By Matteo Bergamini
“The slight tremble in the hand, as it reaches for the brown envelope. Curiosity and fear sweeps you up as you pull out the paper. You turn it over and scan the wording quickly to look for the letter, the grades that will decide if its University or not. You scan it quicker, eyes wide as they dart around the pages till you find them and….”
This is what a lot of us have faced this week, some ended in happiness, relief as the grade they needed stares straight back at them, some ending in misery and depression as a concoction of E’s and U’s glare back into the students desperate eyes. In a society bent on credentials, university degrees and A level paper work, the question remains, what about the 200,000 unable to enter university? Where are the entrepreneurs of our generation? Forced to try and pursue university life doing degrees that have nothing to do with their life’s desires, that’s where. University has become part of standard education, the norm, an extension of high school. Instead of a choice for the few that want to do a desk job which requires further classroom or written education.
If you can’t cope with exams in our generation, school life will be tough, no doubt. But there is light shining on the horizon. Cameron pledged that he would boost apprenticeships by handing out £2,000 to small and medium businesses for each apprentice they take on, and sure enough apprenticeships have been rising- slowly- but it’s a start. Despite society looking down on apprenticeships, the system has proved very helpful to many of our age that preferred to get their career on the move right away. The apprenticeship has proven to be a great way of passing down life skills and more importantly job experience. Apprenticeships on average have a high pass rate, which could mean a secure income for the apprentice and a new skill gained, enhancing his or her CV.
Apprenticeships are one of the alternative ways that have been pushed aside by this “paper work” society that regards university as the only acceptable option for when we turn 18. However research shows that in some cases with an apprenticeship you’re more likely to get a job in the field of your choice, than some of the degrees people gain at university. So I say let’s bring back alternative methods. Our society has become somewhat elitist, believing that if you’re not a university graduate, you’re not on top of the ladder. This is slowly changing, and the coalition is giving us the first stepping stone, let’s make that step. Let’s accept that university isn’t the only viable option. For all the students out there who didn’t get what they wished with university placements or just grade wise there are other options, many different ones which are worth looking into. I do believe, if you sets your life on something, you will achieve it, university or not.