So thousands of kids will be getting their exam results today and some will get exactly what they need and be on top of the world but others will be left feeling devastated as they miss out on their chosen college course, perhaps feeling that its the end of the world and not knowing what to do next.
I done my leaving cert in 1992 (17 years ago – jaysus!) and I done woefully bad. Out of 7 subjects I got 4 D’s, 2 B’s and an F which amounted to about 220 points, not enough by a long shot to qualify for any of the slightly ambitious courses I put in the CAO forms! I did actually get 2 D’s, 4 F’s and an NG (I famously drew a picture of a Viking long ship on my maths exam and nothing else!) in the Mocks so I guess I improved but nevertheless I was faced with the problem of not having a clue what to do next.
What I ended up doing was a PLC course in Engineering (not sure why I chose that, maybe because it was in the school where I done the leaving) which was a one year course and had connections with Tallaght IT. If you got good enough results in this PLC course you got in the back door so to speak to do a full Engineering course in Tallaght. I ended up doing 2 boring years in Mechanical Engineering in Tallaght and eventually dropped out after failing a subject. I have a National Cert from it but this remains the only qualification I ever achieved and I don’t even reference it any more.
I ended up becoming a musician for about 4/5 years then had a couple of odd mechanical/electronic type jobs mainly because of my love of messing with Maplin kits. I bought my first PC in August 2002 and the rest is history! I just found out through messing around what the pc could do and taught myself how do do all sorts of stuff with it just by messing around, reading books and doing the odd one day course. I now run a full time, successful IT business from home and I’m proud to say its also my hobby and there’s nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing.
So whats the moral of the story? It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the results you wanted. There are plenty of options for further study, travel or working but the one thing I’d advise is to do something that interests you based on your hobbies rather than doing something that’s just convenient. If you’re looking at the further study option, consider doing courses that will prepare you best for starting your own business as there’s no better feeling than working for yourself and there’s lots of good support for startup companies at the minute.
Good luck to all.