CAO Change of Mind Deadline is Saturday 1st July
Irelands’ most important state exam, the Leaving Certificate, is well and truly underway. Thousands of students in exam centres across Ireland are drawing on their years of learning and preparation in an effort to achieve results which best reflect their hard work and ability. For many who have their sights set on attending college, these results translate to all important CAO points, the entry key to college courses across the country.
The future and the prospect of college, while exciting, can also be overwhelming for these young adults attempting to choose which path they should follow. Students interested in going forward to third level education have already submitted their initial CAO application forms, but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline of Saturday 1st July fast approaching, and during what is already a stressful exam period, many student minds will be consumed with a myriad of questions and uncertainty. Did I pick the right course as my No.1 choice? Will I get enough points for my preferred course and college? Have I chosen the right college for me? After finishing college what job opportunities would my chosen course offer me? Is it too late to change my mind about my CAO application?
To help ease some of this stress and anxiety Leaving Certificate students may be feeling our friends at the Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee), a popular choice for students from the greater Munster region and all over Ireland, have some helpful tips to guide you on the correct path to further education:
Your No.1 Priority is Your Exams – While the CAO Change of Mind deadline is quickly
approaching, it is not until after the Leaving Certificate has finished, on Saturday 1st July that your final decision has to be made. Therefore, focus on the task at hand, doing your very best at each exam as it comes.
Research, Research, Research! – There are thousands of fantastic courses in a wide range of colleges to choose from, with new courses constantly being developed and added such as the new BA (Hons) in Counselling with Addiction and BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering now on offer at IT Tralee. From the comfort of your bedroom, sitting room or kitchen table you can access online college prospectuses and dive into the nitty gritty of how similar courses differ by college, depending on modules or work placement offerings.
Ask For Advice – Many people have been in your shoes and know how exciting but also scary this big decision can be. Ask those who have gone through this process, such as brothers, sisters, cousins, older friends, parents or your teachers for their advice.
Remember, College is Best Years of Your Life – College is an opportunity to try different things, experience the new and exciting, while making memories and a network of friends for life. While the course you select is hugely important, it is also important to look at the college you choose and not just from an educational point of view. What amenities and extra-curricular activities does the college and town and it’s located in offer. Are there good accommodation options? For example, did you know accommodation costs for IT Tralee are 25% cheaper than Limerick or Cork and 50% cheaper than Dublin? At the IT Tralee campus, you will be swept away from Co. Kerry as you interact with a diverse student body comprised of over 70 nationalities and 100 international partner Institutes. There are over 70 clubs and societies to join, and for those looking to train their body as well as their brain there is a state-of-the-art €16.5m sports academy opening in 2018.
Get Ready to Make New Friends For Life – While you might be tempted to choose a college because a number of your closest friends are going there, it is important to choose a college for you, not others. College is a time to meet new people and make new connections and friends for life. You may feel like you are all alone on orientation day, but it is important to remember that there are lots of fellow classmates who are going through the exact same experience. A friendly hello is all it takes to begin the start of an exciting new friendship!
Speaking in relation to his experience of filling out a CAO Change of Mind form, First Year Health & Leisure student at IT Tralee, and captain of the Kerry Minors, David Clifford from Killarney commented “I always had a huge interest in sport and fitness growing up, and knew I wanted it to play a big part in my future. The first thing that jumped to mind was PE Teaching, which was what I had initially put down on my CAO form. However, after some time, as I am sure is the same with many students, I began to doubt and question my decision. It is an important choice, which does affect your future and so I wanted to make sure I was making the correct one.
“My first port of call was to chat to friends and teammates about their college experience to date, and many were speaking very highly about IT Tralee. With the recommendations coming through I contacted the college to ask about their sports courses, and they could not have been nicer. They really guided me through the selection process, making it a really easy experience for me. I compared my current course in IT Tralee with a similar course being offered in CIT, but for me personally there were more pros for IT Tralee on my pro and con list. There was a PE Teaching module as part of the course, which still left this avenue open to me and they had just opened some amazing new facilities and had more improvement plans, which really impressed me. As I am from Killarney, it was close to home, right on my doorstep really and had a home away from home feel, with everyone I had dealt with so nice and friendly. I knew that lecture sizes in the college were small and therefore felt that I would be a person not a number. It can be a big step leaving the
safety of secondary school and making the jump to college but I had heard that the college had good support systems which was another positive and reason for my CAO change of mind decision.
“My advice to current students who may now find themselves in the same situation as I was last year is to just ask for help and talk. Talk to friends who are going or have gone to the college you are interested in. Contact the college themselves and ask them any questions you may have from class sizes to modules or facilities on offer. With one year down I am delighted to say I have no regrets and look forward to the next four years of my degree,” concluded Clifford.
For more information on the perks and opportunities that studying at IT Tralee has to offer, and for queries from students or parents interested in knowing more, please visit www.ittralee.ie or call the admissions office now on 066 7145638. Applications can be made via the CAO Change of Mind at www.cao.ie by Saturday 1st July 2017.
Pictured: Kerry Minor Football captain David Clifford pictured at Tralee Institute of Technology building site of their new sports centre with.
Photo By Domnick Walsh – Eye Focus LTD – 0872672033