I took the university route rather than doing an apprenticeship!

It's national apprenticeship week, and you probably wonder what I have to say about apprentices!

During high school, there were so many decisions; what career did I want, what subjects should I focus on, should I do a university course or an apprenticeship, and should I do a gap year? The list is endless and quite overwhelming for a 16year old!

So, I followed my family's encouragement to go to university, and I loved it! I met many interesting characters; some have become lifelong friends.

I learned valuable life skills from living away from home that helped me be super independent. I also got the chance to study for a year in China. What an immense experience! I became knowledgeable in my chosen subject – International Business and Management.

My time at university was an experience like no other . . . but was it worth approx. £45k in student debt?

I often wonder if I should have followed an apprenticeship pathway instead. I would probably have still made some lifelong friends. I would still specialise in a specific subject area /job role. I would still achieve my degree - but with on-the-job experience to enrich it. The biggy for me with apprenticeships (and this is the same amongst my peers) is that I would have been earning while I was learning and NO student debt!

Do I look back and wonder if I should have done things differently?

Yes, of course – especially when I see this 'student-tax' coming out of my pay packet each month. But in all fairness, it was such an immeasurable experience going to university with many unforgettable memories – that I don't have any regrets.

My advice to any 16year old having to make these overwhelming life choices is to decide what is important to you at this point in your life and go with it, embrace it, and don't look back.


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