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Leaving Cert 2022: There was an audible sigh of relief when our poet appeared

Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau


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Everyone seemed to be pleased with the poetry but the question on Othello raised eyebrows. Photo: Stock image

Everyone seemed to be pleased with the poetry but the question on Othello raised eyebrows. Photo: Stock image

Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau

Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau

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Everyone seemed to be pleased with the poetry but the question on Othello raised eyebrows. Photo: Stock image

The English Paper is now officially complete. One subject down, six to go…

Wednesday afternoon, I came home on a high. I was absolutely buzzing and even got some study done. That was before hitting a brick wall that evening. I think morning exams suit me best.

If tension was high on Wednesday, it had reached a new level by yesterday afternoon, as we sat down to take our final English exam.

I can’t quite explain if it was stressful or funny trying to figure out what poets were going to come up on the exam. At one stage I found myself putting away my notes, and then running frantically back into the corridor to find them because I couldn’t remember one word from an important quote. I can’t tell you if I was lucky or not – but I didn’t need it in the end. Something tells me I’ll never forget that quote again.

When we all opened the paper, all I could hear was an audible sigh of relief that the poet we all seemed to have wanted came up. Everyone seemed to be pleased with the poetry and comparative questions, but Othello certainly raised a few eyebrows.

There were some interesting statements included in those questions. But I have to keep reminding myself, I can’t change what is already in the past. It’s time to look ahead to the next exam. Ordinary level maths Paper 1, today.

Honestly, I’m not particularly looking forward to the next three days of exams, which consist, for me, of maths and Irish. Not my strongest suits.

I am excited, however, to put them behind me. Right now, I’m just going to take it day by day.

What I didn’t expect was to be this tired after the exams. I found after my mocks that I was more relieved than exhausted. My feelings have flipped, as the relief hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

I took a walk after my exam yesterday, which was probably the best thing I could have done. I messaged a friend, got some fresh air and stepped away from all things Leaving Cert related. It’s easy to feel like these exams are your entire life when you’re absorbed in them.

So, if you haven’t already, take a step away from everything for even just a minute. Breathe. Remember what it’s all for. Resting is just as effective as study.

Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau is a student at St Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, Co Mayo. She hosts her own podcast, ‘Talk About It’, for teens and young adults


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