What to do if your mates are UCAS-obsessed but you’re not sure about uni

ucas uni alternatives

If your friends are filling in UCAS forms but you’re not that fussed about uni, here are 7 things you can do in the meantime. Think smart and think ahead…

1. Do an UCAS application anyway

You never know what the future holds. You may think uni isn’t right for you, but doing your UCAS application will help you have a much clearer picture of what it all involves. Importantly, you’ll also learn a LOT about yourself. Your strengths, your goals, your skills

With our help you can create the ultimate UCAS personal statement. And an UCAS application isn’t just going to help you get into university, if you decide to go. See how it can help you in the future… as the backbone to an awesome CV!

2. Use the time to create a super-smooth CV

Maybe you’re thinking about heading straight into work after school? There are so many satisfying well-paid jobs you can do with GCSEs, or fantastic roles you can get started in then work your way up.

While your mates are filling in their UCAS forms, use that time to create a CV you can be proud of. Whatever your grades are, and whatever work experience you’ve done. Not sure how to go about it? Use our epic guide to writing your first CV.

3. Research gap years

Have you thought about taking a gap year? It can be a really rewarding move if you’re not sure what you want to do next but you want to do something amazing. Something that could shape your life. It’s not wise to take a gap year if your main goal is to lounge around on the sofa watching TV. Netflix and chill is great, but it’s not a year-long plan. Not even if your favourite new show has more than ten seasons you need to catch up.

Taking a gap year can be useful if you want to fill the time with trying out jobs to see what you most enjoy, or widening your life horizons by, say, volunteering abroad. Employers, colleges and universities can look favourably on a gap year in your CV if you can show how you used that time to build your skills, knowledge and life passions.

It’s your time, so don’t waste it.

4. Look into (degree) apprenticeships

There are SO many apprenticeships out there that you can apply for with GCSEs, A-levels or the equivalent. Whatever your interest is – music, technology, finance, animals or you’re just not sure yet – there is an apprenticeship out there for you. Apprenticeships come in different levels, too – so your level of education is no barrier to finding an exciting apprenticeship that’s right for you.

Did you know? You can even do degree apprenticeships!

A degree apprenticeship is one where you work and train with your employer who pays for your degree! So if you’re not 100% sure about going to university because of the costs, there is definitely a way to have your cake and eat it too.

5. Explore further education

A university degree isn’t the only useful course you can do after leaving school. There are all kinds of vocational courses out there. Vocational courses are ones geared to helping you slide into a real-life career instead of a purely academic qualification.

6. Get a job in the big wide world

You can get some really interesting jobs without having a university degree to your name. For example, you might think engineering is such a complex career choice that you could never do it without going to uni. Fix up, look sharp – you need to up your positive attitude, because even with something like engineering, there are loads of potentially rewarding and well-paid engineering jobs you can do without a degree.

Getting a job after school could be a great next move for you. Click the link and you’ll see all our tips and guides for CVs and cover letters that stand out from the crowd, job interviews with the wow (and phew) factor, and general job hunting tips. Know your worth, be willing to learn, keep confident, bounce back up when you fall and you could land a job that really means something to you.

7. Start your own business.

Yes. Seriously. Once you leave school you are old enough to start your own business. If you’re a bright spark with a clever business idea, all kinds of resources are on offer to help you become self-employed.

Starting your own business needs self-belief, self-management, and all the other Young Professional life and work skills – just like any job where you’re working for someone else. But age doesn’t have to hold you back from starting your own business. Believe in yourself!

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