Finishing your GCSEs and leaving school is such a huge milestone. On one hand, it can feel like the world is your oyster, but on the other, you have some huge decisions to make- these can influence the rest of your life, so it’s normal to feel the pressure. At sixteen you might feel grown up, but in the grand scheme of things you’re still young with relatively little life experience, and so it’s daunting to have to make such drastic decisions. Many people are pressured into taking one route or another for whatever reason, so think long and hard about your choice and do what you believe is right for you. Of course, no one can predict the future but as long as you’re making decisions that you’ve thought about and that you genuinely believe are what’s best for you then you can stand proud. Here are just a few different options to consider after leaving school.
Maybe you have a particular career goal in mind that requires certain qualifications, or maybe you just really enjoy education. Perhaps you don’t feel ready to leave the ‘safe’ confines of education yet- either way, staying on to learn more is no bad thing. You could do A-Levels or take on a college course in a topic that interests you.
Take a Gap Year
Most people tend to take a gap year after college or their A-levels before university, however, this is still something you could consider after secondary school. Maybe you’ve had a rough few years in education, and while you do want to go back some time off would do you good. Use the time wisely, get to know yourself, invest time in hobbies and passions, go travelling. At sixteen you’re old enough to go travelling without your parents, and if this is something they’re comfortable with (in most cases it’s parents that will need to fund this for you anyway) then it’s a good option. Backpacking is a less expensive option, and you can book with a company that takes you with a group of others meaning it’s much safer.
Do An Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are great as you get to learn while you work. They really give you hands-on and practical experience while training you up and giving you the knowledge and certification you need. You’ll even get paid a little too! The only downside is that they’re often in high demand and so you’re not guaranteed to get one, but if this is the route you want to take then see what’s available to you.
People can be under the impression that leaving school and getting a job is a bad thing, however, that’s simply not the case. For some, it really is the best option. You might not gain any higher education qualifications, but starting young gives you years of work experience more than others. In many jobs, you can start at the bottom and work your way up, and in time you could be earning just as much or even more than your friends that took different routes.