that will be trapped in the mask, and washing after will get all that dirt off your face before it has time to set in. You can wash with just warm water using your usual face wash (make sure to read the label to make sure it’s nothing too harsh) or using a cleanser that hydrates and doesn’t dry out your skin.


Use minimum makeup Wearing makeup under a mask can seriously increase your chances of getting “maskne”. If you are planning on wearing a mask for several hours, you should try and avoid wearing makeup like foundation or concealer under it.

Always use a clean mask This is important anyway, but do not reuse masks as the bacteria is building up. If you are using a cloth mask, make sure to wash it after every use. Do not leave your mask in your bag and just use it when you need it. Wear moisturiser Moisturiser acts as a barrier between your skin and the mask, and also prevents dryness and itchiness. A natural moisturiser like coconut oil is best, you could also use something like E45 Cream (my personal go-to). Exfoliate Exfoliating is super important to get rid of dead skin and bacteria that may have made its way into your skin. As always a natural exfoliator is ideal, which you could easily make using things like coconut oil, sugar, honey, oats, etc. Or if you’re buying an exfoliator make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals like sulfates or fragrances. Wearing a mask is important to keep other people safe and healthy, but make sure you’re minding your skin and avoiding “maskne” while you’re wearing one.

ne k s a M rs e t s u B Tap To Shop

Which Sent Should You Wear For School? STARTÂ


Perfume makes an outfit?


Perfume One spritz is

should be

more than





N People



should smell


should last all

you before they see you

day Perfume



should be







reflect your




The Perfume tangier should have Perfume

should smell




like candy!




a little spice





should smell natural- like fresh cotton





/Check out missy.ie for more health! /

/ Check out missy.ie for more health! / 




Periods In School Don’t Let Your Period Stop You.

Whether you’re well used to your period You’ve woken up to a particularly heavy flow or coming and going, you’re still waiting for your very painful cramps. Whilst it’s tempting to crawl period to come, or your first period has just into bed and claim a sick day, it’s never a good arrived, navigating periods in school can be a idea to let your period stop you from going to daunting thought. However, you’ll be getting school or hanging out with friends. Chat with a one once a month for the rest of your school parent or guardian on how to handle the pain, career, so it’s best not to let it get to you.That a heat pack or paracetamol are good options. can be easier said than done but we’ve Monitor your pain levels, if you feel as compiled some helpful tips "check if though your cramps are extremely to deal with getting your period in painful, seek medical attention. school. your school

Be Prepared

Preparation is key. Some people might be able to know when their period is due whilst for others it’s a guessing game month in, month out. Having a ‘period kit’ in your bag or locker can be a great peace of mind that you’re prepared for your period no matter when it decides to strike.

Talk To Your Friends

provides pads or tampons if

If you’re feeling a bit down or all over the shop due to the visitor that is PMS, tell your friends how you’re feeling. There’s no point in bottling it all up! Chatting with your friends about periods is perfectly normal.


Check Your School's Policies.

Pre-COVID times, a scheme was due to be rolled out whereby stuck." period products such as pads and tampons were going to be made freely available in public buildings like schools and universities. It’s best to check if your school provides pads or tampons if you’re stuck. Things like the availability of pain relief, and dealing with period pain during lessons like PE is also something to check on.


Wet Wipes/Tissues

Spare Underwear

These are good to have to clean up any leaks or overflow!

To change into in case of leaks.

Make Make Your Your Own Own Period Period Kit Kit Keep these in a pencil case in your school bag or locker.

Hand Sanitiser Not really necessary, but good to have these days!

Pain Relief Pads & Tampons Pack a few of whichever product you prefer to use. We recommend pads for those just starting out or waiting for their first period to come.


For period pain and cramps. Always read the label and ask a parents permission before using pain relief.


The Importance Of Sport with

Lauren Lauren Guilfoyle Guilfoyle

Studies show that almost 50% of girls will give up playing sports between the ages of 13-17. We spoke to physiotherapist and sports journalist Lauren Guilfoyle all about the importance of sport as a way of encouraging young girls to stick with sport throughout this period of their lives.

Did you play sports in school? If so, what sports? I am from a very GAA-loving part of Clare, hurling specifically - so most of my sporting involvement centred around Camogie both with the club here, Feakle, or with my various schools. In secondary school I did play a bit of basketball - being 5"11 had its perks! On reflection, I didn't have as good a relationship with sport and exercise then as I do now. My sporting involvement then slowed down through college despite attending one of the best sporting Universities in Ireland - UL, but once I graduated and got into a routine with work - I fell in love with running, the gym and yoga.

What do you love about sports?

I favour the mental health benefits over the physical health benefits. I am guilty of always being on my phone or laptop - scrolling on instagram or checking my emails - so I really like how exercise and sport

pushes all that to the side in favour of being present and mindful. Be it a hurling match or a yoga session - I spend that time fully engrossed in that activity - leaving no time or space to worry about other things.The acute benefits to my mood is an outcome I always go chasing too - it's a surefix if I'm having a down day. On a separate note, I also really value the social aspect to sport and it's one element I really missed over lockdown. I am not a huge party girl - my social outlet is meeting people at games! The GAA in particular has fostered plenty of personal connections for me, where I can seem to go anywhere in Ireland and meet someone I know from some sort of GAA activity or involvement.

I am from a very GAA-loving part of Clare... Do you think sport is an important part of young people’s lives? Why? Sport should be viewed as an important part of young people's lives. The benefits are endless! From a physical perspective - it keeps young people healthy in a broader sense, reducing the risk of different issues as they progress to adulthood. From a psychological and social perspective it can be hugely influential in mental wellbeing, resilience, emotional intelligence, a sense of belonging - as well as being brilliant at developing social and communication skills which can transfer into other environments. Simply put - it's a great way to stay fit and healthy while also being a fantastic way to meet friends and learn some great life skills!

HEALTH & FITNESS Did you or were you ever tempted to give up sport? If so, why?

The Importance Of Sport with

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Yes - I did in fact give up sport at the age of 21. Ironic, isn't it? I wasn't loving team sport at this time. On reflection, my introversion probably had something to do with this! This time also coincided with graduation from college and a big move to Dublin - where I started to work in both sports media and sports physio thereby essentially replacing my time training and playing sport with working in sport! I have a happy medium now - I have the social aspect of sport that I really enjoy, I also adhere to the commitment demanded of athletes in being present at training etc - I just don't have to do the preseason running!

What would you say to a girl who is thinking about giving up sport? I would encourage girls to sit and reflect on WHY they are thinking about giving up sport. I wouldn't necessarily throw out a cliche "stay - it's great", but on identifying the reasons behind why you may be considering leaving - I would look at alternatives. Perhaps think about chatting to your coaches if you feel like you aren't getting enough game time. Chat to an older player if you have reservations about balancing college and sport. Chat to an S&C coach if you feel like you aren't physically prepared enough. Explore your options and try other sports if you feel like that's what needs to change. I discovered yoga and running at 23 and it was lifechanging!

I would encourage girls to sit and reflect on WHY they are thinking about giving up sport. You have made a career out of your love for sports, was this always your goal and what advice would you give to someone who is hoping to pursue a career in sport?

Yes it absolutely was. I was essentially reared on the side of a GAA pitch - it's all I know. As I grew older though I developed a deep interest in both how the human body works and how the human brain thinks - simply put - I am very interested in what sets elite athletes apart from the general population.

So I qualified as physiotherapist to aid athletes in returning to performance, I am currently studying a Masters in Sport Psychology to aid athletes in improving and harnessing their psychological skills; and I work in media so I can get right to the source and ask them how they do it!

What advice would you give to someone hoping to take on a sport in secondary school? 1. It will take some time for your body to adapt to the new sport - so give it about 3 to 4 weeks! 2. Being good at a sport is all about practice. Practice, practice, practice. No one is born with skills - they learn them. Those that spend 2 hours shooting hoops after school will be better than those that just turn up to a basketball game. Put in the practice hours if you want to improve. 3. Only compare to last week's version of you. We are all built differently, think differently and have different things going on in our lives - the only person you need to be better than is an old version of you.

We’ve had a few questions in relation to feeling pressured to win when it comes to playing games and matches, do you have any advice or coping mechanisms for this?

This can be a tough one, as it is often coaches and parents that are promoting this pressure. Instead of focusing on player development and enjoyment, they want to be associated with positive outcomes. In this scenario, I would focus on identifying a couple of things you can aim for personally when going to play a game - and more often than not the good performance and win comes after. Things like: 1. Can I get a clean first touch 8 times out of 10. 2. Can I put myself in good positions to help my teammates, even if I don't get the ball. 3. Can I make 6 shots on target, scoring half of those. 4. Can I go out there today and personally do my very best? 5. Can I be a positive person on the team encouraging those around me? It is very easy to go into a game wanting to win - but that's not very specific. If we can set some of our own targets that we can reflect on after - this can add up to personal wins if not team wins!


Quick Fire Round... Favourite sport to watch? It has to be hurling. The quickest field-sport in the world - sport doesn't get much better!

Favourite sport to play? Camogie. I recently made a return following lockdown. Nothing compares to the buzz you get when you hold possession!

If you had to choose… a career in Physio or Sports Media? A real tough one - as they are so very different. If I had to choose though physiotherapy. I can make a (small) difference to the narrative of the game by having a direct involvement with the athletes playing - which makes the losses hurt so much more, but also makes the wins very special.

Finish this sentence, “My 3 must-have items in my gear bag are…” My headphones, my water bottle and my phone holder.I can exercise anywhere then!

Lastly, are there any female athletes that inspire you? Katie Taylor - she is respected the world over and transcends the label of a "female athlete". Her consistency and drive to succeed is inspiring and should be recognised as one of Ireland's greatest athletes. We hope our interview with Lauren Guilfoyle inspires you to stick with sports throughout secondary school. You can follow Lauren on Instagram to keep up with her career as a physio.

Images courtesy of Lauren Guilfoyle

/Check out missy.ie for more entertainment! /

/ Check out missy.ie for more entertainment! / 


School is also back in session for the Riverdale High gang as production on season 5 of Riverdale has restarted. Production was shut down earlier this year due to that global thing we're not going to mention again. Season 5 of Riverdale is expected to air in late 2020 with a significant time jump happening between their highschool graduation on season 5 - kind of wish we could time jump this whole thing too tbh!1!

Entertainment 61

An English Teacher’s Recommended Reading list

We chatted to English teacher, Ellie Woulfe to find out the books she reccommends over and over again...

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding (13- 18 year olds)

This 1954 novel tells the story of a group of young boys who find themselves on a deserted island. They develop rules and a system of organisation, but without any adults to regulate it, the children become violent and brutal.



To Kill a Mockingbird

Wild Swans

by Harper Lee (14-16 year olds)

by Jung Chang (15-18 year olds)

The Diary of Anne Frank

I am David

(13-15 year olds)

by Anne Holmes (13-14 year olds)

Set in a small town in America, this book follows three years in the life of 8 year old Scout Finch, her brother Jem and their father, Atticusthree years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

This tells the story of Anne and her family who have to suddenly go into hiding as a result of Hitler and the Nazi Party’s treatment of Jews in Europe during the second world war.

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Spanning a century, this memoir follows the story of three generations of women in China. An extraordinary book mixing this tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty with an uplifting story of bravery and survival.

A fascinating book about a young boy who escapes a concentration camp in Eastern Europe. He learns about life and many lessons on this journey to safety.

The Catcher in the Rye

Angela’s Ashes

The Snapper

by J.D. Salinger (16-18 year olds)

by Frank McCourt (15-18 year olds)

by Roddy Doyle (17-18 year olds)

A Memoir, that accounts for Mc Court’s childhood and survival in the slums of Limerick city. He tells this story of cruelty and poverty with such eloquence and forgiveness that it bears all the marks of a classic.

Part of the Barrytown Trilogy, The Snapper returns to the Rabbitte family bringing their expletive riddled Dublin banter faithfully to life. An unplanned pregnancy of 20 year old Sharon Rabbitte explores how a warm father daughter relationship deepens.

The is a coming of age story or bildungsroman told by Holden Caulfield. He is a disaffected youth and 17 year old drop out who has just been expelled from his fourth school.

Love The Curious Incident of the

Private Peaceful Dog in the Night-time by Michael Morpurgo (12-14 year olds)

A novel about a soldier who is reflecting on his life from the trenches in World War 1 in France.



by Mark Haddon (15-18 year olds)

A mystery novel where the narrator of the story, fifteen year old Christopher discovers the slain body of his neighbours’ poodle and sets out to uncover the murderer.

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Tap here to join the Missy Book Club


Which Fictional Fictional School School Would Would You You Go Go To? To? Which STARTÂ

School Pride Is Everything?


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I'm all about extracurriculur

At School




N I'd Play Sports For My School


I'd love to


study abroad

Team School is all


I have to get the bus to


about getting the best grades




I'd Like To


I'd like to

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attend a


didn't have to wear a

boarding school





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You’re probably thinking, I’m back in school so why would I choose to watch TV shows about school? Let’s be honest, the trials and tribulations some of our favourite fictional characters face in their school are ten times the drama you would ever see in a school in Ireland. Whilst we’re very grateful for this, it’s nice to live vicariously through these schoolgoing characters!



From the exaggerated lens used by Gossip Girl to portray teenhood, to the countless laugh out loud moments brought to us by the Derry Girls, here are 5 TV Shows set in schools that will make your school seem, well, normal…

"It’s nice to live vicariously through these school-going characters"

Our Favourite TV Shows Set In Schools... Gossip Girl If you haven’t watched Gossip Girl yet, you NEED to make it a priority on your Netflix watch next list! Even if you have watched it, it’s always worth a second (or even third) run through! Based around the lives of the elite living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Gossip Girl follows the lives of socialite teens Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen. The friends attend Constance Billard, an all-girls private school with adjoining boys school, St. Jude’s. Both schools are based on real-life schools in NYC. As you can imagine mixing great wealth, drama, an anonymous gossip site, and hormonal teens together has lead to hours of entertainment.

Gilmore Girls Gilmore Girls follows the lives of mother and daughter Rory and Lorelei Gilmore. Rory is 16 when we first meet her (the age Lorelei was when she had Rory), so half of the show follows Rory through school, the other Lorelei in her work. Rory attends Stars Hollow High before getting into a fancy private school, Chilton Preparatory. Boyfriends, friends and choosing which college to go to all make up the drama of Gilmore Girls.

Riverdale Riverdale features a whopping three schools! Riverdale High School and Southside High, and Stonewell Prep. Following Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, and Veronica Lodge, Riverdale is based on the classic Archie Comics. From serial killers, to magical cults and elite secret societies - Riverdale has everything you could possibly want! Not only that but just down the road from Riverdale High is Greendale High, which of course Sabrina Spellman attends… 66



Normal People The TV adaption of Sally Rooney's novel, Normal People, has been widely successful around the world and even nabbed Paul Mescal an Emmy Nomination. But one of the truly amazing things about the show was seeing the Irish school experience on screen for the first time. Everything from the questionably coloured school uniforms, to the nightmare inducing Leaving Cert examination hall right up to the debs was explored in all it's awkward glory.

Never Have I Ever Never Have I Ever is the ultimate twenty-first century coming of age drama. Devi, Eleanor and Fabiola are three friends on a mission to find romance. Dealing with controlling parents, social obligations and hormones creates a rollercoaster of emotion. Based loosely on Mindy Kaling’s own life, Never Have I Ever will have you bursting out loud and crying all in the same breath.

Derry Girls We could hardly talk about TV shows set in school without mentioning home grown, Derry Girls! Cousins Erin and Orla alongside their friends Clare, Michelle and her cousin James make up the Derry Girls. The 5 friends attend an all girls Catholic school in Derry. Yep, even James! Set in 90’s Ireland, the show sheds light on The Troubles in Northern Ireland through the lens of teen innocence. Monumental parts of history such as bombings are highlighted in juxatopistion to everyday events like a school talent show. Derry Girls will have you in stitches whilst grounding you in the reality of a very troubled time in Irish history.

Missy Exclusive

Meet The Cast of Dating Amber

Have you ever wondered what school was like in the 1990s? Well, the cast of Dating Amber have experienced it first-hand…as their characters, of course. Dating Amber, set in 1995, follows two Irish teens Eddie (Fionn O’Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew) who start a fake relationship to hide the fact that they’re gay. Along the way they meet Sarah (Lauryn Canny), a college girl from Dublin who shows them the gay community, and Kevin (Ian O’Reilly) a loud classmate who likes to tease Eddie in school. We caught up with Fionn, Lola, Ian, and Lauryn on Zoom to chat about Dating Amber and getting through 2020. Here’s what happened.



Q: Lola, your character Amber is so brave and always one step ahead of Fionn’s character Eddie. Did you enjoy playing her? Lola: I think at that age girls are always one step ahead of boys, especially when you’re a teenager! But it was an incredible experience. Dave (the writer and director) created such a wonderful character, everything was there in the script. A lot of the gorgeous stuff that worked on screen happened because Dave had created this wonderful world but also created so much freedom and movement within it. So, we always say it was like lightening in a bottle, every single element just worked.

Q: Fionn and Lola, did all that freedom and movement allow room for your real-life friendship to come on screen? Fionn: Yeah, absolutely, there’s so much of us in Eddie and Amber. We were really lucky actually because we had a lot of rehearsal time, and that’s really rare. So, the longer that went on the more we just became inseparable and the best of friends. That made the whole thing easier because you were just doing it with your best pals.

Q: Lauryn your character Sarah is so calm, cool, and confident. Did playing her come naturally to you? Lauryn: Calm, cool, and confident are not words that come to mind for anyone about me I’d imagine! But I realised that Sarah represented hope for Eddie and Amber- that if they could manage to come out and be themselves, they would grab this community of people and find more of a home. She’s from the big smoke, so she has it a little bit easier, although she still hasn’t come out to her family. So, I related to her in that way. I came out to my family as queer recently, so it was nice for me to play a character like that.

Q: Ian, how did you prepare for playing your character Kevin? Ian: Well, anyone who’s as loud and obnoxious as that is usually really insecure. I kind of enjoy playing those roles, it can be fun to play the bully, even though my mum doesn’t like it. She’s like “I hate it when you’re not nice”, but it’s enjoyable for me!

Q: How did you all get through lockdown? Did you bake banana bread and go on TikTok? Lola: Well Fionn and I were together from the start. Fionn definitely didn’t bake banana bread, I don’t think Fionn could boil an egg! But I did a lot of TikTok and cooking, I joined in all the quarantine trends. Fionn: Yeah, we did all the same things everyone did, everyone was watching the same shows, so we had a very basic quarantine. Ian: I’m watching Glee at the moment, for the first time, it’s great! So, I’m enjoying that. I love Mercedes, I thought she’d have more solos and stuff, but I think that’s coming now!  Lauryn: I’ve actually never not known what’s going on with my life so much before, so Covid hit me tough! But you know what, 2020 is a bit of a write-off, let’s see what happens next year!

Tap The Video To Watch Dating Amber on Amazon Prime Now

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Missy Magazine - September 2020  

Missy.ie is Ireland's No. 1 Online Teen Magazine. Founded in 2017, missy.ie is the go-to for Irish teens. We cover everything from fashion t...

Missy Magazine - September 2020  

Missy.ie is Ireland's No. 1 Online Teen Magazine. Founded in 2017, missy.ie is the go-to for Irish teens. We cover everything from fashion t...

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