When teachers started telling you how important the Leaving Cert was when you were in 1st year and still in awe that the school had a vending machine
When the Junior Cert was the most stressful thing in your life and you thought maybe the Leaving Cert is worth being worried about after all...
But then Transition Year sent you back to the "I'll worry about it when i have to" mentality
The sickening amount of homework you got on the first day of final year
And teachers started going on about extra classes after school was finished for the day
Taking grinds and not even complaining about it because you're starting to panic about your complete lack of knowledge
And the February mock exams confirmed you were heading straight for about 12 points
When the all-night study sessions gave you a serious taste for coffee
But you were filling your brain with sweet sweet knowledge
Closer to exam time the lack of sleep, fear and coffee made you a little...tetchy
But you were surprisingly calm once the exam started
Except for THAT one. Everyone has THAT one.
When people wanted to discuss every aspect of the exam you just finished
And you were sitting in the most depressing room ever while the sun shone at an unseasonable 3000 degrees outside
That feeling when you finished your final exam
And the mad craic that ensued for the rest of the summer
...except for those moments you would get frozen with fear out of nowhere remembering you'd get results soon
...but the moment passes and it's back to the craic
But then results day gets closer and everyone starts asking how you think you'll do
And the "Are you happy?" texts start coming in before you've even gotten the courage to open the envelope
Looking at those numbers was still to this day the scariest thing you've ever had to do
(Until you had to go through the same thing again to find out if you got your college place)
But nothing beats the relief knowing you'll never have to go through that again!
...except that ten years later you still sometimes wake up in a cold sweat after a nightmare where you missed your Art History exam
The Leaving Cert never really leaves you. It's always there, hiding in the recesses of your mind, waiting for you to let your guard down. And then it whispers things like "You got question B wrong on paper two" and you just have to accept it.
Good luck to the Leaving Cert students getting their results today and joining the ranks of the traumatised.