that time of year again

leaving cert weather

Although i complain about college exams and not liking certain subjects, things could be much worse… i could be doing the leaving cert, again. Although this will be of scant consolation to the leaving cert class of 2011 at this very moment, in my view things get easier once you get out of that exam hall for the last time in mid-june…

Points mean nothing

In college, you no longer have to worry about points. In my view, the bar is lowered. There’s opportunity to ease of the gas particularly in first year and many do. I’ve already analysed my own college results semester by semester over 4 years and compared it with my leaving cert results. I dropped about 10% in terms of grades once in college. That wouldn’t mean anything if it weren’t for the fact that i could ‘feel’ that drop. The difference between college and leaving cert level is that there’s a teacher highlighting drops in performance and letting you know it’s unacceptable.

48/365Creative Commons License photo credit: Jiuck

Acting as your own teacher is tough but that’s what you gotta do to get through college. I don’t feel the work is any more challenging, but juggling all subjects, managing time etc… is ‘new’. You don’t get homework so you don’t do it 🙂 And that’s great until it comes to exams and you realise you know nothing :mrgreen: But that’s the beauty of college, you’re in control. Some people like that, others don’t but for me the biggest challenge was definitely motivating myself, particularly for subjects i didn’t like or wasn’t good at. It takes great patience, discipline & vision to drag yourself through those not so nice subjects, but as i always said to myself, all subjects are equal – they all lead to the same thing and that thing is why you came to college in the first place. But i’ll save my wisdom for a new site i’ll be launching over the summer 😉 today is all about theleavingcert.com

Stats speak louder than hype

If we compare traffic for May 2011 to May 2010, we can see a 109% increase in visits & a 70% increase in pageviews. It’s a similar story for all other months in 2011 so far. In fact we should have eclipsed last year’s traffic stats by the end of this month *high 5’s all round*

lc may 2011

On facebook, our page has also just tipped the 1,000 likes mark so that’s another cause for celebration. The first 1,000 are always the most difficult.

More Features

However, slapping hands together in celebration of past achievements isn’t how work gets done. In order to move forward, our hands need to be slapping keyboards. I keep saying it every year but i need to invest more time in to theleavingcert.com. History has proven that if i work at it and add new features, traffic goes up.

This time around i’m eager to really ramp up activity. I’ve several features in mind, some already developed and i’m looking forward to working on theleavingcert.com now that i’m finally free from the shackles of my own college education.

Blogging -v- Social Network

A couple of months ago, i decided theleavingcert.com’s future was best served as a social network. I had planned to phase in a social network over 1 year, moving away from student blogs. I then decided that’s too risky a move at this stage. 90% of our traffic comes from search engines. Switching platforms without great thought and planning wouldn’t be a wise move.

After a bit of digging around i found that wordpress can do quite a bit of what i wanted to do with a social network, so for now, i’ll push ahead and continue to keep everything wordpress powered. It’s what i know best and it’s what i’m most comfortable with. One of the good things about running theleavingcert.com is that every single pixel and line of code on it has been run through my mind at some stage. If i want to change something, i can change it in real time. No 3rd parties, no time zones, no nonsense. If i want to start implementing some ideas at 3am, i can do it 🙂

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