Ask Jigsaw: Won’t get into course

Ask Jigsaw: Won’t get into course

Tuesday, 08 September 2020

Hi,  today we received our calculated grades and unfortunately I think I won’t be getting into the course that I wanted to. So College might be out of the options. I live with my parents. I’m 18 and I don’t know the first thing about getting a job nor’ what it is that I would like. I don’t think I can just jump into something that I’ll end up hating everyday. I don’t have anywhere to share my thoughts and I don’t want to rely on my parents, because it’s my own life I want to get started. It takes a lot more time, doesn’t it?



Hi TryAndBeKind,

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t get the grades that you wanted. It sounds like you are both disappointed and confused about your next steps, which is understandable.

Focus on facts

The first thing to do is to take a deep breath and a step back. Our minds can often race ahead, worrying about the future and thinking about the ‘what ifs’. We become caught up in these thoughts, which can spiral and create feelings of panic.

Bring yourself back into the facts of the situation- what you know for definite. At the moment it sounds like you know your grades, but the rest might be speculation.

Jigsaw clinician
It’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now.

Many paths

It sounds like you are considering your options if college is out of the running for you right now. When you are thinking about the future, it can be helpful to think about your long term goals and work backwards. As you know, there are many routes to get to your ultimate destination. The direct route is not always the most fulfilling or enjoyable.

It’s also ok if you don’t know what you want to do. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now.

Remember that just because you start down one path does not mean you have to stick to it. Many people switch courses, jobs and career paths throughout their life as their priorities and opportunities change.

You can discuss options with a guidance counsellor on the Leaving Cert Helpline  on 1800 265 165.

Sharing thoughts

I hear you saying you don’t want to rely on your parents. Often we feel a pressure that we ‘should’ be able to cope on our own when we finish school. In reality, leaving school can be exciting but can also throw up many challenges. Which is why Jigsaw continues to offer support to young people until the age of 25.

You’re right that sharing your thoughts can be helpful in working things out. If you want to talk through what’s going on for you, Jigsaw Live Chat is an option where you can speak online with someone from Jigsaw.

Take it easy on yourself over the next few days, and the best of luck in the future.


Jigsaw clinician

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