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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Uni, uni, uni. Might seem like that’s all we (or anyone around you for that matter) are talking about right now is going to uni. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right answer.
There’s no one post-18 path to rule them all. Think apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, work and jetsetting, for starters.
We’re not saying you can blow the next three months on Netflix binges and house parties though. Put your hands in the air and step away from the aux.
Chances are, at some point, you’re going to have to head out into the wonderful world of work. Cash in your pocket, and a rewarding career you enjoy. Win-win. But you have to earn that dream job, and the biggest hurdle is the interview.
The “I” word is enough to fill anyone with dread, but don’t panic. To start, try to forget everything you think you know about interviews, and instead flip it on it’s head – sure, you want to impress, but you’re interviewing them to make sure the job is perfect for you.
Yep, another one. We know, it’s rubbish, but…
Deadline alert. If you’re planning to go to uni this Autumn, aren’t a secret millionaire, and you want to be able to pay your fee/have money to live on:
Remember to apply for your student loan by the end of May. This is the cut off for guaranteed loans by the time your course starts in the Autumn, so jump on it.
You don’t need a confirmed place at university or college to apply, just use your preferred choice and update it online if it changes.
If you miss the deadline you might find yourself starting uni with only the change from down the back of the sofa so here's your reminder now.
Whether you’re writing your very first CV and cover letter, or working from an old one that’s full of ‘hobbies’ you’ve only ever done once, or questionable ‘work experience’, you’re now at an age where having a strong CV and cover letter is extremely important.
After all, who doesn’t want to earn some extra cash or, most importantly, get experience that’s going to impress companies when you leave school or graduate.
Nearly all employers require a CV and cover letter as part of the application process. So, it’s important that you understand the basics of drafting them. To help you out, we’ve pulled together our advice on how to write a CV and cover letter.
We speak to hundreds, if not thousands of young people every year who start off thinking they have nothing exciting to write about themselves. No excitement factor that might make them stand out from the crowd in a CV for a job, or a uni personal statement.
How wrong they are.
Even if you’re not an Olympic medallist, a young Einstein, or the world-record holder for number of bubbles blown with a tarantula in your mouth, you can paint your years of experience in a way to make sure anyone hearing about them is left wanting more.
A great place to start? A part-time job.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
If your plans don't involve uni visits and UCAS forms, there's still loads to do over the Summer to make yourself more employable.
If you don't have any work experience, it can be tough to get your first permanent job. But summer jobs, well, they're easier to get and then, ta-da, you've banked some experience and some cash for later.
While university applications are on the rise (even with the huge rise in tuition fees), you might feel that higher education at a traditional university or college isn't the right experience for you at this stage in your life.
Many choose to study a degree later in life, or not at all, and you should never feel less than others just because you aren't choosing to go to university right now.
Not everyone should go to university, because no two people are the same. It’s about getting the right fit for you and an employer, so that you can become as desirable as possible for the industry you want to get into.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, it’s not a stretch to say you’ve probably sat around at some point thinking – what makes me unique? How do I stand out from the crowd? These existential questions particularly rear their ugly heads when you’re faced with a personal statement for college or uni, or a cover letter for a job.
And it’s tough. Everyone’s their own biggest critic, but when it comes to singing your own praises, especially as to why you’re a better choice than anyone else, it can feel like an impossible task.
Yeah, we know you’re all pretty amazing. But to really stand out from the crowd of other applicants for a job or course, you need to have something else on offer besides the same GCSEs, A-Levels or degree as everyone else you’re up against.
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.
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.
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.
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 the festive period, what better excuse is there for finding some alone time than that you want to get ahead of the game?
You may want to just get a job right out of school or college.
If your main motivation right now in life is money, then go for it. You'll need to hunt out employers in your area, and there are plenty of job-hunting websites you can do this on.
If, however, you want those deeper rewards like respect, creativity, helping people, a love of learning, a feeling of self-worth by working alongside an inspiring person who can help you learn a specific skill or craft, then just rushing into any old job at 18 just for a quick pay packet won't be your best bet.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Think of life as a marathon. You’re running along a path that leads to the things you’d like, at the times you’d like them. You can stop at any time, rest and reassess your route, and you can use those running ahead of you to inspire you. Just like any race, you’ll see people ahead of you and others behind you.
There’ll even be people running right alongside you, perhaps on the exact path you’re on
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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