‘Tis the Season to Submit UCAS Forms; University and Major Life Choices

We are fast approaching the UCAS deadline. For those of you outside of the UK, UCAS is a website that we use to apply to University. I’m currently stressing because I have to wait back from places to hear if they’ll accept my qualifications and they’ve all broken up for Christmas. The deadline is the 15th January. Great…

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I think it’s bloody stupid that you have to decide what degree you want to do at the age of seventeen. Who knows that they want to do with their life at seventeen? Perhaps 10% of the population, that’s who.

Over the last week most of my friends have come back from University for the Christmas holidays, they’re in their second year now (apart from the ones who took gap years) and 90% of them regret what they chose to do. That’s not even me exaggerating- in fact, that’s probably a kind estimate.

I don’t want to freak out people who are applying to university right now. I want to say that it’s okay to make mistakes.

University in England is now ridiculously expensive, we’re talking £9,000 a year (that’s £27,000 for a full BA (hons)) those are just the tuition fees and they can be paid with loans that get written off if you can’t repay them, so it’s not all bad… but you only get one shot.

I started out applying to University as a back-up (and because my school made me) I applied to do drama. At the time I was applying to drama school. (I talk about my drama school experiences here.) I didn’t get into drama school but I did get onto a course at a local stage-school. (I talk about my experiences there, here.)

As part of that course I completed my ATCL in Speech and Drama. This is a level 4 qualification, which is the level you study at for the first year of your degree. It’s also worth 90 credits; the first year of university is worth 120 credits. I was annoyed that I’d have to go back to the beginning and complete a full three year degree, I was told that I couldn’t use this qualification for anything.

I applied to study drama at university (starting September 2014) and tried for a second year to get into drama school. I didn’t get into drama school and I eventually pulled out of university… that was a really hard decision. Instead I decided to spend this year taking my LTCL in Speech and Drama. This is a level 6 qualification, which is the level you study at for the final year of your degree. It’s worth 240 credits which is the same amount of credits as the first two years of a degree, or as a completed foundation degree.

The plan for me is to now apply to do a ‘top-up degree’ which is the final year of a degree.

The only problem is that I’ve now decided that I don’t like drama and I don’t want to study it anymore, sadly I’m in the same position as 90% of my friends… I have to suck it up and get on with it.

I have changed so much in the last few years, right now my future looks totally different to what it looked like a year ago.

If you’re panicking about the future then please know that you’re not alone. If you make the wrong decision then it’s not the end of the world, and you’ll be in the same boat as thousands of other people. School will push you because it looks bad for them if you don’t go to university, but take your time. You wouldn’t commit to a relationship that you weren’t sure of, so why commit to a degree?

As for me, I plan to get my degree and do a conversion course. Maybe along the way I’ll figure out what I want to do with my life.

You’re not alone!

’til next time,

Wren x

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