herald

Friday 20 October 2017

So glad the cloud hanging over my head h as finally evaporated

Like the shell-shocked soldiers of WW1, the former sixth year students emerged yesterday, blinking and stumbling from a mixture of finally enjoying their new-found summer freedom and the anticipation that this is it.

The result centres lay in wait. You could almost hear the calculators at the ready and the tears about to burst. I, myself, shot awake at 3am, convinced I had failed maths and wouldn't get anywhere in life. No matter how much you hear the reassurances of of "There's always a backdoor to your course'' and "I'm sure you did a lot better than you think.'' The fear of the Leaving Cert never leaves you.

All summer there were flashbacks to that answer you gave in History or that section you missed in Music. However, it really wasn't that bad.

TEARS

Pulling up outside the results centre and seeing the queues of anxious mammies and daddies awaiting the tears or joy once their son or daughter walked out brought everything back to reality.

No matter how much you want to think you're the only one feeling like this, there are 56,000 other students that felt exactly the same as they were passed that white envelope.

I decided to open mine with my two best friends, figuring that if it all went pear-shaped at least I'd have a shoulder to cry on.

Pull open. Scan down. No Es. I passed maths?? Pens and calculators whipped out. Totting up of scores. One. Two. Three times. Swap with my friend. Totting up of each other's score. And then ... The sigh of relief.

I got exactly what I needed for my courses (provided they don't shoot up 10 points in the meantime) and now the wait is on for Monday.

I was disappointed with a couple of individual grades, although I got my points, for pride's sake I'm going to get Religion and Art looked at. However, my shock at passing my first maths exam, never mind getting a B3, in two years left me riding high.

CRAMMED

And that's it. Two years of rescue remedy, flashcards and late nights, compressed into a single white page.

Many of us have already forgotten the theorems and poets that we crammed. The Leaving Cert, that looming cloud over our heads finally evaporated yesterday morning.

And then there was the party. Town was packed to the gills with mascara wands and a sense of abandon. I'm sure a fair few went overboard and had their hair pulled back.

While for others, going out was the last thing they wanted to do. As for me? I'm just happy it's all over. Oh, and that I passed maths!

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