The top 5 tips I learned from repeating my Leaving Certificate – Cliona Edwards


Welcome to our first Student Sundays!

Every Sunday students of all different years, ages, backgrounds, and stages in applying to university will be writing for Student Sundays. Our first week we have Cliona Edwards sharing her tips she learned from repeating her Leaving Certificate in order to reach her goal of attending university to become a midwife.

The top 5 tips I learned from repeating my Leaving Certificate

Going back to school to repeat my Leaving Certificate was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. At the time it seemed like the end of the world but it in fact it has turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done! I’m not going to sugar-coat it; it is hard but that it why I’ve devised the top five things I’ve learned that will hopefully help you too.


  1. It’s not the end of the world!

On my first day back at school in nearly two years I thought I had sunk to the lowest of the low but I soon learned that I hadn’t! Going back to school didn’t make me weak or stupid, it meant I was determined. Repeating seems to have a stigma attached to it but I’ve said to Hell with that stigma! If I want to be a midwife and repeating is what it takes then that’s my business and says an awful lot about my character.


  1. Everyone is in the same boat

    I remember thinking that nobody could understand the despair and nervousness I was feeling on that first day but I can assure you those thoughts were soon banished when I found myself sitting amongst over a hundred people in the exact same position as me! Some wanted to be doctors, some wanted to be lawyers, others didn’t know what they wanted to be! Regardless of what we wanted to do or what we had gotten in the leaving cert first time round we all had the common goal of wanting to do better.


  1. The teacher’s treat you like adults and are genuinely rooting for you



Believe me when I say that this makes all the difference! When I was in school I found teachers could often be condescending and sometimes dictatorial; and in the lead up to the Leaving Cert they treated it as it was the world’s biggest burden to them. But when you’re repeating there seems to be an almost University feel to it. The tutors treat us as equals, were responsible for our own work, they’re always interested in how you’re doing and what your plans for next year are, they’ve also been known to pull off a prank or two on students!


4. You will make a fantastic group of friends


During my final two years of school I wasn’t really sure who my friends were and looking back this had a huge effect on me. But now I have the most fantastic group of friends from all walks of life who are some of the funniest, kindest, and thoughtful people I’ve ever met. They know your flaws and your quirk’s yet still love you unconditionally, they make getting up on a Monday morning bearable, they’re the ones who’ll get you through this year, and they’re the ones who’ll be there for you when you need it the most.


  1. Chocolate helps

    One thing that hasn’t changed since the first time I did my leaving cert? My dependency for chocolate! It’s delicious, it’s comforting, and it gives you that little boost when you need it. Struggling to get that Hamlet essay finished? To wispa or not to wispa that is the question- the answer is always “to wispa” obviously! History has you over your head? Ask not what you can do for Galaxy but what Galaxy can do for you! Because, if chocolate can’t solve the situation chances are the situation is unsolvable!


Snapchat: clionaedwards98
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Facebook: Cliona Edwards


  1. Aoife
    November 7, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    You forgot about the waffles! Waffles always helps! Haha Great piece Cliona, proud of you! Xx

    • Cliona
      November 17, 2016 / 7:30 pm

      Just saw this now, Aoife 💖 haha thanks so much waffles are always the answer

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