Ross, 18, a Jigsaw volunteer from Offaly, talks about starting college this year.
Like any young person, or any person at all in Ireland in 2020, it’s safe to say life has been anything but normal since March. Going from “schools are closed for two weeks”, to finding out that the culmination of 12 years of schoolwork, the Leaving Cert, was now cancelled, was an emotional rollercoaster.
The relief from finally getting a concrete answer gave room to thinking more about college and my concerns about third-level education in the world’s current state.
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?
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.
I decided to take a gap year from starting college because of Covid causing everything to be online. I just feel like a coward who ran away as soon as the going got tough. But I just wanted to connect with people and be in the atmosphere of it all.
I’ve always felt trapped within myself, like I’m the audience watching characters in a scene and I can’t break that barrier. Doing College online only amplified this feelings as I was literally watching a screen.
I’m just afraid I made this choice out of fear. I was doing the course out of fear of not doing it and now I’m not doing the course out of fear of doing it. My family supported my decision and I felt brave for telling them how I felt but a part of me still feels like a coward and a failure and I’m afraid I’m going to waste this year and I’ll regret this decision in the future.
There are many reasons for delaying the start of your studies or training after school. Making a decision to wait until you can fully engage in the college experience is brave. It sounds like it was one that you and your family put some thought into, so trust yourself.
I’m moving away to go to college in September, I know and have my course already.
It will be my first time living away from home and I have a been offered a space in a house with a cousin and some friends of theirs who are already in college.
The thing is I don’t really know my cousin that well. We’re not going to be in the same college. This has been organised by our parents and I don’t know the other people. I haven’t even seen the house yet but I’m getting really anxious about living with some strangers but also someone I am meant to know but don’t really and haven’t since we were young.
It sounds like you have lots of change ahead of you, which can be exciting, but also overwhelming. At Jigsaw, we know that it would not be unusual for people who are preparing for college to talk about some of the worries that you have mentioned.
I’m in final year of my teaching degree, and really afraid that I’ve failed my last placement. It really knocked my confidence because the inspectors were really harsh after lessons that actually went really well. I had the worst panic attacks I’ve ever experienced after those inspections.
On top of the fear of failing and having the repeat another placement next year and not graduating with my friends in September, I’m not even sure that I want to be a teacher anymore because of how terrible the inspectors made me feel about myself.
One of my assignments involves reflecting on that placement, and it brought back up all those feelings of fear and failure.How do I deal with this fear of the possibility that I’ve failed while waiting for results in June, and if I have failed, how do I get over this anxiety around teaching?
Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge all of the hard work and dedication that went into getting to your final year in teaching and doing placements. Regardless of the outcome, your effort and impact on your students is something to recognise.
I am anxious about the leaving I scratched myself what can I do? ( I tried get apt with local jigsaw device there are no apt’s til may)
You are not alone in feeling anxious or worried about exams. The leaving cert year can be a really difficult one for many different reasons. The exams themselves are difficult, along with thoughts about the future. You can find out more about some strategies and ways to cope with Leaving Cert stress here.