You are now coming towards the end! It has been a long 5-6 years and the Leaving Certificate is now waiting for you and you are waiting for it. I hope that you are both looking forward to meeting each other. Your 5-6 years of hard work is now culminating into a 5-6 day (7-9 for most) period of 2-3 hour examinations that have the power to decide the rest of your and take you on a journey that you wish to travel or on a journey that you hadn’t planned to travel. Let’s together review these past years of secondary education that suddenly have gone by so fast and will end in a few weeks time.

Year 1:

Your first year of secondary school was probably a major transition for you from primary school. New teachers, new friends, and you changed from being called a pupil to a student. You probably were not aware of what was ahead of you. You probably were not too worried about it if you think back, though I guess on the morning and day before the first day, you were somewhat apprehensive. Anyway you got through it and suddenly it was Halloween, Christmas and Easter and Year 1 was over. That wasn’t too bad, was it?

Year 2:

For most of you, you may not remember Year 2. Year 2 is a year that tends to go by very quickly. Remembering what you learned, done and achieved in this year is difficult to do. You began to find your feet, accept and indeed get to like secondary school and were turning into more like a student, leaving behind the primary school years. You might say, you had no choice.

Year 3:

Junior Certificate year and your first official pressure of having to prepare for and complete a state examination – the precursor to the Leaving Certificate in 2-3 year time. This period in your second level academic career should be remembered, as this is when you had to learn and memorize things and answer questions on them and get a result of your work at the end. At the time it was important, but looking back on it, you feel it probably wasn’t that important, but believe me it was important.

Year 4 / Year 5:

This year was probably viewed by you as a rest year if you were doing Transition Year (Year 4 – TY) or if you were not (Year 5), you possibly did take a few weeks break, but you were not long re-focusing on the task facing you in two years time. You would have been told how these two year will go by so fast for you and now realize that they have.

Year 6:

This final year, you may feel a bit frustrated with yourself for not doing more work in Year 5 or you could be thinking that if I hadn’t chosen to do TY, I would have all this behind me right now. Whatever you chose, you are now in Year 6 facing one of the biggest challenges of your life. Do the best you can, that is all you can do. From now until June 9th, work as hard as you possibly can and you will be rewarded…best of luck before, during and afterwards it…!