Having made it through the first four months of sixth year I now need to apologise to my older brother for all the times I annoyed him while he was studying for his Leaving Cert a few years ago. I now admit that it is not easy. Carrying around books is tedious and the masks are slowly wearing me down.

However, there is a sense of triumph that comes with finishing a piece of work or going to bed knowing all the study I had planned on doing was done. The Christmas tests are corrected and handed back which is another thing to tick off the list.

The scariest thing I’ve heard since coming back to school is the all too real phrase: “Next thing you know, it’ll be the mocks.” Christmas tests went better for some than others. Similar to myself, some of them were exactly what I expected. Others, however, caused me some annoyance in that I missed the grade I wanted. Some by a few percent but in others by a larger percentage. But I suppose it’s for the best to find out now what areas need improvement.

Some of our teachers warned us to take a few days off over the Christmas break for ourselves, with no study, to refresh ourselves for the tough months ahead. While it was meant as a nice gesture, it still came across as a warning, a foreshadowing of the hard times to come. In the back of our minds, there is a constant fear that the Leaving Cert won’t go ahead. And I don’t think that thought will fade until the end of June when we’ve actually completed the exams.

Ag science

The ag science projects are due to be submitted during the next few months. I have mine mostly taken care of. Each student must undertake an individual investigative study on the topic of sustainability in Irish agriculture. We are to carry out an experiment, record the results and fill out a booklet with a maximum word count of 2,500 words. Considering that the old ag science course had projects that exceeded 10,000 words I really can’t complain.

The classroom

The same action of sanitising desks before and after class is still being employed. I have serious admiration for those who don’t find it irritating. When I’m a few minutes late for class for whatever reason it’s a nuisance to have to clean down my desk while everyone else is writing notes or correcting homework.

Big decisions

The CAO has opened and it seems like time is really slipping away in terms of picking a course and sticking to it. Hearing some of my classmates say they still aren’t sure of a course gives me serious anxiety. I’ve more or less decided on a course but I’m sure there will be a few times over the next few months (or possibly a lot of times) when I second guess that decision. I think trusting your gut is the way to go. And sure, if I don’t end up liking the course and I drop out, won’t that be a funny story to one day tell the grandkids?