Should I Do TY? 3 Irish Students Share Their Experience

"I’m so glad that I decided to do TY, the memories and friendships I gained will live with me forever"

Transition Year in secondary school, also known as 4th year, has been around since 1992 and was created with the intention to give post Junior Cert students a chance to unwind and mature before beginning their senior years.

In some schools transition year is mandatory and for others you get the option to choose if you want to complete it or not.

If you’re someone in the latter category and are unsure whether or not you should do TY, we have some advice for you.

Chatting with 3 Irish students who have made the decision to stick with or ditch 4th year, they share their thoughts and opinion to make your decision that little bit easier.

Here’s what they had to say:

Anonymous, 16.

“I decided not to do TY as its an extra year and if I did I would be 19 sitting my Leaving Cert. All my friends are going straight into 5th year and generally, TY isn’t that popular in my school.

I don’t have any regrets not doing it because I know that I have made the right decision. By choosing to skip 4th year it gives me time to take a gap year before starting college if I want to.

My advice would be if you want a break from your studies and don’t want to worry about sitting more exams just yet, then go for it 100%. On the other side of that, it could be hard to get back into the swing of studying again after such a relaxed year once you enter 5th year. If you think that could affect you, skipping 4th year might be the best option. If you’re worried about leaving your friends behind by skipping I would remind myself that it’s always possible to make new friends wherever you go.

Just be kind and treat people with respect and you’ll make new friends easily. Whatever you decide to do will be the right decision for you.”

Eleanor McCahill, 18.

“I decided to do TY because I was already exhausted halfway through 3rd year and I couldn’t imagine having to turn my attention to leaving cert exams in just a few short months. I also wanted to experience different forms of work to help me decide what I wanted to pursue when I finish school.

Now, I’m so glad that I decided to do TY, even though it was brutally cut short in March 2020. The memories and friendships I gained will live with me forever.

I would advise those unsure about doing TY to really think about whether they are ready to focus on another set of exams straight away. Do you think you will be mature and ready to leave school and go out into the world a year earlier? Are you unsure about what you want to pursue? TY will give you time to research different types of work to help you decide.”

Anonymous, 17.

“I decided to do TY because I generally wasn’t ready for 5th year yet. I wanted more experience for work placement and to take on more responsibilities at school too. I’m so glad I went ahead with it because I’ve met so many new people as a result.

If you’re unsure if you should do it or not, I would say go with your heart. It’s your choice at the end of the day, despite the pressures you might feel from home or teachers. If you choose not to do it, that’s fine, for me it was a great year but that’s not always the best decision for everyone.”