Stephen Byrne's Leaving Again will air on RTÉ One tonight at 10:15pm. We caught up with the radio presenter at the RTÉ New Season Launch just a day after receiving his results for the second time.
Why on earth would anyone resit their Leaving Certificate? And why would they choose to do so ten years after leaving school? "It was always an idea that I had because I never opened my results when I was younger. I got them, I shredded them, I said goodbye to them," explained Stephen.
"That year for me was one of the most difficult years of my life. It was the year I came out but it was also the year I was discovering so many other things about myself and those things were even that I didn't feel like I was an academic, I felt like more of a creative. It was my first year in RTÉ as well. "
"I was very young. It was actually exactly ten years ago today that I started in RTÉ. There were all these things going on in my world and it meant that education just wasn't something that I felt my puzzle piece fitted in to."
"So because of that I always knew that I wanted to go back and maybe say sorry to my parents for how badly I did that year and the lack of effort I put in, to prove something to myself that I was actually capable of sticking through with it and doing something with it and then opening up those old results as well."
So what were Stephen's biggest learnings the second time around?
"I learned a lot about myself definitely. I separated big parts of who I was back then with who I am now. The start of the Leaving Cert for me at 18 was the start of a very traumatic twelve months of my life. So I connected with that person again in a way I never thought I did before."
"For the first time in my life, I began to feel affiliated with myself as a teenager which was hugely emotional. But at the same time, just huge amounts of respect for young people- their emotional intelligence, their connection with the conversation on mental health in the country at the moment. They deserve more respect than they get."
Stephen has formed some opinions on the school system after returning to second-level education after a decade.
"I don't think that it is for everyone. I don't think it's a system that works. It's a pub quiz at the end of the day for rote learning. And for me, that's not what I'm good at. There should be a lot more creative subjects and seeing the likes of PE being brought in, that's encouraging but I feel like there's definitely another way."
"Another way of not putting so much pressure on young people over 10 days which is what my exams were. 10 exams in 9 days is ridiculous. "
Can't wait for people to see this. The first teaser for Leaving Again.— Stephen Byrne (@stephenbyrne) September 16, 2018
Also. So Nervous. This has been a really tough year for a multitude of reasons.
Never been this raw on television before, its usually my job to maintain face and stay calm. Thats out the window. pic.twitter.com/qc6OgTwe2I
Stephen's advice to students who were disappointed with their results this year...
"I think a lot of people talk about results and they say 'oh you got 200 points, you must be so disappointed. 200 points for some people can be the biggest achievement in the world, it can be a disappointment as well," the broadcaster explained.
"500 points can be a disappointment for some people but a massive achievement for others. In that sense, be proud of the fact you actually did it. It is incredibly difficult and young people don't get enough congratulations just for actually making it through.
"So always know that there are other ways to getting to whatever goal you have. There are other routes to getting there and be proud of the fact that you made it through because it's a nightmare."
Watch Stephen Byrne's Leaving Again on RTÉ One tonight at 10:15pm