I have always been determined to do my leaving cert. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents or for people to think I was a failure. I know that I’m smart and that I can achieve great things. However, I had a pretty shit time in school, I hated it. In February of 2017 (during 6th year) I couldn’t put up with it anymore so after school I went to my locker, got my books and left for good. I felt somewhat at peace. When you are trying to study in a toxic environment it really does impact your self-esteem. I felt completely invisible in school, like I would never be good enough and never fit in. People have different opinions of school. Some people love school, others dread going in the morning.
After I left school, I could tell my parents were a little disappointed. They didn’t mention anything but at the same time they were happy I wasin’t in that school anymore. I was thinking about my future and I thought, I’m not going to get anything without my leaving, my job prospects will all go down the train. I did a little bit of research. External candidate seemed to be the best solution. I told my parents about becoming an external candidate. The school allowed me to sit my exams in the school.
Well,in June I finished my leaving cert. Done and dusted. I am done school forever and this is a new chapter in my life. An article published in 2013 by the Irish examiner https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/4300-kids-drop-out-of-school-before-fifth-year-230568.html stated that 4300 kids drop out of school before fifth year. While the exact reason why those kids dropped out is unknown, it’s still an incredibly high number.
At the age of 18, I honestly haven’t a clue what the future holds or more specifically where I’m gonna be in 10 years time but I do know this, I did my leaving cert, I have the piece of paper to prove it. My piece of advice for any of you going through something similiar, don’t ever make anybody think you’re not good enough and don’t ever let anyone get in the way of what you want to do in life.
I would encourage anyone thinking of leaving school to:
- Make a plan(what are you going to do every day?)
- Do your leaving- I cannot stress this enough. You don’t need to get all honours just do your best and get it done and over with.
- Talk to friends and family – talk to people about how you are feeling about school
- Remember that some people don’t want to go to college and you don’t have to. College, apprenticeship etc, are all just future options if you wish to pursue them.
- Explore your options( youthreach,college,PLC course, apprenticeship etc)
Go through all of these and make a list of what you want to do . Whatever option you decide to go with, remember, just do what makes you happy.