Approximately 900 students sat the Leaving Cert exams in Offaly this year, and drinkaware.ie and the National Parents’ Council post-primary (NPCpp) are encouraging them all to celebrate responsibly when results come out on Wednesday.
“We’re conscious that a significant number of Leaving Cert students are of legal drinking-age and drink alcohol, and will most likely want to celebrate their results with a few drinks,” said Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie.
“But it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the night and end up overdoing it. That’s why we’re sending students a simple message to students in Offaly and around Ireland: pace yourself and take control of how much and how fast you drink. There are a few really simple ways of doing this—have water between alcoholic drinks; don’t drink on an empty stomach; and avoid rounds, which put you under pressure to drink at the same pace as the group.”
Of course, while many will be celebrating on Wednesday, there will be some students that are disappointed. A strong support system is crucial at this time, made up of both parents and friends. The NPCpp is also providing a free Leaving Cert Helpline, which can be reached at freephone 1800 265 165.
Jackie O’Callaghan, PRO for the NPCpp, added, “The result you get on August 14th is only a stepping-stone, and a flexible one at that. There are always options. Enjoy results night safely and responsibly, and look forward to what lies ahead—even if it’s not what you were expecting. Remember that alcohol improves neither the good nor the bad in a situation. If you choose to drink, do so at your own pace; drink what suits you, not anyone else, and make the most of this memorable night.”
In preparation for the night, students can download the Leaving Cert (and Beyond!) Survival Guide, which is full of advice on everything from enjoying results night to getting exam scripts rechecked. For anyone headed to college in September, drinkaware.ie’s Student Survival Guide is also an invaluable resource, featuring information on budgeting, studying, looking after your health, finding your feet with new friends, and more.
Tips for students:
* Respect. Some of your friends will be under eighteen, and drinking isn’t everyone’s idea of having a good time. If your mates don’t want to drink, that’s their decision. Respect it and move on.
* Eat a meal before you start drinking, and snack regularly throughout the night to help your system manage the alcohol.
* Bring ID. Carry an officially recognised form of ID – as not all Leaving Cert students are over eighteen, it’s likely that you’ll get stopped and asked for proof of age.
* Drink lots of water. Keep yourself refreshed and hydrated by having a soft drink or some water between alcoholic drinks.
* Pace yourself. The best pace to drink at is your own, so opt out of rounds and avoid shots to make the most of your night out and avoid that killer hangover the morning after.
* Avoid rounds. Rounds aren’t just expensive, they also pressure you to drink at the pace of the group—which might be faster than you’re comfortable with.
* Plan how you’ll get home. Arrange how you’re going to get home before you go out, or install the Hailo taxi app so that you can pay for a taxi home with a credit or debit card.