HEAR could be another route into your preferred course

The HEAR scheme helped Sarah Carton get the course of her choice

The HEAR scheme helps school leavers from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds access college. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

The HEAR scheme helps school leavers from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds access college. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

 

Your head is full of worries, you’re stressed out right now and the fear of the unknown – which is your future – consumes your thoughts.

I know these feelings all too well. That was me during the summer of the year I finished my Leaving Certificate. I originally had plans of going to NCAD to pursue art. Then, like most of us, I changed my mind and applied to DCU instead just before the CAO closing date.

When I received my results they were underwhelming and considerably lower than my course requirements. I was disappointed and had to consider other options for my future.

The morning the CAO offers were released I reluctantly decided to check.

I logged into my account expecting to have no offers, so when I saw that I had an offer for my first choice at DCU I thought I was hallucinating. However, I didn’t have much time to figure out how this could be happening, I had to get ready and go to work.

Straight after work my mam and I drove to my school and talked to the principal and guidance counsellor. They both confirmed that my offer for DCU was in fact real. I had applied for the HEAR scheme and that was my route into the course I wanted so badly.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’m now going into my third year at DCU and I’m so happy. I went from being stressed, confused and afraid to being very happy with a sense of clarity regarding what I want in the future. It’s important to realise those awful feelings of stress and confusion don’t last forever. Whatever path you take in life know that it’s a blessing. Now that I’m in college I get stressed and overwhelmed with assignments and exams from time to time. I can lose sight of just how lucky I am but I remember back to when I was constantly worrying about my future and I’m overcome with gratitude for how fortunate I am to be following the path I dreamed of and love.

Things have a beautiful way of working out.

* The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) scheme offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. For more information see accesscollege.ie