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15th Aug 2012

10 Things We Did in Our Leaving Cert Year

While thousands of students across the country get their Leaving Certificate results today, we've been looking back fondly at our own LC days.

It was a milestone year for so many of us, so every time the Leaving Cert results day rolls around we’re reminded of our own end-of-school days. Looking back, we weren’t nearly as mature as we liked to think we were – here are ten things we got up to in our Leaving Cert year.

  1. Borrowed an ID that looked absolutely nothing like us. Older cousin, best friend’s sister, it didn’t matter who it was as long as they were over 18. Cue endless repetitions of someone else’s date of birth in case the bouncer quizzed you, and their star sign in case he got smart about it.
  2. Took some extra days off. Skipping, dossing off, ditching, mitching, whatever the local lingo was – we were at it. Double History on a Friday? No, you’re grand for that thanks. We’ll be changed into the clothes we brought in our schoolbags, sipping a coffee for three hours in a local café until it’s time to go home, because we have no money and nowhere else to go. But at least it’s not school…

  3. Played a prank. There was competition from the year before you in your own school, which had to be topped, and any other schools in your locality. Whether it was Fairy Liquid in the fountain or a new lock on the gate to the teacher’s car park – legendary status was immediately bestowed on whatever brave young man or woman actually carried out the plan.

  4. Cursed the day tape tests were invented. If the Donegal Irish came up we were all screwed. NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT!

  5. Cried our eyes out at graduation, even though we knew we’d see everyone the next day. This happened at the grad mass, the debs ball, and on results day too. ‘I’m going to miss you soooo much’, we wailed, then we went off to shop for supplies for the same college we were all heading to.

  6. Went on a sixth year holiday. Sun, sea, sand and… absolute disgrace. If our mammies could have seen what went on. Thankfully, the reality TV programmes showing that kind of thing to parents hadn’t started yet, and Facebook wasn’t there to document the whole shameful affair.

  7. SWORE to everyone that we did No Study Whatsoever. It was a strange kind of competition that existed between groups of friends for who had done the least work. ‘I did nothing last night’, met with ‘Oh ya? I haven’t opened a book since last year!’

  8. Tried on approximately 10,000 debs dresses – or one tux. For many young women, it was our first opportunity to go to a formal black tie event. So we hounded every shop in our local town to find out when anything new was in, and tried on meringue-style dresses for much of the year, even though we’d already bought one since April.

  9. Planned our future careers. Well it was necessary, considering that’s what you’re told to do ahead of filling out the CAO. Never mind the fact that we STILL don’t know exactly what we want to do with our lives, at seventeen we were full of great plans for how we’d make our fortune. Said plans are no longer spoken of, and we have not made our fortune, yet. 

  10. Had a little freak-out at the idea of college. We told anyone who would listen that we couldn’t wait to get out of school, and ‘have some independence’. But, secretly, the prospect of living far away from home without mammy, and more importantly, mammy dinners, was a lonesome one at times. Thankfully, that all worked out ok – and college is a story for another day.


    Any Leaving Cert memories we missed out on? Leave a comment and let us know!