Sunday, 17 May 2015

Fare Thee Well School

Finally what seems like the hardest year of your life has come to an end and you're about to graduate. This was all you've waited for all your life, that very moment when you leave the school at 3.45 and you won't ever have to go back. You're so excited to move away and go to college, go to your debs, and especially to be out of the company of some fellow classmates (don't lie, there's always the one, or two okay, okay about 11) but on the other hand you're absolutely bricking it.
How can I move away, I can barely boil an egg, what if I don't get enough points, I don't want to leave school it's all I know, what will I do without my friends, how will I learn my way around a city, what if I fail my exams, what if the closest dominoes closes down and I'll actually have to cook for myself...and by the time you answer all those questions your face literally ends up looking like Kim Kardashian over there <- but cop onto yourself, trust me, you're going to be fine no matter what happens.
Since it's almost a year since I graduated I can remember how this year sixth years must be feeling and since my old school graduates this Friday I decided there's no better time to dedicate a post to graduating and to really encourage the sixth years to live up their last week ever in school, well unless you're like me and you end back up their the next September and quite frankly resemble Kim Kardashian on a daily basis.. or at least the three weeks I lasted up there.

I'm the first to admit grad week in school is one of the best weeks you'll ever have, there's no room for seriousness and everyone's ready to just live it up, even the teachers.
 You're spending 40% of your time fighting about your graduation mass, where's the decoration committee at? who's reading in the mass and don't get me started on what the grad song will be.
 20% is focused on grad night, WHERE ARE WE GOING?!! are we staying in town?? are we going to Kilkenny? what teachers will be bully into coming to the disco? but no lads stop seriously, the whole town will be out ' WHAT DO I WEAR' and the mass before, okay no mascara in case I cry!!!
 25% is focused on making the most out of the last week, okay what are we going to do that's hilarious and lead the school into an uproar .. Okay, lets release chickens.. long story short you end up hiding under the teachers desk to give her a fright, yeah I know, trickery at it's best.
 5% of your time is actually thinking about studying and the leaving cert, like I could spend this week studying this week could be the difference between an A and a D.. but then again, I like fun, oh the decisions!!
 and then finally the following 10% is spent trying to control your emotions 9am - 'OMG there's four days left what will I do' 3.45pm - 'OMG when will this torture be over' - It's without a doubt the best week ever and what you put into it you'll get out of it so don't be afraid to mess and have a bit of fun (and hey, you can't be expelled when you're leaving anyway ;) I JOKE. Don't do anything illegal. 

From my own experience of graduating I can understand how much pressure students are under. As exciting as it is the leaving cert is always on the brain and it can quite frankly drive you mad.
As well as that you're stressing about college, and what course you really want to do. Obviously it's impossible to make an 17/18 year old decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives but that's what you're made do and that's where you can't stress yourself out.
When I graduated from school, I knew what my dream was, it had been the same since transition year and that was to study journalism in Limerick, and if there was one thing in the world that would cause me to lose sleep, it would be to have to repeat the leaving cert. There was no way I could ever do that to myself and here I am, almost a year later about to do the leaving cert for a second time.
I won't lie to you and say it's been easy especially on a Thursday night when I was heading up to bed with an accounting book getting snaps from my friends heading out to a nightclub but I've done it and no matter what happens in the Leaving and whether you get your first choice or not it all happens for a reason and you can get through it too.

When you graduate school you'll finally feel free, obviously in a month you'll have your exams but from the minute you walk out that door you're in charge of your life. Never again will you have to ask a teacher can you go to the bathroom or have to squat down in a corner at lunch time freaking out because you forgot to learn the seven new verbs for Irish. YOU'RE FREE and you should definitely feel proud of yourself because not everyone can stick out the six years of secondary school. Without a doubt it'll be hard not to be with your 60/70 classmates on a daily basis but you'll get used to that and in most cases you'll meet new, interesting people. I can say though you probably won't stay close to everyone no matter what your intentions are but since I didn't go to college this year I was really left behind in that category. It did however teach me so much about friendship and who's still  there for you when everyone else has a new life in another city. 

Personally taking the year out to repeat has been one of the most beneficial years I've ever had. Obviously it wasn't the ideal year but the experience I've gained and the opportunities I've had have been incredible.I will write a post in the near future about repeating the leaving cert, and how there are so many other options but for now my advice for leaving certers would be to once again, enjoy your last week because you'll never have another week like it. Talk to the teachers you love the most, tell them how much you loved their classes, enjoy the time with your friends, dress up in your ridiculous costumes and just really have fun.
Enjoy what time you've left, because you'll never have this opportunity again
Plus, be as excited and as proud as Jimmy Bullard.

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