Ultimately, over the last two weeks everyone who undertook state exams will now be faced with a number of choices. Try not to get too focused on one driving factor post exams, and try and remember that whatever decision is made now does not dictate your entire future and that varying career choices will ultimately be made along the way.   To help support students in their decision making over the coming weeks we have listed some short considerations now that exams are over.

Be proud of all the hard work: you worked very hard to get to this stage so be proud of your achievements so make sure to go have some fun with friends and family and enjoy the remainder of the summer, worry free.

There is no one size fits all approach to education: there seems to be a somewhat predicted progression that is'nt for everyone: typically sit the Leaving Cert, get offered a degree college course and go to third-level education. The Leaving Cert is indeed 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 as students have access to an abundant of choice.

You have options: for some people, everything will go to plan and for others maybe not. 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 the perfect choice for getting a real taste for and sense into your preferred career. These courses also provide an excellent opportunity to gain entry after completing a one year programme.

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

Take some time out: perhaps taking some out and spending time working and researching could be the option for you if you aren’t just 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, an option which is becoming 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. To help in your decision consider what you enjoy doing in your personal life and also through your time in school. You know what your favourite subjects were and where you did well. Family interests and history may also play a key part.

Maybe 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 right now: life is a blank canvas. Splash the colour and take the path that feels right for you!  

At Portobello Institute we offer a number of key departments, ranging from one year certificate courses, through to diploma and degree courses across sport, early years, health, creative, makeup and beauty. We fully believe in helping learners to follow a dream or sometimes take an alternative route to success. For courses details call us on 01 8920000.