University seemed to be the only word that echoed throughout the college halls. At first, I did want to go to Uni, I wanted to be a Spanish teacher believe it or not! I filled in my application form, chose my top three Universities then waited patiently for a conditional offer.
Failure helped me figure out what I wanted
But things didn’t go the way I planned, I failed Spanish – learning a foreign language for 4 hours a week is not enough to pass an A-level exam! For a moment, I felt a little lost, so I considered what the other options were. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I always had a passion for writing, so I thought why not pursue a career based on that passion? I dropped Spanish the next day and instead decided to do Media Studies.
I researched what else I could do
Soon after, I got a week’s work experience for my local newspaper, which was very useful and insightful. Things were going much better now and my education was coming to an end, so I had to plan my next steps. Researching people who are already in the industry is very important to know where the hell you’re going next, so I quickly jumped onto Google and there it began. I shortly discovered that in fact I did not need a University degree to be a journalist, but instead a little qualification known as an NCTJ, diploma in Multimedia Journalism.
So I embarked on a very intensive course of 20 weeks at a journalism college called News Associates; so what someone would learn at University over 3 years (the important stuff), I crammed in over 20 weeks! Not for the faint-hearted as they warned. It was very tough being in a classroom for 7 hours from Monday to Friday, the lessons were gruelling and I have to admit I struggled to stay awake in the boring parts (politics!). But in the end it was worth it, I eventually passed my exams, even though sitting some twice!
You need to think carefully about your future
I just think some people need to do more research before jumping on the bandwagon and quickly setting off to University. It is very expensive, especially if you don’t really need to go; though I do understand that in some job roles you have no option, such as doctors or lawyers. You may be able to do a fast-track course like me to get where you want to be – or you may be able to do an internship going into a permanent role. I know so many people who have spent thousands of pounds at Uni and now have changed their minds to do something completely different. Don’t just go for the partying student lifestyle either!
Optimistic about the future
My course has since gotten me job interviews that clearly state in the job spec that they need someone who has gone to University, which you know now I haven’t! I’m currently happily writing for CGD and I am keeping an open mind to what job roles may pop up in the future, be it journalism or editorial!
University isn’t for everyone
The CGD girls have a variety of qualifications from Masters degrees to certificates in Creative Writing, so it’s important to research and see what’s out there. Sometimes, University just isn’t for everybody, but sometimes it is! Only you know what will work for you.
Did you go to University? Was it all worthwhile? Let us know in the comments below.
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