After the Leaving Cert - what next?

September 12th 2017

After the Leaving Cert - what next?

To all those wonderful young people out there that are feeling deflated and defeated by those dreaded words  "The Leaving Certificate".  I would like to share some words with you;

Firstly - reading books and answering questions on them is not a true measure of intelligence, and certainly not a measure of ability.  It doesn't cater for the various learning styles of all people.  I cant tell you how many individuals that I know, who would be amazing veterinary surgeons, or incredibly caring and thorough doctors (for a few examples) and didn't succeed in their number one choice due to the dreaded LC.  Let me tell you, they are doing just fine now.

Secondly - on the good news front; our country is on the move, we are slowly beginning to learn that there are many routes to achieve your goals.  The nation is opening up to the realisation that the leaving certificate is not a fair measure.  Unfortunately, in it's slow awakening it has lost many of our amazing individuals to other countries to study.  There are a now huge amount of post-leaving certificate courses which will get you into many degrees - have a look http://www.plccourses.ie/ 

There is also always the very valid option of taking some time out to enjoy life, and returning to college as a mature student once you are over 23.  And I might add, the maturity isn't a requirement - just the age! Check out http://www.maturestudents.ie/

Lastly - I am a firm believer in once you set your mind to something you can make it happen.  I live by that rule, it hasn't failed me yet (though there have been some struggles) - And I truly believe that anyone can live by this if they so choose.  Every single being on this planet has so much to offer that is worth far more than this concept of intelligence, whatever that is.  

What is more important is heart, and resilience.  'Resilience' is defined by Oxford dictionary as "The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness."  Every single one of you has resilience and heart - and maybe all you need to do is look inside yourselves to find it, to recognise it, and to use it to guide you through this tough time.  

It is okay to feel disappointed and deflated, it is okay to feel tired and feel like the world is out to get you, it is okay to hang your head, but please, whilst you do so, take a look inside and find that heart and that resilience and let them both guide you through this time.

by Katy Anchell, Clinical Support Worker, Jigsaw Limerick