19 Aug 2022

OPINION: Leaving Cert Results; what does it look like for Limerick students in 2021?

The Leaving Cert results, do you remember your own?

An early trip with a parent to the school gate, walking through the hallways of your now past life to collect the brown envelope
and nervously sliding the paper out subject by subject. 

This year it falls later, with us students having to prolong our anxious wait until this Friday. CAO college course offers will then be issued next Tuesday, September 7. 

As one of this year's cohort, the biggest worry has been the lack of college places. The Central Applications Office (CAO) has reported a record number of 84,000 applicants, which was made up of level 8, 7 and 6 applicants.

With approximately 52,000 level 8 course places and over 70,000 applicants, this means that around 1 in every 4 applicants to a level 8 course will not receive an Irish college course offer.

Many Irish students have also opted to apply to Eunicas and UCAS in order to study abroad, so that statistic will hopefully be much lower.

This year's examination process for Leaving Cert students was an option between an Accredited Grade awarded by our teacher or to sit the formal examination in an adapted form with subject specific coursework. There was also the opportunity to opt for a mixture of both, in which scenario the best of both grades will be rewarded come tomorrow.

Now, after the last two years of uncertainty and disruption, we don’t expect the usual rites of passage you may consider to be normal coming to the end of a Leaving Cert cycle.

There will be no trip to the school, no shrieks of euphoria, relief or even heartbreak in the hallways or no awkward encounters with teachers you probably think you should have spent more time studying with.

All sixty thousand of us will be behind our computers, bringing flashbacks of online schooling, logging into the Candidate Self Service Portal at 10am.

Once results are received, it is a waiting game until Tuesday at 2pm to see if we have been successful in our endeavours. Once those offers come through I can only imagine it will be a scramble for accommodation across the country that is already both unaffordable and lacking in supply.

I hope that I never have to spend so much time on ever again, than I have over the past few weeks.

But, what about the usual celebrations of results nights? For most of the summer, Galway and coastal towns along the Wild Atlantic Way have been the destination of choice for many my age, so I imagine no major change. I am equally sure that some of us will opt to spend a night with family, possibly out for dinner, after finally getting a greater supply of vaccines
among our age group in the past few weeks.

Trying to sum up the hyperobject that has been Leaving Cert 2021 has been difficult. As a student, I feel somewhat like a professional yoyo-er - with all the ups and downs.

If you happen to know any students receiving results, I would encourage you to send a message of support beforehand. The past year has been a long, isolated and challenging road for students and I am sure they will greatly appreciate it.

To any fellow student reading this, regardless of what happens there is support there for you. From support to aid in finding accommodation with each college’s students union or setting time to tend to your well being through Text 50808, it is always there.

And remember, as we will forever be told, “what is for you won’t pass you”.

*Caillum Hedderman is a former student of John the Baptist Community School in Hospital. He is one of more than 2,600 students in Limerick who will receive their Leaving Cert results this Friday.

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