Leaving results – let’s be careful out there

[Posted: Wed 15/08/2012  www.irishhealth.com]

Parents of the country’s 55,000 Leaving Cert students who will be getting their results today have been urged to talk with then about their celebration plans.

Meanwhile, disappointed students have been advised to try to put the Leaving Cert in perspective.

“Adding alcohol into an emotional mix can bring its own challenges, as it increases emotional volatility and impacts on decision-making,” said Alcohol Action Director Fiona Ryan.

She said parents should try to find out what their children’s celebration plans are, whether they involve drinking, who they are going out with and how they are getting home.

“Exam celebrations for a lot of teenagers can be a departure from what they would normally do. It is also worth reminding them that if they do choose to drink and find themselves in difficulties, it is better they contact home immediately rather then worry about the repercussions of their drinking,” Ms Ryan said.

Alcohol Action has pointed out that statistics show that when they do drink, Irish teenagers tend to drink more than their European counterparts.

“Cheap, widely available alcohol, where a young person can get drunk for  €10, is not helping the situation either,” Ms Ryan said.

Parents of Leaving Cert students have also been advised to help students keep the results in perspective.

Colman Noctor, Clinical Nurse Manager at St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin, said the Leaving Cert was often built up to be the be all and end all, and many students sometimes believe this to be true.

“However, the reality is that although it paves a pathway to future career choices, it is not the only route. Academic ability is but one of the ways we can fulfil our potential in the real world. However, once our careers start, it is our skills to communicate, negotiate, problem-solve and manage that are far more in demand.”

Mr Noctor said disappointed students should use the support of family, re-gather themselves in a few days and reconsider their options.

“A crisis is no time to make big decisions. Upon re-evaluation, take the next best route for you at this time.”

See also www.alcoholireland.ie