My experience with Sixth Form: Apprenticeship or Uni?

I’ve already introduced myself in my very first post but I thought I’d give you a bit more info about me, like really get to know the person behind this blog post! So if you’ve read my first blog post, you’ll have already learnt my name, what I study and my relationship status etc.

When I first started Sixth Form in September 2013, I was really motivated to get my A-Level grades and then go to uni – just like every other student. Sixth Form is difficult since you have to juggle 3 courses and you have to meet each deadline, but comparing it to uni, uni is a lot more complex and difficult! Anyways, I’m getting sidetracked. Then came my exams in 2014, which I thought I did my best but… I didn’t do as well as I had planned. When I received my grades in August 2014, I received a C in English Language, a D in Media Studies and an E in Art and Design. I was so disappointed in myself. I kept thinking “what are my parents going to think of me?” and “everyone’s done so much better than me”. I put a lot of revision into English and Media, and I was shocked to see that I didn’t do so well in Media. I wasn’t great at Art because, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was even meant to do. So because these grades weren’t the best, I dropped out of Sixth Form.

When I dropped out of Sixth Form, I thought I could get an apprenticeship and get hands-on experience in the working world of ‘Social Media for Business’. I applied for so many apprenticeships and I received a lot of rejections – until one of my applications turned out to be successful. I was over the moon at this point! I thought “Wow! I’m going to be working soon in London!”. Turns out the apprenticeship company was a piece of crap. I went to countless interviews with this constant anxiety that I didn’t suit these job role requirements; most of them I ended up turning down or they didn’t think I was suitable for the job.

Things got pretty heated during my time of finding an apprenticeship. When I couldn’t find an apprenticeship; money was going down the drain on train tickets and tube fares. My parents told me I was useless and advised me to go back to Sixth Form to finish off what I started. But I had this mindset which made me believe I didn’t need grades to do a Social Media job, nor did I need uni. The apprenticeship scheme persuaded me to think about the debt I wouldn’t have to face if I didn’t go to uni.

But by March 2015, I enrolled back to Sixth Form to finish off my studies and get the grades I needed. Now at this point, my friends had just left Sixth Form and were going to uni or getting a job. So I was back to square one – making new friends and feeling like the newbie. Starting again at Sixth Form was a little weird; I went from doing nothing but job hunting for apprenticeships and lounging around at home, to going back to school again. I carried on my studies of English, Media and Art and if it wasn’t for my art class, I don’t know what I would have done without them.

When I was introduced to my new art class, I thought I wouldn’t befriend any of them because they all knew each other so well. But it didn’t take too long until we all started talking to each other and they made me feel welcome! I have them to thank because I was so depressed that I failed myself for not getting a job while wasting time and money! I was also upset because I had to start this long distant relationship with (my boyfriend) Hayden because he went off to uni. Things were tough at the start but everything just settled into place and at the end of Sixth Form, I had never been happier to finish my studies whilst meeting a great group of art friends!

You’re probably wondering,  if I was so against going to uni, then why am I at uni now? Funny story (it’s not that funny). My tutor asked us all to set up a UCAS account, even if we didn’t plan to go to uni. So I thought ‘okay, whatever. I’ll do it for the sake of things’. So, I set up my account and then I thought “maybe I’ll check out some uni’s and see what courses they have to offer”. I researched a few uni’s and they had relevant courses which I could study, and reasonable grades that I could achieve. My next thought was that I’ll apply to these uni’s (because I thought I wouldn’t get an offer from any of them) but it turns out I did due to my wonderfully bullshitty personal statement. At this moment I was like “OH MY GOD! I’VE BEEN GIVEN OFFERS!” – something I never thought I’d get. I told my parents and they were over the moon and confused as to why I’ve changed my mind, but nonetheless they were happy. I filtered down my choices and that’s when I thought about choosing Wolverhampton as my firm and Roehampton as my insurance. I only picked Roehampton as my insurance because it’s in London and I could easily live with my grandparents during my studies.

The distance from Wolverhampton to East Anglia is around 4-6 hours depending on how you travel there. So it was the deal breaker but I got the grades I needed-ish and the course seemed to entice me. Plus at the time I was thinking how I can move away from home to become independent and experience ‘uni life’. I made a good decision of what to study and where to study… what matters to me is that I’m happy.

Results day arrived and everyone was frantically awake at 8 am trying to see if they’ve been accepted. I woke up around 9 am and I quickly logged on my laptop, logged onto UCAS Track and the first word I read was “Congratulations!”. I told all my friends that I had been accepted and we were all celebrating. I told Hayden that same news and he was so proud of me! I told my parents as soon as they got home and they were also proud of me!

Overall, I got a C in English Language, a C in Media Studies and an E in Art and Design. I really tried my best with my coursework in each subject, I even retook my AS Media Studies exam because I received a D in it. After a lot of revision, I managed to bump it from a D to a B! I’m just really happy that my hard work paid off. Even though I received an E in Art and Design, I achieved a C & D grade in my coursework and exam. Which is a lot better than what I achieved in my first year of Sixth Form!

It was a good day for me and for everyone who got what they wanted! Looking back at last year, I can safely say that I made the right decision for myself. Even though I didn’t attend any open days to see what Wolverhampton was like; I do advise people to go to open days! I couldn’t because of travel expenses and work. Luckily, the area of Wolverhampton isn’t half bad, I think it actually suits me. I’ve made really good friends so far in my first semester and I’m hoping to carry on making friendships and to remain happy like I am today! Even though I’m currently in a lot of debt now, my happiness is what I needed to put forward in my life.

In my next post, I’m going to introduce you to my wonderful boyfriend, Hayden! I’ll talk about our relationship and how we manage our long distant relationship together.

Speak again soon,

Tina

🙂

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