As you may know next week starts the open days for colleges in Ireland. This got me thinking back to my own time in 6th year and honestly how awful it was !! I, as a lot of my friends did, had a horrible time in 6th year. Every time I hear that the exams are starting in June I always feel so sorry for the thousands of student killing themselves every year.
Thinking back now there are a lot of things I wish I knew back then. So I decided to write them down for you guys in the hopes that it helps even one person be a little less stressed and feel a bit better.
The first thing I wish I knew is that failing is Ok ! I mean it's not that I wasn't told this by teachers, parents and friends. It's one thing to agree with someone but to actually accept with yourself that it is Ok to fail can sometimes be a little bit harder. I can honestly say that it has taken me till my second year of college to be happy with whatever grade I get because I know I've done my best. And I think if I had accepted this sooner then I would have been less stressed and enjoyed 6th year a bit more.
The second and most important thing is to never ever let anybody tell you that you are not capable of doing whatever you want to!!!!
When I was in 6th year I had a guidance counselor who I would go to every week. I wanted to study science and I would go to her with questions about that course like what job could I expect to get from that particular course and every week I would get the same answer. That someone who did only 4 higher level subjects was not capable of getting the points for science. She also told me that because I did ordinary maths I would find it extremely different to study science in college. She told me to forget universities and only look towards FETAC colleges. Now this does not mean FETAC colleges are in anyway less important.( I ended up doing both).
Well I refused to believe I was incapable of such things. I took it as a personal challenge that I would get into a university. I knew what points realistically I was capable of getting I wrote down a number I would be happy with and that is exactly the number of points I received. I got my place in DIT but decided to defer for a year and do a FETAC college for a year. (Best decision of my life)
The third is that the leaving cert system in no way reflects your own intelligence. There are actually seven levels of intelligence I won't list and explain them all now but you can easily google them if you wish. I am the kind of person who is very practical minded and logical. I do well in science because I like figures and problem solving. I am not however good and languages. I always did very badly at writing in particular. Einstein said if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will forever walk around thinking it is stupid. Basically we all have our strengths and weaknesses and we just need to be aware of them and play to our strengths.
I realise this post is a bit more of a personal one but sometimes things need a personal touch. I hope that this post will help to inspire you to think proudly of yourself and your abilities and to never judge your abilities based on someone else's opinion.