So You’re Not Going to Uni?

You’re 18 years old (usually); and the time has come for you to make a decision. Which university is right for me? Do I want to go to university? What other options are available to me? Speaking from personal experience, the pressures of life and my family’s expectations were on my back. Going to university was inevitable, as everyone in my family is expected to do so.

It was something I myself wanted to do, and at the tender age of 18, I thought I had to go; especially if I wanted to pursue my chosen career. At the time, I had no clue that there were other options, I was spoon fed a set of rules and regulations,propaganda you could say. My college would go on and on about university, and didn’t make me aware of anything else.

In a nut shell, I realised that university wasn’t for me, and unlike my usual academic self, I began to struggle majorly; I failed my first year, re-took the two modules in my second year and passed. But as time went on, the struggle began to get worse; I had a lot going on, other than university and  I wasn’t myself; and knew that my heart wasn’t in it. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to leave; I did a lot of research before doing so. Suddenly, I had an epiphany! There were other options! I didn’t have to acquire a degree in order to be successful within my career, and most importantly- myself.

  • Apprenticeships- Did you know, that if you are aged 16-25, and are living in the UK, you are eligible for a government funded course, known as an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship contains an equal balance of learning and earning at the same time. Depending on the current qualifications that you hold, will determine what level of apprenticeship you start at; and of course you will progress to higher levels as time goes on.


Apprenticeships cover a range of job sectors, and are paid quite well; the wage depends on the company itself; the one thing about these schemes are that you must not be a graduate.

  • Entry Level Jobs- These require basic GCSE and A Level qualifications, and of course the equivalent. The great thing about entry level jobs is the fact that you require no experience at all; the whole point of hiring people with no experience, is to train you and help you excel within your job, and to progress as time goes on.
  • Internships- Depending on the company, the internship may or may not be paid. But the most important thing is gaining experience. This is what employers look for; and getting it will give you a foot in the door.
  • Overseas Work- There are many agencies and companies, that recruit international applicants for both paid, and non-paid internships and apprenticeships. Both long term and short term; this include summer camps, voluntary work and professional work.


On a personal note, at this precise moment in time, I have attended many interviews for internships and apprenticeships, and have come close to finishing 1st! I have not yet been successful, and at times have become disheartened. But I am serious about my career, and my love for media. I don’t expect miracles, and I know that nothing happens over night. It’s all about hard work,dedication and persistence.

If you’re reading this, and you wish that you had gone to university, or that you had applied for an internship or apprenticeship, just remember that it is never too late! Age and experience do not matter; there is always time to change your mind, and fulfill your dreams and aspirations.

Google: “UK  Apprenticeships” , “BBC Careers”, “Channel 4 Jobs.”

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