Further education was something I never considered but suddenly it was enforced and I found myself applying for sixth from. Of course I had the choice not to stay on and I could receive training else where, but at the time that’s not what I wanted. It turns out these two final years in education were the worst of my life-sixth from was not the place for me! Looking back is hard because I’m just reminded of how much I cried in those years. Mentally I wasn’t okay and I’m still suffering now because of it.
As the years (slowly) passed it came to the time where I needed to apply for university. This was a massive anxiety for me as moving away was a big no, no. I explored many courses, especially ones I could do locally but I didn’t feel academically good enough. Midwifery and paediatric nursing were just a few I looked into. I was scared no where would want me. At the time school placed a lot of pressure on all of it’s students to go to uni. They just wanted good stats and didn’t actually care about their pupils. I went through the whole application process to finally decide I wasn’t ready. As soon as I made it clear I wasn’t going the school no longer supported me. My friends would have educational days and trips out all involving University and I would have to sit in the opposite room doing nothing because It didn’t relate to me. To this day I’m riled up about the fact they didn’t support me. Higher education isn’t for everyone, so why didn’t they explore the options?
I’m so glad I made that decision to step back from uni because I would have been a drop out and I would have beaten myself up for that. Now I’ve realised it’s okay not to go to uni, there are so many more amazing opportunities out there. Don’t feel forced, especially if your hearts not quite in it.
I’m currently completing an 18 month apprenticeship within the NHS. This is what I needed, the experience is invaluable, I’m set up for the working world! and guess what? I’m ready for higher education. Now that’s something I didn’t think I’d ever say.
Everything I’ve ever wanted to do is degree based, I felt like I’d get no where without going to Uni but that is so not true. If you’re feeling stuck and have no clue what to do after further education I recommend looking into apprenticeships. For me I was also worried I would complete a degree and not actually like the job at the end of it. Now that I’ve been in my current job for a year I feel like I have enough experience and I know what the job entails.
Degree based apprenticeship are also on the rise so keep an eye out for those! This is definitely something I’m interested in. Consultations with further information can be found online, check these out, see what suits you.
I hope this post helps if you’re feeling worried about University. Maybe a gap year is all you need or maybe you need to explore what the world has to offer first. That’s what I did and it’s totally okay.