Since we are young, there is an expectation that education is one pathway; going to school, sixth form and then university. But, that is not the case as education can be done everywhere and everyday. There are apprentices, internships, jobs and learning in your own time. 

Getting a basic education within school or at homeschool is important, however, where do you want to take your life after the age of 16? Do you want to go into further education, get a job or an apprenticeship/internship or get work experience? 

This is because education can be done anywhere as it’s not always stuck to the confines of school, sixth form and then uni. It isn’t a case of bashing this system or the path people decide to take but it’s about finding out what is best for you as not one size fits all.

Dropouts And Graduates: Is College Worth It? | Middle Ground

How do I know what is best for me? 

First of ask yourself these questions; 

  • What requirements do you need for your career? 
  • How do I learn?
  • What environment do I want to be in? 
  • How much information do you have on other avenues? 

Knowing the answers to the questions above can help you decide what path you would like to take. Shy away from answering these questions based on what your friends are doing and what your parents want you to do. However, this does not mean you have to block out advice that these people give.  

My experience;

From an early age I knew that I didn’t want to go to sixth form or university so with the help of my parents I decided to go into college and do a BTEC course. Unfortunately, COVID hit as I was finishing my course so progressing in my career was put on hold for the time being. 

Once we began to get out of lockdown, I applied for jobs in the field I wanted to go into as I didn’t want to go to university. Since I wasn’t getting any luck with the jobs I was applying for, I decided to go onto a short course to get more hands-on experience. 

I didn’t want to go to sixth form or university as I knew it wasn’t the environment for me. I am very lucky that I have parents that accepted the pathway I wanted to go down since they understood from their own experience that University isn’t the be all and end all.As well as knowing that I didn’t need A-levels or a degree to go into the career (film industry) I want to have. For me, learning by actually doing it is the way I learn best. 

How to Figure Out What You Really Want | Ashley Stahl | TEDxLeidenUniversity

Know that it’s ok to fail and change your mind.

Overall, it’s about knowing what is right for you and not allowing what others want from you to dictate what you do. Make yourself happy and that doesn’t mean pleasing your friends and family if it isn’t something you want to do. It may take a while to accept your path but in the end they’ll come around to what you want to do.