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Leaving Cert diary: Merci beaucoup to the French examiner, I could give you a hug

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Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau

Amelhyne O’Regan-Farineau

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Au revoir, French. I am officially down to my final three exams, and three will become two today after I sit down to higher-level Business.

Then I have the luxury of a six-day exam break before Music and Economics mark the end of my Leaving Cert journey. When I say six-day exam break, I really mean six days of last-minute cramming. We’ll see whether I’m grateful for a long break in a few days’ time.

If anyone knows who wrote the higher-level French paper, please tell me, as I need to give them a hug. A lovely paper, full of choice, and even the comprehensions were straightforward. That is, straightforward for comprehensions in a foreign language. Yesterday morning, as I walked out of the examination building, I realised some of my classmates have finished their Leaving Cert.

They aren’t the only ones walking away from their education this week. Many students will be ticking off their final exam today before they set off on their summer adventures.

I can hear all the PE students of Ireland now muttering under their breath because they must wait nearly another two weeks until they can walk free. Your time will come. Just keep getting through those push-ups and you’ll all be OK.

Wrapping my head around the idea that I will be sitting down to my final exam in just over a week’s time is crazy. It is honestly a scary and exciting prospect, as there is so much to look forward to, yet just as many things to keep you up at night.

There are many students I know who have accomplished the Leaving Cert, yet still have no clue what they wish to study in college. I ask myself why society still forces the idea we must know what we want to do in our lives when we are just 18. Thousands of people over 18 still don’t know what professions they wish to pursue.

CAO points lead to college courses, but the trouble arises when choosing what course to study. People across the country are encouraging young people to consider apprenticeships, yet many still seem to believe college is the only way to go to be successful. I think it’s time to re-evaluate.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the Department of Education’s announcement on when our Leaving Cert results will be released. With that question still hanging over our heads, it looks as if we’ll be waiting for an answer before truly easing ourselves into the summer sun.

I know I said I have been grateful for the rain during this exam season, but I am hoping for a warm and dry July and August. I’ll remain hoping on miracles for the time being.

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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