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Leaving Cert - Helping students to Thrive

Leaving Cert - Helping Students to Thrive

By Mairead Moriarty

Stop Stress and Start Thriving—A 6th Year's Guide to Better Results* is my most popular workshop to date. By the way, the *Results we aim for are not just academic. It's about helping students reach their potential without risking their health and well-being.

I've delivered this workshop to thousands of Irish students. The format includes a combination of real-life stories of students navigating these same waters and an interactive questionnaire. My role is to address/help resolve the issues that are causing 6th Year Students the most stress, namely:


• I'm stressed about physically doing the exams.


•          I haven't enough resources.


•          What if I don't get what I want?


•          What if I get what I want and hate it?


•          I don't know what to do with my life.


•          Is my dream too BIG?


• I've left it too late.


• I'm not ready to leave home.


•          I find it hard to motivate myself to study.


In my experience, one of these issues (sometimes more) will pop up for every 6th-year student. Wouldn't it be far better for these students to redirect their time and energy from stressing or overthinking into finding supportive actions to release pressure while also learning how to make a quality decision? 


The transition from Post-Primary school to college, apprenticeships, or employment can be challenging. It is a step into the unknown. Add to this the uncertainty about exams, results, college places, and career choices, and it becomes exhausting.


Personally, I feel it is a little unreasonable to expect a young person of about 18 years to have the life knowledge to make a profound decision about their future. They need all the support they can get.


My workshop, created specifically for Leaving Cert/LCA students, is designed to:


  • Inspire students to make choices that suit them and use their talents.

  • Teach students Tips and Tricks to help motivation around study.

  • Encourage students to 'show up' authentically in interviews or at college.

  • To be kind and compassionate to themselves eg. not to strive for the illusion of perfection.

  • Meditate – to centre themselves and generate calm before exams and in life.

  • From Belief to Destiny – understanding the power of what students believe in creating their lives.

  • Coping with disappointment and positively redirecting their energy.

  • And most importantly of all, for everyone on the planet, how to identify what gives life meaning and purpose. This is where true happiness begins!


 Here are some snippets of feedback I've received from students after I've delivered this workshop:


  • Take action to get the outcome I want – very good speaker.

  • The stories made it very real.

  • To not be consumed by stress – you have a very calming nature.

  • Very engaging, and I enjoyed the anecdotes.

  • Always have a Plan B.

  • It's not too late to get on the right path. Dream big and start now.

  • That I control my life and can change my energy.

  • I will use the tools to decrease stress – informative.

  • The 5-minute rule to get studying – genius.

  • There are many pathways in life; one has to believe in themselves.

  • Enjoyable and interesting workshop.

  • To just start, no matter where I am.

  • My self-esteem is visible to others. Mairead was a good speaker – expressive and inspiring.

  • The anecdotes made it more relatable.

  • It's never too late.

  • It will be grand in the end, even if I don't get my first choice.

  • To not let failure decide my future but to see it as a stepping stone – inspirational.

  • Overall a great experience. 10/10.

  • I will take more breaks so I don't burn out – the meditation was very calming.

  • To not over-focus on my dream course. You were very friendly.

  • I'll believe in myself more. I think the meeting was very helpful and thought-provoking.

  • Be true to myself. She's funny.

  • Value myself.

  • Many paths lead to the same outcome.

  • Stop putting off studying and change to a more positive mindset.


Thanks, everyone, for dropping in today to read this post.

If you need Leaving Cert support as a student or teacher, don't hesitate to get in touch with me on 0868596409 or


I am here to help!



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