Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Leaving Cert (3 years on)

It's almost that time of year again, the exam season is about to begin where thousands of Irish students are going to be thrown into the leaving cert and are probably up in a heap right now with the books out in front of them cramming as much as possible. When it comes to the leaving cert and exams trust me when I've said I've definitely had enough experience with them to know what I'm talking about and having done my leaving cert for the first time three years ago I will never forget the feeling I felt going into that exam centre, something that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life and I'm not kidding.
 I completed my leaving cert in 2014 (which I spoke about in a few posts in the past you can read them here, and here if you want) and at that time it was my dream to go to the University Of Limerick and study journalism and new media and no one was changing my mind. The points were high up in the 400 but trust me when I say that was not remotely possible for someone like me, It's not that I'm putting myself down but for someone who despised studying and all things education I wasn't going to get that many points but I couldn't be told.
When the results came out and big shock I didn't receive the points I needed I decided there was no other choice but to go back to school and repeat the leaving. I've spoken all about repeating before (here and here) and when that horrific experience was done big shock I still wasn't going to UL and headed off to Carlow to study media and public relations and well, that's a story for another day.

The reason I am writing this blog post today is because I remember when I was doing my leaving cert for the first time and I read blog posts about what it was really like and I remember thinking to myself 'what a heap of crap' that's not true, what do you mean I won't stay friends with my classmates?? What do you mean the leaving cert doesn't define my life...what a heap of crap!! but looking back I can't believe how accurate they were and I'm hoping that once person, one young girl (or boy) reading this will take on board what I'm saying and realise the LC is an exam and it does not define you!!

As much as I'd love to give advice about how to study and making notes that's really not me and trust me when I say I was probably the most laid back leaving certer in the country, I tried my best and that was that. The night before my English exam I spent the night with friends watching laughing chains and drawing pictures, I rocked up to my English exam with my hands covered in moisturiser and couldn't hold a pen for the first five minutes and we even ended up having a huge session right in the middle of our leaving cert before maths, so I really can't say I was the perfect student.  If I could go back now I would definitely try a little bit harder, I feel as though if you put in the hard work then it'll pay off but at the same time what's for you won't pass you and this is something I strongly believe right now.
 Thinking back on how badly I wanted to go to UL it broke my heart, this was my dream it's all I ever wanted and I could guarantee you that I wanted to be a journalism student a lot more than 50% of those people in the lecturers. It was devastating but now, there's no way I'd like to go to UL. Having gone to Carlow IT and seeing how hands on the lecturers are, seeing how you really get one on one treatment, having the small enough campus there's no way I've have coped in a University!! No chance I loved the aspect of an Institute.
I spoke about leaving Carlow previously so I don't want to go into it again but if I had not gone to Carlow I don't know what my life would have turned out to be, so much happened in Carlow that changed my life forever and if I'd gone to UL I'd never have made the friends I've made, or went to The Foundry, or just had the amazing experiences I've had there...did I do the right thing leaving Carlow??...we'll never know but believe me when I say what happens, happens for a reason and if you don't get your first choice it's not the end of the world and there are always options.

When it comes to your classmates well lets call a spade a spade here, you won't stay friends with them forever believe me. I've stayed good friends with maybe four/five max from my year and although I love the majority of the girls I went to school with I don't talk to them every day, or every week or every month for that fact but trust me when you meet them girls on a night out it's the best feeling in the world. It's impossible to keep up to date with everyone, you might try for the first couple of months but with everyone scattered around the country it's just really not possible but you'll make new college friends and those people will change your life forever, trust me!!

And what if you don't know what you want to do and you feel like you need to go to college, well that's bullshit and that's exactly what I thought. I did a level 6 course in radio broadcast journalism and presenting the year I repeated my leaving cert and I adored everything about it but a level 6 just didn't seem good enough (and obviously the college life was appealing) but I didn't know what route I wanted to take media? journalism? events? and I only wanted Limerick, it was my favourite place on earth and where was Carlow??? I truthfully had no idea were Carlow is, plus I was just about to turn 20 and that's so old starting first year of college right??? NO!! NO IT IS NOT 20 IS NOT OLD STARTING COLLEGE!!!!
 If you truthfully have no idea what you want to do then I'd strongly recommend taking the year off, work in different places, get experience in sectors you like and then make a decision.
When, IF... I go back to college I'll be just gone 23 and yes it scares me being so old and it can be deemed as embarrassing but yano what who cares?!!

As cheesy as this sounds the world seriously is your oyster and a few exams coming out at the end of school mean nothing and won't affect your life believe me. They may affect where you go to college but so what? that's it!! And wherever you end up it's where you're supposed to be!!
 I'm not saying don't study but if you want my truthful honest advice, keep the head down for the next week, cram as much as possible, watch YouTube clips, don't stress, do your best and get ready to bounce into the not so real world of college.
College is the best experience you'll ever have so literally count your blessings because you're about to have so much fun, come on..few exams and your life finally begins!!