Monday 17 June 2019

What I'm Really Thinking about the 'mocks'

File photo
File photo

So the mocks are on; it's a real thing. They've been hanging around, waiting to pounce, for weeks now. All the girls have been winding themselves up into hysteria. That's been no fun. You can't go into school without meeting someone who's having "a total, like, crisis". When they're not having crises, they're feigning indifference. "Oh, I haven't done, like, anything for these mocks. I'm totally going to fail." Of course they're the ones who'll do really well. And they're lying anyway, because they are working.

Mind you, I say that a bit at home too. I consider it "managing expectations". The last thing I want is my old pair thinking I should be nailing these mocks and then being all disappointed after if I don't get the H1s and H2s that they think I could be getting. They try to be all laid back too, cos they say things like, "We just want you to know that you've tried your best. That's all we ever ask for; that you try your best". When you translate that, they really mean, we want you to do the best. I've actually heard my dad saying "trying is for losers, doing is for winners." So I don't think he really believes in trying your best.

Parents do that. They say one thing when they mean something different. The other day mum was telling me to make sure that I kept balance in my life. She was pretending that she wanted me to make sure to have some exercise and a bit of socialising to balance out the study. But then later that evening I overheard her and dad talking about how they wish I'd lose my "bloody phone" so that I'd focus more.

They might have a bit of a point about that. I have great intentions of leaving the phone in the kitchen, but then might I need to look up something on Schoology, or translate some word in French so I'll leave it on the bed just so its handy for when I need it. But I know it's there and it's hard not to check it. I need the break anyway. I can't study all night, so I do need breaks, but I end up cross with myself because the break could stretch to 30 minutes when I only meant to take five. They are a bit of curse at times.

But coming back to the balance thing, who's actually going to go out for a walk in the dark and the cold anyway? Not me. Even the dog thinks it's too cold! Anyway, I don't know when I'm supposed to be getting this exercise, because if I don't show them that I'm putting in the hours studying, I'll get the patronising "Well, just so long as you can look yourself in the eye and know that you did your best" talk after the results come out.

I don't know which is worse, being in school with all the drama and everyone being stressed out, or being at home, with the silent watchers making sure I'm balancing my time. Not that it matters so much now. Now they've started, I just have to get on with it. They're only the mocks anyway; they don't matter. There's no CAO offers after the mocks! Well, that's what I tell myself. I just hope that I'm not a million miles off the points I actually need in June. I mean, I do want to do well, it's just hard to keep at it. Like, even after the mocks the teachers will just expect us to ramp it up even more for the Leaving Cert itself. Pity it's not mock stress to go with the mock exams.

As imagined by David Coleman

Irish Independent

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