Our new-found freedom quickly wore thin - cue the best boredom-buster during school holidays
The summer holidays are looming and, as the end of June approaches, schoolchildren nationwide start the countdown to freedom. The funny thing about this new-found freedom to watch cartoons in the morning instead of doing your sums is that it wears thin very quickly, and sighs of "I'm bored" will soon echo through the house.
Such was the case growing up with my two sisters, although we often threw in a few scraps and some hair-pulling to be sure we were driving mam sufficiently to distraction.
It wasn't long into freedom before we were signed up to summer camps, the best boredom-busting mechanism throughout July and August.
Summer camp was a great way to keep us active and decidedly less bored. There was plenty of choice for families in our local area, with the GAA club running Cúl Camps and the tennis club doing its best to produce the next Andy Murray in five days.
We also went to a summer camp held in the secondary school we all ended up in. This involved a great mix of sports and activities - even a thrilling trip to Blanchardstown to Leisureplex.
As I hit my teenage years, summer camps turned into three weeks off the Connemara coast on Inis Mór at the Gaeltacht.
Coláiste Ó Direáin became a central part of every summer and Teach Christíona became a familiar and welcoming second home for the 21 days I would spend away from home.
Some of my fondest memories are from the weeks spent ar an oileán mara. It remains to this day one of my favourite places. There were long walks to Dún Aengus and to Poll na bPeist, the natural wormhole that has formed on the island and has hosted the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
There were afternoons spent on the beautiful Kilmurvey beach, and Sunday mornings which saw us heading into the metropolis of Kilronan to stock up on sweets for the week, just in case we were somehow hungry after one of Christíona's enormous dinners.
I made some friends for life: fast forward to Leaving Cert results day and me and my Gaeltacht roommate-cum-best friend were excitedly planning where we would live when we headed to NUI Galway together.
Summers in the Gaeltacht also set me up well for that same day, with my Irish result the best of the bunch!
Summertime was about getting to know new people and ultimately escaping the boredom of having no school.
I had a hugely positive experience at the many summer camps and weeks in the Gaeltacht I was afforded.
Thanks Mam and Dad!