So it was around this time last year I was sitting my A-Level exams and honestly, my whole attitude towards education and the exams process had completely changed. I’d lost interest in all my subject choices, and as exams were getting closer and closer my attitude got more and more negative.
Throughout school there’s never been one subject that has really connected with me, and I was always unsure about going to university but the pressure that my school put on you to go to uni made me think I just had to go. I went through the whole application process, got 3 offers, but I knew I didn’t want to carry on with traditional education any longer, so declined them all.
I definitely felt a sense of satisfaction doing this, as it felt as if I was doing something for myself and I knew I would have really regretted going to uni, but I was so stuck on what to do instead. I didn’t want to go straight into a full time job, as I knew gaining more qualifications would be beneficial, but I was always hesitant to look into doing an apprenticeship due to the stereotypes it comes with. “They’re not as good as a degree” “Get a proper job” “Apprenticeships are the easy route” all which crossed my mind, and also are not true. I started researching into apprenticeships more and began to realise it’s a lot more than engineering, hairdressing and plumbing – all which are more than ok careers to go down, just something that doesn’t interest me. I applied for a few positions in varying courses but I didn’t pursue any because none of them felt right.
Something I’ve always been interested, which is the same as probably most people reading this blog, is social media. I’ve also always enjoyed writing, and being creative so when I saw that there were courses in Social Media and Digital Marketing I began to look into these more. I researched the differences between NVQ 2, NVQ 3, and NVQ 4 and began to look at employers around my area. I found a position that was 15 minutes from me, in a great location and the role was exactly what I’d enjoy so I applied and that week I got the job and I was so happy.
I started in October, after working at a supermarket throughout sixth form and summer, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve learnt so much and figured out some kind of path of what I’d like to do with my life – for the first time ever! I still have 5 months left to go as my course was 1 year, but a massive positive of my course for me was that I don’t have to attend college. I have an online portfolio where I complete and upload all my work, and meet my apprenticeship providers every 2-3 months. It just means I get to focus more on my job.
The huge downside to me has been living at home and not being able to see my friends. Watching them all get on with their lives, move out and make new friends has been hard, mainly as my workplace has 3 employees and I haven’t met many new people this year. Staying at home made it feel like to me nothing had really changed but then I’d see pictures of them, or hear their stories and I’d realise it’s really not the same. Saying that, I wouldn’t have changed the past year for anything. I’m a completely different person, I’ve learnt so much, get paid to do something I enjoy, and I never get the negative feeling I did towards the end of sixth form.
So if you’re undecided on what route to go down, have a look at apprenticeship schemes, there are so many different courses out there, and please feel free to message me on my social media if you have any questions.