What do you want to do when you grow up?

For as long as I can remember, the question; “What do you want to do when you grow up?” made my stomach feel like it was a washing machine…

My answer changed month by month, much to the amusement of my family. From Vet, Dentist, Airline Pilot to Prime Minister, Zoo Keeper and even Spacewoman, my ambitions were always high! Never in a million years did I think that I’d be doing a Marketing Apprenticeship, but here I am. I’m sure that right now you’re in the same position that I was just 7 months ago, so although you may be looking at all your options, really, University is still at the top of your list. If that doesn’t work out then you’ll just go on a gap year with one of your friends, and reapply next year – that was my second option anyway.  To be honest with you, your options in life are endless.

In reality, if you have enough ambition you will get your dream job, it’s just a question of where you’ll be working and how old you’ll be when you get there. At the moment, you’re probably either finishing your GCSE’s or A-Levels and have been plonked at a crossroads. Do I go to University? Maybe I should do a gap year to give me a break from education? An apprenticeship might be the best option for me? I’ll just wait until I get some inspiration, something will come round the corner… All of these options have their benefits, and I can guarantee you that you and your best friend will dream about where your gap year will take you, you’ll go to University open days, probably apply for a few apprenticeships while still hoping that there’s the possibility that you can just sofa surf for the rest of your life.

The plan for my future changed monthly, but I’m so happy I didn’t follow the crowd – I made a more educated choice at the end of the day.

I’m going to start with the obvious choice – University

Everyone applies to University – there’s no doubt about it. Whether you’re at Sixth Form or College, you’ll probably be made to make an application through UCAS – and pay for it! £24 – what a cheek, as if University isn’t expensive enough as it is? You’ll drag your parents to a few open days, probably taking them hundreds of miles across the country in the process. They’ll definitely be a force behind your decision to go to University, I definitely wanted to make my parents proud and get offered a place by a prestigious University, and I did – University of Bath. I was going to study Psychology and at the time, Bath was higher than Oxbridge on the league tables, so I was so happy with the offer.

On results day, I found out I missed the offer by two marks on one of my papers! I was so in love with the University I didn’t want to go through clearing, I didn’t want all of that extra stress. Throughout the process I didn’t know where a psychology degree would take me, so I started to look more seriously into my other options after that. All of my close friends have gone to university and are scattered across the country, and they are all enjoying their experience so much, and as much as I hate to admit it, I am jealous! They are learning a lot, making life long friends and living independently for the first time in their lives – what’s not to love? Other than the paperwork, the expense, the stress and not knowing where it will actually take you…

One of my friends, who started University 6 months ago already wishes she had gone down the apprenticeship route, after reading Laura’s Story. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t regret her choice, but she wishes she had looked more deeply into her other options at a younger age.  I wouldn’t want to put anybody off of University, as the experience is unlike any other, and what you learn is second to none. I think you just need to be 100% clear that you know where your degree will take you and you’re confident it’s worth the cost. If you want to go to University, the easiest way to apply and track your application is with UCAS. 

Apprenticeships