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You might wonder why I am writing a post like this at age 18 when I haven't discovered my own career yet. Recently I watched Lily Pebbles video on finding your career path, and it inspired me to write about my experiences with choosing my school subjects and my journey from GCSE to A level, and what I am planning on doing after school with my life. My blog is my creative outlet, and it is also pretty much a diary of my life - everything I love and everything I do is documented for you all to read.
I have changed my career plan from the age of 6 about every year, first I wanted to be a nurse, then a dentist, then a singer, an actress, a air hostess, a teacher, a pilot....the list goes on. I am an all rounded person and have an interest in a lot of different things, sticking to one thing has never really been easy for me (apart from my near three year relationship with my boyfriend, of course). I'm believe that everyone is capable of passing school to some degree, I ended up with around 10 GCSEs which allowed me to get on the the A level courses I wanted to do. Notice how I said wanted? Yes times have definitely changed since I chose History, Psychology and Sociology as my choices for A level. I do think I really struggled with the leap from GCSES to A levels, but I also know I didn't put no where near enough effort as I should have done last year - but why? Simply because I don't enjoy the subjects (well, apart from Sociology which I don't regret taking one bit - I do find the subject really interesting and it is my best grade so far).
I agree a lot with Lily, and what she said in her video - school does not focus on what students are good at out of school. Now they could easily say they offer many extra-curricular activities involving students hobbies, but that is exactly the point - they are extra-curricular and don't fit in with the 'norms' of academic school life.
I understand that everyone must have a basic level of English and Maths skills, and a lot of the subjects school offer are subjects which many excel in and develop successful careers from. But I do feel like there is a group of people who do not benefit from school greatly, especially towards the end of your school years when you're looking for a achievable career plan.
Apprenticeships and going straight into work is talked about a lot more now than before, but I still feel there is a huge emphasis on going to University - school often show statistics on who has a higher income - those who have been to uni, and those who have not. Which is a shame because going straight into work can benefit you hugely, especially when you are excelling in something you love.
I have applied to go to University this September, but I am still undecided. I'm still weighing up the pros and cons and I just seems like such a scary thing to have to do - I would be lying if I said I felt ready to go. But of course, I'll keep you updated with that one!
Here are my tips on getting through school and making a tough decision when it comes to deciding what you want to do after your school years!...
1. My first tip is to try your very best in everything you do, I regret not trying harder in all my exams (both GCSE and AS grades), and even though I didn't really enjoy them, I know I could have got a lot more out of them if I had taken a better interest in the subjects. If you work hard from the start, it is easier to enjoy because you won't have a huge weight on your shoulders which gives you the feeling of completely giving up!
2. Don't focus everything on goals way off in the future, its all about taking steps and this is something I never realised - I was always so worried about taking the right subjects to get onto the right course at uni. But, a lot has changed since then. Many universities, especially polys, will accept your grades in terms of points from various different subjects and as long as you have a basic understanding of maths and english you're going to be fine.
3. Before chosing your subjects, make sure you have an in-depth understanding of the course. I absolutely adored history GCSE but didn't enjoy the AS level whatsoever. With school subjects, especially history, there are many different topics which some you may be insanely interested in and some which just bore the hell out of you. I definitely didn't do my research into what I would be studying the years after, and I wish I had because I could have picked something I might have enjoyed a lot more instead!
4. Don't feel like because you aren't particularly good at maths, science, english that you won't get into university or get anywhere in life. There are so many different courses at university and there is even being a social media degree being created (which I think is absolutely amazing) - there really is something for everyone!
5. Definitely do not listen to anyone, teachers or fellow students, who tell you you can't do something, of course you can! I know this is cliche but it really is true, a lot of people in life can be patronising and condensing and success is the best revenge.
6. Make sure you utilise the career meetings held by school or places in your local area, you can find out so much you didn't know before and realise you don't have to go to uni to succeed.
7. Always do what you enjoy, its easier and less stressful and being happy is better than making yourself so miserable you aren't enjoying your life anymore.
I'm not the best at giving advice but if I could go back and change some of the choices I have made (education wise) I definitely would, you don't want to have regrets. I'm re-sitting three exams this year, in the hardest year of my education as well - so I definitely regret not trying harder last year!
Hopefully my tips have helped you out if you're worried about the next step in your life, I know I'm extremely nervous about going to University and keep wondering in my mind whether or not its the right choice! I'll keep you updated.
Also if you want to watch the video Lily Pebbles made about her education experiences just click HERE.