This first blog is a bit about me and my life now after leaving college (sixth form). Many people will be going through tough decisions now after leaving school/college and wondering what is next for them. It isn’t an easy decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Everyone is different so make sure you are comfortable with your decisions, whether people are screaming at you to go onto higher education or get a job, it’s your decision. And whatever you decide it doesn’t define the rest of your life. Here’s a bit about when I went through that process after leaving sixth form.

A bit about me…I am called Tom (incase you hadn’t guessed), I’m 22, I live in sunny Manchester (you’ll get used to my sarcasm) and I work in retail. I left sixth form in four years ago and went into retail as what I though would be a stop gap between then and deciding whether I wanted to go to university. I had always wanted to be a teacher growing up and all through high school, I even went into teaching for my work experience. I chose my A-Levels in sixth form based on what subjects I enjoyed and would want to teach and got good grades in the end. But when it came to doing UCAS and deciding what courses to do and where to go I just wasn’t inspired anymore. Despite teachers advising me to go to uni I knew I didn’t want to go anymore. When September came and most of my friends were either in uni or had jobs I was at home in a bit of a rut trying to decide what to do. I knew I had to get a job. For one I had a car to pay for and any teenage drivers will know that insurance is not cheap. I looked online and decided I would find a job in retail and stick at that for a year then decide. If i hated it I’d go to uni, if i liked it I could take it from there.

In November 2012 I started my new job working for Boots. I was so excited. That feeling of getting my own job was amazing. Even though I’d joined at the peak of the Christmas season I loved the hussle and bussle of it all. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work, very hard work but I stuck at it and over 3 years later I still work for Boots. I have moved stores a few times, which is nice to see different sides of the business, and I am just in the process of going into management.

Retail isn’t like it used to be. I know there is a lot of stigma attached to working in a shop but it really isn’t like that anymore. If you enjoy it and work hard you can go very far and have a very rewarding career. Needless to say I stuck at it and enjoyed it. Although there have been moments where I’ve sat with my head in my hands and wondered what it would be like if I’d gone to uni. I would have qualified this year had I gone but I can honestly say I know I made the right decision. The days where I think about what it could be like are few and far between and they are basically ‘shit days’ where everything goes wrong and you sit and think about anything other than work.

Basically I just wanted to say to all those people out there who are currently at those crossroads, take your time and really think about what you want to achieve. If you’re not sure about higher education maybe consider a job or time off in the meantime to decide what you want. Ultimately whatever you decide you can change at any point if you don’t like it. If you choose uni and hate it you can leave likewise if you choose a career over higher education and hate it you can still apply for uni at a later time.

I hope anyone who read this enjoyed it. As I say I will just be doing the odd blog post here and there about whatever takes my fancy. Thanks for reading.