Firstly, the main options which many people take are College and Sixth form in which you can study a BTEC / CACHE Qualification or A level’s. Whichever you do is not down to how clever you are however it all depends on whether you prefer doing more coursework based work or examinations. Everyone work’s differently and that is nothing to be ashamed of. The number of times I have heard people say that and put people down because they are not doing A- Levels and are doing an equivalence to it is just countless.
Another mistake many people make is copying what their friends do just so that they can be together again. It’s time to let go now and part your ways however, as deep as that sounds. People can do what they want and you shouldn’t let anybody put you down or tell you what you can’t or cannot study. These qualifications will still get the other person where they want to be in life and make them successful.
The other option is taking on something called an apprenticeship. These can be applied for using the following website https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship or you can alternatively call their national helpdesk. These are great for people who are better at studying whilst working and being practical at the same time as getting study done too. You can gain many specific job skills as well as earn a wage too.
Alternatively, if you are not ready to go straight in to an apprenticeship then there are traineeships’ available too which are courses which prepare you to go in to the apprenticeship. You will not get a wage for this however as it will just be like a work experience placement.
You can also sign up to volunteer at places over the summer holidays maybe for some basic experience too such as a charity shop, care home, or even an animal shelter. This can help you gain many vital customer service skills and team working too! It can also be great fun at times as you meet new people and learn new things whilst seeing what it would be like to work within that environment.
This can then also help you decide what course to enrol on to at college for example if you enjoyed the window dressing at the charity shops and the different clothing pieces you could study fashion design and textiles. If you liked the care home and the atmosphere of warmth and love for the residents then you could go on to study a health & social care course etc etc. There is so much you can do and you don’t have to be afraid to change your mind but don’t leave it too late!
My personal experience after high school has been a wild one. I left with not many GCSE’s however I am still now where I want to be and doing what I want to do. This does not mean that I am promoting in any way shape or form to not be bothered about revising for your exams, if I could go back in time I would definitely try harder with my coursework and revision however, because I had a lot of personal stuff going on too I just couldn't focus well enough, but that's a whole other story.
First, I went in to volunteering with a charity shop and my roles included making sure the clothes were in place and the shop floor was looking neat and tidy. I did this over the summer holidays of 2014 when I left and this helped me gain many new skills such as effective communication and organisation. Later, I decided to apply for an apprenticeship throughout the year as I was still rather unsure what I wanted to be.
I had already enrolled at a college to study Childcare but left two weeks later as I felt it wasn’t my best interest. Once I got a call from this apprenticeship that I had been accepted at I started working there. It was at a children’s play gym and it was such great fun!
Now I know you may be thinking but wait you just said you don’t enjoy childcare however later I found that I just didn’t enjoy that whole college classroom atmosphere and that I was a more practical person who learned by being in a more work- based environment and this was a customer service qualification that I gained by the end of it.
Unfortunately, due to the number of staff they already had they were unable to keep me on so I went back in to some more voluntary work at the charity shop.
The year after in 2015 I applied for college again and decided to take on something different. I did the Travel and Tourism course at Level 2 and this again was another amazing experience. They had many amazing trips planned for us such as visits to different cities such as Amsterdam and York.
However, as I finished the course I realised I no longer wanted to carry on to the next level above with this and so I decided to move sideways and go on to a Level 3 Health & Social Care course instead in 2016. It is now 2017 and I am almost starting my second year with this course and applying to a university to study mental health nursing soon the year after!
But to all you out there who are stuck on what to do and are just leaving high school or maybe leaving the year after; 16, 15, maybe even 14 years old I hope that this post has given you some hope and that it has helped in some way or another.
If you have got to the end of this post then thank you so so so much for reading and I hope you find what you want to do soon! Just remember to believe in yourself, you can do it!