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Hello, you! I'm Soph - a 22 year old girl currently living in Liverpool, spending most of her time writing, taking photo's, drinking coffee & trying not to eat too much cake.
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Life | University or Work?


 
 
Hearing about hundreds of A Level students picking up their results today, prompted me to think about what my life's been like since those 3 years ago I was in exactly the same boat. And boy, has a lot changed!
 
I decided not to go to University, and actually, I was pretty set on this very early on. Don't ask me why, but I've never wanted to go. It's just never appealed to me, and I decided that the world of work was better suited to me after my A Levels than University was. So I got myself on a trainee programme, and jumped head first into the very adult world and full time employment at 18.
 
I'm not gonna lie, it was rather scary. It was one of those moments where you have to sink or swim, I think I've mentioned this before but at one point I was very sure I was about to full on sink, and never be able to push myself back to the top again. But, eventually, you get into the swing of things, and once I'd got over the initial overwhelming stuff, it started to get pretty okay.
 
Probably more than okay, actually. Since leaving my A levels behind, I've been on a full-time salary the whole time, enabling me to move out into my own flat, get myself a car, and I've got 3 years of pretty intensive work experience to go with it. Not to mention the whole load of life skills that I've picked up along the way, that I might not have done had I gone to do a degree.
 
Now, I really don't want you guys to be thinking that I'm saying this route is better than University, because I'm definitely not saying that at all. It's wholly, totally and completely depends on YOU. 
 
(Completely unrelated photo, but it's pretty and breaks up the text, right!?)
 
My college were very set on the University route, and not much support or advice was offered to A level students who actually, didn't want to stick to the 'norm'.  Some people know exactly what they want to do, and for this, they have to attend university in order to get themselves the relevant degree they need to kick-start their career. Simple.
 
However, for the rest of us, it might not be that simple. There are SO many different jobs out there that you just don't get told about, some you don't need a degree, others you do. And if you're not sure what you want to do, making the decision about University can be pretty daunting! Because, after all,  it's a pretty bloomin' big investment into your future!
 
But then again, so can applying for full-time jobs. I've had to make a fair few sacrifices to get to where I am at the minute, but I've definitely learned a lot along the way too. Was it the right decision for me not to go to Uni? Right now, who even knows!
 
What I do know is that I wouldn't have met most of the people I know now if I'd have taken the University route, and its strange to think about the fact that I probably wouldn't have started this blog either. So yeah, I'm pretty glad I made the decision that I did.
 
BUT, I probably would have met some amazing people at Uni had I gone there too, and had some very different, but also great experiences. And I know that out of all of my friends that have just graduated, none of them regret it, at all, and loved it.
 
 
The one thing to remember is that whatever happens, and the decision you make now, DOES NOT define your future. Just because I decided not to go to University at 18, doesn't mean that I'll never go. I've still got plenty of time. Just because you apply for a certain job in a particular industry, doesn't mean that you have to stay in that career forever. Just because your degree is in one field, doesn't mean that you're restricting your options in the future.
 
No matter what you do, or where you go, you're going to meet some brilliant people, have completely unexpected experiences, and pick up skills that you can most probably transfer into a lot of different things if you wish.
 
Life has it's own way of directing you, and I always find it really fascinating to think about how many unexpected things have happened to me, that 3 years ago I could never have even thought about.
 
So, do what you want to do right now, and don't let anyone else influence that decision!
 
Soph
 
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Sophie Rosie
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21 comments:

  1. Great post! I can relate to this so much! I did a 2 year internship and am now working. It is also true that this won't stop you from going to university especially when you're staying on your career path you can even benefit from your experiences from work!
    I'm going to start university in September and am happy to say that I can pay it myself and can afford living in my own flat (probably not possible in every country so it's a little easier where I live).

    There will be people who will say bad stuff about this decision though and they will try to talk you out of it. I bet you've experienced this as well! but who knows? Maybe it's because they wish they were courageous enough not to go to university as quick as possible.

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    1. Thank you! That's so good to hear, good luck with starting Uni next month lovely!
      Exactly! Like you say, who knows, but at the end of the day, it's your life, and good on you for doing it the way you wanted! :) x

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  2. University really isn't for everyone. I knew from about the age of 10 that I'd go but I'm the only person in my family to do so. There are a lot of pros and cons to both and it entirely depends on what you actually want to do. There really isn't a right or wrong way as to how to live your life after A Levels and all you can do is make the most of it!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

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    1. I completely agree with everything you've just said Rachael! It's lovely to hear that you knew exactly what you wanted to do and what was right for you! :) x

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  3. Such a great post lovely! The world really is our oyster, and no matter what path we take it will all work out in the end : ) I was always set on going to uni, ever since I was tiny, but everyone is different and all of my friends have taken so many different paths! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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    1. Thanks Jessie! It really is, it just takes some remembering sometimes. That's exactly the same with us, no two of us have done the same things and it's great :) x

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  4. I was in a similar boat. I didn't go to uni right away and instead I did a youth volunteer program for 9 months. Then I just worked a few jobs until I figured out what I wanted to do. Finally, when I was 21, I went to uni when I was really sure what I wanted to study. I can't imagine how my life would have been had I gone at age 18, but I definitely can't see it being better than my life now!

    Aisling | aisybee.

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    1. That's so lovely to hear that things have worked out for you, taking a non-conventional route as well! :) x

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  5. I totally agree with this. I didn't do ALevels (because I didn't do so well at GCSE) but I found an alternative route by going to college and undertaking a BTEC. It was perfect for me and the way I learn. University isn't for everyone, I walked out after a week and went back again lol. It was the best 3 years of my life and I had a lot to prove to myself after GCSEs and stuff, I have no regrets. I wish I did more programmes or something to benefit my career now but life is definitely what you make it :) really great post Soph that a lot of people can relate to!

    Em
    http://www.carpediememmie.co.uk/

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    1. You're right Emmie, uni isn't for everyone at all, and exactly, there's always a way to work with what you want to do! Thank you lovely :) x

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  6. I loved this - and it's so true. No matter what we do, we still find our path and everything still works out right in the end. It's great to see someone write that :)

    Hazel xx

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    1. Thank you Hazel! I thought exactly the same with your post about not having to quit your job to live, I loved it! :) x

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  7. I think it's really tough for those who decide they don't want to go to university, because you spend your whole school and sixth form life gearing up to it! Good on you for choosing what was best for you x

    Martha Jane | www.marthajanemusic.com

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    1. It can be tough, especially when everyone around you is pushing you in one direction. Thank you lovely! And thank you for reading my post :) x

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  8. I totally agree - different strokes for different folks and all! I didn't go to Uni whereas my sister did, and we both felt like we made exactly the right decision for us! If you don't go to Uni it can be hard work getting your foot in the door at a young age and you certainly have to work hard and pay your dues, but I managed to find a career right for me and work up to get to the level that I'm at now, no degree needed! x

    Laura | Loved By Laura

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    1. I love that saying Laura! I've never heard that one before! That's so great that you've managed to do that, like you say, it just depends what works best for you :) x

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  9. I love this post so much! I'm the opposite to you and knew that the university path was the one for me, but I completely agree that it isn't for anyone and think there should be more support and help for those who want to go into the world of work! It's so good to hear you've had a great past 3 years :)

    Kate xo // www.beautybabbles.com

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  10. I am in university myself and I have doubts sometimes but what's done is done. It's great to see that you're doing so well after A-Levels! I have a few friends who didn't go to university and they're so successful right now such as opening up their own cafe and venturing into business. Loving this post and I wish you the best for everything. :)

    Sofea
    www.thesofeablog.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Sofea! oh wow, they're some amazing achievements! Even if you're having doubts, just stick with it, it'll work out for you :) x

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  11. This is such an important post for all those people out there who think they don't have a choice. Not just about university but about travelling/careers/living at home/doing what they think society wants them to do. Just do what works for you!! You were brave to make that decision Sophie, and I'm glad you stuck to your guns. Smart girl xxxx
    www.fashionnomads.com

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