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Leaving Cert 2020 is almost a comedy show but I can’t take a second season!

Leaving Cert 2020 is almost a comedy show but I can’t take a second season!

Sophie Coffey

Roll on results…. or not!

It truly says a great deal about my exam year experience that when it was announced that the Leaving Cert results were to be delayed until September 7th, I burst out laughing! I should clarify that excessive humour is far from my typical reaction to discussions regarding my imminent results. Though as it turns out they are not that imminent after all.
The highs and lows of an exam year tend to be intense but for the memorable class of 2020 the absurdities of these past few months have seemed more fitting to a comedy show on Netflix than any form of reality. However, this is not a show that any of us will be looking to get renewed for a second season!

No longer making headlines but still stuck in our heads

When I wrote my last exam diary shortly after the cancellation, the Leaving Cert was receiving more media attention than it had in history. Equally while out on my social distanced lockdown walks at the time, the conversation starters employed by those I encountered, left me pondering on more than one occasion the merits and legalities of investing in a flashing sign above my head declaring “LC student – approach at own risk!”.
Since then the media and general furore has naturally moved on to the more current news stories – something we are not exactly in short supply of – and understandably the Leaving Cert storm passed. However, as students awaiting our predicted grades, we did not have that option. While it was no longer making headlines, it remained in the back of all of our heads. We still felt a shadow of a cloud dangling over us which as it now appears, will not be going anywhere any time soon!
2020 feels incredibly like one of those insane films where there are ludicrous plot twists in every shot. The Leaving Cert debacle became a scene that we had paused with the intention of returning to in a few weeks’ time. As it turns out, those few weeks have been extended to a couple of months and the end credits for our personal thriller are still a little while away.

Long time, no CAO

I spoke to some of my fellow Leaving Cert 2020 candidates – should we still refer to ourselves as Leaving Cert candidates despite never sitting said exam I wonder – to hear about how they were feeling following the announcement.
One student commented that she has been exhausted by the unknown during this pandemic and is dismayed by the extension to one of the factors contributing to that uncertain stress.
This worry was echoed by another student who pointed out that the fact we are now talking in months instead of weeks can only add to the apprehension.
The point was excellently made by another candidate, however, that if the extra time is what is required to offer maximum support and equity to students – particularly those who are taking subjects outside of school – then it is the best option. Albeit she admitted not a remotely joyful one!

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Let the countdown commence…

As part of my exam diary series I started each entry with what became an ultimately redundant countdown to June. Unfortunate though the additional delay is, we do have a confirmed date for results now and it at least remains ahead of the initial proposal which would have seen us still over a week away from even sitting our first paper!
The disruption caused by the global pandemic means that at this point I feel like I might be having a mid-life crisis at 18 years old. Though it must be justified because I am half-convinced that by the conclusion of 2020, I will be in my mid-forties at least! At the rate this year is going, I may need to change my CAO application to mature student!
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