I have been so incredibly busy as of late that I haven't had the opportunity to post here lately. I'll be writing several updates throughout the next couple of weeks. If you follow my Twitter or Instagram, you probably know why I have been so erratic this month.
On Wednesday August 12th, a day which I had waited for and feared eventually arrived. It was the Leaving Cert results day. To say I was nervous was an understatement. The sun may have been shining yet, as I walked into my school, it might as well have been a cold, dark morning in Winter. The walk, one I travelled everyday for six years, was excruciatingly long. I kept my head down as I passed screaming friends, phones in one hand and ripped brown envelopes in the other.
My heart was thumping in my chest, I genuinely felt the world spinning as my hand pulled the handle of the door into Reception. I feared the worst. Recalling my emotions after every exam, I was relieved and happy with my performance in all of them, except German. The niggling doubt had set in a few days previously and reached it's all time height as I saw the stacks of brown envelopes that awaited me.
Taking a deep breath, I joined the queue for my long-awaited and feared results. The envelope with my name was quickly found by the Principal, handed over with a handshake and a smile. I can recall thinking, ''If the Principal is smiling, I hope to God that the hard work paid off.''
Hands sweaty and shaking, I fled outside to open my results, terrified of prying eyes, judgemental stares and smirks. With cool hands, I ripped open the seal of the envelope, slowing revealing the results which I had worked, studied and crammed for two years to get. Saying a silent prayer to anyone listening, I peeked at the results.
''Irish - Honours - A2
English - Honours - A2''
I didn't look at the other five results for several seconds, gulping with delight and shock. Yet again, my hands shook. Inhaling deeply once more, I whipped the paper out entirely. Two further A2's in History and Ag Science, two B2's in Business and even German (an exam I nearly cried leaving) and finally a B1 in Maths (I dropped to ordinary, which ultimately was the best decision despite what my peers thought)
I grabbed my phone from my handbag, calculating the points. 90... 90.... I kept pressing the buttons until, with another deep breath, I clicked 'calculate'. The number 520 appeared on screen.
''Surely this can't be right,'' I whispered. ''I must have calculated this wrong''
After several recounts by myself and The Sibling, it was confirmed. I had just gotten 520 points in my Leaving Cert - without the 25 bonus points craved by so many. The texts and copious phone calls by my Mam and Dad to my relatives began.
All I really remember is whispering to myself, uttering the words, ''I did it, I actually did it'' several times. If I'm honest, it didn't really sink in for several days. I was on a high. I met up with my friends, who were all also delighted with their results. We had all achieved more than we needed for our courses.
The atmosphere was filled with laughter, relief and elation. All the hard work had actually paid off. We all succeeded. With an adrenaline filled giggle, the realisation that our dreams were starting to come true, hit us hard. The photos began, speaking to our teachers and our other friends.
In true celebratory style, the girls and I went for cupcakes and pink lemonade. In between discussions of the debs, CAO offers and finding accommodation, our phones beeped and pinged continuously, receiving texts and phones from relatives in true Irish style. The Leaving Cert consumes the nation as practically everyone knows someone who sat the gruelling exams the previous June.
Grace being the ever supportive friend! Note the lamb with the flower crown - amazing.
The following Monday the CAO offers were released. CAO basically process all the results and give you an offer based on the courses you applied for. I have wanted to study primary teaching ever since I was in primary school, so primary teaching in Mary Immaculate College was my first choice on my CAO.
The CAO opened at 6 am on Monday. With baited breath I logged into my account to see an offer from Mary Immaculate College for primary teaching! In that moment, I knew all the hard work and struggles were worth it. I could feel all my worries from over the years lift off me.
Here's my acceptance of my CAO offer - at four minutes past six. I had run into my parents room, shaking and screaming with happiness at 6.02 before I accepted my offer.
So that's all about my LC results and CAO offer! I'm genuinely still on a high, to know that all of my study paid off is the most wonderful and liberating feeling I have possessed in a long time. If you got your results and an offer, congrats and I wish you the very best on the next stage of your life. We'll walk this new road together.
The next blog post I'll be writing will be about my debs! Keep an eye out!
Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!