Navigating tough decisions
Updated: Sep 14
Making a life impacting decision at the tender age of 17 can be daunting. Being well prepared with the facts can certainly help, but knowing that someone else has the same shared experience can definitely be a confidence booster.
One of our learners shared their thoughts and feelings of going through the schooling system and the pressure of going with the standardised routes of education. Here is what they had to say:
“There has always been this pressure from the older generation to go to university. It’s the route everyone takes without even questioning it, or seeing if there are better, more suited opportunities. Especially whilst you’re still not even fully sure if you want to pursue that specific sector that you may get into through university, and gaining an unnecessary debt on your back. There are other options other than uni to still find what you like and also get into the ‘graduate’ jobs promised to you after uni. Apprenticeships are one. Let me take you through my process on how I chose apprenticeship instead.
In secondary school, I was taking GCSEs seriously as I wanted to become a doctor. So naturally I did triple science with Physics, Chemistry and Biology. From just learning you would think if I wanted to become a doctor I would like Biology but that was my least favourite subject. Physics and Maths are what I particularly enjoyed. Realising this already made me consider whether I really wanted to be a doctor, whether it was for my family or myself. Anyway, coming to the end of GCSEs was when pressure was on. At the end of I did well on my exams getting A’s and B’s.
Jumping into A levels, I had no plan of becoming a doctor, the 7 years of uni threw me off. So I chose 2 subjects for A levels that I liked Physics and Maths, but for the third subject I didn't know what to do. I wanted to do computer science but my school does not offer it. Due to my GCSE grades, the teachers advised me to do Further Maths. Big Mistake. First-year of the sixth form wasn't taken seriously as I thought it seemed easy. In year 12 my predicted grades were A, B, and C. Then year 13 came, I wanted to focus more but felt like there was no hope as in year 13 the content for my subjects got 10 times harder which hit me as I already did not fully understand the content from year 12. Then the pandemic hit, school finished early and I did not get to sit any of my exams.
During the time awaiting results, I started to look at different options to get into a career I might like. Especially because I didn't think I got the grades I needed to get into the Russel group unis. I found multiple apprenticeships and courses to try for the IT sector as I have always liked technology.
An apprenticeship, to simply put it, is where you learn on the job and can immediately apply what you have learnt. So you get on-the-job experience which for me being a more practical learner and worker felt was suited for me. To me logically was one of the best options to get closer to one of my desired future roles in IT. As University is only theory so you may have knowledge but still haven't experienced applying the theory in a professional workplace.”
If you resonate with this then why not get in contact with us and see what apprenticeship opportunities we could provide you with!