Repeating the Leaving Cert was a blessing in disguise
"The year made me more mature for a course like medicine" says Lorcán
Even with a stunning 550 CAO points, the big decision for Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh was to repeat or not to repeat.
He was a handful of points shy of the cut-off for medicine, and was seriously considering his second choice - science - with a view to doing medicine as a post-graduate.
The alternative was to re-sit the Leaving Cert. It was a tough call.
"Repeating would have involved my friends going on to college immediately and me staying back," he said.
After a period of reflection, the former pupil of Colaiste Eoin, Booterstown, Dublin reckoned that he had a bit more to give: "I felt I hadn't reached my full potential".
So Lorcán, from Rathfarnham, went for the repeat option, and the Ballyboden St Enda's football and hurling player made the sacrifice of pulling back on his commitment to sport to focus on his studies. "I went in for 8am and left at 8pm"
It was "tough at the start, because none of my close friends were repeating," but Lorcán soon made new friends, all sharing the common mission of boosting their points.
Second time around, Lorcán landed Medicine at NUIG, where he is starting second year.
He regards his repeat year as a "blessing in disguise. The extra year made me more mature for entering a course like medicine".
That maturity also saw him take on the role of first year class rep, and he has been elected to the college's student medical society, MedSoc, for the coming year.
"I am delighted with Galway. I was exposed to the real hospital environment and was given a taste of what it was like to be a hospital doctor through the early patient contact module in the first semester.
"It is a real student city", he said.