School’s out: 10 ways life is better after the Leaving
Two of our resident old fogies look on the bright side of life on the eve of results day
St John’s College Ballyfermot students very happy with their Leaving Cert Results last year... from left Dean Hogarty, Luke Noonan, Eoin de Lecy, Nathan Doyle, Robert Swaine, Jordan Doyle Mathew Murphy Kalim Teeling and Dean Cullins.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.
1. No more school uniforms. If you have done well enough in the Leaving and don’t have to repeat, you are now free to wear your own clothes all the time. No more stretched, hand-me-down, navy, sweaty, sodding school jumpers, yellowy white shirts, school ties, shiny about-to-rip trousers/grey platted ankle-length skirts and horrible, mandatory black shoes. You can now wear what you want... ripped jeans, skinny jeans, tee-shirts, onesies, mankinis, feather boas, tutus.
2. Homework is no more..... not as you know it in any case. If you go to college, nobody will ask you for your homework in the morning. They won’t ring your parents or make you stay behind for detention if your homework isn’t handed in. Justice will only catch up with you when you flunk out at the end of the year and your parents grill you about all of their money you have been wasting.
3. You can learn the things you love rather than the things you’re made to learn. No more honours maths if Hiberno English is your thing and no more conjugating a verb into the modh coinniollach if German literature is your thing. No more rules of supply and demand if car mechanics is your thing.
4. You’ll never again have to sit an exam as difficult, as exhausting, as stressful, as bloody infuriating as the Leaving Cert. You can walk unaided on a tight rope over Niagra Falls or abseil off the Cliffs of Moher, but nothing will be as scary as the Leaving Cert. Period. However, you will continue to get the cold sweats in the middle of the night for the rest of your life: the I-forgot-to-study-and-the-Leaving-Cert-starts-in-two-hours dreams will continue well into middle- and old-age.
5. You can run in corridors without a teacher giving you detention. Go on, run in a corridor, knock yourself out!!
6. Grinds should (hopefully) only ever refer to making coffee making or hiphop videos on MTV from now on. (MTV still has videos, right?)
7. Remember that glorious spell of early summer weather that inevitably arrives when the exams start? Make a date for a picnic next June.
8. You will be able to get your right shoulder back into alignment. After nearly 14 years lugging school books up and down the back roads of Ireland your bag will soon only be needed for a foolscap, ring binder and a set of headphones. Everything else stays in the library.
9. You won’t have to address anybody as “Sir” or “Miss” unless you get a job in an American restaurant.
10. The best days of you life are STILL to come... when they told you school days were the best of your life, they were lying. Seriously, in what school can you go partying with your mates, crash on someone’s floor, sleep until 4pm and skip classes? All without your prying parents having a clue what you're up to. You now have the best of both worlds. You are officially an adult but without any adult responsibilities such as mortgages, children... The world is OFFICIALLY your oyster. Nirvana is not just the name of a band.