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Leaving Certificate

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Tomorrow is the big day for Leaving Cert students: The results are officially IN and their time in fresh hell of exams is soon to be over.

With CAO offers coming in on Tuesday, the nerves are bound to be fully shredded by the end of the week. 

What can one do to distract oneself from the horror of exam results? Have a cheeky Nando's, of course, but on the house.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@ireland_nandos) on

Celebrate or commiserate with Nando's for free, if you bring your results (via paper, email or text) and a valid form of ID into one of their restaurants you can get your Peri-Peri reward.

The free lunch is available for students in the UK and Ireland on the relevant exam results day.

The special Nando's offer is a free quarter chicken or fire-starter menu item, so you don't want to miss it.

The offer runs on Tuesday, August 13 for Leaving Cert students, as well as a September date for the Junior Cert kids.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@nandosuk) on

Who doesn't want free food in exchange for the pain of examinations? The only catch is that yoou have to make a minimum spend of €7 to get the free delicious chicken.

That's definitely manageable. A whole Nando's meal with sides and a drink is normally around €20, so €7 seems like a steal.

Check a full list of all the chain's restaurants here, as well as the offer's terms and conditions. Good luck to everyone getting their results tomorrow, you'll have forgotten them in a few months!

Feature image: Instagram/@NandosUK

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With CAO Results out today, soon comes the panic that comes with looking for student accommodation – let's be real, it's a hellish situation. CAO offers are made on 20th August leading to a scramble (to put it mildly!) for any living arrangements that might be half-decent – given that securing accommodation in Dublin at the moment is akin to the search for the Holy Grail. Rents are high and choices are few, so it's a source of worry for many. 

Finding the right place presents many hurdles and problems for students and their families. With this in mind, and should you be lucky to nab a place before college starts up, leading student accommodation provider Hazelwood Student Village shares their top do’s and don’ts when searching for student accommodation so that even the little things aren't forgotten before you sign any dotted lines.

Do: Start your search now – Location, Location, Location

If you have filled out your CAO form you know the location of the universities and colleges you have applied to. Start your search now. Before you receive your CAO offer know the area you’d like to live in. Create a shortlist. You would be best placed to start your search now and familiarise yourself with what is to offer. It’s important to think about the convenience of your accommodation; would you be near to the university facilities, local shops, nightlife? identify areas with good transport links so that you can widen your search. Prioritise areas where you will feel safe, check that it is close to amenities and shops. With these areas mapped out, you will be a step ahead when you receive your CAO offer.

 

Do: Work out your priorities and your non-negotiables – Safe and Sound

Think about your preferred accommodation. To share or not to share? What are your priorities? Security, Ease of Access to college, Strong reliable internet connection, bedroom size, Public transport directly into the City Centre or to your college? What can’t you live without? Once you have identified what your top priorities are, this will help narrow down your search. Safety and security should be top of the agenda when you move into a new property. Some purpose-built student accommodation has security gates, manned security personnel. Make sure these are on your list.

Do: Ask for advice

If you have any friends or family living in Dublin ask them what they know – you never know what tips they might come out with. If you know students the year ahead of you who have been through this exercise ask their advice.

Don’t: Panic and take the first accommodation you view

Once you have started searching for accommodation in or near Dublin, don’t make the rookie error of placing a deposit with the first place you view. Make sure to shop around.

Don’t: Be scammed

There are online scams and frauds. Meet the landlord or agency. If you pay in cash, get a receipt. Only sign a contract for the period you intend to stay in the accommodation, remember if you do not require the accommodation for the summer agree that you re renting for the college terms only. Take photographs of the accommodation before you move in. Note any damage, any paintwork chipped or peeling so that it doesn’t get taken out of your deposit as a penalty.

Don’t: Sign a contract without going over the small details

Different accommodation offers different packages – make sure you know exactly what is being offered to you. Are there any hidden extras, such as WIFI and Utility bills? Add these into your budget to make sure you are being as realistic as possible with what you can afford. Make sure to check the start date and end date on any contract.

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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."

 

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There are few things in life more stressful than exams, and the Levaing Cert is about as bad as it gets.

If you ask almost anyone in college or beyond, they will no doubt admit that the toughest set of exams they’ve ever sat was the humble LC. 

While college exams might be more intense, at least in most cases you're choosing what you want to study, and you're being continually assessed, unlike in secondary school.

If you're one of the thousands of Irish students facing the dreaded exam paper tomorrow, here are a few handy tips to remember when you’re studying during the next two weeks.

And remember, you WILL get through this. We promise.

Do NOT study with friends

It may seem like a good idea but unless you have a strict supervisor watching over you, studying with friends is a terrible idea. You’ll have a way better time no doubt, but will most likely get nothing done. Try studying alone and then when the exams are over there will be all the time in the world for hanging out with friends.

Hide your earphones

Ask your brother or sister or a teacher to hold on to your earphones until your studying time is over. Unless there is something very specific that you need to watch a video for, the chances are you aren’t going to need them and instead will spend a scary amount of time getting lost in YouTube videos.

Ration your cups of tea

Believe it or not, this is actually necessary. If you are studying at home, or anywhere with a kettle nearby, plan how many cups of tea you are going to have and when. This may seem ridiculous but the amount of time wasted waiting for the kettle to boil is crazy (plus all those added trips to the bathroom). And speaking of rationing – avoid social media, or at least allot yourself certain times to go online. This is the biggest killer when it comes to wasting valuable study time. 

Loads of sleep

To a reasonable extent of course. By now, most of the study that needs to be done is done. Try to keep what you know fresh in your mind by having early nights before exams and not being exhausted going into them.

Get some fresh air between exams

Most of us have had the dreaded two exams back-to-back. This is where you really feel the pressure. While you understandably need to use those few minutes to cram as much information into your head as you possibly can, try to get some air at the same time. It will wake you up a bit between exams and allows you to shake off that awful "exam hall" feeling.

Don't worry – it will all be over soon! 

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