« Coral Bleaching: It's Time To Save Our Oceans | Main | Extreme Animal Migrations »
Monday
Oct122015

Alternatives to University

Results day is over and decisions have had to be made. For most, the next step is university, but it’s not for everyone, and there are plenty of options. Maybe you have spent the summer pondering over choices, still confused as to where life will take them next. Here are just a few of options which may suit you better than going straight into education.

Volunteering
Volunteering abroad is often one of the most defining experiences of a person’s life because it makes you consider the world and your own society another way; a perspective that can stick with you for life. Volunteering in general, whether it’s in an animal shelter, in a school, doing environmental conservation work or medical assistance, is always hugely gratifying and humbling, and is never something you will regret doing. Knowing that you have made a lasting impact in some way is all the payment you need, and it often makes you grateful for what you have at home. So whether you have a week or a year, taking time out to do something selfless is a fantastic option.
If volunteering abroad sounds like something you would be interested in, have a look at some of Frontier’s opportunities here.

Internships
If you’re interested in a bunch of things but aren’t sure which you want to pursue career-wise, doing an internship or some work experience in the field is often the best way to work it out. Better yet, going for an internship that is a bit left-field will often bring to your attention jobs and opportunities you didn’t even know existed. The main thing to remember about these sorts of opportunities is that you are there to learn and not to get coffee and organise stationary – especially if it is unpaid. Make sure you are getting a fulfilling experience and make the most of any and all chances to leave your comfort zone behind. The best thing about an internship is that if you impress the employer enough, you may even be offered a job at the end of it. Failing that, you’re sure to have a great reference, and, if you want to work for the same employer in the future, you’ve got a head start.
Frontier has some great internship opportunities around the world and in the London HQ – take a look at them here.

Travel
Everyone says you should travel whilst you’re young, and there’s a reason for it. Travelling the world, the continent, or even just your own country will give you a different outlook on life which will inform the way you live day to day back at home. Life’s little problems will be put in to perspective and your eyes will really be opened wide to global issues. Travel is good for the soul, so get a boring job for a year, save up your hard-earned wages and spend your money on experiences rather than stuff.

Make Your Hobby Your Career
We tend not to think about our hobbies much unless they are a sport or a group activity of some kind, but we all have something that we do when we have some free time and are feeling productive – no, a Netflix binge does not count, unfortunately. It is everyone’s dream to do what they love and get paid for it, so why not start now? Whether you write, sketch, play the bagpipes, bake or play video games, you should seriously think about making your hobby a career option. If you love writing and you love to travel, why not start a travel blog and see where it gets you? If you love photography and you love festivals, get your camera out and start a portfolio.  The possibilities are endless when you start to consider, so have a think and go for it!

Of course, if you simply want to take a break from formal education for a while, a gap year is always an option, and you can do all of the above in that time off. Not only can it give you a chance to breathe and get some perspective, but if you’re stuck for career ideas the experiences you have on a gap year can inspire and shape your future after university.

Whatever you decide, it’s worth knowing that it’s rarely a make or break choice. Take a breather if you need it, or jump straight in to further education if that’s what you want – neither is wrong and both have their pros.

Frontier can offer volunteering projects, TEFL courses, internships and travel opportunities. Take a look at all the options here.

By Eman Bhatti – Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

See more from our volunteers #Frontiervolunteer