We interviewed Caoimhe, who is currently repeating her Leaving Cert having missed her Primary Teaching course by only 15 points. Our aim was to get the lessons she learnt from the experience so that you can apply them to your studies this year.
What subjects are you doing? Would you have chosen something different knowing what you know now?
I'm doing Home Economics, Biology, Business, Maths, English and Agricultural Science, which I decided to take up. I decided to keep my Irish result as I achieved a good grade and met the requirement I needed for teaching. I also decided not to do LCVP as I didn't want 8 subjects.
What was the thought process like when you found out you missed the desired course? Did you consider options besides repeating?
I felt awful. I had gotten a very strong Leaving Cert, and I was happy with that, but I still didn't get what I needed. There was a lot of mind changes. When I first got my results, I felt I'd go with plan B, but I talked it over with people who had repeated and people who had gone with their second option. I changed my mind quite a lot, but by the Monday I knew repeating was best for me.
Where there any online resources that you found particularly good?
No, to be quite honest. I felt that talking about it with real people was the best resource.
Were the people around you supportive or did you feel let down by them?
At first I felt let down when they were telling me to repeat. It was as if I hadn't done well and they wanted me to go through all that again. However, eventually I realised that they were being supportive and looking out for me.
What was the main deciding factor that made you commit to repeating?
I knew what I wanted and I was determined to get it - that was the main deciding factor for me. I also didn't want to spend 4 years getting a degree that I never really wanted. I thought ahead into the future and asked myself if I'd really be happy 4 years down the line.
Are you repeating in the same school, in a grinds school or at home?
I'm in a grinds school.
If you were starting 6th year for the first time again, what, if anything, would you have done differently?
I'd probably have evened my study out more from the beginning. I took it easy and then stressed myself out from January on, but I'd advise people to stay calm and study all year long.
What was the biggest lesson you took away from the experience?
The biggest lesson was that balance is extremely important. Exercising, eating well and getting a good night's sleep can really make a difference in the long run.