Jack McCann gives us those all important last minute tips for those of you panicking about whether they have put a course that is right for them at the top of their CAO form...

The first of July is less than a week away, CAO change of mind is closing in 7,725 minutes (at the time of writing this) for those students who still aren’t 100 per cent sure about what they want to do when September rolls around in a couple of months.

There are things that you can do or complete if you haven’t done so by now to ease any pressure which you may still be feeling come 5.14pm next Tuesday.


Simple and obvious one, but has to be said. For those still unsure of what they want to do, there still is time for you to have a good look around. See what colleges are offering in terms of courses, requirements and what not. Talk to people who have gone or are still going to the college/s that are of interest to you, if you can. They can fill you in on things like what the campus is like and other details that the prospecti don’t tend include. They can also help to confirm or rubbish anything you may have heard from talking to your friends.

Do what you want

Another somewhat obvious one, but crucial as well. Doing what you want could be the difference between college years you want to forget or remember. Clearly, listening to the advice is important given to you by parents, relatives or you school guidance counsellor. However, ultimately it comes down to what do you want to do. Don’t just put down Computer Science just because you were told it has great job prospects if you don’t know you anything about computers. If you have an obscure interest and the opportunity arises to do it via a course, go for it.  College is all about making sure you do what’s right for you in the long term along with having the craic and the best years of your life!

For me, when I was doing my CAO choices last year, I had three areas that I was really interested in. I guess I was kind of lucky in that sense, but it did make what order I put the courses down on the form extremely hard. Now having completed my first year of college, I can say with certainty that I choose the right course for me.

Research, research, research

For something like this, you can’t do too much researching of the courses and colleges that interest you. It won’t be nice to be 6 weeks into a 3/4 year degree and realise that it’s not what you want. This can happen for a multitude of reasons. But if the reason you become part of the 15-20% who drop out in first year because you just put the course down because you needed something and you hadn’t looked into it, than the feeling will be even worse.

All the information is on the respective colleges websites. All it would take is an hour or so to have a very good idea what the story is with the courses you are interested in.

Just do it-it’ll save you lots of hassle in the future.

Lastly, choosing a college course is tough, when you first sit down to do it, I know I spent hours scouring every source I could get hands on and it still didn’t make the decision any easier. So to finish, good luck to all LC students still unsure about what they want to do next September. But I assure you, there’s something for everybody-you’ve just got to find it.