Sunday, 23 August 2015

Leaving Cert Results and CAO Offers

Hey Everyone!

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!
Aveen xx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Daydreaming And Forgetting Yourself

It's crazy to believe that it's the month of August already. The summer has passed by with incredible speed, leaving me feeling overwhelmed in its wake. 2015 is steaming by, which consistently shocks me as I mark off another day on the calendar. I believe that I have spent the majority of the summer so far simply waiting for warm, balmy weather to arrive. Which it hasn't achieved so far.

The summer has been, to quote John Montague, a ''drama of unevent.'' In previous years, this would have irritated me yet now, it thrills me. To have the ability to simply rest and read a couple of chapters of my favourite book in the evenings, without the feeling of worry or dread due to pending study is wonderfully peaceful. I am happily content to spend my time going for walks, reading and daydreaming about everything or anything.

Walking in the evenings, with weak sunshine shining on my face, I smile and reflect on the days of summer so far. The weather has been far from perfect. immediately after the exams there was a warm spell which left as abruptly as it arrived. It was a shame in all honesty, I'm looking a little pale as of late.

The Leaving Cert results day is Wednesday August 12th. I turned my calendar onto the month of August, shuddering as I saw my own handwriting with ''Results Day'' written down for a day that has been awaited with baited breath since June 18th. I promise that I'm trying to avoid discussing or thinking about that day, when I receive an extremely important piece of paper. However dwelling on the possibilities of what the future holds isn't an easy activity to avoid. For the time being, I shall just take a deep breath and try prevent the waves of anxiety and fear from sweeping over me as days stretch into new days.

I think I know why they're called ''waves of anxiety.'' Going to bed after scratching another day off on my calendar, leaves me open to wave after wave of fear and nerves hitting my system. Extending from my lungs to my mind, these waves seem to both metaphorically and physically cause unease and fear. Choked breaths and shaking hands seem to fill the room as I search desperately for a book or music to send the waves away. For a little while at least. The closer the day gets, the more frustrated and desperate the distractions become.

For once, one of my frequent distractions isn't blogging. My current distractions are music, reading, Netflix, writing in one of my many notebooks, playing meaningless apps on my phone and walking.
As I shake like a leaf in Autumn, I realise how vital is it for me to keep myself distracted.

There are some days when forgetting ourselves, if only for a little while, is utterly necessary. To be free, breathe fresh air in your lungs. To forget all of those seemingly unsolvable or anxiety fuelled problems, even if it's for an hour or two.

 As the last few days waiting for Results approaches, I can feel my heart rate accelerate and my breathing become ragged and tense. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. In the words of the poet Sylvia Plath, 
''Let be, let be''  

I will be brave and try keep my nerve. I was told something interesting a few weeks ago. To cut a long story short, we must always keep our nerve, as there is always something out there in the future that will make us nervous and terrified, particularly with regards to the next step and direction that our lives take. We must not lose our nerve for surely something just as nervewracking will surely follow suit. 


Monday, 3 August 2015

Shopping Haul, feat. Hollister, Orla Kiely & Local Shops!

Hey Everyone!

I apologise for my lack of blogging as of late, so here's a haul of some items I've purchased in recent weeks. The shops I bought from were Hollister, Orla Kiely and a couple of local shops in my area.  I was checking my emails and found that several sales were going on and of course, I couldn't resist! 

First up is this gorgeous purse from the Orla Kiely website. Orla Kiely is an Irish designer and I'm a big fan of supporting local and Irish. My last purse was quite dark so this new purse has injected a pop of colour into my handbag (also an Orla Kiely design - can you tell that I like her designs?) I will admit that I only buy her designs when they're on sale as I'm a student with very limited spending power!

After that, I went onto the Hollister website. which coincidentally was also having a sale. (Sales are my favourite thing, okay) I picked up this pretty long-sleeved top. It's really soft and cosy - perfect for Winter! I generally wear short-sleeves so this will be wonderfully warm in the coming months.

I adore hoodies so I bought this one on the Hollister website too. It's really roomy and so warm! It's very spacious and generous for its size - a rarity for Hollister! It's perfect for chilly evenings. 

Also in Hollister, I picked up this light, white t-shirt. Like the hoodie, it's very roomy and made of a wonderfully soft fabric. I haven't worn this t-shirt yet but it'll be perfect should the Summer decide to return. (Fingers crossed!)

I was going around my local shops and came across this stunning bag. I'll most likely be bringing it to the Debs in August. The bag sparkles in sunlight and I just adore it. 

A new arts & craft shop opened recently, so obviously I had to go for a little peek even though I wouldn't be the definition of an artist. (I felt inspired to make my own cards after leaving though, which is a start) I came across the butterfly, unicorn and cow stickers which are unbelievably adorable. I'll definitely be making more trips to try release my inner ''artist'' (I'll be positive seeing as I can barely draw a straight line)

Have you bought any interesting items/products lately or any summer sale bargains? Let me know in the comments! 

Stay Strong, Happy and Fearless!
Aveen xx