Mo jeans gorm agus m'Umbro top.

The day has finally come when you must pack your bag of tricks (pens, packed lunch, heaving folder of notes, rulers, highlighters and herbal rescue remedy) and walk the dreaded path of doom to sit the Leaving Cert. Expect ensuing clamminess, jittery legs and dry mouth. We don't envy you, Leaving Cert students, but we do know exactly how you feel and pat you on the back for not legging it off to live in Australia or somewhere equally jammy instead of getting your qualifications. Let's face it, you'll be living there in a year or two anyway. Instead of taking out all your frustration on your paper by stabbing it with a compass, take a look at some of the stupidest things about the L.C. here and have a vent. We feel your pain.

1.) Your life skills will never be based on whether you can cram your brain full of information you don't fully understand only to forget it five minutes after the exam ends. You will never have to write so much in one week ever again, even if you do a PHD.

2.) You spend more time on colour coding your notes and putting them in pretty folders than actually ever learning them.

3.) You have to tell the examiner that an empty page is meant to be blank, and to continue reading. No book says ctd. on the end of the page, it's obvious. 

4.) 99% of the public struggle with great difficulty to speak for just over ten minutes in a language they've been learning since they were around four. Des Bishop could learn it in a few weeks for a national TV programme, so does anyone else think there could be something wrong with the way Irish is taught?

5.) After all your studying and hard work for months, nay years, you will end up spotting someone in the hall cheating their asses off and getting away with it. Some will be as blatant as whipping out a big A4 page and copying it, while others will be sneaky foxes who have scrawled formulae across their legs and whatnot.

6.) The old school tapes for the Irish, French and German aural. Impossible to actually hear properly and impossible not to piss yourself at. One of the biggest memories of the aul L.C. is waiting for the deafening beep of the tape, followed by a quaint old voice shouting out 'A Mhaire'. The words 'Cuid A, uimhear a haon' are the secondary school equivalent of ' an bhfuil cead agam dul go dti an leithreis?' and will follow you to your grave.

7.) Every year it's said, and with good reason. Why do they insist on scheduling the hardest academic time in your life in the nicest few weeks of the year? Think of it as an endurance test, like an academic version of The Hunger Games without the bloodiness.


8.) You've finished the exam, reached the point of exhaustion and just want to forget the whole thing but now you have to face the dissectors. These are the people who insist on picking apart each question one by one even though there's nothing you can do now it's done and it only ever leads to the realisation you made some mistakes, creating disappointment.

9.)  It brings out the most annoying traits in your older relatives. Expect to hear the Leaving Cert referred to as the Inter Cert a billion times by your parents, and for your granny to remind you how great school is. Remember, in her day you would have been working by now and sure isn't it great you know how to turn on a computer and everything? They expect you to be like this guy.

10.) There's always some arse looking for more paper every two seconds and all you've managed to do is write your name and number down. Ignore them, they're probably on speed and writing jibberish (or so we always hoped).