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Leaving Cert is but a part of life’s journey


Leaving Cert is but a part  of life’s journey

Yesterday will have seen Leaving Cert students all over Ireland being offered CAO places in accordance with their points totals accrued from last Wednesday’s results.
Some will have known in advance they were comfortably getting their preferred choice, having cleared the expected points total.
Others will know they will not be getting their first choice, even with a big swing in the points required for their course.
It’s the group in the middle that will have been sweating most yesterday morning, lying, as they did, in the general region of the points total their desired course was last year.
Some will need the course to stay at the same points or even come down in order to get in, others will hope that the ten points cushion they have will be enough to protect from a small rise in points.
And, as is the way with these things, some students will be have got their offer and can exhale a sigh of relief while others will be crushed, missing out on that desired course.
Some will put it in perspective, others will think of it as the end of their world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Leaving Cert is important, you cannot deny that. Anything that requires such effort of teenagers, more effort than most, if not all, other things they have done in their young lives, has to be considered important. Getting good grades and getting a place on your preferred course is obviously the ideal but failing to do so only need be a temporary setback with the right attitude.
In this week’s Mayo News we heard from Rona Burke. Rona picked up her Leaving Cert results from Ballyhaunis Community School on Wednesday last but her route to last Wednesday was proof of the old adage of ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’.
Rona first completed her Leaving Cert in 2012 and got an exceptional total of 565 points. It was not enough for her first choice, Veterinary, so Rona opted for her next choice, Physiotherapy, rather than repeating. She finished her first year studies in University College Dublin but, that summer, the call to Veterinary was stronger than ever.
So Rona took the brave and unusual decision to go back and repeat her Leaving Cert. Having escaped second level studies and enjoyed the freedom that college brings, it was not an easy move but Rona was rewarded on Wednesday last when she scooped an amazing 605 points.
We carried an interview in last week’s Mayo News with Castlebar man Niall McGarry. McGarry failed Ordinary Level Maths in his Leaving Cert nearly two decades ago so he had to repeat the year in St Gerald’s College in Castlebar. Now he’s the man behind the hugely successful online media sites and and if you asked him about failing Maths, he would tell you it was only a temporary set back. He’s living proof of that.

The Mayo News
The Fairgreen, Westport,
Co Mayo. t 098 25311