WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FINISH SCHOOL? Skip to main content

TIPS FOR SCHOOL, COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY

Since the academic year has recently started I thought I'd do a quick post to share some tips that I used or wish I knew at the time! I often found myself feeling pretty prepared and motivated at the start of the year but hopefully, some of these will help that to continue all year round, or more at least!

Attitude and Behaviour

Put in the effort now - when you get further into the year you'll thank yourself for putting in the time to learn everything properly, especially when it comes to revision as you'll already have materials to look back at.
> Mistakes are good - it can be disheartening when you make mistakes or don't get the feedback you hoped for but learning from them is a really productive and useful way to help improve.
> Strengths and Weaknesses - everyone has things they are better at and things they may struggle with, finding that out now and setting time aside to focus on the things you find harder will help reduce stress. You could also study w…

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FINISH SCHOOL?

A little reminder that our year left for the School!
So I'm assuming that either you're finishing school or that you will be in the next couple of years and like me, have no idea what you want to with your life! You've got your teachers asking you, parents, grandparents and you just have no clue! I know that can be a huge worry and can leave you confused about what path to take, I was exactly the same and sometimes you don't want to admit that you have no idea where your life is heading! Over the last couple of years during my time in Sixth Form however, I researched into the different paths you can take - some of which are obvious and some may be new to you!

First off I recommend that you do a couple of tests that are designed to help narrow down which careers you are most suited to. There are many available, such as the website - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/planner 
If you are currently in school, sixth form or college then your institution may have signed up to the SACU website, the most useful tool on here is the Spartan Test. It produces a word cloud of careers that I actually found really interesting and could definitely broaden your search! http://sacu-student.com/

University: The most obvious choice is of course to go on to do a University course. This will help you to reach a higher level of education on a specific subject area, allowing you to get a degree that is desired by many employers. Another huge benefit is the social side of University - you'll get to meet so many new people and this can be great for making connections later on in life. However University is not for everyone and despite it being the most popular choice, you do not need to attend in order to be successful. As I wasn't sure what subject I wanted to do I personally felt that I needed to do something different other than continuing with learning in a way similar to a school environment. Therefore I explored some other options.

Apprenticeship: For my school certainly, if you weren't planning to go to University then they expected you to apply for an apprenticeship. This can be a great option for many people as there is a range of courses, furthermore it allows you to get hands on experience in your chosen career. This can be hugely beneficial and a desired aspect for many employers so it is definitely something to look into. You also receive a small salary and many companies will take you on full time after completing the course, personally there weren't any courses suited to my favoured subject areas so it wasn't an option I chose to look into.

Work: Now of course, another option is to look for work straight away. For some people this works well and allows you to start earning a salary. In my opinion this is probably the best option for those who are certain on the career they want to do or alternatively if you have a lot of connections to people who can either employ you or to refer you to someone else. Though if you're reading this then I'm assuming that many of you don't actually know what you want to do so maybe this option is out of the question! However something to consider is getting a part time job whilst you're at university or alongside the other options I'm going to talk about next.

Gap Year: My favourite of these options is to take a gap year, and I don't just mean a holiday though that sure would be nice! To me the purpose of a gap year it to take a break from the typical learning environment in order to broaden your experiences of different cultures, experiences and places. It isn't necessary to book a flight for a year abroad, you could focus on the different opportunities available to you that are closer to home. A gap year is definitely something I'm planning to do, and depending on how much money I can save, I'd like to spend some of it in Australia. The purpose of my gap year is to hopefully allow me to get some relevant life experience and to find out the different career opportunities available. As someone that would like to work in the creative industry but doesn't necessarily want to be an artist or something like that, it can be hard to decide how you can use your creativity to actually earn a living. Therefore whilst living and working in Australia I hope that I'd be able to grasp a better understanding of the different jobs I can do - something that is difficult living in my current little town! Of course I'm also completely open to different careers, if I find something I am passionate in then my plan to work in design could change completely which I think is absolutely fine! The beauty of not being certain means that there is always the option for something perfect and suited to you to pop up. There are tonnes of websites and companies around to help you organise a gap year so why not give it a look!

Open University: Now this may be an option that you either no little about or have never come across it at all. I was someone that had seen it advertised a few times but never really knew what it was about. However I began researching it a few years ago when I had to start planning life after school, I knew that I didn't necessarily want to go to University but still wanted to get a degree to give me more opportunities when looking for jobs. So essentially the Open University allows you to study at home either full time or part time (the more popular option as it means you can also be earning), after completing the course you receive a degree - yes, a full and recognised degree! Honestly I urge you to have a look at the courses they offer, there is huge range and anyone can apply. Of course something to consider is how motivated and dedicated you will be as individual learning is not for anyone. I have always been someone to work hard and stick to deadlines and after completing a 2 year BTEC course which required me to work independently I found that this is something well suited to me. I plan to apply for a course at The Open University after taking a gap year, however if anyone wants to know anything more don't hesitate to contact me or visit their website! http://www.open.ac.uk/


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