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Leaving Cert 2021 “It’s our turn to step up to the plate”

Leaving Cert 2021 “It’s our turn to step up to the plate”

Amy McLoughlin

So, whether you’re happy, sad or haven’t a clue how to feel about yesterday’s announcement it’s here. Us Leaving Cert students are heading back to the classrooms on Monday.

I know you’re probably sick to teeth of me talking about this and believe me I am too. But I guess that is the joy of doing your Leaving Cert in 2021; it’s a fully immersive experience

Last night we got the news we’ve all been waiting for, and at least for us sixth years, some of the “will they, won’t they” is finally over.

We still have a long way to go, but in the last week we’ve begun to get a little clarity on exams, accredited grades and we’re going back to school. So what now?

It’s going to be stressful, but we have to play our part

Going back to school comes with a pile of stress and worry. People are concerned about exams, orals, practicals and getting sick or worse making somebody else sick.

We as Leaving Cert students, have been deemed by the government as a priority in the reopening of society. While other people are working from home and some unable to work at all, we have been given the opportunity to return to school and what we choose to do with this opportunity will affect every single person across the country.

The fate of the reopening of our country lies on our shoulders.

Starting Monday, between the hours of nine am and four pm, we go back to mixing as part of society. Teachers, support staff and other students all in the one the building.

In school we have instructions, rules and COVID guidelines in place in order to keep us safe. Masks are mandatory, social distancing a must and the endless sanitisation a part of daily life. These restrictions are there to keep everyone from getting sick…. while at school.

So what happens from Monday, between the hours of four pm and nine am? When there’s no teachers there to tell you to wear a mask or principals putting up signs to tell you to social distance? Well, that is up to us and therein lies the challenge.

We ALL Have A Responsibility

We have been given a privilege, whether you see that way or not. We have been given the opportunity to return to education and how we use that opportunity once out of the classroom is up to us.

Going back to school does not give you licence to party.

Going back to school does not give you licence to hit the town with all your friends after school.

Going back to school does not give you the licence to ignore COVID regulations once the school bell rings at 4 o’clock.

You see the funny thing about returning to school is that you have a choice with how you act outside of school hours, however, I don’t have a choice about attending school.

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I have to go to school. Even if my fellow classmates go partying or meet in large groups or travel to see family, I still have to go into a classroom with them each day. I still have vulnerable grandparents at home and I still have to follow the rules, even if others won’t.

‘Control the controllables’

Our frontline workers have given up their lives to the fight against this virus. They stepped up when we needed them to. Society has sacrificed a huge amount to give us the privilege of returning to school.

We all know someone who has had COVID and unfortunately many of us have lost somebody to it as well. Now it is our turn to step up.

Control the controllables”, this tired old saying is about to take on an entirely new meaning.

Only you can control what you do between the hours of four pm and nine am.

I am asking you now, as a fellow student, please consider your actions and consider how they will affect every other person around you.

The choice is yours. Do you step up to the plate and consider the others you are now going to be in contact with? Or do you choose to bend the rules and let the rest of us break?

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