Congratulations to everyone who got their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday. If you’re planning on going to college, I hope you got the points you need. If you didn’t do as well as you hoped and you don’t end up getting your first choice, my advice would be to not freak out. It might seem like an absolute disaster right now but you could look back in ten years’ time and consider it a blessing in disguise.

I touched on this back in June during the exams themselves but the Leaving is not the be all and end all, nor is it the deciding factor in whether or not you’ll lead a happy and successful life. I remember when I sat my exams, I thought our performances would be used as a measuring stick for the rest of our days, that it would go on our apocryphal permanent record, so to speak.

Of course, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve chatted with loads of people over the past couple of days about their own experiences and while some commented that their points were initially important in terms of getting the course they wanted, virtually everyone said their results never came up again. As in, never.

When you get to college, no one asks you how many points you got. It doesn’t come up when you meet new people, or go on a date. It doesn’t even get mentioned at job interviews. Trust me, in a month’s time no one will care what you got in your Leaving. Not even you.

You might be worried about getting your first choice course but the funny thing about that is, plenty of people don’t end up working in the same field they studied in (even if their Leaving went to plan).

I know someone who studied English but works in child care, someone who studied speech therapy but works in recruitment, someone who studied equine science but works as a customer service supervisor, and someone who studied accounting but ended up being a musician.

I know people who went to college and dropped out. I know people who didn’t go to college at all.

All of them are grand.

If you get your points, and enjoy your chosen course, and get a job related to your degree, fair play. But if you don’t get your points, or if you don’t end up enjoying your course, or if you decide that college isn’t for you, that’s okay too. Things will work out fine if you stay positive.

And if some clown does ask you how many points you got in your Leaving, there’s nothing stopping you from lying.

“600 mate. Happy enough.”

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