Friday 2 December 2016

Now for a few weeks of relaxation

Gavin Cooney Exam Diary

Published 24/06/2011 | 05:00

IN August 2005, I walked down the avenue to the school with a degree of trepidation. It was my first day of secondary school.

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Here I was entering a brave new world. Tragically, I entered this new world with my jumper on back to front, as I had got dressed in 15 frantic minutes.

In June 2011, I walked up the avenue with a degree of trepidation. I was no longer scared of what was at the bottom, rather about what I'd meet walking out. The Leaving Cert is now done, and the next time I walk this path will be to collect my results. From now on, I will have to learn to cook and iron and many other things that will probably pose as much difficulty as that first maths paper.

I left the school a different person to the one who entered, probably a good thing. The nervous first year I was would not survive in the big bad world.

I'm sure I'm like many others in not knowing what to put on the CAO form as the July 1 change-of-mind deadline looms, so these next days will be used to do some serious thinking.

This is my final diary, so I hope you don't mind me using it to thank a few people. Thanks must go to the newspaper for being mad enough to grant me these precious inches; to last year's exam diarist, whose help was invaluable, and to the school and all my teachers.

Also, thanks to my family for managing to live with me throughout the exams, and to my friends who still at least pretended to be friendly with me as my head swelled during my 15 minutes in the limelight. Finally, I'd like to thank everybody who read the diary -- the reaction has been staggering.

So as I hang up my laptop and the summer stretches out before us, we have a few weeks to relax. After all, you can repeat the Leaving Cert, but you can't repeat a minor championship!

Gavin Cooney is a pupil at Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co Longford

Irish Independent

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