Chain Reaction

A chain reaction, as defined by the Oxford dictionary is “A series of events, each caused by the previous one”. And on the 21st August 2016, that is exactly what I initiated.

If any of you, my readers remember back to my earlier posts, you’ll remember that torment they call the Leaving Certificate in Ireland, the equivalent to the SATs in the US, or the Bac in France. And depending on how well you do, you go to college… or you don’t, hence the pressure.

Well, everything kind of happened at once in August. The 17th was the date I received my Leaving Cert exam results. I will never forget that wobbly walk up the driveway to my school, saying a final goodbye to everyone I soon wouldn’t know and being truly unable to open that big brown envelope. It took me almost half an hour to finally pluck up the courage, with shaking hands, to pull that sheet full of letters out of its envelope, and read its contents. My parents, who at that stage I’m sure felt on the edge of a nervous breakdown, I felt wanted to know the contents of that page more than I did. My Dad, ready to tell me it didn’t matter if I had failed and reassure that it’d “be grand” and make himself a cup of tea, and my Mam, ready to burst into tears whether I had failed or passed. Somehow, through all the arguing and meltdowns, I did surprisingly well, and I knew I was going to college.

The college offers came out on the 21st August, and I got my first choice, what I wanted most, or so I thought. I remember getting up at 6 am- the time they came out at, not being able to sleep a wink before then. A surge of excitement rushed through me as I accepted my offer- this is it, I’m about to start college, friendships that last a lifetime, a non- stop social life, foreign holidays, my life finally beginning.

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