Cork student who scored maximum points in Leaving Cert says studying during pandemic was 'surreal'

Cork student who scored maximum points in Leaving Cert says studying during pandemic was 'surreal'

Aoife Mannion, who attended Scoil na nÓg in Glanmire before studying at Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, said she was “over the moon” when she opened her results on Monday

A Cork student who received 625 points in her Leaving Cert admitted it was strange studying for the Leaving Cert against the backdrop of a global pandemic, but that she is now looking forward to future studies.

Aoife Mannion, who attended Scoil na nÓg in Glanmire before studying at Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, said she was “over the moon” when she opened her results on Monday.

The self-confessed linguaphile is hoping to study French and German at Trinity College Dublin before going on to become a primary school teacher.

“I was delighted,” she told The Echo.

“I was over the moon.

“I had put so much time and effort into it, and I had given up a lot of my extra-curricular activities for a time, to study,” she added.

“I play the piano and flute, do Irish dancing but I gave that up for a time, along with my part-time job towards the end of it, to make sure I had the time to study.

“I had consistently good results all the way through so I was just relieved when they came through on the day.” Aoife admitted that she was wary of the national standardisation process and the impact it could have on grades.

“I was actually skeptical of the national standardisation process and the bell curve and I was worried that my grades would be dragged down by them,” she said.

“I had been expecting to sit the exams and I wanted to sit the exams because I had put in the work and I wanted to see the fruits of my labour really.

“I’m very relieved that, in the end, I got the grades that I had worked so hard for,” she added.

Aoife explained that her love for languages inspired her decision to study French and German in Trinity College Dublin before going on to become a primary school teacher.

“I’ve always had a love for languages, having attended the Gaelscoil since I was four,” she said.

“I’ve loved languages all that time.

“I’m not sure what my plan is after that,” she added.

“I want to do my masters in education once I finish my languages degree.

“I’ll probably try to get back to University College Cork (UCC) for the masters unless my plans change between now and then.

“I would also like to spend a year in Germany as well, that’s one of my main goals.” With the CAO offers out on Friday, Aoife said she is hopeful of gaining more information on her future course.

She said any decision surrounding moving to Dublin for her studies depends on whether the course will be delivered in-person or online.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” she admitted, when asked if she is moving to the capital.

“With everything going on at the moment, we don’t have much information on that.

“Hopefully, when the CAO offers come out on Friday, there might be more information on whether it will be face-to-face lectures or online classes,” she added.

“It is what it is - there’s not a whole lot we can do until we know more.” Aoife admitted that it was a “surreal” time to be studying for the Leaving Cert against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

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