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Holly quits college so she can focus on the catwalk

MODEL Holly Carpenter has decided to quit the books and leave college. The 21-year-old model was studying Textiles at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

But Holly, who is dating Leinster player Cian Healy, decided to call time on her studies after her hectic modelling schedule and demanding college timetable became too much.

"I left college over a month ago," the former Miss Ireland told The Diary.

"The course was 9-4, Monday to Friday. There were no days off and you're expected to work after hours and weekends," she said. "I was getting booked for a lot of work and I was getting busier. I was finding it harder and harder to juggle the two."

Holly became anxious that she was not investing fully in her course.

"I was getting really stressed out because I couldn't commit fully to both," she explains.

"I don't like giving things less than 100pc, I was giving modelling 50pc and college 50pc and that wasn't working out."

Holly started to miss days and this had an impact on her course work. "I was competing with girls who didn't have jobs," she says.

"My projects wouldn't be finished. The teachers would say -- 'well she has it finished' and I would say 'yes but she doesn't have a job'. Holly took a year out from college last year to concentrate on modelling. The former Miss Ireland said she found it a struggle returning to her studies.

"It was very hard to go back after a year out, where you're earning money and you have work and you're living life. It's hard to go back into the college environment."

Holly says she recognises her choice may lead to criticism but she intends on returning to college at a later date.

"A lot of people may say 'she left college to be a model, it's a bad choice' but I'm definitely going to go back to college. There are lots of people at college who are forty and fifty."

Instead, Holly has decided to focus on posing and pouting. The lifespan of a model is brief and she wants to make the most of her career while she can.

"I said to my parents and myself; I can go back to college in five or ten years. I can't go back to these opportunities. I have to make the most of these chances now."

Holly wants to launch her own lingerie line in the future. "In this industry it's about who you know, not what you know.

"And I'm meeting editors and Irish designers every day. It's great to have those contacts. If I brought out a line, it would be so much easier for me to get it into the paper. So that's a good edge."

The Raheny native says she has the full support of her parents and boyfriend Cian.

"My parents are supporting me, Cian is supporting me, and my friends are supporting me. Now I can focus on the modelling and I can keep designing and drawing at home."

-- KBK