Saturday 21 April 2018

My new life starts with squeals of delight

IF somebody had told me last year that I would be sharing my results with 500,000 people today, I'd have laughed. But this year, dear reader, it is my job to reveal the results of my brown envelope, which I received at 9.01am yesterday.

I arrived into school to a flurry of brown envelopes, nervous students and even more nervous teachers.

Firstly, I'm very happy. After a disappointing B in Junior Cert Irish in 2007, I was determined to do better and I was overjoyed when I ripped open the envelope to show that I was one of the 4.1pc of students who gained an A1 in our native tongue. My essay on politicians must have proved a hit with the examiner.

Next on the list was English. My goal here was an A2 and that's exactly what I got. Patrick Kavanagh will always have a special place in my heart for helping me achieve between 85pc and 89pc in that subject.

Maths was next up and I knew that I hadn't got an A after paper one but I still lived in hope of a nice surprise. A C1 greeted me on the paper, but I didn't really mind -- matriculation was passed and things could only get better.

History, after the debate about whether the Jews constituted a religion, rewarded me with a B1, as did biology, in which I must admit I was a tiny bit disappointed -- but I'll survive.

After a disastrous French oral, I was greeted by the lovely little phrase 'A2' for my attempt at speaking and writing the French language at ardleibheal. It seems that my dream of presenting the Eurovision is still intact.

The subtotal at that point was 450. Another 50 points were needed to hopefully scrape my first choice of law and politics at UCD.

Only my arch-nemesis, physics, was left. I scanned the page: physics, ardleibheal, B1.

Surely there must be some mistake here? The subject I detested for the past two years was a little miracle worker and gave me 85 points.

I will be indebted to Stoney, Newton, Cockcroft and Walton for their amazing feat of helping me get more than 500 points, thus making me a very happy Leaving Cert student.

Applied maths was never my strong point and it was with relief that I passed the subject.

The nightmare screams of the summer have turned into squeals of delight and all that's left now is the waiting game for CAO offers. Hopefully, my 535 will be enough for my course, which was 500 last year.

As soon as I got my results, it was off to the local radio station to announce my news to the population of the border region and catch up with the many "good luck" and "how did you get on?" posts on Facebook.

Until then, I bid you adieu and remember -- the Leaving Cert is not the end of the world, it's only the beginning of a new life ahead.

  • Peadar O Lamhna was the Irish Independent's Leaving Certificate 2010 exam diarist and a student at St Macartan's College in Monaghan.

Irish Independent

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