I worked my ass off in school. I knew I was good at Maths, Physics, Accounting and not great with languages but I knew what I had to do to do well in the exams. I memorised phrases and paragraphs and practiced my french accent.
I was up every morning at 6am to study for two hours before school. I had colourful timetables that allowed time for GAA training and the gym. I allowed myself 40 minutes on Bebo before hitting the books for the evening. I was so focused for the Leaving Cert.
I hadn't a clue what I wanted to do with my life though. I just wanted to be rich. We did personality tests before filling out the CAO and everyone was told they could be teachers, nurses etc.... I went in to get my results with the guidance counsellor and she told me I could be whatever I wanted to be...
I wish I had thought about that comment properly. I was so young. I knew I wanted to go to DCU and I heard Actuaries were the highest paid jobs in Ireland so I stuck Financial and Actuarial Mathematics as number one on my CAO.
I always thought the happiest day of my life was getting my results... I looked at the piece of paper on my own with all the letters and numbers and couldn't add it up with all the excitement... My principal put her hand on my shoulder and said "well done Siobhan, it's over 500"... I burst into tears with happiness... I ran out to the car park and just about managed to tell my parents through tears of joy. I did it. All me. No grinds, no private school. I was so proud of myself.
Fast forward 10 years and my points are irrelevant. I managed to get the Maths degree although I hated the course. I loved DCU and that is what stopped me dropping out. Everything happens for a reason and I wholeheartedly believe that everything I have done so far has brought me to this point. But I just wish I had thought more about what I wanted to do with my life rather than focusing on getting as many points as possible in the Leaving Cert.
I know friends who were so disappointed with their results but each of them have been hugely successful in their careers despite this. There is always another path to get where you want to go.
I hope everybody gets on well with the exams. Go out and enjoy the sunny evening tonight. You've done all you can do at this point and cramming won't help. Take each day at a time and it will all be over in no time. Then you can start focusing on living your life :)