When I was about 15 years old I discovered my dream course (Arts with Creative Writing) in my dream college (NUI Galway), and decided that there was no way I’d ever be equally swayed by any other post-secondary school alternative.
Three years, two oral exams, one music practical and 10 written exams came to pass. That brings us to Monday morning, when I accepted a place on the very same course at 8:01am.
The offers were sent out at 6am. After all that waiting, however, I still somehow managed to sleep right through the whole ordeal, only to be awoken by my Mam who came barging in at 8 o’clock with the Independent in her hand and the newly allocated points for every course in the country already memorised.
I was lucky in that I actually managed to sleep last night, knowing that many others probably spent the hours leading up to 6 o’clock either counting sheep or counting down the minutes. Such luck came from last Wednesday, which turned out to be one of the best days of my life when I opened that notorious brown envelope only to find out that I’d received 90 more points than I needed to get my course.
Granted, it did take me about five goes to count it correctly (just as well I did Ordinary Level Maths). It wasn’t all roses, however. Even though getting enough points was obviously the more crucial goal, a H1 (an A1 in the old system) in English was another thing I was dying for. It wasn’t meant to be though, as I came out with a H2. I suppose I’ll just have to write a book or something some day to make up for it.
Regardless, I’ll be off to Galway this time next week, unpacking at this exact time next Monday. Admittedly, I still have absolutely nowhere to live, so exactly WHERE I’ll be doing that unpacking is still unknown. At this stage I might have to rent out one of those benches by the Spanish Arch.
Naturally enough, the nerves are starting to kick in. I’ve always been told how lucky I was for being so certain about what I wanted to do after school. For the past three years or so I‘ve placed this course on the highest of pedestals in my head, idealising it to the point of perfection.
Now I’m starting to envy those that were more uncertain. Now the voices are creeping in on top of my (still unparalleled) excitement; whispers telling me that I might not like it, or worse… that I mightn’t be good enough. I guess there’s only one way to find out.
As surreal as the past few months of my life have been, I’ve enjoyed them. I’ve enjoyed writing these articles, documenting the imaginary conga lines and the nudity nightmares. It’s been brilliant, but I look forward to a time where my name will be printed after a piece of writing that isn’t about the Leaving Cert. This is finally a finished chapter.
Thanks for putting up with all my complaining,