I finished my Junior Cert and I want to leave school. My parents are very upset with me. They want me to stay on and finish my Leaving Cert.
Some young people drop out of school at your age and it can work out for them if they have clear plans for the future. For others, things do not work out so well. This is something you'll need to think seriously about before making a decision. Here are some things to consider:
- Is this something you can take time to think about?
- What is it about school that is making you feel this way?
- What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages if you leave?
- Talk to others who have left school early.
- If you stayed and completed the Leaving Cert, what options will this give you?
- Thinking things through and staying calm will help you and your parents to make the best decision. Agree a time and place to talk, preferably free from other distractions. Say as clearly as possible what you want to say. Let your parents talk too so you can understand their perspective. Your parents want the best for you. It will help them to understand your views and wishes about the situation too.
- Ask someone else, such as a close relative or another person you trust, to come on board if you and your parents cannot resolve the situation together. Agree with your parents whom this person should be. Having a third party involved might help to keep things calm so that you can all come up with a solution.
- Ask for advice from another adult you trust outside the family such as a friend's parent, a teacher or school guidance counsellor, a youth worker.
I am nearly 17 and doing the Leaving Cert in a few months. I hope to move away to work or college but I'm worried about all the changes ahead. Have you any advice?
It's completely normal to worry about the future sometimes, particularly when it involves making dramatic changes in your life and leaving your ‘comfort zone'. The following tips might be of help:
- List the things on your mind.
- Talk to your parents about whatever concerns you. They will understand your worries and maybe they even felt the same at your age.
- See if anyone in your class is going to the same college as you are, or a college in the same city or town.
- Consider how you might respond to peers assertively and develop strategies to deal with peer pressure.
- Consider safety issues like avoiding risky behaviour, not travelling alone at night or having money on reserve for a taxi.
- College is something to look forward to. Changes, like going to college, are part of life. It might be strange at first, but you will make new friends and settle in. Getting involved in sports and other activities at college is a good way to get to know other students and make friends. Just give yourself time.