Ultimately, over the coming weeks everyone who undertook state exams will be faced with a number of choices. Try not to get too focused on one driving factor, and try and remember that in alot of cases varying career choices are made along the way.   To help support students in their decision making we have listed some considerations ahead of any leaving cert results being released.

Be proud of all the hard work you put in for the Leaving Cert and make sure to go have some fun and enjoy the remainder of the summer, worry free.

There seems to be a somewhat predicted progression: sit the Leaving Cert, get offered a college course and go to third-level education. The Leaving Cert is important but it’s not the be all and end all. The sometimes rigid and rigorous CAO system isn’t for everyone and that’s absolutely ok.

For some people, everything will go to plan and for others maybe not so much. Try not to stress out if you didn’t get the course you wanted. There are so many options available to you.

Alternative routes and pathways are plentiful. Pre-university courses can be a great choice for getting a taste for your preferred career. They can also provide an excellent opportunity to gain entry to a university or an Institute of Technology as a means of entry after completing a one year programme.

Work experience is usually offered as part of pre-university courses which is an excellent means for up- skilling and building your C.V and giving the perfect insight into a career type.

Take a year out and spend time working and researching if you aren’t ready to commit. Don’t do a course for the sake of it. You may not feel ready for university or college right now and that’s ok, you can always return later as a mature student. This is an increasingly popular option.

Follow your heart. We all have a wide range of interests, hobbies, skills, aptitudes and achievements, both academic and personal that we are passionate about. Consider what you enjoy doing in your personal life and also through your time in school. You know what your favourite subjects were in school and where you did well. Family interests and history may also play a part.

It's time to take a step back, focus on the bigger picture and consider your happiness and wellbeing as this is key to a successful future. Mind your head and you can achieve great things.

Remember, you are not making a final decision on your entire future: life is a blank canvas. Splash the colour and take the path that feels right for you!