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0 In College/ Lifestyle/ School

CAO 101: The Guide To A Successful CAO Application

So, I know you must’ve thought that the CAO was miles away and that you had absolutely ages to get that all sorted, but in the craziness of sixth year you managed to leave it a little late and now the deadline has creeped up out of nowhere.

Well not to worry, here is the ultimate guide to having the successful, stress free application. Just remember, pick your course because you want it not because other people want it. 

Here are some tips to help you wade through the stress and confusion of the CAO application.

1.Go to open days. 

Colleges have open days through most of October and November and most colleges repeat them again in January and February, so schedule in a trip. For bigger courses like Medicine or Law they will have their own separate open days. Going to Open Days can really help you chose which college you want to go to. It’s a great chance to get the overall feel of a college and it might be easier to visualise yourself actually going to that college.

2. Process of elimination. 

Picking a course can be seriously hard, especially if don’t know what you want to do. Start by writing down your interests and your favourite subjects. Then look up college courses that resemble those choices and by process of elimination you can start to narrow them down. 

3. Read up on courses on Qualifax 

Qualifax is a very useful website that basically has all the information about any course in Ireland. It gives you the course breakdown, points needed, if there are any special requirements and more. Read about the course you’re interested in to make sure that you really understand exactly what the course is about. You may find something you might not like about the course that will turn you off it, so it’s better to know now rather than find yourself sitting in a lecture come September that leaves you going “WTF”.

4. Read CAO handbook and watch the online video. 

Not only will this make the entire CAO application process less daunting, but it will help stop you from making small mistakes in the application.  So, don’t cut corners when it comes to reading the handbook, it has all the information. Boring we know, but it’s there for a reason.

5. Give the CAO a weekend to think about. 

Don’t leave it between study breaks. You need to give it a whole weekend at least so that you know you’re making the right decision. There is no point in putting loads of effort into studying hard for exams only to come out with a course you don’t really like because you’ve made a mess of the CAO. 

6. Remember to fill as many spaces as you can in your course list. 

Each CAO year is subjective to the students that sit their Leaving Cert in that year. Course points will go up and down depending on how many people want the course. Don’t chance it and only put one course on your CAO even if you are certain you can get the points. Things can always change, so my advice would be to fill all ten of the course spaces or at least some of them. 

7. Have backups 

Don’t just fill you whole application with the exact same course from different colleges, have another choice down there. Fill in some level seven courses. Go to an interview for a PLC just in case. Have backups for your backups. Just play it safe when it comes to the CAO. 

8. Make decisions for you. 

It doesn’t matter what your parents want you to do or what your teacher tells you is the easiest route for a job. Pick your course based on what you want to study. It’s worthless spending four years in a course you don’t like; you’ll go insane. A job will come later.

9. DO NOT change your mind on what course you want after exams. 

Even if you think you out-right failed the LC, don’t take a course off because you think you won’t get it. You may do better than you think, and points may still go down. If you don’t get it your second choice will still be there, but it’ll hurt if you end up getting the points after taking your top choice off. Seriously, it would be soul destroying!

10. You Need To Get An Application In Now

And the reason we’re talking about the CAO application now is that one of the super important deadlines is quickly looming. deadline. The 1st of February is the main cut off-date. Even if you’re not 100% what in the name of God you’re doing come next September, get your name in the system. Those deadlines are there for a reason. You are not a special snowflake in the eyes of the CAO. Excuses and exceptions won’t be made just for you, so get your application in on time. If one of your course choices is on the restricted courses list you must have your application with the course on it in by the 1st of February. This is really important if you have you heart set on a medicine course.

The closing date for late applications is the 1st of May. You can read the full list of deadlines on the website.

We have a whole section on Missy.ie dedicated to the CAO application process because we obvs love it SO much! You can read up about it here.

 

Best of luck to everyone submitting a CAO application this year!

0 In Lifestyle/ School

How To Plan A Debs

How To Plan A DebsYou thought you were all finished with reading about the Debs on missy.ie, didn’t you? Wrong! 6th year may have only started but we bet Debs fever is already catching. And with that comes the Debs Committee.

Here’s some things you should consider if you find yourself tasked with planning your schools Debs.

 

This Is A Democracy

You should realise straight away that you will not be able to please everyone when it comes to the Debs, but it can be nice to get ideas. Why not set up an anonymous survey on Survey Monkey to get suggestions about the venue, entertainment and menu?

via GIPHY

Leave Your Notions At The Door

Yes, we’ve all grown up on a diet of American television and seen prom glorified, but it’s not the same in reality. Don’t start off with all these mad notions, like having a “Prom Queen” – it never ends well.

 

Divide up the jobs evenly

Make sure that everyone has an even workload spread throughout the year. Team work is a must and good communication will make all the difference.

 

Chose Your Venue Carefully

Keep it as local as you possible can. Check out all the venues and see what they are willing to offer you in terms of rates and perks. Some hotels are known to offer free gym membership to all 6th years.

 

How To Plan A Debs

DJ/Entertainment

This is where a survey can come in handy; chances are you might find out about a band who weren’t even on your radar before. Ask around and who people would recommend or who did the 2018 Debs circuit.

 

Tickets, get your tickets!

The venue will probably issue you with tickets to distribute. It can be nice to jazz them up a little bit to make them a bit more special though, if you have the time.

Think about how you are going to collect the money for the tickets. It’s best to offer people the chance to pay in instalments across the year, as not everyone will have the money up-front. So, make sure that you have very clear and written notice from the venue and vendors about what is due and when. Also, don’t force people to buy tickets. The Debs isn’t for everyone. And not everyone will be interested in bringing a Debs date. Be discreet about people’s plans. You’ve been given a huge responsiblity and you need to respect the power that goes along with it. Also make sure that you set cut-off dates for collecting money. Put someone in charge of publicising the details with your year. They will be responsible for telling people when money is due by. Set up a Facebook page and make posters to put up in the classrooms.

 

Amenities

Check to see what the venue includes in its packages. Think about adding an extra few euro to the cost of tickets so you can purchase flip fops and keep them in a basket and put together a little hamper in the girls bathroom. Think deodorants, hairspray, clips, tampons, perfume. Again it doesn’t cost much, but it’s something that people will appreciate on the night.

 

Know Your Weakness

The Debs is supposed to be fun, so there’s no point being stressed over the planning process, especially as you’re already dealing with 6th year woes. Know what you’re good. Play to your strengths and let others do the same. And ask for help if you need it.

Have you any tips on how to plan a debs? Let us know in the comments.

0 In Lifestyle/ School

How To Stay Motivated In School

We’ve been through it all and we know just how hard school is emotionally, physically and mentally. And it’s just so darn easy to give up and lose motivation to do well, especially through the two-year sprint of the Leaving Cert. But Team Missy has the gift of hindsight and one thing that we wish we had been better at when we were in school was to be more self-motivated.

With that in mind, here are some simple ways to stay motivated in school so you don’t make the same mistakes as us!

Think About How Good It Feels When You Succeed At Something

This can be hard initially, but really focus on how you think you would feel if you started to better in a subject. Imagine your teacher’s reaction. Or when someone asks how you did and being able to smile back and say that you did well, thanks for asking😈. Imagine being able to tell the parental unit that you truly did your best. Feels good doesn’t it? Doing well really is super addictive. So, keep that feeling in mind when you feel like you’re losing motivation.

Reward Yourself

There’s no point in working hard if you’re not going to reward yourself. This can be various things; a weekend off, a new eyeshadow palette, a cupcake, a takeaway… anything that makes you motivated in school. But the thing is, you have to deliver fully on your promise to yourself to earn the reward. No, “Ah I’ve done half the work, I totally deserve a treat now”. Be focused and wait. You’ll appreciate it even more and it will motivate you to do it again. If you’re super entrepreneurial make a deal with your parents that your allowance gets upped.

Get Some Self Control

Having self-control and self-discipline are key ingredients to staying motivated in school. You need to be able to learn to filter out the things that you want to do versus the things that you need to do. That means putting the phone down and getting your homework and studying done. And if you need to sacrifice a night out every now and again to get something done, just go with it. Knowing that you put the work in and had self-control to make your goals a reality is a great feeling.

Get In A Routine

A good, consistent routine is the key to staying motivated and achieving success. Once you come home from school have a quick snack and then hit the homework. We know it’s hard after a long day, but try to get it over with ASAP and then you can relax for the rest of the evening. If possible try keep one day a week study-free. Saturday can be a lovely day to have off. Get up on Sunday and do a few hours and then take the rest of the day off. Stick to this routine for a few weeks and once you get used to it and the results start to show, it will become so much easier. If you’re looking for some ways to be better a studying, we have you covered!

Set Small Goals For Yourself

Be realistic in the goals that you set for yourself. If you’re hoping to be the best at German grammar in a week, you’ll be really let down when that doesn’t happen. Start with setting up a routine and see what results they yield first and then keep building on that bit by bit.

Be Organised

Write down what you need to do daily, weekly and monthly and prioritize what you need to do. Bullet Journaling is a great way to make your own organisational system. We made a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to the process! Tick things off as you complete them to feel some instant gratification for your hard work.

Take A Break

It’s so easy to become burnt out quickly by the demands of school, so like we said above make sure that you take time off to recharge. Work hard for the next few weeks and then take the Mid-Term Break to yourself. That can be one of the rewards that you work towards.

Roll With The Punches

It can be so disheartening to put in the work and to not see the results that you were hoping for, but the key is to not let it deter you from your goals. Except that it was a hard exam, or that you might still have to work a little bit harder. Learn from it, improve and go again. You got this!

 

Have you any tips for staying motivated in school? Let us know in the comments below.

0 In Movies & TV/ School

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

We’re not sure about you, but before we at Missy started Secondary School we had great expectations thanks to  TV Shows! Turns out that these TV Shows were very very different to what awaited us (thanks Gossip Girl…)!

With that in mind, here are 5 TV Shows that distorted our expectations of Secondary School (or High School as they’d say).

1) Gossip Girl & Uniforms

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

 

As we mentioned before Gossip Girl was a big one for us. Now we didn’t exactly think we’d be prancing around NYC on our lunch break mingling with Manhattans elite, but the uniforms Serena and the gang rock had us thinking we’d have more opportunities to customise our uniforms once we hit Secondary School. We were very very wrong. No blazers, no cute shirts that can be worn 20 different ways, and definitely no cute mini skirts. Nope, we were faced with an ankle-length nightmare.

Read More: 10 Reasons Why You Need To Watch Gossip Girl

2) Gilmore Girls & Grades

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

 

Ok, so we know Rory Gilmore is portrayed as being above averagely smart, but seriously, our expectations were way too high because of her. Rory is shown as having a great social life – she participates in local events, has friends to hang out with, has weekly dinners with her grandparents, spends a lot of TV time with her Mom, and maintains a relationship all whilst killing it on the grades front. We’re not saying this is impossible, but she made it look so darn easy! And trust us, a lot of effort is needed to maintain this level of awesomeness in school.

3) Pretty Little Liars & Drama

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

Thanks to PLL we thought secondary school was going to be a drama a minute. All those hormones packed into one space screamed potential for a drama overload but nope, everything was very quite! We were shocked! No scandals, no gossip that could bowl you over, no sordid affairs, nada!

4) The Vampire Diaries & Teen Romances

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

If there’s one TV Show that hyped up teen romances it was The Vampire Diaries. We entered secondary school ready to have whirlwind romances aplenty! Bonus points if the objects of our affections were some sort of supernatural beings! Again, this one fell flat on its face. It was hard enough trying to find a date to the debs we could tolerate, let alone deal with that level of intensity in a relationship as a teen! You’re not lacking anything so don’t be worrying – these relationships are purely for the screen, thank goodness!

5) Riverdale & Dress Code

5 Ways TV Shows Distorted Our Expectations Of Secondary School

This one is really only accurate for those days you’re allowed wear your own clothes to school, but still, if you think you’re gonna get away with the hem lines the girls of Riverdale do, think again! We would have loved to have rocked some of the fab looks from Riverdale, but we feel it would have ended in a trip to the principals office! Best to stick with these trends for non-school days, just to safe!

Did any of these shows make you think Secondary School would be different to what it is? Let us know in the comments! 

0 In School

Mr.Price Have You Covered For Back To School Supplies

Mr. Price Have All The Back To School Supplies You Need

*Sponsored content.

 

Let’s be honest, going back to school isn’t the easiest task in the world. But you know what brings us genuine joy? The thought of all that new stationery!

We headed into our local Mr. Price to take a look at some of the stationery options available and we were spoilt for choice. Mr. Price have lots of branded bargains available in store and it really is stationery heaven. They carry a wide selection of pens, notebooks, markers, highlighters and art supplies. They basically have all of the back to school supplies you could ever need.

Here are some of our top picks from Mr. Price that are sure to brighten up any returning to school blues…

Pens, Pencils And Everything Else

Anyone else get super excited about buying new pens and markers? Something that instantly caught our eye was this Sharpie Marker set. There are 28 Sharpie markers in the set and it only costs €9.99, which works out at 35 cent each per marker! These are so handy for art classes and for decorating notebooks.

Staying Organised

Speaking of notebooks, Mr. Price have lots of different branded copies, notebooks and hardbacks available. We highly rate the notebooks with dividers because you can assign a subject for each section. This is a great way to stay organised as it keeps everything all in one place. Another great organisation tip is to buy button wallets and assign a wallet for every subject. That way you can keep all of your copies and notes together and you’re not left in a panic when you can’t find your Irish Grammar copy!

Cute Study Supplies

Highlighters are a must for studying and although Mr. Price have all the usual highlighters available, we spotted a lovely little highlighting set that are shaped like nail polishes. So cute!

Math Essentials

Investing in a great calculator is definitely a must from the very first day of secondary school and Casio are always the top recommendation from teachers. We love how fun this pink Casio Calculator is, but it’s also available in black.

Environmentally Friendly Lunch Boxes

Another school essential is a good lunch box. Mr. Price have lots of options, but we really love the look of this rubbish free lunchbox set. This makes it really easy to separate your food and means you can bring a variety of snacks. It’s also environmentally friendly and cuts down on waste. Mr. Price also have lots of water bottle options too.

Mr. Price have lots more back to school supplies in store and online. So, it well worth going in and having a look.

Competition

Want to win some awesome back to school supplies from Mr. Price? Head over to our Instagram to enter our giveaway.

 

*This post was made in collaboration with Mr Price, a brand we have loved for many years! All views belong to Team Missy.

0 In Careers/ School

CAO Offers: What To Do Now

How To:CAO Change of Mind

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.

We’ve talked you though the whole process of the CAO from the initial application to the change of mind, but now it’s finally time to see what the next step is for you because the CAO offers are out.

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 Friday, 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 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. 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!

0 In School

“I Failed The Leaving Cert”: What To Do Now

Failed The Leaving Cert

So, you failed the Leaving Cert?

Okay, failed is probably being super dramatic. It may just be the case that you didn’t get the grades that you need for your course? And that is a truly awful feeling.

Firstly, don’t start panicking too much. The CAO offers aren’t out until Monday. You could be lucky and still get the course that you wanted. BUT, it doesn’t hurt to start mentally preparing yourself about what you’re going to do if it doesn’t come up smelling of roses on Monday. So, maybe start looking into some of your options now.

 

Repeat 6th Year

Arguably the worst option is up first because let’s be honest, who actually wants to go back and repeat 6th year again? Repeating is a very personal choice. It can be the right fit for some people. It’s best to book an appointment with your school guidance counsellor to talk about everything. If you know that you need to put in a significant amount of work to up your points drastically next year, returning to full-time school might be the best option for you. It can feel like an awful thing to do, but once you get the first few days of school over with and get to know your new classmates, it will be fine. Very few people who actually put in the work regret repeating 6th year. Failing the Leaving Cert is often the “kick” that some people need to get their priorities and focus in order.

 

Get Your Exams Rechecked

There is an option to view your exams to see how they were marked and if you think they were incorrectly done or that you genuinely deserved a higher grade you can have them re-checked. It’s best to ask a teacher to view them with you as they can give you a proper opinion on whether you should get them re-checked or not. There is a fee involved per exam, but it will be refunded if your grade goes up. Missy Editor, Dani, got her History re-checked back in the day and she did receive a higher grade. While this is a worthwhile option, especially when you deserve the proper credit for all the work that you put in, its best to always have a back-up incase your points don’t go up or it’s too late to get your college course.

 

Independent Study

Sometimes physiologically or financially its just not possible for people to return to full-on 6th year. Independent study requires serious discipline and commitment for the whole school year. Not that you just whip out the books to start studying in May. You might be able to juggle a part-time job along with study, but be careful with what you can handle.

 

Repeat The Leaving Cert In A Specialised Program

If the idea of going back to your old school to repeat just isn’t an option look into repeating the Leaving Cert in other institutions. Places like Plunket College of Further Education in Dublin offer a year-long Leaving Cert course in a more relaxed environment. Yeats College Waterford is also another option. Check out and see what options are available locally.

 

PLC

We could probably write a whole article on PLC courses, but for now here are the basics…

If you have your heart set on a particular college course or career check and see if a PLC course enables you to access the course through a “progression route”. Not all PLC courses have this option, so do your research. Have a meeting with the course coordinators and make sure that the course will enable you to still access the course that you need (seriously, double and triple-check this because you don’t want to waste your time and money). A PLC course will not give you “extra” points. Instead ‘new’ points will be calculated on the basis of your results from the PLC / FETAC course.

To be awarded a FETAC Level 5 certificate you must pass 8 modules. For each of the modules you complete you are awarded a Distinction, Merit, Pass or Undefined (Fail).

Points wise this translates as:

Distinction – 50
Merit – 35
Pass – 20

Your best 8 modules are used to calculate your CAO points total. So, the best you can get is 8 Distinctions giving you 400 points. Note: PLC points and LC points are not added together, they are two separate qualifications.

If you are considering a specific college look up the course on qualifax.ie and see what it says under FETAC qualifications. If it lists a specific FETAC course then that is all they will accept, if it doesn’t then they will accept any PLC. There are actually a number of places on courses (mainly in ITs) reserved for PLC students in the CAO system. However, if your points are high enough you may just get it through the conventional manner as your points will match up to similar LC applicants. You can do a PLC in a wide variety of areas and often it can lay a great foundation for college courses. The student grant is available for students who do PLCs. It will not affect you getting the grant at third level if you continue on after completing your PLC.

 

Look, we always tell it like it is on missy.ie; failing the Leaving Cert, or not getting the points you need, SUCKS, but it’s not the end of the world.

Yes, it is as failure and you will need to acknowledge that, mope and move on from it. Don’t allow this set-back to move you away from your ultimate career goal. We can be our own worst enemies in these situations. The L.C is hard, everyone knows that. There’s no shame in failing, as long as you learn a hard lesson from it. So, chin up.

0 In Careers/ Lifestyle/ School

CAO Change of Mind: What To Do If You’re Having Doubts

How To:CAO Change of Mind

CAO Change of Mind

You filled out your CAO ages ago, you’re feeling confident in your choices, you know the grades you need to get and the Leaving Cert is new in the rearview window. However, maybe you have that niggling feeling at the back of your mind… maybe your top choice isn’t what you want to do. Are you doing this course for you or because your parents/fav teacher has pushed you towards it? It’s perfectly ok to have a change of heart, and we’re here to tell you exactly what to do if you feel like you might have changed your mind.

The Facts

  1. The CAO reopens on the 4th of May 2018 @ 12 Noon, and closes again on 1st July 2018 @ 17.15 sharp. This is also known as the CAO Change of Mind.
  2. There is no fee to change your CAO at this point.
  3. By submitting a CAO Change of Mind, the system automatically cancels “all the previous course choices in any category in which changes are made” CAO.ie However, the two course categories of Level 8 and Level 7/6 are treated separately. Changing a Level 8 course only effects other Level 8’s and vice versa.
  4. If changing, make sure you list the course you’re changing in the correct category. Also ensure all other courses you choose are in order before re-submitting.
  5. You can change your mind as many times as you like between the 4th of May and the deadline on 1st July 2018.

Knowing If You Want To Change Your Mind

You may be very confident in your choices and that’s great, but it won’t do you any harm to double-check your choices when the CAO reopens. Have a scroll through the list, make sure your first choice is still definitely your first choice. If you’ve only got 2 or 3 courses down, maybe do some more Googling and pop a few more down, it’s always good to have options, and there are so many courses out there to choose from.

You checked your courses and everything was in order. Now though, after sitting that exam, you’re a bit apprehensive, it wasn’t exactly what you expected. Self doubt will only stress you out in these situations.When under pressure we often make mountains out of mole hills, as they saying goes. You will probably surprise yourself once you open your results in August, so don’t jump the gun and change everything because you feel you mightn’t have done as well as you hoped. The best thing is to stick with what you want as your top choice, but throw in a few back-ups further down the list, just incase.

You’re more than likely over thinking things, but if you feel you want to avail of the CAO change of mind, there are a few things to consider.

Research, Research, Research

We can’t stress enough how important it is to research the course you want to do. This will be your life for the next 3/4 years, and perhaps your career after that. It’s important you have a keen interest in the subject, it’s even more important you see yourself being happy in the course. When doing your research we recommend you check the course outline, read the in-depth description of each module (both core modules and choice modules), and see what the course structure for years 2 and 3 etc is like. A great way to see what your course might lead to is to check the “careers” tab listed on most course pages. This page usually contains testimonials of past graduates sharing how the degree helped shape their career.

Go Broad or Go Home

If you’re on the fence (we don’t blame you, choosing a career path at the age of 17/18 is overwhelming at times) it’s best to look into courses that offer a broad range of material. Rather than choosing a course that is very specific and may lead to a smaller amount of career paths or future study, pick something that is a bit broader in its structure. Your friends/family/teachers may have opinions on these types of courses, but when you’ve graduated and can dip into an abundance of careers or postgrads you’ll be reassured you made the right decision for you when it came to the CAO all those years ago! Check out QualifaX for a range of info on all things education.

Don’t Follow The Crowd

If you check your CAO and it’s a list of courses at a college or uni where your friends are going, perhaps take a moment to re-evaluate. Going to a certain college just because it’s where a majority of your friends are going is not always a wise choice. Especially if you’re having doubts about the course you’ve chosen on your CAO. Going to college is a life experience like none other. It’s often an opportunity to evolve, try new things, evaluate who you are, and “find yourself.” (Perfectly ok to graduate and still not have a clue of any of this, but it’s always nice to think it’s an option).

So, if you’re doubting your CAO choices and want to go to a uni that isn’t a popular choice among friends, go for it. This is your life, choosing a path based on other people’s ideas and opinions is something you may end up regretting.

PLC Please

If you’re panicking about how the LC went, cover your back and look into some PLC courses. It’s not going to do any harm having back-ups if things don’t go the way you wanted. Look up the courses on your CAO and see if they accept PLC courses as another means of entry. PLC’s are also a great way to get a taster for the course you’ve chosen to do. So, if things don’t go right in August, rest assured that there are other options than just those you listed on your CAO.

We will have more about your options once the Leaving Cert results are out.

Have you any questions or concerns about the CAO change of mind? Let us know in the comments below.

0 In Lifestyle/ School

How To Have The Best End Of Year EVER!

You made it! We bet you thought this day would never come! In one way September feels like two seconds ago (we launched Missy on the 1st of September!). But at the same time it feels like an eternity ago. But alas, the school year is FINALLY over! And we are so ready to say hello to Summer!

Here’s how to finish the school year on a high-note to make sure that you have the best end of year EVER!!

Study For Those Exams!

Yes, sorry to be dull, but put in that extra work now and you will be so glad you did! There’s nothing like the dread of your school report card arriving home to put a dampener on your summer. Do yourself and the parental unit proud by putting in the work for the next 2 weeks. If you need some help in the study department check out our top tips to better!

And if you are studying like a mad women take breaks and be kind to yourself. Balance is key.

 

End On A Positive Note

Try make amends with anyone who you might be on the outs with. That teacher who you just can’t seem to jell with? Make a big effort to be present in mind and body during class and go out of your way to be polite and pleasant – although we’ve sure that you always are anyway! Chances are you might just have the same teacher again next year, so putting in some effort now to dazzle them will go along way. Also, teachers talk!

If things aren’t great between you and a friend try smooth things out before the holidays begin. 3 months is a long time. And what started out as a small disagreement can grow during the summer through disconnecting unintentionally. Mend your fences now. It will also ensure that your other friends don’t feel totally awkward for the summer and that no one is left out of awesome plans.

 

Be Organised

Don’t leave any last minutes jobs until the last day of school. Don’t be that person running around like a headless chicken on the last day. Make sure that your locker is cleaned well before the last day. Try bring home everything bit by bit so it’s not a mammoth task.

Sort out your books and make sure that you have everything that you’re supposed to and that you don’t accidentally have someone elses book! Nothing worse than realising that you’re missing that copy of Macbeth come September. We know these tasks are super basic and boring but getting them out-of-the-way sooner rather than later will unsure that you can soak up the fun atmosphere during the last days of school.

Make Plans Now

It’s easy to let the summer pass you by with the best of intentions of doing lots. But before you know it you’re sitting back in that classroom in September wishing you had made the most of your summer. Make plans with your friends now. Take a look at websites such as ticketmaster.ie and eventbrite.ie to see if there are any cool events happening over the summer. Also check out to see if there are any festivals or events taking place in your local area. We will be sharing our ultimate summer bucket list in June so make sure that you check back for it! And we’re just going to put this out there – there MIGHT be a Missy event happening during the summer so keep your eyes peeled!

Enjoy The Moment

If you’re still struggling with your confidence it can be hard to just enjoy yourself when everyone else is buzzing for the end of year. Make an effort to join in conversations and if your friends are taking our advice above make sure that you let them know that you would like to join in.

Hop into those pictures even if you hate having your photo taken. Trust us, you’ll regret not having these memories to look back on and share in the years to come. It’s a total lie that school is the best years of your life, but when the end of year rolls around there is a definite excitement in the air and they can be some of the funniest memories that you have of school. Enjoy the monet. You’ve earned it.

Are you doing anything exciting to make the end of year?

0 In Careers/ School

Things I Wish My Guidance Counsellor Had Told Me

Things I Wish My Guidance Counsellor Had Told Me

As part of our new careers section I thought about all the things I wish my Guidance Counsellor had told me when I was preparing to do my Leaving Cert and looking at college courses…

Perspective Is Everything

I don’t know, maybe I’ll have a horde of angry parents at my door (or inbox) for saying this, but the Leaving Cert isn’t the be-all, end-all. It’s certainly very important, but if it does end up going wrong it’s not the end of the world. I’m going to say that again, it’s not the end of the world.  And although you shouldn’t take this as a reason to cop-out and not work to the best of your ability I think it’s important to put in the back of your mind and dig it out in case of an emergency. The emergency being the L.C goes a little bit wonky for you.

There’s other routes to the job you want. I remember watching a lot of my friends crumbling under the pressure to get 500+ points in order to do teaching. What I only came to realise in later years as I saw others do it, you can do an Undergrad and then do a course like Hibernia to become a qualified teacher. If you don’t get the grades it’s not the end of your dream. I felt like there was a big emphasis on “you better get x amount or points or else” and that simply wasn’t the case.

You Do You

Do your own research. I did my leaving cert in 2009 and a hell of a lot has changed since then. I wanted to do something in Fashion or Journalism and because my guidance counsellor knew nothing about it she tried to discourage me from doing it. Teachers don’t know everything, shock horror. So do your own research about what’s out there. I can only imagine the confusion some of you might be facing if you’re wanting to pursue relatively new areas of study, like in a social media related field. If you know what you want to do, stick to it. Find someone who has the job you want and send them an email and ask them how they got to where they are.

Another thing I got no information on was going to college outside of Ireland. I know a number of girls who I went to school with who went to study in Europe as it was not only way cheaper with better courses they also didn’t need astronomical points to do things like medicine. Again if you haven’t been told about this make it your business to find out because sadly not all guidance counsellors were created equally.

Don’t Feel Pressured To Have It All Figured Out Now

No one really knows what their doing. But hey if you do know what you’re doing or where you’re going, go for it with everything you’ve got. I have a lot of friends in their twenties who are still not really sure what they’re doing. So much pressure is put on us to pick a lifelong career at 17. You can change your mind. Repeatedly if you want. If you’re not sure what you want to do look at doing a general degree like Arts or Business which open up a lot of Post-grad doors. The only thing I would say to you is if you’re not sure don’t shut down and do nothing.

There you go. A little bit of a rambling, personal post but I hope it’s of help to some of you. Another thing to say is that since going to college I’ve never once been asked what I got on my Leaving Cert. In fact I’m kinda struggling to remember what points I got right now. The L.C and school in general really is just a stepping stone. There is so much better to come. I will leave you with this little wisdom, don’t ever let someone convince you that you might not be able to or you’re aiming too high.

Is there anything that you wish your Guidance Counsellor had a better answer for?

0 In Lifestyle/ School

What You Need To Know Before Starting College

What You Need To Know Before Starting College

Starting college is an exciting, but daunting time. It’s so different to the very structured education you’ve had for the past 14 years, especially if you’re doing Arts. But all the new experiences are exciting. Here’s some sage advice to think about if you’re just about to start college…

What You Need To Know Before Starting College

Join all the societies for the goodie bags during Fresher’s Week, but do pick something random and something you are interested in pursuing. And then stick with it. Joining groups is the best way to make new friends. It’s also a great way to get to know people outside of your course. And believe us, it’s good to have friends outside of your course.

Be friendly to everyone, don’t make enemies in your first week. You will have to be around each other constantly for the next 3 or 4 years. Be open to everyone and don’t rush to judge someone. You never know who you might end up being friends with in the long-term. More often than not it can be the person you least expect.

You are about to find out it really is a very small world and an even smaller island of Ireland. Everyone will know someone who knows someone you know. Just keep that in mind if you don’t want to be the talk of the parish.

Don’t cling to those you already know. It’s easy to latch on to someone who you already know, but try to be social butterfly even if you’re not. Read more of our tips on building confidence.

Be wary of the people who say they haven’t studied or started that assignment yet. Don’t be fooled, they totally have. In fact they’re probably already finished it.

Mind yourself. If you’re living away from home this is probably the first time in your life that you have the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. No one is saying don’t enjoy yourself, but just be careful. Always know how you’re going to get home after a night out and always keep some extra money on you in case of an emergency. Read more of our tips for staying safe on night out.

For goodness sake go to class. Once you break out of the chains of secondary school the notion of not having to be in class is intoxicating, but remember you are actually kinda there to get your degree. You need to go to class to stay on-top of your work. Everyone has an urban legend about some friend who became a hermit and watched all the series ever on Netflix and never went to a class or tutorial for the whole semester. Don’t listen.

Make sure you’re doing the right course for the right reason. We all get nervous and unsure, but if you really feel like you might have made the wrong choice admit it sooner rather than later. If you leave it too late you might not be able to avail of Free Fees again if you go back the following year for a new course. Your college will have someone for you to talk to about it, so if you’re unsure avail of that help. Most colleges have a deadline of the end of October to defer or transfer.

 

It’s a lie when people say school is the best time of your life. It’s not, college is. Make sure you make the most of it. It goes by in the blink of an eye. And enjoy!

Are you starting college this year?

Image: Trinity College Dublin by Sarah Kinsella