I’m An A-level Drop-out, But It Didn’t Stop Me From Going To Uni

In my teenage years, I scoffed at the idea of A-levels, believing that college was a waste of time. I saw the education system as little more than an exam factory, producing indebted graduates. I was so certain that I dropped out of college on the day of my AS results. However, a year later, as my peers excitedly received their university acceptance letters, I realized I had made a grave error.

When people ask why I left college before completing my A-levels, I often say it was due to various personal struggles. The truth is, I was simply too lazy and immature at that time. I wasn’t ready to make such a significant decision about my future.

I’ve learned that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Many people in their late teens aren’t ready to make such a critical life choice. For example, Arash, a 21-year-old foundation engineering student, didn’t perform well in sixth form, but that didn’t deter him from pursuing his aspirations. Similarly, Lewis Wheeler, a 20-year-old access course student from Brighton, wasn’t certain about his career direction and chose to do an apprenticeship first.

After leaving college, I tried several things, including an apprenticeship. However, these were short-lived endeavors, and I felt like a quitter. It wasn’t until I examined my hobbies and interests that I realized becoming a fitness instructor sounded appealing. Though I qualified at the same time my friends began university, the role proved to be short-lived as well.

Several ‘filler’ jobs later, I realized my decisions seemed to be one mistake after another. Just before my 20th birthday, I decided to give education another try. After some research, I came across the Open University, and my first love, politics. Despite my fears, I enrolled in a politics, philosophy and economics course. The deeper I got into studying, the more I enjoyed it, and my distance course opened doors.

However, I still felt like I was missing something. I longed for the full university experience. So, despite my history, I applied to the University of Sussex and was amazed when they accepted me based on my OU performance. If I could offer any advice, it would be to try other options before university if you’re uncertain. My path wasn’t the smoothest, but I don’t regret a thing.

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  • seanevans

    Sean Evans is a 29-year-old school teacher and blogger who resides in Utah. Sean is an advocate for education and believes that every child has the right to a quality education. In addition to teaching, Sean also enjoys writing and has a blog where he discusses various topics related to education. Sean is an active member of the community and is always looking for ways to help others.