It’s only been two years since I started university in Scotland, and now I am preparing for my year abroad in Europe. Before my travels, I go back to the bonnie land of the brave on a flixbus to visit friends from my familiar town. Anticipating those I will be meeting in the coming year, I dwell on the significance of these connections to enjoying time away from home.
Knowing how best to navigate a graduate job interview may be making you feel slightly anxious and apprehensive – especially when you’re unsure exactly what questions you’ll be asked. However, one of the most common during the process that frequently arises very early on is - "Can you talk me through your CV?"
We’re constantly reminded about all the crazy things going on in the world – some of these things are good (new world records, Olympic athletes, world class musicians, scientists and creatives showcasing their skills and artistry) others are far from this reality (natural disasters, wars, horrific crimes and so on). Oftentimes it can feel difficult to navigate a world filled with so much darkness – sometimes you may even wonder if there’s any good left out there. I’m here to tell you that there is and that you can be a part of this. In previous posts I’ve touched on how acts of kindness can improve your wellbeing and outlook on life – today we’re going to look at this in more depth in the hopes that you’ll be able to make some positive change this summer.
My exams are over now, and the freedom of summer is slowly sinking in. It’s time to watch movies of flowery frocked teens munching strawberries in fields on the outskirts of civilisation, wild water dipping and tossing shades to the wild grass. These images of summer trickle in and begin to replace the world of word counts and wooden lecture theatres. But what is this concept framed by a vignette of endlessly sunny days, and what’s it doing to how we live our summer?
For many young people, the thought of uprooting to study internationally is a daunting, seemingly unrealistic prospect. But you may be surprised to learn that foreign universities aren’t as inaccessible as you may think, and there is help available to make the transition a little easier for anyone considering studying abroad.
For the past few summers, there have been restrictions on what we do and where we go. This year, however, we find ourselves in an almost limitless expanse of cocktails and suntans. But it's been many months since we’ve had this much freedom in the sun. Think of last year’s summer, three years ago and how much you’ve changed since 2019. Different goals, perhaps. Changed habits. Shifting priorities. How do you fill this summer of 2022 with memories?
What is employability? Well, break it down. Which two words can employability be split into? In the simplest sense it is your ability to be employed. The Oxford Dictionary definition of ability is ‘the fact that someone or something is able to do something;’. There are hundreds of different factors that make up this (and your unique) ability – far too many for me to list here – but that’s the point of this article.
“Our choices and responses are our only responsibility. Choice is the discipline that makes the garden of our lives bloom.” - Stephen Hanselman
The idea of jobs can be depressing, especially with news about the rising age of retirement – the idea that we have to spend the next fifty years (and the prime of our lives) working for other people. Unfortunately, unless you win the lottery - and any Push fans will know how likely that is to happen, we’ve got to work.
If your plan for next year is university then you’re already submitted your application, right? If not, then get a move on. The UCAS deadline (January 15th) may be the official cut-off, but a lot of places will have been filled already. We know how fab you are, but that doesn’t mean the unis are holding a space specially for you. Get your application in before the end of this month.
The pandemic might have changed your plans about going to university. Perhaps you’ve already deferred for a year or because of everything going on you may have already decided that uni isn’t the right path for you in 2021, but you’ll give it a go in 2022.
If that’s the case, don’t let your gap year go by, in the blink of an eye, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and still not ready for uni. In days pre-covid (remember those?) a gap year often meant jetting off in a plane with a backpack and spending a couple of months in a new country. However we don’t know when that’s going to be a realistic option. So maybe it's time to think a little closer to home during your gap year. Here are a few ideas to get started:
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
Never heard of the Access to HE Diploma? It’s a Level 4 HND qualification specifically designed to help students who don’t have traditional qualifications like A Levels or Scottish Highers to get into university or other higher education.
Maybe you have the next thirty to forty years of your life mapped out perfectly, with a clear career goal in mind. You go, Glen Coco. We’re impressed.
Or maybe you don’t. That’s just as exciting — no one’s expecting you to have your life dreamt away by this point anyway.
Either way, a great way to cash in some of your free time is to look into volunteering. The big ‘V’ is bounced around a lot when it comes to unis talking about what they want from students, advice from careers advisors and glamorous-looking ads for gap years in exotic destinations.
But what can it mean for you? Well, it can mean just about whatever you want it to.
School and college is pretty heavy going. You start when you can barely walk or talk, then it’s full-throttle all the way until you hit 18, and are set free into the big bad world.
For lots of people, it makes sense and feels right to go straight into university once A-Levels or Highers are finished. For others, it doesn’t. And that’s just as groovy.
Maybe uni is on the cards, or you fancy the idea of some sort of higher education in the future, but now’s the time to take a break and try something different.
And why not?
In the world we live in, it’s increasingly more valuable to be as internationally minded as you possibly can.
And no, we don’t mean that you should be mixing up your weekly tikka masala order, and would be better off getting the occasional Chinese or Italian takeaway instead.
Being internationally minded - where you’re open to different cultural behaviours and attitudes, and can embrace new ideas from beyond your bubble - is a crucial and invaluable attribute.
When everyone is telling you to make a choice on your future in school or college, it can feel like the most stressful time in the world. If you live to the average age of 81.5 years (in the UK), you'll make about 850,000,000 choices in that time...
Once results are in on Thursday, you have four options — two if you got the grades you wanted, and two if you didn't:
If you got the grades you wanted:
Thumbs up, round of applause, pat on the back, etc. Your two options are:
So, it’s getting to the time of year where everyone’s asking the same, awful question: what are you going to do with your life?
Yuck. What a quick way to ruin the annual family barbecue.
If you’re panicking about the answer, or really just don’t know what you want, you’re not alone. Just remember that it’s your life, and your choices, so be certain that whatever you decide comes from a well-researched place. This is not the time to make a last minute panic decision, or just go along with whatever everyone else is doing or telling you to do.
Jealous of your pals who took a gap year full of elephant-hugging in Thailand, or club-repping over in Ibiza? We don't blame you, but we know travel gap years aren't right for everyone.
Be it the money, the confidence, or the timing, there are loads of reasons why some might pack away their passport and head straight for university instead.
You might be thinking that a year of exploring is a waste of money, and you'll have nothing but a sweet Insta stream and a tan to show for it at the end. Might even be thinking uni's something you want to get in and out of ASAP, and adding an extra year before you even start is going to waste time.
So, you might be thinking about taking a gap year. You might have blindly just stumbled into one.
Worried about funding it? If you're keen to travel the world whilst getting physically fit, while developing skills like teamwork, communication, leadership, tenacity and initiative, then The Army's Gap Year Commission is 100% worth a look.
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