Extended End Game

It’s been a very, very dramatic few weeks. Between family members in hospital, LC results, and medicine, I swear, if I write an autobiography – I’ll just start here!

Basically, the Leaving Cert went like this:

English (HL) – A1
Irish (OL) – B1
German (HL) – A2
Physics (HL) – A1
Chemistry (HL) – A1
Biology (HL) – A1
Maths (HL) – B1

575 points in total – needless to say I was absolutely thrilled. Best-case scenario, I’d expected 565, but the totally unexpected A1 in English drove it up to 575. With my HPAT of 173 (72nd percentile), I had 728 points for medicine. 8 points above the points for medicine in NUIG (which is my first choice) last year – and although I knew a points rise was due, I thought surely I’ll be okay being a nice 8 points over the 720 it was last year.

For those that have been watching the points for medicine this year, you may see what’s coming. 😛

Life was great for them 5 days, I was on Cloud 9. I wasn’t telling everyone “yes, I’ve definitely gotten it” but I was saying “it’s looking fairly good.” I believed it, too.

Then Monday of first-round offers came. I found out the results at around midnight because the Irish Times released the points for medicine in an article on their website early. 729* for medicine in NUIG. Some day, I might look back and laugh! One point short. It was definitely the biggest kick in the face I’ve gotten over my 2 years in Leaving Cert. Long story short, I spent the next 10 days pretty much obsessing over second rounds. The points for NUIG only went from 729* to 729 (no random selection) on second-rounds. Ouch. Could CAO agony get much worse than this?

With my psyche fairly bruised from the last few weeks, I’m trying to not get too optimistic about third rounds. I’m trying to get into the attitude that I’ll just keep going with Plan B (repeating…yey) and if I get medicine in a later round I’ll get it. Unfortunately, these things are easier said than done and I must keep myself constantly distracted to prevent my life turning into a tortuous countdown until Thursday (when I guess third-rounds will be issued, as NUIG orientation starts very soon after on Saturday).

In the face of all this disappointment and uncertainty though, I have really seen the good in my community, friends and family come out for me. Between hearty congratulations on my Leaving Cert to commisserations on my missing-med-by-a-point fiasco, I feel humbled by the support I’ve been given. It’s a bit embarrassing in one sense, I know many of my fellow-LCers would love to have gotten the LC I got (a fine bit of luck thrown into the mix with that result, I can assure you) and I’m here moping around because I’m a point short for medicine – when nearly every other course is open for me to take. Talk about first-world problems!

But unfortunately that’s not the way I feel now – it’s the kinda thing you know you’ll look back on when you’re old and go “how silly of me to react like that in the overall scheme of things.” The thought that on Monday I’ll either sitting in a lecture hall in Galway moving forward with my ambitions in life or sitting at a desk in the local secondary school feeling sorry for myself is positively unnerving. I hate not knowing, and I hate the waiting.

But alas, it’s been a very dramatic closing chapter to an overall momentous journey, and regardless of whether I miss medicine by a point or not, I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved and how I’ve grown over the last year. Not everything goes one’s way, even at the best of times. Life doesn’t seem fair, but whatever happens, I’m determined to make it a positive occurence when it slots into the big picture – even if I’m not quite sure how yet.

EDIT: I wrote the above blog post before third rounds around 7th September, but due to either computer failure or me being an idiot it wasn’t submitted! On third rounds the points for NUI Galway medicine fell to 728* (random selection). Unfortunately, however, I didn’t get a place and that Monday I was sitting at a desk in the local secondary school! There were no fourth rounds issued and unless there’s drop-outs or something, there won’t be anymore rounds issued. At the moment I’m back at school repeating my Leaving Cert, I’m trying to decide whether I’ll stay in school or drop out and get a job or what I’ll do. I’m busy at the moment trying to get my UCAS application sorted and prepare for UKCAT. Needless to say, it’s been a very rough and disappointing few weeks, but everything happens for a reason and etc, I’m still determined to make this an event that’ll be good for me, in hindsight! Taking a year out of school would be a step off the track I’d hoped to follow academically, but a detour might be good for me and I’m sure whatever happens, I’ll be much the wiser in a year’s time.

My only hope of getting medicine this year is really only extreme good luck on taking a drop-out’s place or for my maths paper to get upgraded to an A2 on rechecks (it’s verrrry close, and I’m not sure about some of the blunders  I was given looking at the paper, but it’s a wait-and-see game tbh, and I’m definitely not getting my hopes up about it).

Kerry lost the all-Ireland football final by a point today – I know how they feel!

5 thoughts on “Extended End Game”

  1. Good luck with the recheck. Your decision to repeat is a brave and mature one! Just to let you know a health care worker once told me that Medicine in the UK/North will make provisions for post-grad courses within the NHS which just aren’t available in the south. So sometimes it’s not as straightforward as we’d wish, but there is more than one path available.

  2. Thank you, I’ll bear that in mind! Hopefully I will make it in the undergraduate route, but I’ll ensure there’s a firm, good back-up plan I’m happy with (obviously wouldn’t be optimal, but when life gives you lemons…) in another course and if it comes to it I will consider graduate-entry medicine after my first degree. Keep an open mind and all that, ambition is one thing, tunnel-vision is another!

    Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. Hello,
    I just wanted you to know that you wrote a fantastic article,and best wishes in your future plans werever they take you.

  4. Hey,
    Well done on your BRILLIANT leaving and sticking to your guns and repeating ! I was just wondering if you have to learn the new irish and maths courses this year since you did the other courses last year ?
    In first year biomed and thinking of repeating for veterinary..
    thanks 😀

  5. Hey everyone,

    I ended up getting medicine in NUI Galway a few weeks late in the end. My LC results were upgraded but it didn’t matter.

    For my small while repeating, I felt that in OL Irish the new picture questions definitely meant a LOT more work would have to be done for the oral. In HL maths we didn’t do much of the new stuff. The Circle was very shortened and straight-forward. I never was repeating long enough to get to any of the new probability and statistics or anything though so I can’t really comment.

    Everything worked out quite well for me in the end, sorry for the rather brief statement on it, I’m very tired atm! 😛

    Ciara, where are you studying biomed?

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