The motto of the CAO really should be “May the odds be ever in your favour” because its pretty tense and you literally can never guarantee how it’s going to go.
Panic and confusion can start to set in, so here’s a quick guide about what to do and the options available to you…
If you’re happy with your course and it’s 100% what you want…
Firstly, congrats!! Secondly, accept it now. Yes, the deadline is Monday, but why wait? There’s a lot to do now that you’re college bound, so tick that one job off the list. If you miss the deadline your place will be offered to someone else.
If you got offered another course…
The big question that you need to ask yourself is, will this course still give you the qualification that you need to pursue your chosen career?
If the answer is yes, think about going for it. Yes, it can be hard to let go of your first choice if you really, really wanted it. Or maybe it means you won’t be with your friends? Although heading off to college is an exciting time it’s also very nerve-racking, that’s okay. In a way, it’s kinda part of the excitement; a whole new life! If you think this course is right for you, go with your gut.
If the answer is no, you need to walk away from this offer. Don’t get side-tracked about what you want to do with your life. There is no point going to college just for the sake of going.If the course won’t benefit you, there’s no point in doing it. You have other options available to try again next year. Yes, it’s so much harder to admit that it didn’t work out for you, but honestly no one is going to judge you. The LC is hard and the CAO system leaves a lot to be desired.
And another thing; it would be awful to think that you might be taking the place of someone who desperately wants to be on the course. All courses not accepted go back into the system and are then offered to people in Round 2. Which also means that if someone turns down the course you want you *might* still get it.
If you got no CAO offers at all…
It happens and it’s awful. We’ve already put together a comprehensive guide about your Leaving Cert options if you need to up your points. Another avenue worth considering is the vacant course options. Again, don’t take something if it’s not what you really want.
If you’re not ready for college
So, you got a course that you do actually kinda like the sounds of, but you’re not quite sure if you’re ready for the whole college thing right now? Well, you have the option to defer the course for one year. This usually means paying a deposit to hold the spot for you. A gap year can be an invaluable experience in life, IF you do it correctly. Think traveling or trying out a new job and not sleeping in everyday!
This can be a super exciting time in your life, but it can also be filled with uncertainty and anxiety. If you need to chat to anyone to set your mind straight we have a list of helplines. The best of luck to you all and please do pop us a message to let us know how you’re getting on!
The very best of luck to everyone dealing with the madness of CAO offers!