Things I've learnt from getting my second choice in the CAO!


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Hey Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well. I am intending on posting this post the day of the CAO results, so if anybody is a bit sad due to their results, they can at least come home and read something meaningful and that might impact them a little bit.

Last year, I completed my leaving cert exams and got a complete shock when I read a D1 in the slot where my English result belonged. A D in English? English was one of my favourite subject, I write a blog for goodness sake just because I like to write just about anything. It just didn't go well on the day. I was delighted with all of my other results, but because of the massive blunder in my English paper I was going to suffer some pretty harsh consequences by not getting my first choice on the CAO system (Food Science in UCD).

The day of the CAO offers came. I kind of expected not to be given an offer of CAO, the yearly trend of the course rising by 20 points had next to no chance of dropping in points. If it had dropped by 5 points, I would have gotten into what was at the time my dream course. There is no point in dwelling about the past. Instead I was offered my second choice which was a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Food and Agribusiness Management, a very similar course to my first option.

In this post, I hope to inspire those of you who may be a bit down in the dumps about Leaving Cert results. I would have loved to get that massive 500 points aim I had years ago when I had started preparing for those life turning exams. But now they are meaningless, I did pretty well and I got my place in my dream college which is good enough!

Things I learnt from getting my second choice in the CAO

1. Not everything in life will work out:
If you read my letter to my future self, earlier this month, you will know that I have come to accept that life won't always work out the way you want it to, which sometimes can be a good thing. This is probably the main thing I learnt when I got my second choice. When I was in school, there was somewhat of an emphasis put on making a plan for the future. In a way it is a good thing to have a bit of direction to your life, but realistically half of your goals in life won't be met or won't matter in the future because they probably didn't work out. Planning excessively can result in disappointment. Sometimes it is nice to just relax and see where the wind takes you. From the age of about 17 food science was apparently the course for me. All I could see myself doing was working in a lab as a food technologist or even entering a career of food safety. I feel that this was kind of a closed frame of mind. Now that I have a mix between business and science elements in my degree, I feel that my career prospects are much broader. If one of my plans don't work out, I have plenty more to fall back on.

2. You can still enter courses with the similar content and career prospects:  Okay so I didn't get Food Science in UCD, my current course has links with that course. In fact we have less maths and physics, which may be a good thing because I just got the passing mark in my final physics exam. Continuous assessment brought my overall grade up by loads. I could have easily done Food Science in UCC if I had placed that second on my CAO as the points were lower there. So please don't be thinking that your life is over if you don't do as well as you hoped in the exams.

3.Your career ideas can change: There was a girl in my secondary school who wanted to do primary teaching since she was young. However, once she reached transition year and did her work experience in a Vets, she changed her mind all of a sudden and felt compelled to do Veterinary Nursing. She is not the only one who has changed her mind. I have changed my mind a bit. I wouldn't mind getting a food marketing career from my degree in Agricultural Science which is slightly different to my original plan. Michaela Deane (from Lies and Bowties Blog), an absolute Leaving Cert sensation originally wished to study midwifery and is now in the middle of studying journalism which I can see suits her very well, judging from her well written blog posts. It is such a difficult thing to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life at an age like ours. It is best to go with some pretty broad options if you're extremely unsure because there are so many broad courses out there. The point of my third bullet point is that you might not want to be studying the same thing you want to study now in a years time so don't be too bummed if you don't get your first choice.

4. There is a back door:  If you are one of those people, like my friend Martin who are absolutely positive what they want to do in college, then please remember that there is a back door to your course. Martin didn't receive enough points to directly enter Agricultural Science in UCD in 2013. He did a PLC course that year, came out with all distinctions and is now in his dream course. It could definitely be worth doing the research and discovering an alternative route to your dream course.

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  1. Super interesting and fun post to read! #1 is so true and every now and then I need to think about that.

    x- Naomi in Wonderland


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