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'I had to run and jump for one of those embarrassing photos': Memories of Leaving Cert results day

Let’s take a step back down memory lane.

THE MERE THOUGHT of the second Wednesday in August has 18 and 19 year olds (and their parents) across the country rattled through and through.

It seemed so far away when we were dancing in Magaluf but the Leaving Cert isn’t done and dusted until those brown envelopes are opened.

And we can answer that question, ‘What did you get?’ with a three-digit number.

We all know by now, that whilst important, the results aren’t the be all and end all. But we do remember the all-consuming nature of the State exam.

We’ve compiled some of our own memories of the day to kickstart your stroll down memory lane….

I was totally calm on the morning about opening mine but then once I got the envelope I was really scared. I remember the head nun just smiling at me and saying it was going to be ok. She was an absolute wagon.

“I was made run and jump for one of those embarrassing post-result photos.”

My mother was so convinced I’d done terribly (I had convinced her of this, and she had witnessed me not studying for months on end) that she hid in a nearby Superquinn. I did grand though. Had to go and find her in the Superquinn where she was hovering near some eggs, afraid to look at me.

“I got mine, then went to my house with my friends and ate potato waffles and cheese. Then I went to the Ireland/Bulgaria friendly. It finished one all.”

The whole situation with parents was very volatile. The mother of this one guy in my school had a proper breakdown in the reception area where they were giving out the results because her son didn’t get into any of his uni choices. It wouldn’t have been funny but I had classes with her son and he’d been annoyingly nonchalant about the whole process.

“I didn’t think I was going to be going to college at all because I had been very ill for the last few months of 6th year, missed my mocks and loads of school and hadn’t been able to study. It turned out I got enough points for my second choice which still allowed me to study journalism and work with all you lovely people today”

Me and my friend wanted to avoid all the hooplah so we opened our envelopes behind the school gym.

“I want to a gaelscoil so our main thing was to try an avoid all the hovering tg4 reporters around our school.”

I had to play a match after getting mine so we ended up getting changed in the McDonald’s in Naas. Classy.

“This is where I usually lie about not remembering how many points I got but I remember exactly. I got 330 and cried when I opened them and saw that I’d failed honours chemistry. Everything worked out grand in the end but the lesson here is don’t take up a subject just because you fancy the teacher.”

I chose drama purely because that was the subject with all the good-looking girls in it. When I got to the final exam I realised I knew so little about the topic I was supposed to have studied that I decided to answer a completely different question. Needless to say I didn’t do well… but instead of getting hauled in to answer questions my poor, well-meaning teacher nearly got sacked for having a student who didn’t even do the right part of the exam.

“I opened my results in the bathroom in school, I was convinced I was going to get zero points. B1 in Art and Geography, still not totally sure how I got either, almost half my points haul. One lad in my year got 590, he got so much abuse for coming up short.”

And there’s always this person…

The girl who complained loudly all year about doing NOTHING got 600 points which was my first realisation that you shouldn’t always take people by their word.

Share your memories in the comments section below. (And if you’re getting yours – good luck).

Column: ‘I fear failing expectations’ – how the Leaving Cert results wait feels

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