And so, here we are at Leaving Cert results day!
After all the work your teenager has put in to get to this point, parents should take a step back and not only be proud of their teenager but also of yourselves. You have spent the last 18 or so years guiding your teenager to this point. From now on, they will be making most of the important decisions for themselves, but you will still be there to guide them!
The next few days will be tough! You have the results, but college offers take another 5 days to be published. I found this part the hardest in my family! The wait was unbearable. What can you do to prepare for the big reveal?
- Keep your teenager grounded. Whether they are delighted or disappointed with their results, they don’t yet know what they have been offered. It all may look good (or not so good!) at the moment but they haven’t received an offer yet.
- When offers are released, hopefully your teenager will have got what they were looking for. Even if they have, check in with them to see if it is still what they want. Tease out any niggling doubts. Yes, there will be nervous anticipation about heading off to college but is there more going on? Taking the wrong course is a costly mistake both financially and emotionally. Would it be better to do something else for a year and re-apply next year?
If your teenager has been disappointed with their results and didn’t get the course they wanted, what do you do next? You have options!
What are my options if I didn’t get my first choice?
- Take the offer your teenager does get but don’t just take it because. Again, if your teenager does the wrong course it’s costly as described above.
- You can consider getting a recheck of the examination paper if your teenager believes they should have done better than the grade they got.
- Accept the offer in the hope that a higher choice will be offered in the second or subsequent rounds. Hanging on for this can be a bit nerve-wracking but maybe worthwhile.
- Check out the new Tertiary Degrees to see if there are any suitable for your son or daughter. These are a new type of degree where your teenager starts off their study in a local College of Further Education for two years and then finishes off the final two years in the collaborating university. You apply direct to the College of Further Education. Check these out here: Courses | National Tertiary Office (hea.ie)
- There is a facility called Available Places on the CAO website which is filled with courses that are not filled in the first round offers. Check this out every week or so to see what comes up.
- Look at PLC’s. They are a brilliant option and can be used as a back door route into university. Your teen can do a PLC and still have the option to reapply through the CAO next year but there will be the risk they still won’t have enough points.
- Work for the year, reevaluate what they want to do and apply through the CAO next year. Their time won’t be wasted, they will have learned valuable skills and will know a little more about themselves and what they want from life. Or they could consider doing a course not related to their desired profession such as cookery, photography or something else, these skills will stand to them in a future life.
Take time to consider your options
What ever option appeals to you most, take time to consider each one. Remember your teenager is in a vulnerable place and may grasp the first plausible option without carefully thinking it through. If you and your teen are getting confused, get a sheet of paper. Write out the pros and cons of each option, slowly eliminating the ones that are not acceptable or don’t lead anywhere. Talk to other parents who have been through this process before or book an appointment with the school guidance counsellor. Whoever you speak with, make sure they are not telling your teenager what to do but are outlining options in such a way that makes the situation a lot clearer.
If your teenager needs some support in choosing their next step you can book a private 1:1 consultation with me where I can help you work out which route sill suit your teenager best. You can book that HERE.