• Ryan Murray

My Advice to Anyone Finishing School

School GIF

Being that it’s the time of the year where a lot of people will be coming to their final year of college or 6th form education, I thought I would give school leavers an overview of my school leaver experience and what I learnt from it.

Finishing school is always a daunting thought...especially if you have no concrete plan or are unsure about what you want to do next. Some people have a plan when they leave, others have a rough idea and then others can’t make their minds up.

At first, I fell into the last category – I couldn’t choose between University or an Apprenticeship

This is the same difficulty a lot of people have – people are often torn between three main choices – go to University, start a full-time job / apprenticeship or take a gap year – all three very different paths to take.

Decision Making

The difficulty is choosing which one is best for you – each option has its clear benefits. University would be a life experience where you would learn a lot of practical skills such as becoming more independent, adapting to a new way of life, moving somewhere new (most of the time) and of course gaining an in-depth knowledge in a specific subject, but it also has its downsides. Firstly, the debt you get without the guarantee of a job at the end of it, no guarantee you will actually enjoy the experience and whether you are choosing a subject you will enjoy for the next 3-4 years.

An apprenticeship on the other hand gives you the opportunity of earning while learning – full-time employment where you learn skills related to your subject / industry / field. However, you don’t quite get the same ‘party lifestyle’ of University.

A gap year gives you the opportunity to take a step away from your responsibilities and use it as a time to travel and do as many of the things you’ve always wanted to do (if you have the money for it). A lot of people also use it to save up for the following year if they are going to University.

Making a Decision

For me, I was torn between going to University or starting an Apprenticeship. I knew which field I wanted to go into and that was a Media related subject like Digital Marketing, but I didn’t know which route to take.

Because of this, I chose to keep my options open as much as possible as I didn’t want to commit to one option when I was unsure – I didn’t want to get stuck into something that I didn’t want to do or enjoy.

I kept my options open by applying for both – before leaving 6th form I applied for a few universities for the following year, including the University of Leeds and the University of Bristol and in the meantime keep an eye out for any apprenticeships that stood out to me – ones that had a job role I would enjoy and gain valuable knowledge from.

When I left 6th form, I worked in full-time retail to earn as much money as I could – taking on as much overtime as possible – visit open days and have a break between education and a full-time career. Iwanted to be sure before I committed to one option.

As time went on I veered more towards an apprenticeship, as I realised I was maybe appealed to University for the wrong reasons.

Well Done

From then, I found an apprenticeship here at Julia Charles Event Management in February earlier this year and haven’t looked back since.

For me, an apprenticeship is a fantastic balance – I’m earning while learning and I can still visit my friends who went to Universities across the UK and enjoy the nightlife that way

From my experience, the advice I would give to those in their final year wold be just to keep your options open and don’t be rushed into a decision – you want to do what is right for you, not what you think is right.

Don’t go to university because you feel like it’s your only choice – it’s not – there are plenty of alternatives out there that may be more suited to you.

Finally, do something you actually have an interest in – start a career / further education in your favourite subject

Hope this helps...until my next post

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