• Leanne M.

Your leaving cert results will not define your life

Big day. Leaving cert results - one exam to rule them all. To make you or break you. To determine weather you'll be successful or not. 

Absolute BS. To put it lightly. 



To the kid who got 600 points.. Congratulations you're great at learning off a lot of information and regurgitating it for exam purposes. - I'm not trying to say what you've achieved isn't awesome cause it is! It's a talent or intelligence of its own! Well done.  


But to the other kids.  


To Sheila who just doesn't grasp maths at a high enough level..  But is an amazing cook.  


To the kid who can create any manner of stuff with their hands but struggles to learn a Shakespeare play.  


To the future entrepreneur who couldn't grasp how plants reproduce. 


To the musician who did an amazing music practical exam but didn't learn their Irish short stories.  


To the future hair dresser who couldn't remember enough to write an essay about how us presidency developed from Roosevelt to Rehab..


To so many kids who's talents aren't reflected in a broken system.  


Please continue to be you. Today you get the results of your leaving cert. But whats greater than those results... Is what's next for you. And What you take from this. 


Yep I was lucky I did a decent leaving cert.. But you know what it didn't teach me? - what I wanted to do with my life.  


I'm 25 and I'm still figuring that out. And that's ok. 


You're not destined to bloom at 17-19 years old and miraculously know what you're going to do with the rest of your life.  


Some people might and that's great for them....


But not everybody does.. I remember doing a survey when I did psychology and out of everybody in the arts department and a large portion  of them were unhappy or unsure about picking that college course.


Interestingly the mature students in the department (ages 23-40ish) were generally content with their choice. Because you see they weren't forced to pick what college course they wanted to do..


Be it law, psychology, French etc at the age of 17, during the most stressful year of their childhood. 



So if you don't get the points you need today. Don't panic. If I had ended up doing what I wanted back when I was 18.. I'd be a nurse. A career I would have picked before I realised I don't handle death well. At all. Now  how shit of a nurse would I have been? Running at first sight of a dying patient? 


So collect your leaving cert results. And if you see results you didn't want to see remember..


You will not be defined by your leaving cert. Getting 200 points will not change the kind and caring person you might be. It won't take away the fact you're an excellent swimmer or writer..


And someone getting 600 points.. As great of an achievement it is.. It won't take away a fear of blood that stops them becoming a Vet or a doctor.. And it doesn't make them any more important of a person than the kid who got 100 points or who did LCA. 


At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.


At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.


At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school. 

At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.


At age 28, Wayne Coyne ( from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.

At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker


Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.


Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.

Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career and landed his first movie role at age 42.

Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first major movie role until he was 46.

Morgan Freeman landed his first major movie role at age 52.


Can you imagine if they had given up on their dreams because a school system that forces us all into the same little boxes and school chairs said they weren't smart?


The world would be missing some of its big stars. 


You arent a failure because of a school system that has failed you.


And if you happen to spend a couple years dressing burgers and answering telephones.. While you figure out what next then do it.


It's character building and you'll learn life skills that will serve you so much more than knowing  about corruption in Shakespearean plays... 


So get your results and go celebrate finishing school with your friends.  


Tomorrow's a new day and learning how to express your voice will benefit you so much more than knowing what an age old poet conveyed with theirs. 

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