Young and impressionable I was, always with a smile on my face and an enthusiasm that was contagious and spread to my peers. However, I never fully knew what I wanted to do as a career option. All my friends were in fulfilling career paths and I always thought, “How do they do it?” and “Why can’t I find my calling in life?”
After unsatisfactory AS Levels, I had a second chance to make things right with a BTEC Level 3. Flicking through the pages of a college prospectus over and over again, I chose Health & Social Care as it incorporated working with both children and adults.
I enjoyed my Level 3 Extended Diploma, as I had various placements in a hospital and 2 primary schools throughout the 2 years! However, still stuck on what to do as a career path, I submitted a UCAS application for a Social Sciences programme at the University of Kent as my teachers believed I had a promising future as a sociologist.
Second thoughts flooded my mind as I was unsure whether or not to go through with this. Would I be satisfied studying this for 3 years? Would I get bored of it eventually? Would my mind be enriched studying this sort of subject?
While I was still contemplating my decision, I came across an HND in Health & Social Care, which was at my local college and was purely work-based, emphasising on work experience and coursework.
I liked the sound of this very much and applied through Clearing, as it was my insurance choice. It was the best decision I ever made! During those 2 years, I learnt a lot regarding health promotion, complementary therapies, managing human resources and partnership working.
My research project was also on the lack of males in the nursing profession in the UK region, I distributed surveys to staff and teachers, plus the data I received was eye-opening and gave me valuable insight into how people think.
The teachers gave us choices on what our coursework could be based on e.g. in my first year, my coursework was all about youth crime. The second year I branched out into different topics like young fathers, domestic abuse and healthcare assistants. My placements were my local youth centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and a nursery. After my HND finished, I was sad to go, so I took a break from education and went out into the real world!
The HND left a huge impact on me as I feel a lot more confident in what to do and it gave me a suitable foundation on what career path to go on.
Currently, I am still engaging in volunteer work at the youth club and I have become a valued member of the team - I delivered a session at Christmas once and the rush felt incredible but in a good way!
I also applied to do an Education Studies degree as I believed that working with kids fills me with joy and I learn so much just by being with them, which helped improve my wellbeing. After I finish my degree, I plan on being a youth coordinator or an outreach officer.
My advice is to try out as many things as you can and then you can find out what you’re truly good at!