'I want the excitement of starting college with the comfort of home'
Aoibhín O'Connell (17) sat the Leaving Cert at Loreto College in Swords and says: "After a long two-month wait, I was delighted with what I got in the Leaving this week. And based on last year's points, I'm fairly confident of getting offered my first choice, Geography and Sociology at Trinity College, on Monday.
For first year, at least, I plan to stay at home with my parents in Swords, and most of my Dublin friends are doing the same.
Living in Dublin, you've got some of the biggest third-level institutions in the country on your doorstep. It doesn't make sense to pay for accommodation when you can just get the bus.
Apart from anything else, at 17, I'm a bit younger than some of my classmates. For me, it's nice to be able to combine the excitement of starting college with the comfort of home. Even though going to college in Ireland is expensive, from what my friend in the States tells me, compared to some countries, we're very lucky. As well as getting help from my parents, I've also been applying for part-time jobs.
During our final year at school, we had a fantastic career guidance teacher who taught us all about what to expect in college, as well as talks from past students who went to different colleges.
So while there were still tears on the last day, now we're all just looking forward to starting the next chapter in our lives.
Career-wise, I have no idea what I want to do after college.
Right now, my biggest priority is getting a course that I like - and one that works for me."