For me recently, school has been a whirlwind of mock exams, revision and applying to colleges. It feels surreal because I’ve never actually thought about the fact I’m leaving school very soon and won’t ever have to go back. With that aside, I am looking forward to leaving and getting a fresh start, but I can’t do that until I’ve actually chosen a college and courses.
It probably seems really scary. I remember being eleven years old and going up to senior school, and it seemed like a huge step. Then I chose my GCSE’s which was a pretty big thing for me - but now I’m faced with choices about what I want to do for the first part of my adult life.
First things first, you should choose whether you would like to go to college or apply for an internship. There’s pros and cons to both - For example, college is part-time and and you may take more than one subject, but you can get equal experience from a internship and secure a career for yourself at the age of sixteen. Weigh out the positives and negatives of each and if you’re struggling, there are usually teachers around who are more than willing to help you decide which is better for you.
Once you’ve decided, you can begin looking at the specifics. If it’s a college, you’ll want to find one you like. You might decide based off proximity it your home or how easy it is to get there, and if you’re going for an apprenticeship you may want to look at the people who work there and what sort of jobs they offer.
After that comes the choosing your courses, A-levels or job. If you’re choosing to go to college, I strongly suggest going to open days and finding out what requirements they have. If you’re going down the apprenticeship route, you may want to speak to the people who you’ll be working with or look at different factors of the jobs such as wages (since some internships do offer payments) and working hours.
In your application, try not to talk negatively about yourself. Everybody has weaknesses but you can always trump them with your strengths. Focus on your positive attributes and what you’re best at. You may be asked questions about what you feel your weaknesses are, and when this happens, always use the word ‘but’. For example, ‘I feel I am not best at working independently, but I thrive in groups.’
If you try your best and focus on what you truly want, you can achieve it.