Welcome back to my blog!
I know for a lot of individuals the time is coming to pick what they do after they finish secondary school. For some they may feel that they have to do A levels due to family pressure or risks of not getting into University, even if A levels aren’t suited to them. That is why for this weeks blog I have decided to write about why you shouldn’t be afraid to pick college. I know for some of you this might not apply to as you have already been through Further Education but don’t worry because I will also be talking about my own experience of college which you may still find interesting.
For those of you that don’t know what A levels are, they are exams that students take between the ages of 16-18 in their chosen 3/4 subjects. The results of these exams decided what uni/uni course you can go to or what job you can get. A level exams are very hard and stressful and for some individuals like me they aren’t the best post sixteen option. They are mainly exam based so for individuals that get anxieties around exams or cannot display their full potential then these can be very challenging.
Most individuals are afraid to go to college as it often gets a reputation for being ‘easy’ and something only unintelligent people do. This is not the case. From the moment I did my GCSE’s I knew that I wouldn’t be able to cope with A levels. I was always an individual that revised really hard and when we did practices papers in lessons I was hitting my target grades but as soon as it was time to do the real the thing the pressure of the exams got to me and I just froze. Exams freaked me out a lot and unfortunately due to this my GCSE grades didn’t represent my ability.
Luckily I found College. I studied Health and Social Care there with my course being fully coursework and no exams – Result! Due to the no exams people have the perception that due to the no exams college is easy. This is far from the truth. Constant coursework means constantly having work to do, constant deadlines and a million late nights trying to get it all done but also a lot of satisfaction at the end and also constantly knowing what you are on track to achieve.
Individuals also worry that they won’t get accepted into university if they go to college. Now a days college coursers are more popular for university places than A levels. This is because college teaches you so many skills you need for university that A levels don’t such as being organised, finding information by themselves and also managing multiple deadlines. I went to college and I got offers from all 3 of my universities without an interview – 2 of them were unconditional offers!
Now to talk about my experience of college. I attended Chesterfield College and I have to say it was the best decision I have ever made. From my first day I have never felt so welcome and accepted as well as feeling appreciated. All the staff were so caring and couldn’t do enough to help and support me whenever I needed it. At college you called your teachers by their first name which made it feel a more friendly atmosphere and not as formal. Everyone cared and would go out of their way to help from my personal tutor to my head of directorate. There were many times where I doubted myself and my abilities and put too much pressure on myself which lead to me putting myself down. My teachers were always their to comfort and reassure me that I was in fact achieving.
College also gave me so many opportunities to help gain experience and build up my CV. From different placements to organising a health campaign. I have to say the best opportunity was to organise a mental health awareness fair and work with other professionals to orgainse this. This helped me make contacts within the social care industry and also give me the chance to organise a project on a topic that I am really passionate about.
The most important thing I got out of going to college was how much that it managed to build my confidence. I admit I still am not a confident person but my confidence has improved dramatically from what it was before I attended college. College has made me independent and mature and help me become the person I have always wanted to be.
Don’t be afraid to pick college, even if others judge you because at the end of the day you have to do what is right for you and only you. College is demanding and stressful but it can also help shape you, give you options as well as making friends for life.
I hope you enjoyed this different style of blog this week. Please leave your thoughts in the comments and I will see you next week!