- 23 Jan 20
In the run-up to the CAO deadline on February 1, we’re sharing some words of wisdom from students who have been through the process – and lived to tell the tale.
Caoimhe Cullen, New Media Studies, IADT
Filling out your CAO can be seriously stressful – which is the last thing you need on top of all of the pressure of Sixth Year. Everyone you know seems to have an opinion on how you should do it, but at the end of the day, the only opinion that really matters is your own.
I remember being so stressed out that I wasn’t putting down any of the ‘big’ colleges like all of my friends were, but I just had to keep reminding myself that I was doing what I thought would be best for myself. I could have put down a course that everyone else was putting down just so I would feel included when everyone else was talking about their CAO – but I knew I wouldn’t enjoy that.
Deciding where to go to college is already intimidating, so it’s easy to put down the same thing as all your friends, just so you don’t have to think about it too much. However, it’s so important to put some serious thought into what course will suit you. Things like course sizes, how you’ll get to campus every day, and how much continuous assessment there is in the course are all hugely important. I knew that I needed to be in a small course where the lecturers could actually get to know me, and where exams weren’t the be-all and end-all of my grade.
For anyone struggling or panicking about what to put down on their CAO, I’d recommend seriously considering what exactly you want from your college experience, and seeing what courses can fit that criteria. That way, you can get the very best out of your time in college – which is the least you deserve after putting all that work into getting there in the first place.