Waiting for the Leaving Cert results - A parent’s view…

August 06th 2015

[caption id="attachment_5458" align="alignright" width="300"]A group of young people leaving a building Next Wednesday will see young people across the country collecting their Leaving Cert results.[/caption] Waiting for my daughter’s Leaving Cert results, I feel nervous. I picture myself waiting outside the school for her to emerge. I hope she comes out smiling. We don’t really mention the results any more. I think she has pushed them to the back of her mind. Occasionally, someone will mention them and she just laughs it off. It was different in the immediate aftermath of the exams. I felt no matter what I said I was wrong. There seemed to be no consolation in any of my words. Fortunately, my older daughter had sat her Leaving Cert last year and was able to help out. They were on the same wave length and able to discuss the questions. The older girl said things like, “Oh, I felt I had done so badly in that question too, but it worked out okay,” and “Sure that question was only worth 2%, you’ll have made up for it somewhere else”. After the trauma of the exams worked its way out of our systems, it wasn’t long before the pressure was turned up once again with the Change of Mind form. From the start, choosing subjects is an enormous pressure. Do you do French, Higher Maths, or Geography? ... Your head is in a spin before you’ve even began fifth year. Sometimes to keep up it becomes necessary for young people to take grinds, and this becomes another added pressure. As well as working for eight subjects in school, they are now doing a second lot of work for a grinds teacher. My daughter convinced herself that she had failed English, and barely scraped through everything else. Re-visiting the Central Applications Office form can be a difficult experience. Later on in the summer, when the dust settled, she got a job on a building site. Which didn’t leave her with much time to dwell on it all, and she is so tired when she gets home that sleeping isn’t a problem. I imagine if she was about the house day after day it might be a different matter. We’ve also been Parent's quote on chalkboardsubmerged in the debs, which is a good distraction. I guess though when it is over we will be rapidly trundling towards results day. I think she is fairly confident that she will get her second choice, and will be happy with that. I imagine the night before the results come out will be a very anxious time with very little sleep and some crazy nightmares. Of course, I am concerned about her being disappointed. We know about all the options available, but it would be very tough in those first minutes and even days to not feel disappointed after all the work, stress and strains. I know how hard she has worked. I hope that she gets the points for her chosen course, and that she likes the course, the college and the accommodation. If that all falls in to place, it will all have been worth it. You can read our blog for some practical tips on how adults can support young people whilst they are waiting for their Leaving Cert results. Headstrong is leading the change across Ireland in youth mental health. Through research, engagement and service provision in the form of Jigsaw, we represent a new approach to promoting and supporting youth mental health.