Danielle Keane, Leaving Cert student studying at home in Portlaoise.
Today is the 30th of March in the year 2020. Who would have thought this time last year that we would be in the middle of a pandemic a year later?
As everyone already knows, the corona virus is making its way around the world, FAST, causing many illnesses and deaths. Some people who aren’t sick are hit with this worse than others... like leaving certificate students.
I myself am a leaving certificate student and I understand how this is a tough and stressful time to be dealing with. Last month I posted about tips to help you get your head in the game and start intensive study without being too stressed (just to make sure you are prepared as much as possible for the Leaving Certificate).
I did not expect that a month later I would be writing about how we can’t attend school at the moment and how this impacts us leaving certificate students. Yes, I do understand that there are other year groups that are suffering, everyone is whether it be school or work.
Many people aren’t even getting paid anymore because of the covid-19 virus. Anyways, besides the point, this is a tough time for people to cope with, especially when the usual stress that comes with 6th year had your friends involved and you were able to talk to them everyday. The impact this virus is having is impacting me in negative ways, especially because I would have never expected this in my last year of school.
There is one positive aspect although, extra time to study!! The first negative impact this had on me was the dreaded orals!
Although nobody likes the thought of sitting down with an examiner and doing a full oral, it was worth the marks in the end.
Now because of this virus everybody gets full marks in both Irish and French/Spanish orals. This, for some people is good news, but I attended a Gaelscoil for 8 years of my life and spoken Irish would have been my strong point but now I am being brought down to getting the same marks as people who didn’t study for the orals at all, especially In Irish, when some
people haven’t looked at any of the 20 sraith pictures ever! Unfair.
Staying on the topic of State exams, they are another impact. Nobody knows what way the exams are going to go, or are they even going to go ahead. All 6th year students are currently sitting down during the day and studying, but this may all go to waste if the exams have to be cancelled.
The GCSE exams were called off in England, making Irish students worry that the same will have to happen in Ireland. The last thing that people would want to hear is that they are going to base it off predicted grades, especially for people who didn’t but in as much work throughout the 2 years as they should have.
The last impact I feel that this has on me is I have no routine to my day. I get up every morning at 9am and study until 4pm and take my regular lunchtimes but that is not as easy as it sounds. As I am in my house, wearing my own clothes, having my own family around me, it is very different and a lot more difficult to concentrate in. It’s not the same being able to get up and make a cooked lunch and take a break as long as I want to and have nobody to tell me any different.
I am also trying to follow my timetable, but in class I have to leave after 40 minutes but of course at home I can spend as long as I want and lose track of time.
This is all just impacts that the Covid-19 virus has on me, of course everyone will be coping differently.