Leaving high school is an empowering time, giving you the ultimate freedom to choose the next step in your life. Thousands of colleges offer hundreds of different courses from A-Levels for university or vocational to get you straight into a skilled job after passing. But what if the education system just doesn't suit you? Don't worry, there are other options and despite what others tell you, it's a perfectly valid option. Here's why.
After leaving high school, I went to Sir John Deanes College and my first warning sign was my induction day. Even though I was offered a place onto the Psychology course if I achieved my grades (which I did) when applying, on induction day they told me that my grades were too low and forced me to take art instead. Not a happy bunny. After being told that my work was utter sh*t by the teacher only a week after starting, I dropped that course and even doing 3 A-Levels rather than 4 was too much for me.
I pretty much hated college from day one and nine months later, just after sitting my AS-Level exams, I dropped out. I applied for jobs and apprenticeships everywhere and landed myself an apprenticeship which I love. It's important to remember that once you've started college, if you know that it's not for you then you can leave before time is up so don't be scared!
Pros of College:
- Gain qualifications for university or working life.
- Get to avoid full adult responsibility for a little longer by staying in education.
- Spend time with people your own age to meet new friends whilst maintaining a social life.
Cons of College:
- It's expensive, textbooks are dearer than they should be.
- Not earning money being there.
- Chance of failing your exams.
- Homework. Need I say more?
Pros of an Apprenticeship:
- Gain a qualification whilst working.
- Gain work experience for further employment.
- Earn money (even if it isn't much).
- Boost your confidence by getting to know people of all ages from all walks of life.
Cons of an Apprenticeship:
- Low wage - they're allowed to pay you significantly less as you're training.
- It can be difficult handling workplace stress and daily life at a young age.
- Some careers require an undergraduate degree so you wouldn't be able to apply for them in future life.
Of course this is only my experience and for some careers, university is compulsory. However, if you don't want to go to university or feeling like you're on the wrong path, it's possible to turn things around whilst you're still young and go on to something different. Just do what's right for you as life is too short to be unhappy with what you're doing!
What did you do after leaving school? What are your experiences?
Let me know in the comments section below!