HEAR could be another route into your preferred course

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

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

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