I hope you can tear yourself away from your painstakingly assembled biology folder long enough to read this. I know you’ve gotten to the stage of your study marathon where any minute not spent glued to French language podcasts is the equivalent of an extra year on the dole, but this is something you need to hear.
Regardless of how much you are building it up, the leaving cert does not and will not define the rest of your life. Believe it or not, you’ve managed to not only survive the leaving itself but an entire semester of college, who would of thought it?
I know at the moment you’re programmed to be a constant point’s calculator and can’t see anything past your methodically catalogued CAO form, but trust me that seems minuscule compared to 9am lectures now. Yes, the leaving was tough, let’s be honest it was never going to be a walk in the park, but what’s a few gruelling days in the grand scheme of things?
Maths was Maths (thank god for Casio, am I right?), and you made the right choice not studying Heaney. I know you rolled your eyes every time the guidance councillor said, “this isn’t the be all and end all,” and it pains me to say that she hit the nail on the head with that one.
The thought of deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life at age 17 was and still is completely ridiculous to me, but I’m happy to report that you actually picked a good path if you don’t weigh in the lack of job prospects. Honestly, you found your way eventually among all the late night stressing, like everyone else it just took some time.
College like the leaving isn’t even close to being as excruciating as you made it out to be, I’d even go as far as to say that I’m enjoying it. The parties are great, the people are better and there’s never a dull moment. You’ll join societies and never go, but that’s ok because you get loads of free things.
You’ll spend more money on food and vodka than you ever thought imaginable, and you’ll spend more of your time staring at aesthetically pleasing men than actually paying attention in lectures. I know you pride yourself on your work ethic, but come on its medieval literature and he’s so pretty!
Your Facebook friend count will rise significantly with an array of weird and wonderful people you never thought you’d get along with, but who you now consider best friends. You’ll grow up without even knowing it and within the space of 3 months your life will be completely different from the one you had before.
You’ll begin to appreciate the little things, like the continuous supply of free pizza and develop a strong aversion to Bus Eireann timetables. It’s safe to say college has changed you for the better, and when exam time rolled around you were calm and collected (like polar opposite of the leaving, it was beautiful).
If I could give you any piece of advice it would be to savour every second and stop wishing it away, no matter how terrible it may seem, you make it out alive in the end. Save your money, don’t mix wine with Captain Morgans, apply for the grant early (don’t even get me started on SUSI) and don’t be afraid to wear fat pants two days in a row.
Most importantly take every opportunity they throw at you, trust me it’s completely, undoubtedly worth it in the end.
Stay classy kid,
Future (hotter) you.
Photo: Kim Piper Werker/ Flickr