Sunday 22 September 2019

It’s an important week but don’t let your Leaving Cert results define you

Opinion: our view

For thousands of students across the length and breadth of the country this week will be a defining one.

On Tuesday morning some 57,000 students will have received their Leaving Cert results and on Thursday morning the first round of CAO college offers will go out.

For many students the results and the subsequent college offers will shape the course of their lives.

It is unquestionably a hugely important day for the Class of 2019 but, amid the hysteria, those who didn't excel or who perhaps did not do as well as expected and failed to secure the course they wanted should not despair.

The headline grabbing students who come away with maximum points will be the focus of attention for a few days but in a few weeks time they will be just another face among the thousands of new students arriving in colleges and university campuses across the land.

That's not to denigrate their tremendous achievement - and all the hard work they put in - but rather to point out that in the greater scheme of things the Leaving Cert is not the be all and end all of someone's life and where it will take them.

Indeed, in a year or two's time many students who receive an offer of a place on their dream course will find their chosen field is not for them and move to swap disciplines.

Many thousands of others will forsake third level to embrace trades and go on to enjoy huge success.

The message in all this is that students should not place too much focus on their results this week.

Those who are disappointed should stay positive. When all the furore dies down in a few days time you will find that there is still a whole world of opportunity out there for you.

For those who excelled in the exams, congratulations. Take time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Think about what you want to do and don't rush in to any decisions.

This week the world is your oyster, enjoy it.

For all students - no matter how well you did - the most important thing you can do for the next few days is to relax and take time to think.

The Leaving Cert exams are one of the most difficult things you will ever do and opening your results can be one of the most stressful experiences you will ever have.

No matter how you did it will have been a very emotional few days. Look after yourself and your mental health and make sure you take the time to absorb what has happened.

That goes for parents too.

Your children have endured a tough few months, so whether they got seven A grades or none, make sure they know you're there for them and will support them no matter what.

We all known how important mental health is and it should not be forgotten in the midst of the results' day hullabaloo.

Finally, to all those who picked up their results this week congratulations and we wish you the very best for the future. Well done and good luck.

Enniscorthy Guardian