Spending a semester abroad to study is an incredible opportunity that can change your life. It’s important to be aware of certain mistakes people make so that you can avoid them and make sure that your time abroad is as rewarding and exciting as it can be.
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.
So the weather might not still be living up to the full promise of Summer, but the freedom must still be tasting sweet.
We’re not suggesting you bog yourself down worrying about the waning August days and the darkening evenings, but it’s a good idea to start getting serious about what year 13 holds for you.
It might still seem far off, but if you’re planning on going to uni in 2020, things are going to start moving at light speed. We’re talking open days and summer schools, personal statements, UCAS applications, student finance, interviews, offers, accommodation…
You’ve got the next six weeks of freedom ahead of you – use it wisely! Whether you’re thinking of going away to uni, taking an apprenticeship or just getting your own place sometime soon, learning to cook is an incredible life skill.
Trust us, the instant noodles get old real quick. (And we’re not talking expiry dates. Monosodium Glutamate will outlast us all.)
So now that you’ve got the time, why not learn something new? This summer is a great opportunity to help out in the kitchen, learn some recipes and techniques, and test drive a few dishes.
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.
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..
90% of apprentices in England stayed on in employment after completing their qualification; 71% with the same employer (so says the Government). That's great news, but if you're considering degree-level apprenticeships at a college or a university (yes really), you'll need to know the realities of them. In short, they are just like level 3 (advanced) apprenticeships: quality of skills on offer, healthy balance between course/work, wage paid and no guarantee of a full-time job at the end of the course.
There's 3 other factors that are huge, which the company funding the apprenticeship will rarely mention, particularly for apprenticeships at degree level: the brutal level of competition, the ease of access from you geographically, and most importantly of all: your genuine level of passion for what they offer (a mix of your curiosity, attitude, what you want from life, and your motivation).
If you're heading to uni, in just about three months’ time you'll be packing up your life to continue it somewhere else for the next three plus years. The weeks between getting your results and starting term scoot by and unis start allocating their housing the moment the grades are out.
There are four basic housing choices for students – living at home, living in, living out or private halls.
With this year's coursework and exams pretty much behind you, you'll be pleased to know that uni isn't all about books, lectures and exams.
We all know students get up to other stuff, right? And this other stuff is important when it comes to getting the most out of the whole university experience.
Different people have different ideas of fun, though - so when you're picking a uni take a look at what the local area offers.
The first thing I was told in my sixth form wasn't "do you want to go to university?" it was "ok everyone, here's the date when we'll be prepping your UCAS forms." At the time, this all felt completely normal, because you don't question what you don't know. And for most of the less-brave of us, from figures of authority. No one on the Taylor side of my family had ever undertaken an education course past the age of 18, which didn't help when being told "here's the university application form. Let's fill it out".
Sometimes it might feel (rightly so, often) that our favourite tech is holding us back when it comes to coursework productivity or exam periods.
Go on, try to tell us you’ve never thought “I could work on Algebra, or I could check Insta stories…” or “I should really do this Physics past paper as exam prep, but after just one more episode of Game of Thrones…”
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.
Are you heading down the uni highway?
This month you can officially start applying to uni for 2020 entry. UCAS opens its website for people to register on 21st May.
Don’t worry, the deadline is still a while away, but the dogs are now off the leash.
Hopefully, if uni’s for you, then your ideas on what you might want to study have been gradually solidifying. If you’re not quite there yet, have a look at our Which Course? section for some help on working out what’s right for you.
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.
Choosing your uni is one thing, but getting in is a whole other ballgame. And until universities develop a Harry-Potter-style Sorting Hat, they’re stuck with a combo of personal statements and grades to tell them who deserves a place at the Gryffindor table.
So this summer, whether it’s A Levels, Highers or mocks, you’re likely to have exams. And what do exams mean? Sigh. Revision.
This year though, don’t just work hard — work smart. Figure out what’s best for you personally: that depends on what style of learner you are. Are you a seer, a hearer or a doer?
So it seems like everyone and their mums are talking about uni, but what if that’s not for you?
Apprenticeships are a great route for those who prefer a little more flexibility and practical learning, but there are some common myths around them that might be putting people off.
If you’re in year 12 or 13 right now, chances are you’ve got a lot of exciting things heading your way. Uni, work, apprenticeship, college, travelling, your opportunities open to you once you’ve finished your A-Levels or Highers are pretty endless.
With all that great stuff ahead of you, now’s the perfect time to put a little investment into your future.
We don’t mean you need to clue yourself up on the stock market, or spend all your loose change on the latest cryptocurrency. Unless that’s your thing. Nope, we mean you should think about learning to drive.
Thought you were done with open days by this point? Think again.
By now, you've probably heard from most – if not all – the unis you applied to. If not, don’t worry. They're supposed to let you know by 31 March, but if you just can’t wait until then, it won't hurt to give them a call.
Now, while we’re sure that you made an effort to see all 5 of your choices before applying, we also understand that sometimes life gets in the way and you might not have had time for them all (err... or any of them).
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.
The deadline for applications to Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses is today, so get a move on if you still want to apply. Otherwise, you’ll have to take a gap year and apply next year — which might not be so bad anyhow. To double check other upcoming deadlines or application requirements go to the UCAS website.
We’re lucky that mental health awareness is ever improving, and the stigmas and taboos are slowly being lifted. But that doesn’t mean we live in a perfect mental health utopia, so it’s important to look out for yourself and plan ahead if uni’s in the cards for you.
One of the most important things to do if you suffer with your mental health is to look out for universities who have a strong support network for students and their mental health issues.
Good student finance is difficult. It’s not like riding a bike. And if it was it would be the worst bike in the world, with pins sticking out of the seat and no pedals.
A typical student will be living away from home for the first time. There’ll probably be no financial safety net as you booze your way around town racking up debt.
There’s a simple answer to this problem - start as you mean to go on. Embrace student life, but make sure your head is screwed on before you take the plunge.
Our guide teaches you 5 habit-forming tips that will work wonders for your meagre budget, freeing you up to focus on study, and of course having fun…
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.
With over a year to go before you apply, the whole uni decision may seem to be approaching more slowly than a slug on a Sunday. But before you know it, that gross silver slug slime could be all over you. What with all the coursework, revisions, exams, holidays, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings, nights out, time spent on social media and so on, it's never too soon to get focused.
Now is a great time to be thinking about two of the big questions: what do you want to study and where do you want to study it?
The web is full of dodgy types and one that students in particular should avoid are the essay cheats – or, as they’re sometimes called, ‘essay mills’.
The situation they prey on is common enough. An essay is due next week and you’re finding it too hard or you haven’t done the reading or there’s some thing else more important right now – your job, your boy/girlfriend, a different essay or even just a party. For a few quid (in fact, often quite a bit of money), you can make the problem go away. You can buy a ready-written essay, dissertation or even PhD thesis online and pass it off as your own.
Of course, the shysters offering this service don’t advertise that they’re there to help you cheat. They describe them as “sample essays” to “inspire” or “inform” your own work. However, they also describe them as “plagiarism-free” (so that, in theory, unis won’t spot it’s not the student’s own work). Why would they say that unless everyone knows the real score?
You know perfectly well this isn’t ethical and you shouldn’t do it. But, if morality isn’t enough to convince you to do the right thing, here are six reasons why you should never cheat.
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