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?
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..
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve heard from all your unis, have made your decision and told them about it, then you’re done with application process for now.
Congrats. Breathe a tiny sigh of relief.
But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Now you need to get your grades or meet any other ‘ifs’ and ‘buts' your chosen unis may have asked for. You may not be in Year 12, but take a look at the revision tips above.
So, you're settled into the swing of sixth form. In the future is Christmas and your next proper break. Sadly, that’s not all it holds: the future’s creeping up on you like a scary clown. The difference is your future's not a goofy fourteen-year-old in a mask.
So maybe uni isn’t for you. No problem, there are as many different styles of learning as there are people in the world, and it’s just fact that some learn better by doing than by reading from a textbook. If that sounds like you, now might be a good time to start thinking about apprenticeships.
If you’re thinking of going to uni in September 2019 and you haven’t got a shortlist yet, you’d better get yourself measured up for a thinking cap pretty fast.
Officially, you’ve got until January 15th to complete your application for most courses, but the deadline for Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary courses is only a month away.
Even if you’re not planning on applying for those courses, unis will start looking at and accepting applications from now, and so leaving it any later than the middle of November is cutting it fine. By then, the unis' firm 'yes' and 'no’ piles will be starting to grow. Some offers will already have been made. Some courses may be full already. Leaving your application till the last minute tells the uni you're not that serious.
Wherever you are, whether that’s applying for post-18 options or just starting to think about them, we want you to remember that it’s all about what’s right for you.
Maybe you like the idea of getting in some more learning on a subject area that interests you, but the academic life really just doesn’t float your boat. No problem, after all, everyone learns in different ways.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. That may seem like a scary idea, but think of it in baby steps.
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.
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.
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?
Really don't know what you want to do? Panic not, young Padawan. Life's not a journey on the underground, it's a road trip. It's never just about the destination.
Have a loose idea of where you're going, but enjoy the journey each day. That's much more important in the long run.
Remember, your journey has already started. Here's Push speaker Moj Taylor's tips on continuing it in the best way.
No idea what to do next? Here's a word from Push speaker Moj Taylor, on the beauty of the unplanned road trip.
"When I was in sixth form, apart from myself and my best friends, it felt like everyone else around me had a good idea of the type of job they wanted to do.
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
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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.