Nerves, sacrifice, patient and hard work are words that instantly spring to mind when I think of the Leaving Cert last summer and look towards resitting it in June 2013. It is often described as the toughest and worst year of your life and it certainly comes close it is however the most important year of your life because it can ultimately define who you are and what you become. You can either let the pressure and nerves overwhelm you and crumble or find a place of strength within yourself that allows you to see the end goal and focus. You may think that as I am a repeat it didn’t go to well the first time but in fact I achieved 500+ because as plenty of people around me crumbled under the pressure, quite understandably might I add, I was able to with the help of friends, family and teachers understand the benefits of remaining calm, focusing and having a clear goal.
It really is a tough year simply because despite all the hard work and sacrifices your faith could ultimately lie in the hands of teachers, whoever corrects you exam and how they set the marking scheme. I find it totally unjust that we are at the faith of an educational system that has failed us by being unable to provide adequately trained and capable teachers. I personally have the joy of having 3 very poor teachers who have no interest and sometimes do not turn up. The truth of the situation is be self motivated or fail miserably.
I have an advantage as I have known all along what career path I would like to go down once I leap over the hurdle of the Leaving Cert (hopefully this time round). However this is what irks me the most about the whole situation there is little or no support for those who do not! Having suffered career guidance meetings with a truly incapable teacher who kept focusing on choice number 10 on the CAO i felt great despair for those lost in the career path choice cycle.
I would I have noticed especially as a repeat is the politics that occur in a school in Leaving Cert year whether it be who gets put in which class and who wins the awards my advice despite the annoying and unfair nature of this is too ignore you will benefit in the long run.
Despite the stress and the nerves involved I firmly believe it is the of the best years of your life. It is a learning experience about course materials but also about yourself and life. I found my courage and confidence in 6th year and recognised my strengths and vowed to build on them and utilize them to my benefit. They friends you make enrich your life and those moments of laughter and even tears during the stressful times in school are worth your weight in gold.
With only 8-9 weeks it really is go time. My advise is build your study hours slowly do not get ahead of yourself and make sure you have all the physical work done so those vital last hours can be spent consuming that work. Make sure to eat right and get plenty of sleep you will need it.
To deal with the stress and nerves of the last few weeks I built myself a plan of what needed to be done with little targets for each day so once i achieved those and got more done I felt positive. I also wrote myself a message and saved it to my phone saying “you are who you are you have done all the work you have the talent to back it up smile and everything will be ok” and read it whenever I got stressed and before every exam.
For those people are a bit behind do not panic I missed 7 weeks from March 23rd last year and still achieved over 500 it can be done. Get focused and fulfill your dreams. One last piece of advice forget about everything other the Leaving Cert from now on I mean even if Mila Kunis turns up on your doorstep tell her she will have to wait.