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It’s True, Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

I must admit, 8 months into my 23rd year and I’m starting to think Blink 182 were on to something.  In case anyone reading is unaware, (and it’s not obvious from the title), they coined the infamous lyric ‘nobody likes you when you’re 23’.

Twenty three is just awkward. It’s not as crazy as 18. It’s not as fun as 21. It’s not as blissfully oblivious as 22. Why you might ask? well because 23 is that horrible year where you have to start realising things. (Kylie Jenner I’m lookin’ at you).  You’re plucked from your lovely little college nest and turfed out in the real world to start fending for yourself.

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They don’t prepare you for this kind of thing. Nobody teaches you how to suddenly adult. Sure I spent the last four years perfecting the art of seeking out the cheapest wine, but that’s not exactly going to equip me for the impending 9-5 slog (although some would disagree with me!).

I’ve found these months of my post college life to be some of the toughest thus far. It’s more than coincidental that this time seems to coincide with my 23rd year..

I mean it’s very difficult figuring out what you want to do with your life, and it can be disconcerting when things don’t go how you expect. I packed up my life and hopped on over to London, only to move back 8 months later. As buzzfeed once said (yes, I’m quoting buzzfeed), you’re expected to have your shit together, but have none of the resources required to get your shit together. Truer words have never been spoken.

It seems like you have a lot of options, but they all come with some sort of catch. Do you find a job and start working right away? But that leaves no time for travel. But how do you fund the travel without a job first? So many questions, so little answers. Whatever you find yourself doing though, it’s terrifying because it’s the first time you have any real responsibility.

You’re an adult, but you’re essentially the baby version of an adult.

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Now you have to start thinking about scary things, like making appointments for yourself and learning how to cook a roast dinner. On top of all this you’re faced with the realistation that your next significant birthday isn’t until 40 (we all know people who throw 30th’s are kidding themselves).

All of a sudden you can’t afford your lifestyle. All of your lovely luxury student discounts have disappeared, and you weren’t prepared for the reality of ‘adult’ prices. Honestly how do they expect you to afford full whack when now you actually have to pay bills? So rude.  With that being said, I’m still doing my best with the ‘strategic thumb place’ and wrangling whatever cinema and train tickets I can. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do;)

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The thought of getting older is scary because you feel so far behind both in an emotional sense and a career sense. You’re itching to get beyond your years and make something of yourself, yet at the same time you don’t feel as if you’re ready. It’s a total mind-field really.

I read someone describe the year of 23 as ‘upsetting, brightening, hardening and hectic all at once’. I couldn’t agree more. It’s just one big massive limbo. I find myself pushing myself to be the best version of myself. I’m constantly striving to do better. I find myself in working environments surrounded by people who have achieved so much, and subsequently I feel a bit useless. I then have to remind myself that these people are much older than me. They have more experience, and I am only, after all, just twenty three.

The biggest thing I’ve learned in the last few months is that sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Because the truth is you ain’t gonna walk out those college gates and into your dream job. You’re still gonna have to rely on a helping hand every now and again, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You have to walk before you run and all that jazz.

If nothing else, 24 is only 5 months away 😉

 

 

 

 

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Why I quit my job with no back up

I started my 2017 by boarding a plane back to London with no Job. The crazy thing is, I did it by choice.

Shortly before Christmas (most inopportune time, I know) I decided I had had enough and handed in my notice to my most recent employer. I left a full time permanent job with absolutely no back up lined up. Now at this stage you may be thinking that I’m reckless, stupid, irresponsible or all of the above. Believe me I’ve had those thoughts too.

But what do you do when you’re no longer happy?  What do you do on a Sunday night when the thoughts of going into work on a Monday morning are giving you a physical pain in your chest?

I moved to London as a fresh, doe eyed albeit, enthusiastic graduate. I had landed my first ‘adult’ job and I could not wait to start making my mark on the world. However, I quickly realised that the job I had entered into was far from any of the things I wanted. It was monotonous, repetitive, badly managed and lacked so much as a drop of creativity. Not only that, but I wasn’t learning anything. It soon became clear that there was absolutely no room for progression or career development in the role whatsoever. Having spent 4 years in university that’s something I would consider very important to me. I want to learn, I want to grow and I want to progress. I want to be in an environment where hard work is truly recognised, where creative people are encouraged and valued. So I took the plunge.

I scared myself and pulled the security and safety right from under me. I spent 6 months putting all of my energy into something I really didn’t care about. Something I wasn’t passionate about, and something which was giving me nothing but stress and hassle in return. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’m quite a driven and ambitious person. I am never ‘half arsed’ about anything I do, so I didn’t make this decision lightly. I didn’t wake up one day and decide ‘oh, i’m going to quit my job’. There were a lot of contributing factors, and I spent many hours discussing it with my family and those close to me.

I’m only 23 after all.  This is the time in my life where I’m allowed to be unsure, I’m allowed to make mistakes,  I’m allowed to try new things and I’m allowed to go after what really makes me happy. Yet there are days like today, when I’m pouring over countless job applications and  trying to prove that i’m the ‘perfect candidate’, that I feel a little lost. I find myself questioning my decision, questioning my abilities and questioning what it is I really want from life. Did I make another bad choice by quitting? Could I have stuck it out another 6 months?  I mean probably, but that would have been another 6 months trying to fool myself into thinking my situation was okay. I was afraid of getting stuck and then never having the confidence to (as incredibly cliche as it is),  follow my dreams. A lot have people have told me I’m brave. But I’ve yet to decide whether that’s true, or whether I’m just incredibly stupid 🙂  (Let’s go with the former).

I’m not sure where these next few months in my life are going to take me. But then again 6 months ago I wasn’t sure either. Not knowing is both terrifying an exhilarating.  It’s only been 3 days since I’ve officially been unemployed. In that time I’ve sent approximately 20 job applications, received 5 of those lovely generic ‘unfortunately you have not been selected on this occasion’ rejections,  and binged watched 8 episodes of ‘Jane the Virgin’ (hey a girl’s gotta stay sane!). It’s early days yet. I’ll admit, it is hard not to feel a bit like ‘no one is every going to hire me again!’, but I’m doing my best to remain optimistic. Of course there are moments that I wish I was at home, where I could have access to an abundance of hugs from my boyfriend, dad, sister and nan. I’ll have a little cry, wipe my tears, then sit back in front of the laptop and attempt to tell faceless strangers why I’m great, and why they should hire me.

As coldplay once said, ‘nobody said it was easy’. But I’m very fortunate to have such a loving support system around me. It’s so incredibly cheesy, but life really is too short to feel anything less than fulfilled. Hopefully I’ll have an update regarding my new ventures soon. If not, I may be flying back to the Emerald Isle to take up residence on an unassuming couch. (Advanced offers welcome).

Until the next life update!

~J

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The end of an era

Earlier today I sat the last exam of my undergraduate life and presumably my academic education. The only way to describe how i’m feeling right now is bitter sweet. I sit in my bare college room with three packed suitcases and a heavy heart full of four years of memories.

I never expected to feel this emotional. I knew this day was fast approaching, and I couldn’t wait. Finally an escape from exams, deadlines, essays. But with that comes an overwhelming sense of sadness for all the late night DMCs, drunken shenanigans and top pizzas that must too be left behind. My university life started and finished in the blink of an eye. Sitting in this bare room reminds me of the day post leaving cert me moved all of her stuff into her first shared accommodation in UL.I’ll never forget the absolute excitement of it. Living with five other strangers about to embark on the same adventure.The first few weeks are a blur, finding my feet, settling in, making friends, nursing hangovers. And now here I am. Almost 23  (still nursing hangovers) and just three months shy of getting my coveted piece of paper (hopefully!).

My four years have honestly been a jam packed adventure, and I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m an emotional wreck over them ending. I got to do so much over the course of my degree. I’ve lived in two foreign countries, I’ve worked in the capital, I’ve met and made friends all over the world. Of course I’ve made some pretty questionable decisions along the way, but sure isn’t it all part of the process? I am so grateful for every single experience good and bad that I’ve had, and I’m lucky that I get to look back on them all with such fond memories. From being a bag of nerves over a little presentation, to now being able to stand up in a room full of people with absolute confidence and ease. From the A’s to the C’s and the FYPs, the stress, the tears and the LOls – I won’t ever forget any of it.

For anyone who may be reading this who is just starting their college journey; firstly have a pint in the stables for me, go out as much as you can (the work always gets done) and embrace every single moment of it, because it really goes by far too quickly.

For any employers who also may be reading this: Hi I’m a nice, well rounded girl who is the ultimate ideal candidate. I’ll never be late and I give good hugs. Please hire me. 🙂

UL- it’s been real, but now it’s time to go adult.

~Jessie 

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Final Year Fear

FF_Divider_Pink4I’m aware at this stage that a lot of my recent blogs have adopted the same ‘help I’m in final year’ tone, but it’s hard not to think about the fact that ‘real adulthood’ is getting closer with each passing day.

I mean fuck, it’s scary. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Looking back first year seems like it was just yesterday, but at the same time it also feels like a million years ago. Back in 2012  19 year old fresher me thought 2016 was a lifetime a way. Yet here I am. A mere 12 weeks off graduating and becoming a person. It’s kind of a catch 22. In one way I can’t wait to finish and finally be done with essays, group presentations, and classic literature! But on the other hand I’m going to miss university life and the prospect of finding a job is actually terrifying.

When you’re little you  just assume that when you grow up you get a job and become successful, like it’s that easy. You also have that blissful innocence that you can be anything you want to be. I, like many others went through many different stages of wanting to be many different things. I think my very first dream job was to become an actress. I was quite the little drama queen, so it didn’t seem too far out of my reach.  I loved performing on ‘the stage’ in our house (that is the step in our family kitchen). I would parade around for anyone that would give me the time of day. It was all fun and games, until I realised we didn’t live in Hollywood and despite being a dead ringer for Beans from Disney’s ‘Evens Stevens,’ I wasn’t destined for sitcom fame.

So then came my next dream job. The classic ‘I love animals so naturally I’m going to be a vet’ phase. That is until I was swiftly informed I’d have to operate on the ‘ugly’ animals too. And there’d be blood. Ew. After that I think I scaled my ambitions back again. I decided I was going to be a teacher. But I had a conflict of interest because I also wanted to be an author. Naturally ten year old me decided that this wasn’t going to be a problem and I was just going to do both. Yep a teacher by day, and a kick ass best selling novelist by night. I think somewhere in between that I also wanted to be a doctor, but I knew even then that I couldn’t forgo my social life for 600 leaving cert points and 7 odd years in college. (Serious kudos to all those who do).

I suppose at this stage you’re wondering the point of this little rambling. I just think it’s funny that when you’re younger you have no concept of limitations or self doubt. Anything is achievable and you have the whole world in your sights. Now that I’m finally at this stage in my life it’s like I feel as If I can’t do any of it. Though deep down I know I have the skills, it’s just that awful fear of not being good enough, or not getting hired etc.  It’s mad, when you’re a child you’re supposed to look to the adults for help and guidance. Though I find myself longing for reassurance from fearless 10 year old me. I know she’d give me a right kick up the arse and tell me to cop myself on. Call me crazy but I think we’d actually be much better adults if we rekindled our inner child a bit! Obviously within reason.

There’s a common complaint among myself and those in my course; and that is we don’t get the time to read and write the things we actually want to read and write! Which is precisely why I’m writing this blog, to escape the annoying demands of  my FYP. In some ways I feel like academic life really does curb your creativity and confidence. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to work on other skills and aspects needed for the ‘dream job’. Which nowadays involves either staff writing for an online publication or something within radio or broadcast journalism. But ironically the further I progress in my academic pursuits, the further away it seems. Strange that.

Anyway I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more tears and breakdowns over the next twelve weeks, but as I’ve so frequently heard, ‘It’s all a means to an end’. Where I’ll be this time next year I’ve no clue, but as long as I have good people, a strong shade of Mac lippy, and a customary glass of wine in tow, I’m sure I’ll be alright.

Until the next existential Crisis!

~Jessie

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50 reasons why living with your college best friends is the greatest

Three weeks ago I started my final year of college and while it may be bitter sweet, I’m already appreciating every little moment. It’s crazy to think that in less than a year it’s all going to be over. Recent antics got me thinking about how much I cherish my housemates. You start college fresh from secondary school eager and excited to meet new people and make new friends. What they don’t tell you about it is how long it can actually take to find good friends, you know your people. Your squad. Your MVPs. (Or in the case of me and one special friend, Your Nigs). Call it whatever you want they’ll eventually become your BFFs.

I went through a lot of shit and drama before I found ‘the ones’. I suppose it’s because you’re surrounded by so many new people. All with different outlooks and opinions. But hang in there, because when you do find your people there’s no turning back! I’m living with 5 of the craziest girls ever. (Not excluding two equally fantastic blow ins, who we unfortunately couldn’t officially house due to the lack of 8bed houses in Limerick Citaaay). Anyway there are certain things about this living situation I wouldn’t change for the world. So naturally I decided to blog about why it’s so great. Here are 50 reasons why living with your college best friends is the greatest thing ever.


1. You’ll never be lonely. Even if you’re single and dateless, with 5 extras in the house there will always be someone to spoon. Your huns will understand this and embrace it. Even though you all live in the same house sleepovers are frequent and accepted. See below:

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2. You’ll never really be stuck for something to wear. With five extra wardrobes you’re bound to find something to sort you out. Whether it’s a pair of tights, a dress for a night out or even a knickers, the gals got you covered. Literally.

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3. They’ll never judge you for skipping college and staying in your Pajamas all day. Chances are they’re doing it too so you don’t even have to feel guilty about being a complete waster.

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4. It’s completely acceptable to walk into one another’s rooms in just a towel or your underwear. (Or in some cases in the middle of the night covered in your own vomit with a pot on your head…not naming names….)

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5. Someone will always have something you need. Be it tan, toothpaste, a hair bobbin, bog roll, milk. They’d hate to see ya stuck.
6. You can tell them anything. And I mean anything. Nothing is too gorey or gruesome for the fam. It also helps if one of your housemates is a nurse and you’re the hypochondriac of the group.
7. Sharing poor life decisions is a weekly, shameful, yet undeniably enjoyable routine.
8. Hangover chats. Every Friday consists of piling into someone’s room and discussing the antics of thirsty Thursday, while simultaneously complaining about how you’re all dying.
9. Ordering massive family meals from your favourite takeaways. You all have the dominos, papa johns and  Chinese meal deals off to a T. So much so that these fine establishments often text you.No RAgrets.

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10. The group chat game is strong. It’s Friday you’ve all gone your separate ways for the weekend. It’s only been a couple of hours since you’ve all seen each other, but already the group chat is hopping and stays that way until you’re finally reunited on Sunday.
11. Even though you’re all mutually broke, someone will always have money at any given time, thus supporting the rest of the fam until the favour can be returned.

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12. Pre drinks are always the best part of the night. Time to drag up all the dirt you have on each other with a good old fashioned game of never have I ever.
13. There’ll always be at least one voice of reason when you’re deciding whether or not you should “text him”.

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14. In all seriousness though they’ll always look out for you and have your back.

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15. You’ll see the best and worst of each other. Best being the on point selfies, worst being covered in mascara and crying into a curry chip.

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16. They’ll carry you home if you ever get too drunk. Literally. They will carry your ass into the house. Again not naming names…
17. Someone will always have a key. Except in the rare instance where you all lose your sets and decide to go out leaving the door unlocked and propped open with a wheelie bin and a dressing gown…
18. Evenings spent sitting in the siting room discussing life are literally best. Sometimes better than any night out.

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19. You’ve all shared advice regarding each other’s love lives. Or lack thereof.
20. You’ve contemplated buying a pet, but decided given your responsibility levels it would be wise not to.
21. Instead you all decide to ‘adopt’ the homeless earless cat that wanders around outside your house.
22. You have a love/hate relationship with your passive aggressive 84 year old neighbour.
23. You’re guaranteed to laugh a lot every day.
24. There’s always a practical one in the group who can change lightbulbs and fix the TV and shit.
25. You’ll soon find you can tell what each other is thinking or communicate with just looks.IMG_1443
26. You know all their parents, siblings, and dogs first names.
27. You feel like extended members of each other’s families.
28. You’ve been to visit each other’s home towns.
29. You know everyone’s pet peeves.
30. You come to accept the annoying living habits about one another.
31. You end up having weird exercise regimes, like that one time you went for a family walk. Or when you went to TRX and then couldn’t bend down for the muffins in aldi the next day.
32. You may have found yourselves discussing the possibility of civil partnerships with one another.

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33. You text each other even though you’re literally only a few rooms apart.
34. You’ve probably all heard one another having sex.
35. But you’re okay with that because woo! one of the fam scored.
36. You all have nicknames for each other.
37. You’ve heard each other sing and definitely think you should be the next destiny’s child.
38. You’ve killed it together on the dance floor.
39. You’ve picked one another up when you’ve all drunkenly fallen. Except for that one time one of you fell out of a bus…
40. It’s become completely acceptable to inform the fam when you have to go for a number 2.

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41. It is also subsequently acceptable to describe said number 2 often using the Bristol stool chart..
42. You know each other’s PIN numbers and have thus fraped the absolute shit out of one another.
43. You’ve gone on major Facebook/Tinder/Instagram creeps collectively as a fam.

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44. You’ve collected some amazing memories together.
45. There will always be someone to collect you the morning after a night out, because the fam doesn’t believe in the walk of shame.
46. You have family trips to the cinema.
47. Drive Thru McFLurries are a frequent treat.
48. You reassure one another that you’re not going to fail college and that it’ll all be grand.
49. Youve discussed all getting jobs in the same place after you graduate so you can live together forever and ever.
50. You love the absolute bones off one another and wouldn’t change a single thing.


Becky, Susie, Orla, Niamh, Catrina, Saoirse and Megan, thanks for being the most wonderful housemates and friends. Here’s to many more mishaps, mistakes and memories. May the nights be long and the hangovers short!

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The various stages of studying for exams

It’s so hard to believe it’s that time of the year again. Exam season. It seems like just yesterday we were all in an intoxicated haze loving life at RAG week. If you’re in the same boat as me chances are your RAG week extended into Paddy’s day,various thirsty thursdays, then Raceday and so on. Basically you haven’t been in college properly since week 6, conveniently and blissfully ignoring the latter half of the semester. Sure be grand right?
Except now it’s week 13, you’ve a mountain of assignments and exams are looming. Chances are you are now experiencing the various stages of study meltdown. Rather than actually face everything I have to do in the limited time I have to do it, I’ve decided to further procrastinate by outlining these stages.

So here we go:

1. Self Hatred
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The woe-is-me why am I such a waster stage. Was it really that hard to get up for that Friday 10am? If you had have just been good like you promised yourself at the start of the semester none of this would be happening. But it’s too late, you’ve missed too many lectures. You hate yourself, and you irrationally hate every smart do-gooder that isn’t experiencing this. (Here’s looking at you mature students). Next semester will be better..

2.Denial
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Look maybe it won’t be that bad? Sure you’ve still a good two weeks, that’s plenty of time. If you lock yourself in to the library and literally go hell for leather it’s going to be so fine.. Yeah..you got this..

3. Procrastination
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Write one line of essay, scroll twitter, facebook and instagram for hours. Write one line of essay, repeat. Time is ticking away and all the productive promises you made yourself are quickly vanishing. Ah sure you might as well clean the house so you have a nice relaxing environment to study in. Fast forward and it’s six hours later, the gaff is clean, you’ve rang mammy, watched 4 episodes of Game of Thrones, googled the meaning of life and thought really seriously about joining the circus. Sure look it’s too late to do anything now anyway, fresh start tomorrow morning 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

4.Anger

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You’ve finally decided to tackle the unavoidable. Sulis is open and so are 12 weeks of power-points each containing a minimum of 45 slides each. Wtf when did they teach us this? You know you missed a few weeks but there was no way any of this shit was on the module outline. Why are you even in college anyway? All of this stuff is irrelevant, the education system is a joke. The country is a joke, everything is just a joke. Sure weren’t Steve Jobs and Bill Gates drop outs? Everything is so unfair.

5.Comfort Eating
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A justifiable stage all on it’s own. Food releases happy endorphins which are beneficial for study purposes. Eating yourself into an absolute food coma is completely and totally necessary. Aside from the old bag on the till in dunnes, no one is judging you. Just don’t bring anything noisy and disgusting into the library. 🙂


6.Bargaining

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You’ve reached a stage of desperation and deliriousness. You’ve started to bargain with the powers that be because you’ve realised just how thoroughly fucked you are. You’re begging God, Buddah, Allah, mother nature, every divine inspiration you can think of to just let you pass. You can’t disappoint the rents, you’ll be skinned alive. All the money they pumped into your third level education.. You know you haven’t been to mass since great aunt Mary’s funeral but you swear you’ll start going of a Sunday. You’ll give up drinking, you’ll volunteer, feck it you’ll even sell a kidney at this stage.

7.Feeling sorry for yourself
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In between shlugs of energy drinks in the library silently sighing to yourself, wishing you were anywhere but the second floor silent zone. Life is bleak..hope is fading..weep on.

8.Panic
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You thought you were too composed, calm and collected to reach this stage. Oh no you weren’t going to panic, you had complete control of the situation… Well my friend you’ve managed to waste away two weeks talking about studying and not actually doing it. You now have permission to enter full on panic mode. No amount of bargaining will save you now.

9. The All Nighter
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Nothing for it now, just going to have to sacrifice sleep and become a night owl. It’s your own fault so better buy a six pack of red bull, sellotape your eyes open, and hope that scientific experts are wrong when they say late night cramming is futile..

10. Acceptance
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You’ve gone through all the agonizing stages and you’re nearly at the finishing line. You’ve come to accept that what will be will be. You take a deep breath and enter the exam hall to meet your fate. (Nanny has lit the obligatory candle just in case).