All posts, Erasmus & study abroad stories, Students, Undergraduates

Looking back: CAO

By Cassandra Murphy

As I prepare for my final year in UL (for my undergraduate at least) I can’t help but look back and think where I was three years ago. Sitting at home waiting for CAO offers to come around. Still shaking from results day I was hoping that this would be the day that would change the sombre mood I had been carrying for the past five days. Maybe there was some miracle and psychology dropped dramatically?

5:50am Monday morning and no alarm set but my internal body clock woke me up. I grabbed my laptop and patiently awaited the 6am bells to ring from the clock in the kitchen. All my details entered just to press the button and see what lay ahead of me.

“LM036- BA Joint Honours – University of Limerick”

I didn’t give myself a chance to think. I pressed accept and with that I was a UL student. I just  remember tears of joy. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted but something felt right. It felt like the right decision had been made. Besides the tears of joy from me, there were also tears of joy from my mother who was happy we didn’t have to go through the rollercoaster of the leaving cert another time.

For me, it was a tough year. I have anxiety. Anxiety does not mix well with the dreaded Leaving Certificate. A mixture of support from family, friends, psychologists and my amazing teachers got me through it. Be it by changing the oral examinations timetable so I could go first or helping fight my case for a special centre or even just sitting me down and talking to me, my teachers offered me all their support. My friends and family have been there from day one and still continue to support me as do the many new friends I have developed over the three years in UL. My support system is the backbone to my success in college.

Three years on and I would never believe I was the same person. I was very reluctant about the joint honours course in my first year. Nobody ever tells you the benefits of a course. Only the horror stories they have heard. I took a chance on offers day and now I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes the course you do not think you want could be the course that you need. I’ve grown as a person throughout college. I’ve developed into myself and who I want to be (as stereotypical as it sounds!) I’ve been given so many great opportunities and I’ve worked my backside off for the others. The tunnel doesn’t always have to stay dark. Sometimes the turn you didn’t expect to be there is where the light shines through the brightest. It may take an extra bit of work but the feeling of satisfaction is something else.


About Cassandra Murphy:

I come from a little island off the South West coast of Ireland but moved to the big city of Paris for 6 months of coop. Normally I study psychology and criminal justice but at the moment I’m in France for Erasmus trying to string together a few sentences of French to avoid dying of starvation. It’s safe to say I like a challenge. 

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