Friday 23 August 2019

Leaving Certificate results 2019: How to stay calm and carry on, and what to do if you're not happy

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Aoife Walsh

As the Leaving Certificate results are looming, thousands of students across the country are bracing themselves ahead of what tomorrow holds.

While it is an exciting time for some, other students may find themselves feeling anxious and stressed about what points they have managed to tot up before the CAO offers come around.

With this in mind, it is important to note that regardless of the result, the Leaving Certificate is not the only pathway into the career you want.

Psychotherapist Iseult White advises that students remember the Leaving Certificate does not define their ability to succeed. She said students should "remind themselves that the Leaving Cert measures just one part of the complex, beautiful, awesome individual that they are, which is of course the ability synthesise, memorise, and regurgitate large quantities of information."

In order to calm your nerves, Ms White recommends focusing on all the other aspects of life that contribute to your happiness.

"They could try to calm and ground themselves by getting in touch with the rest of the ways they contribute to making life a positive experience for people around them, such as siblings, parents, grandparents, friends, teammates, random strangers etc.

"In life, that contribution always ends up being the most important thing for our own happiness and success. It would be a sad person who asked for their leaving cert results to be inscribed on their tombstone."

Ms White continued to say: "Every time the panic begins to build they should focus on breathing out, and then try to slow their breathing down. Then they should try distract themselves. Think of something they normally enjoy doing and then really concentrate on doing that thing, like playing a video game, or playing with a pet, or listen or dance to a song they love. 

"They should avoid other panicky people. Find somebody who is normally calm and ask that person to help calm them down. Don't ask for help from a panicky person, it will only make things worse."

She added that although the graded piece of paper feels hugely important right now, it does not necessarily "define" your future. 

"Of course the Leaving Certificate results are important in this moment, and it feels like it defines their future, but the truth is it doesn't. 

"Thankfully in life we get lots of chances, and life has a funny way of working out, if we give it space," she added.

Meanwhile, guidance counsellor Anne Ryan said if students fail to get the points required for their chosen course, they should consider "a post-Leaving Cert course that will guide them into their chosen college course."

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