Ever get the feeling the world’s only ever talking about uni? You’re not alone, even teachers are feeling like there’s not enough support and knowledge when it comes to helping students down the apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship route.
That’s why Tes (once the Times Education Supplement, that pumps out regular info and news for school teachers) launched a campaign called #InspiringApprentices to boost awareness and understanding of the career path.
The campaign was launched to document the thoughts and experiences of young apprentices in the UK.
Think about it. In a world of self-service checkouts, virtual personal assistants, driverless cars and automated factories, job security is looking like a thing of the past.
Are you going to be spending years studying and training for a job that Wall-E will be doing by the time you’re thirty?
The Guardian are a bit concerned that lecturers in financially struggling unis will soon be replaced by AI technology in digital classrooms.
That’s not all, a BBC article back in June came out with the shocking statistic that, by 2030, 20 million factory jobs alone will have been taken over by robots.
Most people have some assumptions when it comes to uni, whether they have friends or family who have been before or not. And a lot of those will inevitably revolve around drinking.
Bargain basement uni bars, student clubbing nights with shots for £1, boozy society initiations, house/halls parties galore. It might seem like that’s all there is to the whole degree-earning business.
Turns out, a whopping 79% of students are under the impression that ‘getting drunk is part of university culture’. Seems pretty inescapable.
And although that’s not really true, and it’s perfectly doable to get through your uni years teetotal if that’s what floats your boat, the tide really does seem to be changing on the booze culture.
Nowadays, we can’t go a few days without hearing about climate catastrophes, from the Amazon forest fires to the macabre memorial held by scientists at the demise of the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change.
So it’s welcome news that next week marks another round of some of the most prolific, exciting demonstrations and strikes going – Youth Strike 4 Climate and Fridays for Future.
This time, they’re not just for the young climate strikers, like Swedish sensation Greta Thunberg, who kick-started the climate crisis movement.
If you’re thinking of going to uni in September 2020 and you haven’t thought about which unis you're going to apply to yet, you’d better level up and get a move on.
You’ve got until mid-January to complete your application for most courses, but Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary courses have deadlines that are less than a month away (October 15th).
Even if you’re not planning on applying for those courses, all unis have already started accepting applications. Leaving it until the January deadline is like joining a long queue for a small cake.
Gap years used to be thought of as something only rich people or unreliable people did. These days, however, everyone is taking gap years, from young adults just out of high school to people in their mid-20s or 30s who want to take a sabbatical from work and travel for longer. A gap year should be seen as a way to achieve your goals, personal and professional, instead of a questionable gap in your CV.
This article will give you tips on how to present your gap year in a way that highlights the benefits and how you’ve learned from it. These suggestions can be used either in a traditional CV for job applications or in a cover letter or personal essay for students who are applying to higher education.
We know that making real-life decisions and the whole UCAS commotion is basically a year away, but before you know it these choices will be getting all up in your face and demanding attention.
Then there's all the exams, revision, coursework, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings and the highly repostable memes... so it's never too soon to get focused.
Besides, what's sixth form all about anyway? If you can work out where it's heading, it gives the next two years more purpose, more focus — maybe even more fun and success.
What we're saying is that, however early it seems, now's a great time to be thinking about two of the big questions; what do you want to do and where do you want to do it?
Spending a semester abroad to study is an incredible opportunity that can change your life. It’s important to be aware of certain mistakes people make so that you can avoid them and make sure that your time abroad is as rewarding and exciting as it can be.
If you’re a new student, chances are you’ve already experienced the sweet satisfaction that comes with seeing your bank account filled to the brim when your Student Loan arrives.
It may seem like a lot at the time, and the temptation to live like a king and blow it all on pizza/alcohol/Netflix subscriptions may be irresistible. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
But, if budgeting isn’t your strong suit and you find yourself short on funds, or if your Student Loan doesn’t quite cover your living costs, you may decide to also pick up part-time work while you’re studying.
A wise move. After all, even if you don’t think you need it, a little extra cash to burn never hurt, right?
If you are looking for part-time work, there are plenty of websites out there to find the job that works for you.
Procrastination can be a serious productivity killer. It can get you into all sorts of deadline troubles, leading to frantic keyboard tapping and energy drink fuelled all-nighters.
It’s not just you – besides the most diligent and proactive of us, we’re pretty much all in this together. Picture the High School Musical number, except none of us want to dance right now. Maybe later.
So when the Independent reported on a uni student who blitzed through her dissertation project in a single night, mere hours before her deadline, we can’t say we weren’t a bit awe-struck.
And incredibly stressed on her behalf. But still. Impressive.
Everyone loves Matilda, right? Whether it’s Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations and the heart-warming tale of Danny DeVito and Mara Wilson (now a Twitter icon, honestly…)’s unbeatable Hollywood depictions, Roald Dahl’s creation is a timeless classic.
Not to mention we’re always here for a strong female protagonist. With vigilante magic. But we digress.
Two Manchester-based parents are advertising through a freelance tutoring service to find a tutor willing to dress and act the part of the unforgettable Miss Honey, Matilda’s sweet, nurturing schoolteacher to tutor their daughter.
We talk a lot about gap years, we know. And what does that actually entail, bathing baby elephants in your brightly patterned harem pants? Volunteering your time to dig out wells, or teach disadvantaged children?
Sure, if that’s your idea of a dream year out. Go for it. But don’t worry too much about matching the stereotypes.
A year out is whatever the hell you want to make of it. Travelling and volunteering are two popular avenues, of course. Chances are you’re young and not tied down with any scary responsibilities like a mortgage and steady 9-5, why wouldn’t you go see the world?
Here at Push, we can’t celebrate our differences enough. It’s what makes us all so interesting, able to see the world in new, abstract ways to solve all sorts of problems, and to come together as strong, diverse teams.
A world full of identical people with identical thoughts is, well, not worth thinking about.
Want us to put our money where our mouth is? Head to our YouTube channel for a quick-fire rundown from Ben, one of our presenters—he talks about making the most of your individuality and quirks, and discusses how he turned his dyslexia into an award-winning strength.
But we get it. Sometimes, the world isn’t always geared up to help and support differences.
You’ve done it. You made it through two years of intensive studies, coursework, endless revision, and one hell of an exam period. Go you!
This week, it’s finally time to reap the rewards.
If everything goes to plan, you’ll wind up with the grades you were hoping for and everything will be hunky dory. Party time. On with the plan, whether that be heading to uni, taking an apprenticeship, heading out on a gap year or going into work.
So the weather might not still be living up to the full promise of Summer, but the freedom must still be tasting sweet.
We’re not suggesting you bog yourself down worrying about the waning August days and the darkening evenings, but it’s a good idea to start getting serious about what year 13 holds for you.
It might still seem far off, but if you’re planning on going to uni in 2020, things are going to start moving at light speed. We’re talking open days and summer schools, personal statements, UCAS applications, student finance, interviews, offers, accommodation…
This third and final part starts with the end: my concluding message to young people: listen to others openly and impartially about their varying experiences after school - of higher education routes and non-higher education routes. Understand you have a choice, more than you realise, and that all anyone else can do is offer you advice and never tell you which choice is 'best', because best is something only you can decide...because no one is inside your own head and feels the way you feel when placed in different environments with different people doing different activities (place and people will affect your choices more than you know).
So, you want to go to uni next year? Great, exams are out of the way and there’s nothing more you can do on that front.
And sure, you should be out enjoying your last summer of pure, unadulterated freedom. But now you’ve got a prime opportunity to give yourself a head-start by prepping for the year ahead.
Maybe think about thinking about creating a budget. It doesn’t matter if you have no idea what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather have your teeth pulled than check your bank statement. The important thing is to know where you stand so that you can plan ahead.
And that means no nasty surprises, you savvy, forward-thinker, you.
Wherever you are, school’s pretty much out for Summer now. You might have another week or so, but no one really does anything with that time anyway. You’re on the home stretch.
So, how are you going to max out your time off?
First thing’s first: relax. Yeah, you heard us. You won’t get many more opportunities in life to bliss out quite like this. Sure, there are some big decisions looming, and maybe some important exams in the not so distant future, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. Today’s for chilling.
Tomorrow though… it might be a good time to start looking for some part-time work to keep yourself busy.
You’ve got the next six weeks of freedom ahead of you – use it wisely! Whether you’re thinking of going away to uni, taking an apprenticeship or just getting your own place sometime soon, learning to cook is an incredible life skill.
Trust us, the instant noodles get old real quick. (And we’re not talking expiry dates. Monosodium Glutamate will outlast us all.)
So now that you’ve got the time, why not learn something new? This summer is a great opportunity to help out in the kitchen, learn some recipes and techniques, and test drive a few dishes.
Nothing is safe in the digital age, and recruitment is no exception. Gone are the days where employers rely solely on face-to-face traditional interviews.
Now you’ve got phone interviews, conference calls, Skype interviews, online or virtual aptitude tests and cognitive tasks.
So, how do you prepare?
Getting a job, apprenticeship or a place at your dream uni might seem like pretty terrifying concepts right now, but they don’t have to be.
You might think you have no skills and a dire CV or personal statement, but you’re completely wrong.
Everyone’s got something that will wow employers and admissions tutors, whether it’s dedication, time management and people skills earned from a weekend shop job or paper round, or sacrifice, compassion and maturity from being a carer to younger siblings or family members.
The sun’s (sort of) shining, but September is going to roll around quicker than you think. So if you’re moving away from home, start to consider who you might want to live with in the next academic year.
Going to uni for the first time?
If you’re moving into halls as a fresher, no need to worry about picking a roommate. That’s all done for you.
Granted, they may not be your dream roomie – most unis try to at least do some sort of compatibility matching when they lump people in together, but it’s rudimentary at best and no one expects everyone in a flat or hall to be besties.
Here at Push, we’re real advocates for mental health awareness and support. Just check out our website for bundles of content on everything from looking after yourself at uni to understanding the science behind mental wellness, and the benefits of taking the reins and knowing what you want from life.
We’re even here to help when it comes to what you should look for at uni, college, or work in terms of inclusive environments and mental health support.
Might sound like we’re banging on a bit, but this stuff really does matter.
I was always passionate about scuba diving and even considered joining the Royal Navy (my dad and granddad used to do a lot of UK scallop diving in Dorset), but this idea was talked down quickly in my school not by words, but through a lack of them: if I mentioned them, no one really knew how to respond to it so just politely smiled and nodded. It was the same when I had the idea of applying to drama school. I ended up choosing from a choice that wasn't mine: filling out my UCAS form and narrowing the choices down to Nottingham University and Queen Mary University of London. I at least chose London because of the wider pull of the city.
More on that in part 3. Coming up next month..
So exams are pretty much done and dusted if you’re in Year 13. Good job, pats on the back all round. If uni’s not immediately (or ever) on the cards for you, then now’s a great time to think about how to invest in yourself over the next year of sweet, sweet freedom.
The idea of a gap year might have been bounced around, but what is it really like? Who can do it? Is it a good idea? Thankfully, Push is here to help with a few good old FAQs.
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