Having received her Leaving Cert results last year, Holly Traynor knows exactly what students today are going through. She explains how she felt when she got her results, her journey from then and now & some advice for those getting their results today.
Looking back at how different my life was this time last year amazes me. To think back on all of the stress, worry and uncertainty I felt this time last year is almost laughable. 
 
I sit here now, a year later, having just finished my first year in college knowing it is all over and things have worked out.
 
6th year is a memorable year for many reasons. The dreaded extra classes, grinds, revision courses, CAO deadlines and countless hours of pretending to study. 
 
There were more exciting memories of 18th birthday’s, mocks night, graduation, Debs and many other milestones. 
 
Looking back, it is by far the most eventful year of our lives. 
 
It marks the transition from normal school life to our first steps on our individual paths in life that we can choose ourselves. 
 
And for many, this can be a difficult task. Not all of us know exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives at 17/18. 
 
This pressure, alongside the sheer volume of the Leaving Cert course and the CAO points system, can make 6th year an extremely stressful year to say the least, especially come exam and results time.
 
Speaking from my own point of view, the exams themselves are somewhat of a blur for me. I remember on the first day of my exams sitting in the exam hall doing English Paper 1 and just in sheer disbelief that I was actually sitting the Leaving Cert at that moment. 
 
I could not comprehend that this was it, this ‘thing’ that I had been building up to and anticipating for the last 2 years of my life was actually here, right now, and I was doing it. 
 
After the first day, this disbelief somewhat faded away and I understood that this was it. This was an opportunity I had to show all of my hard work and then it would be all over forever. 
 
I clearly remember walking out of my last exam and almost screaming at the thought that I was finally finished. I was so excited that I wouldn’t even have to think about studying again. 
 
However, the lingering thought of ‘Results Day’ was in my mind not too long after the exams finished. Along with the uncertainty of what was in store after I opened that envelope.
 
I found it mind boggling that I had no idea what I would be doing with my life in a couple of months time and it all relied on these CAO points to decide for me. 
 
Being completely powerless in that time between the end of the Leaving Cert and results really bothered me. 
 
Me being me, I was overthinking and expecting the worst. I had researched various back-up plans to get me into the course that I wanted. 
 
I knew that the popularity for my course had increased majorly since last year and the uncertainty over whether I would make the points score was a big worry. 
 
With the long stretch of summer until results; there were many times that I doubted myself. But all I could do was hope. 
 
After some time, I think I came to the settlement with myself that whatever happens happens and there was nothing I could do to change that now. 
 
One thing I can say looking back is to remind yourself: This is not the be all and end all. You will always find a way to do what you want if you want it that badly. 
 
Although it may not have been the plan that you had anticipated, you will get there. All of the stress and worry that we put on ourselves anticipating results day is really pointless, as in the end, we get what we are given and we deal with it after that. That is all we can do. 
 
One year on, that year seems a distant memory and I find it hard to believe all of the emotions that we went through. 
 
In the end, after all of the stress and worrying, I made it into the course that I wanted and I couldn’t be happier. 
 
College life is so much different to 6th year and the independence and freedom to do what you love is amazing to say the least. 
 
My advice for anyone getting their results this year would be simple: Relax. Don’t waste your time worrying about what you will get; more than likely you will do better than you think. 
 
No matter what; you will find a way. Things will always work out in the end.