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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018
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45 milestones in every Irish secondary school student's life

Ah, the good old days.

Lockers at school Source: Brett Levin Photography

1. Walk around school on your first day like you’re Beyoncé. “I’m 12 and I’m in big school now, bitches.”

2. Get brought back down to earth the second you find yourself walking in the corridor with 16-year-olds and realise how tiny/weedy you are.

3. Find yourself pining for primary school right after your first double maths lesson.

4. Slowly come to terms with fact that you will have double maths for the next 5-6 years and hold a moment of silence.

giphy (1) Source: nclswndngrfn/Tumblr

5. Take up hockey to appease your Mam.

6. Quit hockey the second you realise it interferes with precious lunchtimes.

7. Realise you can get out of PE by simply saying the word “hamstring” or “period” to your teacher.

8. Overuse this excuse to the point where your teacher won’t let you skip PE unless you literally have an open wound. Damn.

giphy (2) Source: Giphy

9. Get inordinately excited by the fact that you have your ~*~very own locker~*~ and briefly feel like you’re in Saved By The Bell.

10. Lose interest in locker once it reveals itself to be a Poxy Pain in the Hoop™. “BLOODY PADLOCK” — you, aged 13, when you had no actual problems.

11. Accidentally leave a sandwich in there over the October mid-term break.

12. Deny you know anything about the smell when the teacher asks.

giphy Source: fuckyeahmeeko/Tumblr

13. Cut thumbholes in your jumper sleeves and think think you’re a goddamn genius.

14. Subsequently get killed by your Mam for ruining your good jumper.

15. “I’M NOT MADE OF MONEY, YOU KNOW.”

16. Go into a sulk and decide to express yourself by Tippexing your favourite bands (“NIRVANA! FUGAZI!”) on your schoolbag.

tippex Source: Flickr

17. Snigger endlessly the first time you hear your teacher say “scraggy wee shits” while studying The Early Purges.

18. And get in trouble for laughing too much when the lad says “Is mise Bart Simpson” on the Irish aural. (Spend next few years quoting “Is mise Bart Simpson” at every available opportunity.)

19. Suddenly become an expert on oxbow lakes. And photosynthesis. And writing letters to French penpals.

20. But remain preposterously confused by An Modh Coinníollach despite the fact you’ve been studying the language for 10 years ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

app0007 Source: Leaving Cert Help Notes

21. Convince your Mam that you will fail the Junior Cert if she doesn’t pay for after school study.

22. Quickly realise that after school study is a dose and begin plotting ways to get out of it.

23. Lie to your Mam about study being cancelled once.

24. Proceed to use this excuse once a week every week until you leave school.

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25. Spend two weeks in Transition Year working with your Mam’s cousin in his label printing business.

26. Leave with not the faintest notion as to what you want to do, while being certain that label printing isn’t for you.

27. Decide you might be an entrepreneur when you successfully set up a mini-company selling Class of ’06 hoodies.

28. Discard that plan once you do the sums and realise you made approximately €4.50 profit from the whole venture. Steve Jobs you ain’t.

giphy (3) Source: stevenlathrop/Tumblr

29. Choose Applied Maths and German for the Leaving Cert for some inexplicable reason, and spend next two years cursing yourself.

30. Beg your mates not to drop down to pass Maths.

31. Eventually relent and follow suit.

32. Realise that pass is a breeze compared to honours and wonder why you put yourself through so much pain for so long.

giphy (2) Source: fyspringfield

33. Somehow neglect to go to all the college open days. Whoops.

34. Have a brief existential crisis when it comes to filling out your CAO form.

35. And decide to just go with Arts.

36. Arts: the solution to any and every existential crisis.

giphy (4) Source: realitytvgifs/Tumblr

37. Decide you’re going to speak about the time you went to a “ceolchoirm” in your Irish oral, come hell or high water.

38. Get flustered when the oral examiner asks you about bloody foot-and-mouth disease.

39. But somehow manage to steer the conversation back to the ceolchoirm like an ol’ pro.

40. And then, just when everything looks like it’s going to go off without a hitch, you accidentally speak some French. Merci beaucoup, indeed.

giphy (5) Source: Gifbay

41. Realise you are woefully unprepared for the Leaving Cert and risk everything based on “tips” from fellow 17-year-olds about what’s supposed to come up this year. (“The Eucharistic Congress has to come up this year.”)

42. Almost cry tears of joy when Eavan Boland does in fact show her face on Paper 2.

43. Talk to your teachers after your Leaving Cert and realise they are in fact human. Feel bad for skitting in class all these years.

44. Spend all summer panicking that you’ll get your fifth choice and be forced to do Marine Biology in Sligo.

45. Breathe a sigh of relief when you get enough points for your first choice. Go on the lock.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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