After the excitement and nerves of Leaving Cert results day settles, student Niamh Shields gives a guide to what happens next:

Results are out, you’re free!

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Never did you think the day would come, you finally broke up with the old Leaving Certificate, what a messy relationship that was! With any breakup, you must have a little TLC time, burn those exam papers, head out with the girlies, play those independent lady playlists on Spotify and most importantly have fun!

Finishing the Leaving can be the best feeling in the world but also daunting. You have spent five or six years in a place with the same place, same friends, same structure, where will your journey take you now? Everyone has those fears, but it’s exhilarating, this is your new journey, here are a few things to note!


Leaving Points Are Never Mentioned:

One thing I love about my life after LC is that there is no LC. After spending a whole year of peers telling you what they’re studying, how long for, what points they need, counting down the days and minutes to the exams, and so on.

Never. Ever. Mentioned.

Like Ever!

It’s great, there is no competition, no stress and everyone just minds their own business! You’re embarking on your new path and doing something you’re passionate about, nobody has time to mention the Leaving Cert.  

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A New Sense of Independence:

No more school days, cooked meals, mammy wake up alarms and secondary school.

You are going solo, which is bittersweet. You have a new sense of independence and you’re basically an adult now, take it by the horns, it’s exciting! Remember parents are only a call away, which they themselves will remind you of, every single day you are away!


New Friends:

Going into a new environment is initially tough, especially if you don’t know anyone, you can feel alone.

Get your beautiful face and self out there, introduce yourself to new people, and make more friends.

I’m so blessed to have met some amazing people in college, Sarah, Ciara, Sophie, Ali, the list goes on. It’s so nice to have my friends from the Hills and my friends from the Big Smoke, I can’t wait for them all to meet for my 21st birthday party.

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Everyone is Different:

What makes this world so beautiful is how different and unique we all are, as the saying goes, if we were all the same, life would be ever so boring!

After the Leaving Certificate, everyone automatically thinks you must go to college, get that degree, get that adult job, get married, have a dog, and have children – not the case what so ever!

Everyone has their own journey path, you don’t need to follow the crowd.

College may be for you or may not, there are so many other options, for example, a gap year, an apprenticeship, working, so many options. My advice to you is follow your heart and dreams, it’s your life, your new chapter, make it a good one!

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