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What if I don’t get the results I wanted from my leaving cert?

Firstly, take a deep breath and keep breathing.

You may be feeling disappointed or unsure about the future and what it holds for you right now, this is ok and a normal response to your situation. But before you go into catastrophising thinking (thinking about the worst-case scenario), I will remind you that there are many paths you might choose. Consider the following;

Be kind to yourself

We can think about all the “should have’s” or “why didn’t I do more”, sometimes reflecting is helpful but right now let us keep focused on the things we can control. Rehashing the past and looking for failures is not going to help you. So, be kind to yourself. Get a cup of tea, coffee, meet friends, go for a walk, take a shower. Do something that will be kind to you.

Mindset: focusing on the things you can control

In times when we are feeling scared and anxious our mind can keep us caught up in the worst case scenarios “my life is over” “what will I do now” “my parents will be so upset”. I am here to remind you there are other options. Ask yourself what can I do to help me right now and list the things you can do?

Here are somethings to consider:

Getting the right support

If you are feeling worried or overwhelmed with what to do next, find the right support. You might ask your parent, guardian, older sibling, or someone who has experienced what you are feeling right now. Talk to a friend or a person you can trust if you feel things are just too much right now.

Finding out the right information

Right now, you might have lots of people offering solutions to your problems. This can feel very confusing or overwhelming. Most people are very well meaning and want to help you in anyway they can. It might not be helpful listening to everyone’s advice particularly as this is a new leaving cert system. Making sure you have the right information from the right people will be helpful right now.

Appeal your grades

If you are considering appealing your grades, click on this link to find out about the process.

Spun out offer a step by step process on how to appeal your grades. Here is the link

Review Chosen Course

If you know that the points you received will not get you enrolled into the college or university you picked, is there another course that will help you get on the right path. I have many friends who did not get their first option on the CAO and decided to do a PLC (A PLC course is usually a full-time course for post-secondary students that last from one to two years. They are held in community education centres, schools and colleges around the country.​) course as a step-in-stone to get to where they want to go.

In times of feeling disappointed and stress, it can feel like there are no other options. Take the power back and focus on the things you can control by getting the right support and advice.

If you are a teenage and you are feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?

Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808

Information support helpline:

The 1800 265 165 Freephone helpline is open from 10 am on results day, Wednesday, 16th August, to take calls from students and parents seeking advice and up to date information on what choices are available to students. It will open for three days the week of the results as well as a further three days the following week, after the release of CAO Round One offers.