All over Ireland there are young (mainly) men and women looking up the CAO system on-line to see if they have an offer of a College place. Most of course are hoping for their 1st choice, many will be happy with 2nd or lower. Whatever offer they receive, I hope it is the right one for them. Lots of students drop out of College in the first year, for a variety of reasons. One being that they realise that the course they are on is not for them - perhaps they made the wrong choice when filling out their CAO application form. I wish all who are accepting a place in College today the very best of luck in their chosen College - their time there will definitely be some of the best days of their lives.
38 years ago I looked at the offer that I had received - it was my fourth choice, Science at Trinity. My first and second choice was Pharmacy in UCD and Trinity respectively - I did not know at the time that UCD did not run Pharmacy courses and that both courses were one and the same thing. I only had 17 points which was not near enough for pharmacy - anyway, I would have been a shit pharmacist! My third choice was Science in UCD - I would have needed 18 points to secure this place. Therefore I ended up in Trinity which had been put down as an afterthought on my CAO form - UCD was my real goal.
In 1978 there was no Internet to look up offers - everything was done by post. I was so impatient to see my offer that I did not wait for the postman to deliver the daily post (usually in the afternoon in Ballingate), so I drove into Carnew in the morning in my Dad's white Renault 4 van and picked up my letter in the post office. I nervously opened it in the privacy of the van and felt a little bewildered and disappointed to see that I had been offered my 4th choice. However, I raced home to tell my Mum and Dad the news - I was going to College! Over the next few days plans started to begin my road to College. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for - but it was a defining moment in my life. What direction my life would have turned if I had not received that offer - I do not know. Neither do all those looking up their offers today - but it could be that their futures are being defined right now.