On Friday, 25 August, young people will be getting their Leaving Cert results.
The wait beforehand can be an anxious and stressful time for many. Here we share helpful tips and advice gathered from our team of mental health professionals and other young people who have been there.
Remember to give yourself credit
No matter how your results turn out, you deserve to celebrate your hard work. And remember, your exams do not define your worth.
Take your time
Moving forward is personal. Don’t rush. Give yourself space to figure things out. Check in with yourself now and again about how you are feeling. If you are worried or stressed sometimes, that is OK. It is normal to feel that way. But don’t be afraid to seek help if you feel you need it.
If you’re feeling anxious about the Leaving Cert, you’re not alone.
In 2021, students were given the choice between sitting the exam, receiving an accredited grade, or both. Approximately 58% chose to sit the exam in some capacity.
2022 sees the Leaving Cert return to a more traditional format while incorporating more choice for students. This document has the adjusted assessment arrangements for taking state exams this June. The adjustments are designed to take account of the disrupted learning experienced by students during the pandemic.
The updated system might cause extra stress for some, in an already stressful year. Find tips for managing anxiety here. We also have more advice below.
Our sleeping rhythms and needs change as we get older. Although we may feel we can manage with a certain amount of sleep, there are recommended times for overall health.
Teenagers need between eight to ten hours sleep a night, though they are more likely to get around seven. Adults require a bit less; between eight and nine hours. These guidelines may seem ambitious, or even unrealistic. But sleep is essential for your health and for cognitive functions like learning.
Research has proven when school start times are put forward to allow students to get more sleep, it leads to an increase in academic performance. In a 2018 study, a Seattle High School delayed its start time by an hour and saw a 4.5% increase in the median grades of the students. It also saw an improvement in attendance.
It is possible to sleep too much (over ten hours regularly). Find out the right amount of sleep for you within these guidelines to feel rested when you wake.
Uncertainty around exams and missing out on experiences has left many young people feeling frustrated. Many students can find themselves procrastinating or losing sight of their end goals.
Take comfort in knowing that learning how to self-direct your study is a skill for life.
Below, find a helpful conversation between Evelyn O’Rourke from RTÉ Radio 1 Drive Time’s Study Hub and Jen Trzeciak, eMental Health Manager at Jigsaw, about ways for students to stay motivated to study in a time of uncertainty around exams and school.
Here are some more strategies to help you stay motivated when studying from home: