When someone tells you 'Everything will work out in the end', they really do mean it

We have asked the Snapfam to share their experience of the Leaving Cert in 2017.

Emily Bollard:
"When someone tells you 'Everything will work out in the end', they really do mean it. Since Day 1 of Sixth Year, my ultimate goal had been to achieve 625 points in the Leaving Cert. My course was coming in at 510 points so I was pretty confident I would get that anyway. I was a straight-A student and a hard worker, so you can imagine how much work I put into reaching that goal! But I also aimed to leave school on a high note. Therefore I tried my best to enjoy the year, make some precious memories and some new friends. The problem with the LC is that it's not only mentally draining, but also physically and emotionally draining, so no matter how calm and organised you are, you're going to get flustered.

After the mocks, I realised I had a long way to go before I could be in with a chance to achieve the big 625. With only three weeks to go before the LC was due to begin, I decided to set myself a more realistic goal of 601 points (equivalent to 4 H1s and 2 H2s, plus 25 points for HL Maths) and ease some of the pressure off my shoulders. I was so sure I had reached the 600 mark, but unfortunately I fell short- 23 points short to be exact. I scored 577 points, which I know now is an incredible achievement, despite being initially disappointed that hadn't reached my goal. Looking back on the year, I know that I couldn't have worked any harder. However, I did manage to make some golden memories and a few new friends, as well as enjoying my final year in school and leaving on a high note. And I cleared my course by 67 points so I did pretty well for myself in the end!

My advice to future victims of the LC? Work hard, but don't give up your life for the sake of a few exams. All you can do is your best, and if you don't get what you want, there's always another way around it, whether it's a PLC or Level 6/7 course, or a similar course somewhere else. In the end, everything will work out as you had hoped. You should also choose something that you would like or have a genuine interest in. Never mind what your parents want you to do and don't be put off by teachers' opinions of certain courses- choose the path that will bring you joy, not money. Money only brings you short term joy, it is not a permanent solution. So try your best, make the most of your final year and most importantly, be happy. That should get you through the year in one piece! As Les Brown once said, 'Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars'."

"It has been an incredibly tough year. I felt it was really too much having to choose a course, something that has a massive effect on the rest of your life, and study for exams that also have such a huge impact on your life all in one year. In my case, there was also the HPAT to worry about. It really doesn't leave much room for any sort of personal life or even capacity to deal with anything unplanned. When my grandmother became ill this year, I will be honest, I didn't just feel sorry for her, but also for myself for not being able to even be there with her in her final months without a sickening feeling that I "should" be studying.

I wasn't aiming for 625 points. I obviously like the idea of straight As, but for me it was all about Medicine. Yesterday, I got the results and I was delighted to have cleared the hurdle for Medicine. Actually, I was more relieved than delighted. I feel like all the sacrifices have paid off for me and I consider myself lucky.

I just want to thank everyone at "625points" once again for the very helpful and supportive Snapchat channel and all the materials they have that are tailored for people looking to perform really well. It has really helped to keep me sane this year. In terms of my advice for incoming students, I want to underline the importance of having a support network. It's difficult to go through the Leaving Cert only counting on yourself. I think I've had a particularly tough time because of all the pressure I was under. If I can make it through this year, so can anyone. Best of luck with it!"

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