For year 12s
Are you heading down the uni highway?
This month you can officially start applying to uni for 2019 entry. UCAS opens its website for people to register on 22nd May.
Don’t worry, the deadline is still a while away, but the dogs are now off the leash.
Hopefully, your thoughts about what you might want to study have, like chewing gum on the pavement, been getting firmer.
The next question is where to study? Sometimes this isn’t just about where it is in the country, but about what the place is
really like – the atmosphere.
No two unis are the same. The surroundings and building affect how it feels, but so too do the people, the students. Some
unis are posh, some are full of students from the area, some are ethnic melting pots, some are arty, sciency or businessy. Some are none of those things.
Now that we’ve talked all about how essay mills are out it would be pretty unfair of us to leave you high and dry when it comes to getting down to the nitty gritty of essay writing.
Before we start, have a look at Edinburgh Uni’s PhD student Tim Squirrell’s blog – it’s full of great insider tips on writing a top-class essay. He even has a handy TL;DR version:
For the terminally lazy:
School is no walk in the park. Neither is college, or uni for that matter. Things can be even harder for a lot of us who focus, learn, and engage in different ways. Disorders such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD are treated far more seriously in the classroom now than they ever have been, but that doesn’t mean that the education system is perfect. Finding things difficult? Not only can you ask your parents, teachers and tutors for extra support, but there are loads of online resources available to you to help you understand your best learning style and how to adapt your studies.
Are you a budding musician, singer or songwriter? Thinking the uni route is the one for you, but you’re not sure how useful an academic course would be in such a hands on, experience-based industry?
Well, Manchester Met might have the dream course for you.
Let’s face it, we’re a nation of social media addicts. It has its ups and downs – there are only so many angles you can shoot avocado toast from. At the end of the day though, most of us wouldn’t be without it, the beautiful time waster that it is.
But what if we were to tell you that there’s a social media platform that, actually, is really quite productive? A platform that cuts out all the unnecessary relationship status updates and dog ear filters, and that is really quite useful when it comes to developing your future career?
As a nation of young people raised on social media and the spotlight surrounding its many “influencers”, it’s no wonder that social celebs have made household names for themselves. They’re trusted. And they know it. So it’s no wonder that social media celebs have come under fire over the past few weeks because of some shady ad endorsements.
When we think scholarships, some of us automatically think high school quarterback getting his full-ride to an Ivy League, right? And to the rest of us, that means nothing at all.
Turns out it’s actually a misconception that scholarships are only for those lucky Americans. Students undertaking degrees in the UK can get them too, but you never hear as much about it.
Sure, they’re sort of the same things as bursaries and grants, terms which are tossed around a lot more. Essentially, it’s all free money. However, bursaries and grants are usually dished out automatically by universities and the government, whereas scholarships can often be privately run, and require jumping through a few hoops.
9It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming you back to school and wishing you a Happy New Year, but here we are, weeks away from Easter.
But just before we let you run riot and commit yourself to a self-induced chocolate coma, have a look below to make sure you've covered everything you need to for the month. You can reward yourself with extra chocolate if you have.
Location, location, location
How are you fixed for September 2019? If you've 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. The next question is which uni to go to. A good way to start is to figure out where you might want to be.
Are you a maths whiz, an economist of the future, a budding blogger, and a sixth form student? The Financial Times have teamed up with the Bank of England to run a competition: write a blog of up to 500 words on anything related to the future world economy.
Currently, there's no standardised minimum quality for apprenticeships across the UK, but this could soon be changing following calls to improve.
Under current regulations, Kevin Rowan from Trade Union Congress argues that too many apprentices are still earning below minimum wage, and employers aren't being properly prosecuted for breaking rules when it comes to pay. Only 3% of those in breach have faced legal action.
Thinking about being an apprentice once you leave school? The BBC has come up with a list of the things you need to know about apprenticeship schemes in the UK this year, so read on to get an idea of the current situation for new apprentices.
Sheffield Hallam University has received £500k funding to create a Centre for Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships. This will provide specific high quality learning for apprentices looking to earn a degree alongside apprenticeship-style practical experience.
Sheffield Hallam is already a leading institution for degree apprenticeships, but this extra dedicated funding will offer a huge boost. The university's partners in the area currently include Wipro, Barnsley Met Borough Council, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tonic Works and L&P Springs, but the list is ever-increasing.
So, what does the M-word really mean? You might have heard the term 'mindfulness' thrown around by lifestyle bloggers, Insta yoginis and emblazoned on covers of pocket books in your local bookshop. It's becoming so popular that it's almost the new hygge.
Applying for uni, but worrying about how far the pennies in your pocket will stretch? Maybe you fancy the idea of an apprenticeship or further study, and want to be a little more financially independent? It can be a scary prospect and you're not alone, finances are a concern for many young people.
The Times have has compiled a list of some of the top budgeting apps on the market right now. Check them out if you need a little guidance when it comes to how much you can really spend on that inflatable crocodile you absolutely need for your "new" kitchen in halls.
There's also a few apps approved by Money Saving Expert's Martin Lewis in there too, so you know you're in good hands.
Trust us, everyone from your parents to your pals will be blown away by your newfound money-managing prowess. The best part? These apps are all free.
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.
There are some other careers where you have to study something in particular — to be an architect or vet, for instance — but they’re the exception. For some others — like law or social work — it’s not a career killer to start out by studying something else and getting the right qualifications after a first degree in something else, but studying the relevant subject is definitely the equivalent of choosing trainers instead of flip flops when you’re running the hurdles.
Then there are other careers that don’t require you to study anything in particular. In fact, here we’re talking about most careers. Sure, some subjects may give you a headstart, but getting that job will be more down to you being the right person than your course being the right one.
Some courses may look like they’re the passport for a particular career, when actually, your best route in might be something entirely different. For example, chemistry is generally at least as good a qualification to become a forensic scientist as forensic science itself.
Similarly, politics, English or languages may well get you into a job in media or journalism more directly than media studies.
However, most of us don’t have a career, a family, a mortgage, a pension and a funeral plan all sorted. That’s not a problem. All in good time. In that case, study what you love. At uni, you’ll need to be devoted to your studies to give them your best shot.
No one will be giving you a good talking to for not turning up to lectures or putting you in detention for a late essay. It’s down to you to succeed, so it really helps to study something that really shakes your pineapple. You'll study harder, study better and probably get a better result and in the end.
Best of all, you'll find yourself qualified for a career you like.
That applies even if you want to be a doctor. If you don’t enjoy studying medicine, being a doctor for the next 45 years is going to be a total splat. Choose a course you love because if you do what you love, you’ll love what you do.
Having decided on the right course for you, here are three quick tips:
1. If you’re thinking of doing a course which asks for a portfolio or examples of your work, now's the prime time to make sure you’re going to have a good selection to show.
2. Every uni wants students who're dedicated to their subject. Show your commitment by doing some volunteering or work experience placements that are relevant to your studies. Or at the very least, some reading.
3. If you've got questions about a course, phone the uni department to ask. Not only is it a good way to get the answer, it's a chance to show your enthusiasm.
If you’re still drawing a blank on what exactly you might want to do, take a look at bestCourse4me which will give you all the info you need on what job certain degrees might lead to and what kind of money you could expect to make. Alternatively, if you know what job you want, but you're not sure how you can get there, bestCourse4me can help with that too.
Once you’ve got your course down, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to a site like Which? Uni which has everything you need to help you decide where might be best for you to study based on all kinds of wonderful things like location, grades, living costs and the social scene.
What about apprenticeships?...
From this April, big firms are going to have to put a whole heap of cash into apprenticeships, so many people predict a volcanic boom in what’s on offer and how they’re regarded by employers and the public.
Some employers and unis have even teamed up to offer apprenticeships where you get a degree at the same time. (They're helpfully called Degree Apprenticeships.) You study some of the time, but you also work and even earn money on the job.
There are apprenticeships all over the UK (especially England). They range from working in the RAF, training in accountancy to work in many of the main banks in this country.
We even found some that you might not expect to see. How about being an Aerospace Engineer, building and maintaining vehicles or satellites in space? Or a Fashion Studio Assistant or working on video games to check and fix them before they go live?
Even if you’ve decided uni's not for you, but you like the idea of moving away, apprenticeships in larger cities like London, Manchester, Leeds or Bristol might be a chance to get away. You get all the same perks of leaving home, just without the student debt.
Remember, though, you'll be paying rent which is a big cut out of your first pay cheque, which, when you’re on an apprenticeship may not be huge to start with.
A ray of light in the uncertain times surrounding news of Carillion, construction giant's liquidation: the government has announced that the 1,400 apprentices left without a job or course security will be supported in search for employers to continue their placements with.
Many young people were left unsure of their futures since the news that Carillion, the UK's largest construction apprentice employer, was dissolving, but things are now looking up.
If you read anything in a tabloid newspaper, you'd think that the young people of today are nothing but delicate little "snowflakes" – offended by everything, right down to the ever-rising price of avocados.
You only have to talk to a real-life young person to know that's not the case. An entire university study has been dedicated to the idea of Generation Snowflake, and you won't be surprised to find that it's an exaggerated, over-generalised load of nonsense.
Okay, maybe not the avocado part. C'mon, we've got to have some nice things.
Researches from the University of Leeds' Institute for Teaching interviewed 55 undergrads as part of their study into student resilience, and had another 185 complete survey questionnaires.
Students were asked what they thought about the snowflake generation - students who were "quick to take offence and too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own", and also the idea of 'trigger-warnings' - where individuals are notified of potentially distressing content before being exposed to it.
Surprisingly, large numbers of students hadn't even heard of the term 'snowflake generation' or even 'trigger-warnings', and if they were aware of the concept, it wasn't usually in terms of education and more in terms of internet use.
Rather than the negative associations, where 'trigger-warnings' are viewed as a form of censorship, the participating students largely agreed that the warnings allowed them to be prepared for potentially disturbing content, rather than choosing not to engage with it at all.
Overall, the participants "were likely to say that they could see some truth in ['snowflake generation'], but that it was an unfair, sweeping label for an eclectic group of people."
We're sure over the past year you’ve heard the abbreviation VR thrown about at just about any announcement of a new tech device. VR stands for Virtual Reality and it’s starting to creep into our lives whether you want it to or not. Now the question is, will virtual reality change how we gain soft skills?
It's not all about getting a good enough job to get by, or even to just start making a dent in those hefty students loans. But that should be fairly obvious, right? No point studying for 3+ extra years, only to fall into a job that's completely the wrong fit.
If it's not for you, chances are you won't like it. And if you don't like it, chances are you won't be able to force yourself to get up and go to it every morning for all that long.
We've all heard it, right? The dreaded millennial Catch-22: to get experience, you need a job. To get a job, you need experience.
Unsurprisingly, high numbers of young people in the UK go through long unpaid placements, internships and work experience programmes to gain the experience required for their first full-time job.
This may seem like an inevitable link in the career chain, but for many, unpaid internships are a pretty crappy thing. Primarily, unpaid placements work only on the basis that you have significant savings to support you while you're working for (optimistically) experience, or (pessimistically) nothing.
Not to scare you or anything, but today, January 15th, is a pretty darn important deadline. That's right, it's D-Day.
And the cut off is at 6pm.
If you've already got your UCAS application in, congrats, you're on the ball and we applaud your organisational skills. You may burn this message after reading, unless you'd like to keep the info safe in the off-chance you don't get the acceptance offers we know you deserve this time around.
If you're hoping to start university in 2018, and haven't yet submitted your UCAS application, now is the time to act – and panic slightly, but only if that's going to motivate you. No headless chickens here, please.
A pretty cool article by the Telegraph has analysed new data from UCAS, which found that last year, half the students embarking on their journey into university were the first in their family to do so.
This is the first time on record that the number of students with non-academic parents has matched the number of those from advantaged, academic backgrounds.
If you've already started your uni career, you now know that textbooks are the necessary evil that slash at your alcoholic beverage budget. If you're just about to start, let us tell you now: you've got to pay for these bad boys all by yourself and they're nothing to laugh about.
Sometimes lecturers have a reading list as long as your arm, and borrowing from the library just won't cut it when there's 60 of you clamouring for the single dogeared copy of Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction.
New Year, New You? If fitness is your thing (or not! No judgement) then you're in for a treat.
Here's Push presenter Moj Taylor's exclusive interview with personal trainer Kaoutar Hannach: read on for her insight on everything from student life and choosing the right degree, to how she found a career she loves.
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2019, 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.
Still think you've got ages? Just think about all the lessons, summer exams, Saturday jobs, parties, holidays and procrastination that you've got to fit in. Blink and the year will be gone.
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We're always interested to hear from talented young writers, so if you'd like to feature as a guest author then hit us up for more details.