When I left school I was certain that I wanted to go to college. I really loved school, and it sounds crazy I know, but I even enjoyed studying and learning for my GCSE’s. As a year group, were told about other options and paths that could be taken, but because of how much I enjoyed being at school, I knew from the off that college was where I wanted to be.

Upon starting college in September 2013, I decided that to study A levels would be the right option for me. I ended up taking 4 courses, with my subject choice initially being English language and literature combined, Media Studies, Sociology and Communication and Culture. Similar to most people though, after a week or so of lessons, these subjects changed a little. I ended up dropping Sociology because I felt it wasn’t for me, which then meant that thanks to my A grade GCSE, I had to tackle Spanish in it’s place.

The main problem with A levels for me was that they just weren’t specific enough. I took Media Studies due to my keen interest in advertising and marketing, with an added bonus of some promised time using and exploring Photoshop (which I have also always loved doing). However, as the course progressed I soon realised that we wouldn’t be covering any form of marketing; but more camera angles and the use of Mise-En-Scene (props, setting), which wasn’t really what I signed up for.

‘What am I actually doing here?’

As my first year was coming to a close, I started to question more and more why I was actually at college and where achieving A levels in random subjects like Spanish would actually take me once the two years was over. Unable to come up with an answer, I started applying for apprenticeships, hoping that I would be able to land myself a place doing something that I was actually really interested in, while of course, gaining myself valuable work experience along the way.

I finished my first year at college, passing all of my subjects. For some, this would motivate them to push even harder and continue on to A2 with an ‘I can do it!’ attitude and the desire to continue further on to university afterwards, but this wasn’t what I wanted to do. With my AS levels, a guaranteed place to study my second year at college and two part time jobs as a safety net to fall back on, I decided it was time to take a plunge and do something about the path I was on.

Apprenticeships do not rule out the option of going to Uni!

If you are considering applying for apprenticeships, my main piece of advice would be to not give up any current commitments until you have a guaranteed and secure work placement. I know that it might be difficult to resist the temptation, but the last thing you want is to get over excited and quit your current job and college, to then be turned down and left with no back up plan. I also want you to remember that taking on an apprenticeship does not rule out the option of university, if that’s where you eventually want to end up. If you really don’t believe me, you can even take a look here at what UCAS themselves have to say about apprenticeships.

According to the Parliament UK stats, over 440,000 apprentices were taken on in England alone in the 2013/2014 academic year, with myself, of course, being one of them. I don’t regret going to college for the year that I did. I got to meet some amazing people who are still a massive part of my life a year later, all of whom I never would have even met if it wasn’t for college. I also got to have the ‘college experience’ and land myself 4 AS levels, which I can always come back to and complete if I decide that’s what I want to do at a later date.

As it stands I am currently doing an apprenticeship in social media and digital marketing, which is much more specific to my interests, a paid role, and arguably a massive head start against other people my age who want to go in to the field of work which I am already learning in. And this is exactly why I left college to do an apprenticeship…


  1. WOW! What an inspirational piece of work Chloe. Here at the Academy in Chelmsford we are incredibly proud of the work you have been doing there with Silkstream. This Blog just goes to show that there are alternative opportunities for young people! \n\n\nKeep up the amazing work, and update us on all that you are doing!\n\nLuke 3aaa Apprentice Intake Executive

  2. Excellent blog Chloe! In your chosen field, technology and media are so fast moving that professors have a difficult time keeping up and preparing timely and appropriate courses. Real life experience, with the right company, offers so much more. So very proud of you and your choices!