Follow Missy.ie writer, Sophie Coffey, as she navigates the 2020 Leaving Certificate month-by-month. In part 1, Sophie shares her September Leaving Cert Exam Diary as she settles into 6th year and starts thinking about her options for next year.
1 month down, 9 to go!
Every year thousands of students all across the country prepare for the State Exams. For those getting ready for the Junior Cert it is their first time undertaking exams of this scale. When it comes to others like myself, this is our final time sitting State Exams and for us, it is the infamous Leaving Cert that looms ahead.
Already this month the term “Leaving Cert” is a phrase that I have heard far more than I would ever have chosen. Unfortunately with the exams themselves being my biggest focus this year, that’s not going to change.
Without a doubt, September has been a busy month. This year I am not only a sixth year but also the head girl and consequently I have found myself trying to adjust to the new roles the other sixth years and I have in our final year. Whether it is liaising with staff and students or meeting with younger years, there are little signs of how things are going to be different this year. What hasn’t changed however is that I am wholeheartedly convinced that the first years get smaller every year!
Each and every year without fail, settling into school and trying to find some sort of routine after the calm of the summer is a challenge. Unfortunately, this new routine is one that involves far more revision plans, study and practicing of exam questions than I think anyone would like but then here is the joy of a big exam year.
Unlike when I was preparing for the Junior Cert it’s not just about the exams themselves this year. It’s time for my fellow sixth years and I to start making decisions regarding CAO forms and what we might like to do this time next year, regardless of how far away that might feel now. Despite turning eighteen this month, I’m still finding it a bit strange to be making plans and discussing our futures in this way.
In mid-September I was lucky enough to attend the Higher Options event in the RDS. Here, I got the chance to speak to student ambassadors and professors from various colleges and institutions and collected far too many prospectuses. By the end of the day I had plans to study everywhere from Wales to New York! Thankfully, however, there were a couple of more probable options nestled amongst my pile of possibilities, so I have recently been weighing up my options.
Luckily for me I’ve had an idea of the area I’d like to pursue for years. Hopefully if all goes to plan, I’ll be studying English literature in a years’ time! However, for a few friends of mine who had no idea what they wanted to do, the prospectuses were helpful guides. If you are looking for more info on courses and colleges speak to your school’s guidance counsellor about getting your hands on some prospectuses. Equally if, like me, you know what you would like to do, speaking to a guidance counsellor or checking out college websites and guides can still help when it comes to specific requirements etc.
I’m sure you have already heard from older siblings or friends that this year will simply fly by. This has already become abundantly clear if the way September has disappeared is any indication, so I’m trying to stay on top of everything and make the most of my time.
Although that said, I’m already looking forward to mid-term next month!
Top Tip for September: Try to stay on top of your revision plans and timetables from the beginning