And now the end is near……

With only a matter of weeks to go to the Leaving Certificate examinations, it is now time to transition from doing homework to full-time study. Indeed your teachers should have by now ceased giving homework and be focused on study, passed papers and particular areas of examination questions that might come up in the examinations.

When it comes to study, you should have by now summarised each chapter in each subject book that can be summarised into manageable study notes like a mind-map, pointer cards and / or note-pad. Studying from the actual books themselves is difficult as you are looking at and reading all of this information, trying to decipher what is core and key, and what part of it could be asked in an examination. If you haven’t already done this, then do it, it is not too late. You still have lots of time left to transfer the main subject chapter information that could be asked about in an exanimation into manageable study notes. This will make your study periods easier, more productive and indeed more enjoyable.

Speaking of study periods, how long should you be studying for as you head into the final furlong of this long 5-6 year school race?

There are many different theories of this from many experts. Some suggest 45 minute periods with a 15 minutes break, some say 60 minutes and so on. I guess it is really what works best for you. You should have some form of study plan / agenda that gives you some structure to your day and ensures that you are giving adequate, ample and the necessary time to each subject that require it. Whatever you choose, include break times, put the study plan on paper and stick to it.


Fail to plan, plan to fail…



Work experience during your academic years…

Most of us spend minimum 10 years and up to 20 years in school, whether it be in primary, secondary and / or third level education striving to achieve an education and a qualification that will secure us a job / career that we will like and that will pay us a salary to meet our desired future lifestyle.

As we begin our education, we have no idea why we are doing it, where it will lead us to, where it will take us to and what will be the outcome / reward at the end in the areas of a job / career. As we progress, we realise that the reward is to get a job, build a career, become self-sufficient and pay our way.

Some people begin to pay their way when their third level education is completed, while others start working as soon as they are legally able to i.e. @ 16 years young, whether it be in their parents / guardians family business or through someone they know.

Work experience during your academic years can be such a rewarding experience. Never mind the ‘paying your way’ mentality, which is really only a by-product; the true benefit is the opportunity for you to grow, meet all types of people, do all kinds of work tasks and get an idea of what you’re good at, what your skills / competencies are and decide on a job / career future before your academic years are complete.

In the years that you have no major examinations, force yourself to search for and secure a job at w/e’s, during mid-term breaks and of course in summertime; a job that you like, that will challenge you and that you will learn from.

Some of these jobs might not deliver all of these; however you are at the very least making some money, meeting new people and not wasting all of your precious time watching other people doing well in their lives…

Making the most out of the Sun…

So far it has been a fantastic, memorable summer with respect to the weather. Most of us have basked in the weather since 1st July and do not want it to end, though it has been hard to sleep at night. In this weather where our energy is sapped out of us, it can be very difficult to get up in the morning, keep going all day and then to go to bed early that night. The heat can be a significant demotivator with respect to work and study, so how do you stay motivated…?

  • Appreciate
  • Plan
  • Enjoy
  • Reflect
  • Look forward


Appreciate what you have done since this time last year, indeed since last January. Appreciate that you are still here, enjoying the sunshine. Appreciate that you can work if you wish to work, study if you wish to study (though some people have no choice, because of repeats!). Appreciate that you are in control and that you have to do what you have to do to succeed and to stay on top.


Plan your summer vacation. For each month, each week and each day have things to do that will build on and improve you as a person, in your work and in your education. Many people take up an activity and try to become the best they can be at it. Many people travel to other countries for employment, education and personal reasons. Whatever you do, plan your summer, make each day worthwhile and don’t waste a day.


Whatever you do this summer, enjoy it. If it is just lazing around, that is perfectly fine too, you are in control. Enjoy the weather, enjoy meeting people, and enjoy doing things and making memories this summer. Meet up with friends and relations. As you enjoy your summer, there is also so much to learn.


As you get to the end of your wonderful, eventful and memorable summer, reflect on what you have done, what you have achieved and what you could have done differently. Did you do everything that you said you would? Did you stick to the plan that you made at the start of the summer and did you really enjoy it?

Look forward:

And finally, we hope that you are already looking forward to next summer and how you will plan it and what you will do differently or what you will do that you wanted to do this summer, but couldn’t. It is good to look forward to things, but be careful what you wish for.

Look forward to things that will improve you as a person in your education and in your work.

Even during a summer vacation period, we can do small things that helps us in our work and our education.

Summer, between the months of June and August is a fantastic time of year. It is where we should almost go into hibernation and rest after our hard efforts in work and education so as to rejuvenate for the next four months. But don’t forget that it is also a time where we should keep the ‘fire lighting’ and don’t lose what we have being doing since the start of the year and to complete it and complete it well before year end…


Five Things to do this Summer…

We are now in peak summertime season (May / June / July / August), school is out for summer, examinations are over and no more homework for at least a month or two. What are you going to do now? How will you transition from education into a life of employment, leisure, pleasure, travel and / or simply doing nothing? What ever you decide to do, don’t do nothing. Your summer will fly by like summers before. Be able to look back in September at the summer just gone and say what you have done that has been worthwhile, beneficial and made a difference in your life at the time, or now or in the future. Read more