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Sophie
Hey! I'm Sophie and I'm a Creative Media Student from Leicester.

You can always find me listening to music and browsing the latest eyeshadow palettes (preferably the pink ones!).

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Post GCSEs: Why College Was The Best Route For Me

I've gone on and on about how stressful it is to choose what route you want to take ofter your dreaded GCSEs. I've also gone on about how happy I am at college. I thought that today I'm going to talk to you about why college was the best option for me, post-GCSEs.

I was in Year 9 when I had decided that I was going to do a BTEC Level 3 course at college, rather than stay at a sixth form college or take the apprenticeship. I found a course that I loved and stuck with my decision for the three years I did my GCSEs. I have the option, still, to stop the course that I'm on but I'm not going to.


When you've done your GCSEs, it gets a bit scary. You soon realise that you've got a life ahead of you and you've got to start planning what you want to with your life. It's a tough choice but my blog really helped me decide on what career path I wanted to take and so I'm now progressing a career in the media industry. It was important that I kept my options as open as possible because I didn't want to chose something that would give me just one door. 

Nearly a year later, I'm here. Enjoying college, making new friends, discovering new career paths and thinking about what I'm going to do when my course is complete. Scary thought. I'm 18 next year and I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for the responsibilities that come with that.

Lack of exams

College is different to doing A Levels. For starters, I don't have exams (and I couldn't be happier about that). Some courses do require you to take exams but I was lucky I guess. All of my work is coursework, I spend a lot of my time working on several projects at a time; which explains why I'm not posting regularly anymore. Reports, articles, magazines, video production, blogs, web design, radio, marketing, photography. I do it all. I enjoy every aspect of what I learn, it's much better than A Levels.

Practical aspects

Practical projects make up a lot of my project. Yes, there are a few academic subjects but when aren't there. You've got to know why you're doing something so that you understand it better. I go and interview people, conduct focus groups, film music videos, create magazines, work in the studio. I'm always doing something exciting. If I did A Levels, I'd be sitting in a classroom all day. I don't think I could bare that.

It's not just the projects that coursework brings. I'm an active member of my college. There's plenty of things I do around the college. The Capital FM X JP Cooper event was one example. I'm creating a magazine which is going to print and be circulated around the college. I'm an active member of the Student Council and work closely with the Student Union. I go to national conferences and help make the college a better environment for the students. Would I really be doing this much if I was still at school doing A Levels?

All of these practical aspects are building me up for a working environment. It's giving me a lot of experience which I can apply to most areas in the media industry.

Community

The amount of friends that I have gained from my life at this college is amazing. I have friends from acting, graphics, fashion, electrical installation, catering, public services and of course, my own course too. The connections that I have built have had a positive effect on my mental health. I'm noticeably happier which motivates me to keep going to build my skills and experience.

Environment

College is a lot more different to A Levels. It's more relaxed and is a stepping stone between school and work-life. No matter how much people deny it, college is a more grown up environment in comparison to a sixth form college. 

It sounds so cheesy, but college changes you. I'm surrounded by people who are my age or older than me, since our college offers university courses too. You instantly become more mature because you're surrounded by people who are serious about what they want to do. That doesn't mean we don't have fun. I've noticed that the kind of fun that we have at college is different to how my friends at A Level colleges have fun.  

Days off

So this isn't a big factor but it is a game changer. I spend three days at college a week. It's not even that, one of my days I start at 1pm. When I tell people that I have a four-day weekend, you an see the jealousy in their eyes. It's definitely a perk.


College was one of the best decisions I made. I'm happier, surrounded by like-minded people, doing what I enjoy and most importantly, having fun. Who knew education could be fun?

What are your post-GCSE plans? If you've already done your GCSEs, what did you do after?

Until next time...






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Comments

  1. Loved this post, so glad that college was a right choice for you! It sounds like a great experience.

    x Margaret

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment! It definitely was! xx

      Delete

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