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leaving cert

Getting your Leaving Cert results has to be one of the most nerve wracking experiences of your life, and while we don't condone eating your feelings, this sweet Leaving Cert deal is well worth a mention.

Seeing as we completed our Leaving Cert a longer period of time ago than we'd care to admit, this news from famous chicken restaurant Nandos has us a tad jealous.

If you are accepting your exam results this Wednesday, then Nandos wants to give you a complimentary 1/4 chicken or firestarter. 

All you have to do is show your school I.D and results, and make a minimum spend of €7.00. 

However, you have to get in there on Results Day, as the offer is only open tomorrow.

'Offer is open to students who are legal residents of Republic of Ireland,' reads the Nandos blog.

'Visit us on August 16, 2017 with your Leaving Cert results and your ID and make a minimum spend of €7.'

'Leaving Cert results need to have been received 2017.'

May the odds ever be in your favour, for both the exams and pursuits of fried chicken. 


I cried during my last Leaving Cert exam. It was music. I was supposed to get an A2 at the very least. I was devastated telling everyone that I had “definitely failed”.

I relished in the theatricality of it all. My life was over. I honestly believed it was true and had invented a plan to flee to some hot country, take up the hair-braiding profession and live off the land.

I had turned 18 in March and since then, the Leaving Cert had been my excuse for breakdowns and Ben and Jerrys binges.

Anyone who has been through the Irish education system can relate to this ridiculous lack of perspective that is given to us since the morning after Junior Night.

The quiet, serious tones they used when referring to the exams. The pang of dread when anyone mentioned Maths Paper One and Irish Paper Two. What grinds do you get and what did you put on your CAO? Are you sure you’ll have the points for that?

I never thought anything would be as emotionally draining as the Leaving Cert. I was utterly shocked to realise that a whole world of stress existed outside the exam hall.

The perspective I had been so very lacking during my music exam came one afternoon at the end of September. I was a few weeks into the college semester and was supposed to be doing a group project after lunch. I had a sick feeling in my stomach the whole morning, but I told myself it was just nerves.

My dramatic nature – one my family so often reminded me was the cause of all my ‘problems’ –  was manifesting itself in nausea. I knew it was a lie as soon as I said it out loud. I had always been a good liar, which would prove to be handy in the coming months, but I could rarely lie to myself. My period was late. My stomach was in knots.

A few hours later, my hands shook as I disposed of the positive pregnancy test. I hadn’t been able to bring myself to buy the test, so I called my best friend to perform the horrifying purchase.

Someone was banging on the door; a customer at the café, probably late for a meeting or something equally as grown up. I was hot and sweating, but shivering cold at the same time. I left silently but my mind was screaming. Not in a dramatic damsel way, but like a child. Like a baby.

I had been with my boyfriend for three years, and I knew him well enough to anticipate his supportive yet clueless reaction. I don’t think he had ever even thought about getting pregnant. I don’t think any boy of 18 really considers what would happen in this situation.

I had hardly given it much thought. I would learn in the coming months that college life was a breeding ground for pregnancy scares unlike secondary school where you would hear about it on the grapevine and swore it would never happen to you, but maybe to someone’s sister in the year above.

For the first time in my life I was silenced by reality. I normally talked openly about anything slightly negative I had going on, but my pregnancy was a new kind of problem; an internal one. Though my boyfriend was more than supportive (something I would discover to be rare in the teen mom universe), my pregnancy was not something I shared with anyone.

What happens when you get pregnant at the wrong time in Ireland? Nothing and everything. Nothing on the outside, and everything on the inside. By inside, I do not mean the foetal growth week by week. I mean the mental agony of crisis pregnancy.

The hormones hit me like a bus. I know now this bus was not routed for me alone, but for hundreds of women in Ireland every day. Every girl I have met over the last few years describes the feeling in the same way. Shame. Anger. Love. Guilt. I was a child that became an adult overnight. I felt totally alone after deciding to hide my pregnancy from everyone except our parents.

I lived in my family home with three younger sisters, one who would sit the Leaving Cert during my due date. The exam that I had been so distraught over only months ago. I was terrified of what my pregnancy would do to her. I had become that sister of that girl in the year above.

Now that this year’s Leaving Cert is in full swing, I think of my own daughter when I see those kilts trudging towards the local school. She was three last week.

She is dramatic and emotional and assertive. If she sits her Leaving Cert in fifteen years’ time, I will buy her Ben and Jerry’s. I will tell her to cry and vent as much as she needs to, to make it through the dreaded month. I will not shatter the bubble of skewed perspective I once lived in because it will be her reality at the time.

The Leaving Cert is only one of many paths to take to get to where you want to be. Flawed as it is, it happened to be my path.

This direct school to college route is a path that very few of us teen moms have the privilege of walking. I know many young mothers who have entered third level through alternative systems such as Access programmes, PLC courses and more.

However, I have the Leaving Certificate to thank. I managed to make some attempt at a college degree in the years that followed, having passed my teary music exam after all.




The first day of my Leaving Cert coincided with my 17th birthday.

Having started school at four-years-old and skipped Transition Year, I was one of the youngest people in my year and spent all of 6th year as an awkward 16-year-old.

This fact coupled with my compulsion to throw sickies and bunk off at every possible opportunity meant that my parents (and my teachers) weren’t exactly confident in my capabilities.

Would I even show up? Or would I do what I did in previous years and decide to opt out of summer exams ‘due to an ear infection’ or sidestep the Mocks with a bout of Bronchitis?

13 years on, I can confirm that I showed up and was then accepted into my first-choice course.

And didn't go.

Instead, I deferred my place and as my friends began their first semester, I worked in retail.

But as my first year in university approached twelve months later, I began my degree with an air of trepidation.

And then promptly dropped out.

I wasn’t ready for university. That’s right, after a year out and more than half way through my first ’deferred’ semester, I still wasn’t ready.

For a teenager who barely managed to make it to class when it was mandatory, setting me free in an environment that allows you to create your own schedule was playing with fire.

And I was positively ablaze.

So, I left.

After spending another year working, I returned to the same university and decided to choose three different subjects.

Having originally opted for English, Psychology and Sociology, I decided to wildcard it and go with German, Anthropology and Biology.

Having done French all through school, I decided to ‘challenge’ myself with German.

Having never heard of Anthropology, I decided to ‘enlighten’ myself with the Humanities subject.

And having gotten the lowest grade in Biology in my Leaving Cert, I decided to… well… I don’t actually know what I was thinking with that one.

I know; who leaves me in charge of my own life?

And yet, after deferring my place the first time around, dropping out the second time around, and forcing myself out of my comfort zone the third time around, I spent the next four years learning a new language and discovering a real interest in Anthropology.

(The less said about Biology the better, but hey, I got to drop that sucker after the first year.)

My undergraduate degree lasted four years, with one spent in Vienna.

Now, I’d be lying if I said changing direction meant I became one of those students who established societies, initiated study groups or even showed up every day.

I still regularly skipped lectures, often found myself wandering into the SU only to leave two days later, once got 4 per cent in a German exam, and was forced on more than one occasion to introduce myself to a lecturer, but there was a certain drive which simply wasn’t there the first time around.

I was older, more confident in myself and knew that the onus lay with me, and me only. We all know college isn’t for everyone, but it’s also important to remember that college mightn’t be for everyone at that particular time.

I mean, my friends were going into their final year when I was being brought on orientation around a college I had registered at twice before, but I mosied on.

Such was my interest in Cultural Anthropology, I decided to do a two-year MA after graduating, spending another year in Vienna.

I graduated with a 1st, and was advised to look into pursuing a PhD.

True to form, and despite the fact I thoroughly enjoyed my MA, I decided that I had taken the wrong route entirely, and eight years after completing the Leaving Cert lamented the fact I hadn't done a course in journalism.

Why didn't I think of that back when I was filling out my CAO? Why do I do everything arseways? What is life?

After spending a worrying amount of time glaring at my graduation photo, I decided to use my research in contemporary media and women in modern society to navigate my way into a writing career.

And I managed it.

Look, I’m (obviously) by no means a Steve ’I dropped out of college at 19’ Jobs, not lest because… what is a computer?

But while I spent years agonising over my decision to first defer, then drop out and finally return, ultimately my haphazard, ‘what in the name of Jaysus am I doing?' approach worked for me.

Yes, I graduated long after my friends, yes I entered the workforce years after them as well, and yes, the kids doing their Leaving Cert today were in Junior Infants when I was doing mine, but the advice still stands.

Your future isn't determined by your Leaving Cert, nor is it even determined by the first course you choose, or even the second.

You'll get where you're meant to be eventually… even if your chosen poet didn't come up today.



For the past number of years, you could almost bet on the weather to be warm and sunny during examination time.

While all of the Junior and Leaving Cert students studied in their rooms and panicked in exams halls, we could bask in the sunshine and thank the Looord that we're not back in those grimy halls.

Well, it appears that that's not going to happen this year.

Image result for leaving cert students in sun

According to Met Éireann, Ireland is going to be quite unsettled this week, with rain and thundery showers in store.

Maximum temperatures will reach 14 to 17 degrees today, but don't get too excited because rain will develop and "will turn heavy in many areas."

Tomorrow, Thursday, is looking mostly cloudy, with "patches of rain and drizzle, turning heavy and persistent along southern coasts and extending northwards into much of Munster and many parts of Leinster by morning."

Image result for ireland rain

Friday doesn't look too bad, as it will be dry in many areas "with sunny spells." A few scattered showers will occur, but they won't turn heavy until Friday night.

However, Saturday doesn't look bad at all. It will become "dry in many areas, with some bright or sunny spells developing." There's still a possibility of rain, but we're going to hold out hope.



Up and down the country today, more than 120,000 students will begin their State exams.

English is on the cards for students at 9.30am, with Leaving Cert students sitting English Paper 1, and Junior Cert students will face English and CSPE.

Twitter is alight with students and past students alike, sharing their experiences and thoughts about the big day. 


9. Yes Sophie, yes it is. 

8. We'd pay good money to see this

7. No pressure

6. No chill

5. Fact

4. We needed as many candles as we could get

3. There's always repeating

2. What a beauty

1. Harsh



So ladies, we're officially less than 24 hours away from the first day of the Leaving Cert.

And, as you can imagine, Twitter is lit right now.

Instead of actually… you know… studying, this year's candidates are tweeting their thoughts about the upcoming state exam, and suffice to say, it makes for hilarious reading.

What they lack in preparation, they more than make up for in humour.

1. You have been warned.

 2. Yeah, why like?

3. Been there. 

4, Yeah… 

5. Graphic… but understandable. 

6. Yup. 

7. Ah, our spirit animal. 

8. Positive thoughts…

9. That's one way to go about it. 

10. Oh, we relate.



If you've been though the Irish education system, it's highly likely you've had numerous Leaving Cert dreams in the years that followed your CAO submission.

As summer approaches, thousands of adults up and down the country awake in a cold sweat as their subconscious caters to flashbacks of exam halls, invigilators and English Paper 2.

Tapping into the nationwide fear which permeates every county at the onset of exam season, Foil Arms and Hog have uploaded a video which reminds us we're not alone when it comes to Leaving Cert Fear.

From never having heard of the subject you're being examined on to running out of time before you've even started, this lads have it nailed.

We'll let them take it from here…



Bressie is great for sharing the odd throwback snap, but this one is definitely something we can all relate to.

The singer took to Instagram last night to post a photo of his younger self standing beside The Blizzards drummer, Declan Murphy.

In the snap, the lads had just received their Leaving Cert results, and like many of us, they weren't happy with what they got.

Bressie captioned the pic: "Myself and Declan receiving our leaving cert results and making realistation that perhaps our dreams of quantum physics were shattered and we would have to be musicians instead."

Well, we're delighted things worked out the way they did!



If you've just surfaced and have no idea what's taking place around the country right now, thousands of Leaving Cert students have officially taken one giant step into the next stage of their lives.

And social media has been on hand to give a play by play of the big event.

As anxious 6th years waited to hear how they performed in their exams, mammies lit candles, grannies said prayers, and Twitter had an absolute field day.

From secondary school students who had had enough of LC talk to randomers recalling their own results day, there was a reason why #LeavingCertResults was trending online today.

And whether you're currently re-calculating your points or simply remembering your own results days, these tweets will ring a bell with EVERYONE.

Take it away, Twitter.

1. There's always one

2. All makes sense now

3. Don't be this guy

4. When the stress never ends

5. The fear that never goes away

6. See, this is why you need an app

7. See? He's graaaand

8. Oh Pat, what a day to be arrested

And we'll leave it to the patron saints of our generation to explain why the results of your Leaving Cert never have, and never will, define you.





As many students await their leaving certificate results in the morning, many pubs and nightclubs are facing backlash as they promote shockingly cheap alcohol deals.

With prices as low as €2 for shots, venues are proudly advertising their results night events boasting the good value.

With alcohol awareness charities highlighting the dangers of such deals because of the ever growing pre-drinking culture in Ireland, they are asking venues to be vigilant when it comes to admitting underage teens.

Some of those venues include Wrights Café Bar in Malahide which is advertising €2 drinks on the night as well as Dicey’s Garden on Harcourt Street which defends its low prices by saying they always do cheap drinks on Wednesdays.

Alcohol Action Ireland has criticised this type of advertisement saying that it is a bad example for young people.

"These cheap promotions are really just irresponsible. They're targeting young people and promoting exactly the type of drinking that puts them in danger," they told The Independent

"It's very easy for the message 'drink responsibly' to be drowned out by all these promotions and adverts encouraging students to binge drink.”

"No one is saying that these young people don't deserve to let off some steam after what's been a very stressful period. But as we know with events like these – and, honestly, every weekend – a lot of young Irish people come to harm because of alcohol.

"This week is an emotional time for children, and especially if they didn't do as well as they wanted, so throwing alcohol into the mix wouldn't help matters."




While most of us remember just a handful of teachers from our school days who we might have considered sound, the students of St. Leo's College in Carlow would have their work cut out for them choosing just one.

Proving that they're the teachers everyone should be blessed with, the staff at St. Leo's created a video to cheer up their hardworking and undoubtedly stressed sixth years this week.

Lip syncing to Taylor's Shake It Off, this gang of glorious educators managed to take the pressure off their pupils by getting down with their bad selves in footage which has been viewed more than 100,000 times on Facebook.

Uploaded by GraigueKilleshin Youth Ministry. they wrote: "Well done to the teachers & staff from St. Leo's College Carlow who took part in this 'Shake It Off' video as a treat for their students. Such a positive way to lift everyone's spirits!"

Ah lads, check this one out!



It's easy to become flippant about the Leaving Cert after you've done it, but today is a seriously big day in the lives of thousands of our country's young people, and we think it's time to set the snarky, weather-related posts aside in order to remember that.

Anyone who has sat their Leaving Cert will remember the gnawing feeling that stopped you from sleeping the night before that first exam and the relief that flooded your body when your chosen poet actually appeared on English Paper 2.

Nerves mixed with anticipation coupled with a feeling of excitement that the end was very nearly in sight are the abiding memories of the Leaving Cert here at SHEmazing! HQ, and it looks like the good folk of Ireland know EXACTLY what we're talking about.

Sharing the love on Twitter today, dozens of our incredibly sound countrymen have reached out to this year's LC students, and it is FEELS central.

1. This person who knows EXACTLY what this gal needed

2. This person who speaks the TRUTH

3. This guy who really knows how to put things in perspective

4. This girl who we wish had been sitting next to us during OUR first exam

5. This person who reminds us that total eff-ups are ALLOWED



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