Hints and tips for life after sixth form
Life after sixth form can feel daunting and sometimes overwhelming, but it is also an exciting time filled with possibilities. We want to make sure you feel fully supported and as prepared for your future journey as possible, no matter where it takes you. Here are our hints and tips for life after sixth form and how you can create a life around your interests and passions.
Tip 1: Don’t limit yourself
Never put yourself in a box or think one career path is destined to be yours. The truth is many of us, and especially young people, will explore multiple careers before finding the one that suits us best. Work takes up a huge portion of our time. Explore lots of avenues until you are truly happy with the work you have.
Remember changing job or switching career doesn’t equate to failure. You can learn a lot from an industry or position you decide isn’t going to be yours for the rest of your life. Learning what you do and don’t like in the professional world will take you one step closer to the job that makes you happy.
Tip 2: Define your own path
While many students around the world go on directly to nine to five work or university after sixth form, don’t be fooled into thinking these are your only options. Your next steps might well look very different to the average student and that is perfectly fine.
When deciding what you want to do next, think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to explore different avenues before committing. For example, if you decide university is right for you because you want to continue your learning journey, make sure you consider all the options available to you. Have you considered a variety of universities and locations, and what they offer? Perhaps you might want to study abroad or maybe you want to find a university with a particular specialism or political leaning. Explore what kind of culture exists in each university and whether you will be able to reach your full potential at each institution you apply to. Additionally, you might consider subjects you might have never thought about before, like international relations, classics or anthropology.
If you decide university is not for you, but you want to continue studying, then you can. For example, you could find an apprenticeship that aligns with your industry interests. This will give you practical training alongside your studies. Apprenticeships are fantastic opportunities in many industries, from engineering to biotics, hairdressing to art and design!
Perhaps you don’t want to continue your educational journey, and instead you want to delve straight into your career. If this is the case, then go for it! If you’re applying for a job that needs a CV, make sure to share yours with family and friends to ensure it’s as effective as possible. You can also find many guides on writing your CV online, such as by UCAS. You can find many jobs online – make sure you use filtering tools to find jobs most suited to your requirements and interests.
Alternatively, you could also begin your own organisation or business. There are many guides which can help you achieve this, including those provided by the Prince’s Trust and Young Employment UK. The Government also provides support for young entrepreneurs which might be helpful to you to kickstart your journey.
Or perhaps taking a break is what’s right for you. Although travelling is difficult during the pandemic, there are lots of other alternative breaks you can take. For example, you might want to spend some time at home before taking the next step in your career, from which you could volunteer at your local charitable organisations including foodbanks which need more help now than ever. Or, once you’ve had the vaccine, you might want to explore the UK in a safe and sensible way.
Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Our final tip is always ask for help if and when you need it. We all struggle sometimes and particularly when the routine and safety net of school is no longer as present as it once was. We love hearing from our alumni so please do let us know if we can ever help you with anything, whether that’s simply more tips for life after school, connecting you with other alumni or choosing which path to take. We’re here to support our current and former students, no matter how long you’ve been away from school.
Additionally, we are thrilled to hear about the achievements of our alumni. Do keep us updated with your successes throughout your life so we can support you and shout about them!
Life after sixth form can be challenging, but it can also be thrilling, exciting and filled with possibilities. The world is your oyster. All of our students have the tools they need to create a future that caters to their dreams, passions and interests. We can’t wait to see what you get up to!