Some students might think, with the news that exams are being cancelled that summer is here now. Should you put your feet up?
Absolutely not, amigo. This is the most important time to keep a regular routine, as things might kick back into action in the coming months. Don't treat this as your summer holiday (and you can't anyway due to the lack of collective gatherings allowed like cinemas, concerts, festivals and pubs).
Here's our 5 top tips for keeping yourself yourself...
We can't imagine what you're going through right now, with news of your exams being called off this summer, but we can try and understand. Our presenter team have all been through the stresses of school, sixth form and college and have tried to place ourselves in this situation, and think of the questions we'd most want answered
Worried about all the fake news and conflicting information when it comes to Covid-19? (Yes, we always sing it to the tune of Come On Eileen, too.) Us lot at Push are no doctors or virology experts, but we can remind you of a few fundamental things…
Now the boring obligatory bit’s done with, what about the rest? Are school closures likely? What do they mean?
If you’re looking to move out anytime soon, chances are you’re going to be moving in with others. And that can be brilliant. Living with your best mates, having people around to keep you company and help you out, and splitting the bills is always nice.
But what if things go a little awry, and it’s not quite the perfect Friends-esque flatmate dream?
The Guardian have written a great cheat sheet to help you with some of the most common problems that can arise in shared accommodation and how to tackle them. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest sources of tension when living with other people is…
Problems you might encounter as a tenant in shared accommodation...
Nowadays everyone is (or should be) a champion for diversity and inclusivity, but what does that really mean?
According to digital tech source, Built In:
“Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique, while inclusion refers to the behaviours and social normal that ensure people feel welcome.”
One example of diversity is those of us who are differently abled, whether that’s a visible or invisible disability, and making sure that we feel included, represented and involved in society. But how can we do that?
The government is proposing to create an Ofsted-style system that ranks universities on the amount their graduates earn according to the Guardian.
There has been some resistance to this idea from the education industry and rightly so. It creates a number of problems that could cause damage to particular courses (Arts and Humanities especially) that are in areas outside of London.
So what are the issues of this and in fact, would an earnings ranking actually be that helpful for students looking to go to university?
By now, you're probably hearing from most – if not all – of the unis you applied to. If not, don’t worry, they're supposed to let you know by 31st March, but if you if you just can’t wait until then, it won't hurt to give them a call. You have to make sure you've responded by the 5th May if you have heard back from them all by the end of March so keep that in mind.
Now while we’re sure that you made an effort to go and see all 5 of your choices before applying, we also understand that sometimes life and viruses can get in the way and you might not have had time to go and see them all (err... or any of them).
We understand, these things happen.
Location, location, location
Now is as good a time as any to start contemplating the path you are going to take come September 2020. Assuming you have already taken some time to weigh up your options and decided on uni, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the easy bit over. If you, like many others, are considering university it can be a pretty daunting task figuring out which uni to go to.
A good way to start is figuring out your preferred location and what better time to start doing so if we're all self isolating. Although probably hold off on going to see the place for a few weeks...
It might seem that sometimes everyone is talking about going to University, but it isn't for everyone.
If you think university might not be for you there's alternative routes. One of the most popular is Apprenticeships and right now there's more providers than ever!
However Paul Joyce, Ofsted's Deputy Director for Further education and Skills, has spoken in a report about how Brexit may have an effect on Apprenticeships and Skill gaps and he found in his research that while the number of providers of Apprenticeships has gone up since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 (This means companies had to pay into the levy to support Apprenticeships in their business) the number of people actually doing apprenticeships has continued to fall.
So why is this the case?
The ball is finally in your court
This month you’ll probably be getting some offers from universities. You may have some already. It can be exciting — like getting several Valentine cards all at once. It can also be unnerving: frantically hitting refresh on the UCAS website for hours on end and feeling like the only Valentine you’ll get might be from your mum. It doesn’t have to be stressful.
If you haven’t heard back yet, from your uni OR your valentine then calm down. Unis are supposed to let you know by March 31st, though they may take a little bit longer in some cases. Delay is not necessarily a bad sign. Especially with the response to your valentine message you sent on Friday.
You don’t have to tell UCAS what you want to do until May 5th, so if you've got offers, don’t rush.
What course is the course for you?
You go to uni to do a degree. But which one? There’s over 17,000 different subjects you can study and more than 70,000 individual courses.
You can start with what you want to do as a career. To be a doctor, you have to study medicine, for instance — which most people would agree is better than having people doing surgery just because they studied needlework.
You might have heard the Prince’s Trust’s name thrown about before, but who are they and what do they do?
According to their website, the Prince’s Trust is a charity set up by Prince Charles over 40 years ago with the mission ‘to help young people transform their lives by developing the confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.’.
The charity helps school leavers and young people to develop their soft skills, get additional training and provides tips and resources on getting a job. For the budding entrepreneurs among us, they also offer training, mentoring and funding to help you start your own business.
Wherever you are on your journey, whether you’re in Year 11 and starting to think about what lies ahead or in Year 13 with big decisions knocking at your door, it can be difficult to know what’s the right path for you.
Especially when there are so many options. We’re talking work, apprenticeships, uni, degree apprenticeships, diplomas, gap year and travel, volunteering, internships…
The list seems pretty endless, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing. There are so many different pathways out there that it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find something perfect for you.
If you’ve finished with college and are out navigating the world by yourself for the first time, whether that’s moving away to uni or taking on an apprenticeship scheme or a full-time job, we know that cash flow issues can always be a bit of a downer.
Depending on your circumstances, we’ve got loads of tips on making the most of your cash, and any financial support available to you.
New analysis has found that in the last five years, two thirds of colleges and universities have seen an increase in their dropout rates.
One of the reasons stated could be the drive to widen applicants to universities with institutions said to be admitting students who ‘aren’t able to cope’.
While Push doesn’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to allow as many people to get to University and follow their ambitions if they want to, we certainly think you should do your research before you decide if it’s the route for you.
The UCAS deadline has now passed. Hopefully you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing yours was submitted ages ago. If that's the case, here are the four possible responses you could be receiving in the next few months:
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2021, but if you're clever (and we’re sure you are), you’ll want to be as on-the-ball as Cinderella’s godmother and get your application right at the front of the queue.
That means getting it submitted by around half term in the Autumn.
Here at Push, we’re always the advocate for earning while learning - the idea of, if it’s right for you and your circumstances, you get ahead of the game with a part-time job.
This can be anything from office work to bartending to shelf stacking to running your own side hustle online empire.
Even if you’re not particularly tight for cash (though it’s quite the student stereotype, and who would turn down a rainy day fund?) it’s a great personal investment, in terms of gaining experience and having that X Factor to put on your CV or personal statement.
Not sure what we mean?
Are you starting to think about your options? Not a fan of the uni route, but want to stay in training? With all the buzz in the news about apprenticeships at the moment, you’d be perfectly normal to be unsure when it comes to making a post-18 pathway choice.
Especially given the scheme has come under fire recently after a report was released by The EDSK, which suggested that ‘half of the courses offered in England are “fake” and the scheme was “descending into farce”.
On the other side of the argument though, a spokesperson for the Department for Education told the BBC that ‘schemes are becoming “better quality”, and give people the change to work in a salary-paying, training-heavy job with long term prospects.
But we know that most of the conversation around apprenticeships is coming from think-tanks, employers and government organisations - people who are never really experiencing the reality of life as an apprentice.
And who’s right? It’s all a bit mind-boggling.
According to erasmusprogramme.com, ‘Erasmus students are those that take advantage of the Erasmus exchange program, a well supported and organised scheme that has been in operation since the late 1980's. It allows students to study at universities in the EU member states for set periods of time.
Erasmus students study a wide variety of subjects but most use the program for advancing their language skills with a view to working in the international sphere.’
Throughout its active years, the Erasmus scheme has supported internationally-minded, travel savvy students on their trans-national studies and lives.
Being a member of the scheme entitles you to Erasmus’ support (both financial and educational) if you’re looking to spend some study time at an institution in neighbouring European countries.
And with over sixteen thousand Brits having taken up the scheme’s offerings in 2017 alone, you’ve no doubt heard weird and wonderful stories of friends and family studying abroad.
We've all been there.
You've got your exams coming up, you've got your coursework needing to get submitted. You sit down to work and before long you find yourself with your phone in your hand, scrolling through social media feeds or killing five minutes on the latest game, because five minutes isn't going to hurt right?
But five minutes every half an hour soon builds up.
Before you know it you're having to cram revision, rush your coursework and in turn become stressed and don't want to do the work. A vicious cycle if there ever was one.
If you've decided you want to go to uni, then we're going to go ahead and assume you're feeling pretty smug and have already submitted your application. If you haven't, then you've got till the January 15th deadline and, don’t forget, your school has to add a reference too before you application is complete and they’ll need at leat a few days for that.
So between now and then, stop dreaming of a White Christmas and dream instead about where your chosen degree might take you.
Your application is how you make it happen. Check out the careers prospects from the course (they should be on the uni's website).
You've probably started thinking about your options after school already, even if by mistake, but soon your teachers are going to start pushing you for a plan. So when the family's getting on your wick over Christmas, what better excuse is there for finding some time, than that you want to get ahead of the game?
In the news this week, the University of Leicester’s students have been praised for the success of their scheme to reduce waste associated with living in (and leaving) halls of residence.
The British Heart Foundation’s ‘Pack for Good’ scheme was set up to encourage first years and accommodation leavers to donate their discarded and unwanted items at the end of the year rather than binning them, and it has saved a whopping 39 tonnes of stuff from landfill.
39 tonnes! That’s 39 small cars, or 5.5 full-grown elephants. A quarter of a blue whale.
Thankfully, we’re hearing more and more about mental health in our day to day lives. Whether that’s celebrities speaking up about their experiences or friends sharing their battles, charities fighting for funding or campaigns raising awareness, mental health is finally starting to get the airtime it deserves.
And we’re proud to be champions of mental health awareness and wellbeing – head to our Blog for content from mindfulness to social media detox to cyberbullying to the benefits of exercise.
But we know the world’s not perfect yet. Far from it. There are still lots of us who don’t feel able to speak up and get help when we’re struggling. And though statistically more women suffer with mental health problems than men, men are far less likely to seek out help until they reach crisis point.
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