Uni Vs Employment || Feat. Tom Bristow

As you can probably tell by now, I like writing blog posts about uni ahah! It's quite a passionate subject for me because, I have had an up and down relationship with uni, which you will probably know if you've read some of my previous posts. When I was in the beginning of my first term, I hated it... I was having constant debates/arguments with my family about what I was going to do. I even remember looking for full time jobs and apprenticeships one morning when I got into uni early haha... but I finally decided to stick it out! 
I think the main problem these days are the fact that schools/colleges do not educate students on alternatives to uni! My school in particular forced EVERYONE to complete a UCAS application even if they had their heart set on not going to uni; which I thought was so wrong on their behalf! Schools mainly focus on themselves and their statistics... which makes the students feel pressured to get into uni and only uni... any other option was 'not as good as uni', 'wouldn't get you anywhere in life'. I know for a fact that there ARE other options to uni. Uni is great for some people however, it is not for everyone and that is ok. I chose uni because I was told to believe that it would get me the best outcome in life... however, I am still yet to fully believe that. Therefore, I have decided to do a placement year after my second year, and then after that I will go back for my third year; this way, I am not only getting a degree, but I am also getting a full time paid job and get experience from it, which I can most likely go back to after I graduate! 

I am an example of someone who chose uni over employment/any other routes you could take... I am not completely 'pro uni' but I am in no way saying it is a completely bad thing. I wanted to get an opinion from someone who chose to not go to uni and to take a different route. So I asked YouTuber, Tom Bristow if he would like to share his story. He is also 18 like me; so I thought it would be good to see the views of someone the same age as me! I hope Tom can give you an idea of other routes you can take as opposed to uni :) 

Tom's Story: 

"I guess it’s best to start by explaining what I’ve gone in to after I finished my A levels. So during the taking of my final exams (I took history, maths and business & economics) I applied for a scheme in Project Management with a bank and somehow I got it. After 7 stages and 2100 applicants I was one of the lucky 33…. I still don’t know how I did it! What I’m currently doing is a 2 year scheme where I work full time, getting two years of experience as a project manager, also obviously meaning I get payed a full time salary along with that ahah, but I also sit some exams and submit coursework/evidence to get what is called an APMP, which is the equivalent to a degree in project management, just worth a lot more as you have the experience to prove you’ve can do the job and then at the end of the two years I’m then guaranteed (so long as I pass my exams) a role at a higher level to what I am currently."

"So thats what I’m currently doing, something that my school never even tries to inform its students is a path you can take as an alternative to university, I always felt all of my A level teachers we’re extremely pushy towards going to university and I felt extremely judged after saying I had no intentions of going to uni. I understand that to get their jobs A level teachers will have had to gone to uni, so their whole career has revolved around the fact they went to uni but I mean seriously come on??? Everyone is different and everyone should follow what they feel is right for themselves, I really feel teachers put too much pressure on students to go to uni and make them feel like it’s the only way you can ever get somewhere in life, like uni is a fantastic thing and of course it helps you get a job but thats really not to say it is the only way you can get a good job."

"Personally myself I could have gone to a good uni with my grades but just nothing about it appealed to me, there was nothing that jumped out at me and made me feel like hell yeah I wanna go study that and I definitely wouldn’t have suited the life style of uni one bit ahaha! Then when I saw the scheme I’m on, advertised it was straight away something I really liked the idea of and after looking in to it more and more it just got me wanting to do it even more, although I would say they are extremely hard to get on and I really wouldn’t rely on getting on one!"

"I’d say there is some part of me that regrets not going to uni because I literally never get to see anyone my own age, everyone I work with in my team are lovely but they’re all 30’s and above and married with kids….not exactly people I can hang out with on the weekends ahaha! Honestly though overall I’m extremely happy I choose not to go to uni, the opportunity I’ve got is just something that’s exactly right for me personally, but hey just like uni isn’t right for me what I’m doing wouldn’t be others cups of tea either ahah!"

Sophie: I'm just going to elaborate a bit on this point... When you're at uni, you are surrounded by people of different ages and from different countries. I think my course ranges from 18-40 year olds... so you never really know who you're going to be close friends with! I'm personally friends with people aged 18-24 (roughly). This is in fact one aspect that I like about uni because you get to meet loads of different people, who have come from different cultures. I personally like getting to know people of different ages because they have experienced so much more then me; from marriage to moving house etc!

Back to Tom ahah... 

"I’d say there’s a lot of pros for me going straight in to work, for the career path I want to go down experience speaks much louder than grades or degrees. Obviously I’m earning which has meant I can already start saving for a house and hopefully buy my own next year! Although that has its con of when my mates come back they expect me to buy them a drink ahah! I think as I’ve already said though the only real con for me is not getting to be around anyone my own age."

Sophie: I explained to Tom about my potential placement year, and I wanted to know his views on it!

"I think anyone thinking of taking a year out of uni to go get experience is a fantastic idea, because although yes being at uni you get that high level of knowledge but you’re not getting any real genuine hands on experience of doing the job and applying the knowledge you’ve been learning. It’s not only the fact that I think it’s best to get that experience and learn how to apply what you’ve learnt but also I think its good to do, to get an actual grasp of the job and know that you actually enjoy what you’re going in too, because then if you come back and decide ahhh nah I actually want to go down a different path you’ve got that final year to think about it, but then also you’ve still got that job experience."

Sophie: ^^^ That is exactly why I was thinking about doing one ahah!

I hope this post has given you an insight into other options and paths you can take instead of uni!
One thing I think is also crazy, is the pressure that 18 year olds get...
Remember, you do not need to know what you want to do in life right away! Some people take a gap year to figure it out, and that's ok! Do what YOU want to do, not what other people want you to do!
This is YOUR life not theirs!

Thank you Tom for sharing your story and views about Uni/Employment!
I'm sure it has helped some people have more of an idea about alternatives to uni :)

Toms Links:

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